I used to be a Leader for Weight Watchers.
There - I've said it!
That's really a hard thing for me to tell people. I imagine what they must think when they look at me now. I mean, I wear my failure at my former job on the outside for all the world to see.
I'm really hard on myself when it comes to this issue, in case you couldn't tell. I would never, ever be this critical of another person in the same situation. But inside of me, there's a voice that says, "You should know better. You were a successful WW Leader."
And I was successful: I led thirteen meetings every week, reaching over 300 people. I helped numerous people learn to believe in themselves and reach their goal weight. Most important to me: I helped people realize that attitude effects every area of our life, including -and perhaps, most critically - this weight loss journey. If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right. (Henry Ford)
I believe all of that in my heart of hearts. Which is why it's so hard to run into a former member of mine, as I did yesterday. I was doing my duty as a federal grand juror: she was a witness on one of the cases we were hearing. The first feeling I had was of shame and wanting to run away before she saw me. Then the adult in me took over. I had to remind her who I was. Now, to be fair, it's hard sometimes to remember people when they're out of the context of where we usually see them. But I also know that adding 50 pounds to a body changes its appearance substantially.
I have been overweight my entire life, then I successfully lost weight on the Weight Watchers plan. I went to Leader Training the same week I made Lifetime membership. I spent no time living with myself as a thin person before I became a leader and started focusing on others. Big mistake: I know it and they know it. Now there's a rule that one must be at goal weight for at least six months before becoming a leader.
Before you think I'm blaming WW, I am not. I loved being a leader! I love the program and still believe it's the healthiest, sanest plan out there. Meeting and encouraging all those incredible people week after week has been one of the highlights of my life. But I didn't take the time I should have to experience life as a thin, healthy woman. There was a lesson somewhere along the line that I didn't learn, so life is presenting it to me once again.
So there's my true confession. I am trying hard to let go of the idea that I should know better because of what I used to do for a living, and that's going to take some time and a whole lotta self-love. Twenty years ago, I had to stop smoking twice before it finally clicked and stuck. I will get healthy again, although maybe never as thin as I was when I worked for WW. And that's OK with me.
Until next time...