Thursday, July 21, 2011

Today I am grateful

This morning at 11 AM I stood in front of a group made up mostly of strangers and yet I knew each of them. I had walked in their shoes and experienced the same joys and frustrations they have experienced.  I understood. It was my final mentoring session in my quest to become a Weight Watchers leader.  My leader mentor was there in the back row next to my territory manager and another leader coach in training.  It was my responsibility to present the entire meeting and facilitate discussion and learning.  I was prepared and yet I was nervous.  This was so important to me.  I was reaching for another goal.  Today I accomplished that goal.  I am now a Weight Watchers leader and I have been told when and where I will lead my group!  We went to lunch and celebrated.  As I drove home from lunch I had some quiet time to think and reflect on this journey of 15 years and I realized how far I had come.  I have so much to be grateful for!

Today I am grateful for my husband, Jay and my children, Megan and Adam who loved me though my journey and seemingly overlooked my weight and celebrated every victory.  I am thankful for the hugs around my waist that were measures of my success as little hands got closer and closer together until they finally reached and wrists were clasped.  I am grateful for walks secretly timed with a stop watch and the encouragement to pick up the pace and beat my previous time EVERY time and I am grateful for the "Hill Warnings" as we approached any incline no matter how steep it was.

I am grateful for the many Weight Watchers leaders who showed me the way (Lina and Mary, Delores, Donna, Sue Anna and Kristy) to name just a few.  Thank you for lighting the way when I was lost and for celebrating each and every victory!

I am grateful for the other Weight Watchers members who went before me and those who sat in the meetings with me and understood the struggles and never judged, some of whom have become dear friends.

I am grateful for the 16 wonderful women I met in my Basic Leader Skills training, any one of which I would be happy to have as my leader and am thankful to call my friend.

Today I am most grateful for the 196.4 pounds of extra weight I lugged around for far too long as it taught me lessons I might never have experienced.  I am the person I am today because of my seemingly endless battle with that weight.  I am strong, resilient, determined, courageous, empathetic, loving and joyful for the experience of shedding those pounds.  I never in a million years would have imagined what I would find under those pounds!  Those pounds, gone for good, will now enable me to stand in front of a group of people at my Weight Watchers meeting and tell them and to show them that I hear them and I understand.

I reached for what seemed impossible when I first began this journey and somehow managed to meet and even exceed every single goal I ever set.  I am grateful.  I am proud.  I am ready!!

“How does one become a butterfly?” she asked. ”You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” - Trina Paulus

Friday, July 15, 2011


Strong as defined by

      1.  having, showing, or able to exert great bodily or muscular power
      2.  mentally powerful or vigorous
      3.  of great moral power, firmness, or courage
      4.  especially able, competent, or powerful in a specific field or respect 
      I have been thinking about what strength is ever since a fellow blogger shared Saucony's new television ad campaign on her blog.  It is a great ad with a great message for all of us facing new challenges which may seem, at times, to be insurmountable.  I don't care that it's purpose is to sell their product.  Take a look for yourself and then read the script.

      "Is it muscle or is it something more?"
      "Is it measured in miles or milliseconds?"
      "Is it your best time or your worst day?"
      "Maybe strong is just what you have left when you've used up all of your weak!"

      So my question is what is your strong?  Is it saying no to the wrong food choice or or to the request to do one more thing for you work or church or social group or even to the voices in your head saying you can't...?  

      I know for certain I found my strong in the process of digging out from under all of the extra weight I was carrying.  Do you know what I found?  I found a strong determined woman who when she looks in the mirror wonders who is the older woman looking back at her.  I found the woman who had the courage not only to start training to walk one half marathon but to finish two! I found the woman who knows without a hesitation of doubt that if you tell me I can't you had better stand back and get out of my way because I have my strong and I WILL, watch me!!

      "Maybe strong is just what you have left when you've used up all of your weak."

      Sunday, July 10, 2011

      Dear Weight Watchers Members

      Yesterday afternoon I successfully completed the WW Basic Leader Skills training and assessment and I want to share a few things from this experience with you.  I was in a group of 16 WW leader hopefuls and 4 outstanding trainers.  At times the process was nerve racking (you have 10 minutes to prepare your opening for your meeting and then present it), colorful (we were given markers with scents), delightful (conversation, down time, great meals) and even a bit like Hell week of a sorority initiation.  I came home exhausted but grinning from ear to ear.

      I am not sure if all of us made it, we didn't discuss it, but I feel comfortable assuming not all of us did.  The leaders that came out of that training session will be outstanding leaders partly because of the trainers and the process but also because of their journey and experience.  You will be grateful to be in any one of their classes.

      The 16 of us had a total weight loss in excess of 800 pounds.  It tickled me to be the "biggest loser".  We bonded as a group and I am sure lifetime friendships were born in this training.  So I would ask you to give us a try when a new meeting is offered especially if we are not who you expect to see when you walk into your meeting.  Over the next week or so each of us must complete 4 mentoring sessions with a leader trainer.  Our last session will attended by our territory manager and she will have the final say as to whether or not we will be leaders.  Please encourage us by participating in our classes.  Listen to the questions we ask and the brief personal experiences we share.  Enjoy our flip charts knowing that we are not artists and are doing our best.  We will do our very best to give you the kind of meeting you deserve and help you to be as successful as we have been so that one day perhaps you will want to be a leader.  Finally, take a minute to lets us know if there was something that you heard in the meeting from us or another member that made a difference for you that day.  We would appreciate it.  Be patient with us as we get our legs and find our voice.

      I promise to do my very best to HEAR you, to LISTEN to you and to help you find your way.  I will facilitate (rather than lead) YOUR class and it will be about YOU and YOUR needs and not about me!