Sunday, April 24, 2011

Missing in action?

Happy Easter!  It has been a while since I have posted so let me explain where I have been.  In my last entry I shared that I had been hired to be a Weight Watchers leader but this is not something you just start doing; there is training and more training!  Weight Watchers leaders and receptionists are a team and so all leaders learn how to be receptionists before they learn the ins and outs of being a WW leader.  This is what has taken up my free time.  I have now had 3 receptionists training sessions and done a 2 1/2 hour online training session.  Tomorrow night I will again step into the unfamiliar roll of receptionist at a meeting in York, SC.  I say unfamiliar because I never could have imagined all of the work the receptionists do for a meeting.  I stand in awe of the ease with which they accomplish all of their tasks.  I am much more familiar with what the leader must do having sat on this side of the room as a member for fifteen years with numerous leaders.  I am eager to begin my leader training but also understand the need to know the receptionist position.  My training continues....

I went to my regular meeting on Saturday morning and smiled when I saw the leader who had been there for me as I lost the final pounds and reached my goal.  She cried with me when I told about completing my first half marathon and compared it to my WW experience.  She cried again with me the day I shared my letter to the weight I had lost with my WW meeting, and she cried again the day I reached goal.  She was not the leader of the meeting the day I made Lifetime but she had kept up with me and sure enough she was there with her camera the morning I became a Lifetime member.  This is the kind of leader I hope to be.  I want to know my members by name, without a name tag.  I want to help them get started on their journey, encourage them when they stumble, pick them up again and again if I need to and help them find their way and most importantly cheer for them each and every time they have a victory.  Thank you Mary Bell!

"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way."  John C. Maxwell

I am on my way and I am ready!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Setting Goals and Reaching Them

The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.  ~Thomas Henry Huxley

I stood on the scale at that meeting and stared in shocked disbelief at the number looking back at me, surely it couldn't be right!  I looked at her, the one weighing me, with eyes pleading, hoping, praying, that she tell me that something was wrong with the scale; she said nothing. I continued to stand there, not moving, watching her write that weight, my weight, on my weekly weigh in log.  I got off the scale and took it from her and found a seat at the back of that Weight Watchers meeting.   I am numb and ashamed.

What do you do when you need to lose almost 200 pounds?  How do you even begin?

I began my journey by setting a laughable goal;  lose five pounds.  I knew I could lose five pounds but it was a goal I could attain and the satisfaction of having reached that goal should keep me going.  I reached that goal at the very next weigh in.  I lost 9 3/4 pounds!  I was elated and motivated but I knew I needed to set a new goal and so I did; lose five  pounds!  I continued reaching my goal and then setting a new one throughout my weight loss journey.  It worked!

I have learned that setting a goal requires more than just stating your intentions.  It requires a plan and tools and support.  Weight Watchers provided me with all three of these.  I had a leader, and a room full of supporters, and I had a program that worked.  I followed the program, weighed in weekly or almost weekly and stayed for the meeting and I reached goal after goal until I ultimately stood on the scale and weighed in at my goal weight.  I needed a new goal, something to reach for, something to challenge me.  It didn't take me long to know exactly what my new goal would be: I would become a Weight Watchers leader!

I had been told by several different WW leaders that Weight Watchers had a policy that required all leaders to be at their goal weight; I had a problem.  At my goal weight, which was set by my doctor, I was still 30 pounds above their goal weight (124-155lbs).  I needed a plan!

A month or so before reaching my goal weight I discovered that the CEO of Weight Watchers had a blog.  Are you smiling yet?  Do you know where I am going with this information?  I had decided if I was going to hear a lot of "nos" in my fight to become a leader I would start at the top rather than work my way up through the appropriate channels before finally reaching the top and so I watched his posts and posted appropriate comments until the opportunity was right to post MY story.  I was very surprised when he responded to my post but he did, and to make a long story short he forwarded my information on to the appropriate people.  Step one of my goal was now complete.

A month ago I had an interview with the WW territory manager for my area.  We talked quite a while but we connected.  The conversation was easy and my cheeks hurt from smiling.  When we were finished with the interview she said, "I want to hire you.  I think you will be a terrific leader!"  I fought to restrain my joy and resisted the urge to jump out of my chair and hug her and then reality hit when I asked what kind of a fight we were in for.  She smiled and said she was sending it straight to the top, to the CEO.  I grinned, and told her how I had already "talked to him" and then explained how she ended up getting my information.  She loved the story and told me to go back to his blog and tell him my application was heading towards his desk.  I did.

Two weeks ago I heard from her again, this time with great news;  my application had been approved, she would contact the appropriate trainers in my area and she would get me trained to become a leader!  Just yesterday I had my initial training session and the next session has been set up for April 7th.  I am so close to meeting my new goal and I am so excited.

What do I do now?  I pay attention in all of my training sessions and I prepare for the day I stand in front of "my class" and lead my first meeting.  I reflect on my journey; the struggles and the successes and I think about a new goal.  Did you know Weight Watchers has an award for "Outstanding New Leader" ?

The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.  ~Thomas Henry Huxley

I am standing on the second step of my ladder and I am ready to step up to the next rung!