I was telling my friends the other day about a fascinating story I heard on NPR. It was an interview with an author about eating and one of the things the author mentioned was that as parents telling us to finish our plates was a mistake. It didn’t allow us to define our own limits with food. And one friend piped in, “Might I remind you, if any of us knew our limits with food we wouldn’t know each other.” Ahhhh yes.
So this blog post isn’t about knowing our limits. Nor is it about weight loss. (I’ll start that again next post.) And although it isn’t even about Weight Watchers, I must say that I have Weight Watchers to thank – AGAIN – for this post and these amazing women.
As every Weight Watcher Leaders does, I started out as a member and, honestly, that’s my first and most important role with Weight Watchers. I was, and always will be, a member first. And, as a member, I need support. Not just once-a-week-in-a-meeting-support. I needed to be talked out of the vending machine, the catered lunch, the midnight munchies. And now we have something called 24/7 chat, but then – almost 10 years ago, we didn’t. Enter the Community Boards. There were many boards (age groups, dietary preferences, etc.) and I gravitated towards one. And on this board I found “my people.” It was a few years in that I joined the world of Facebook and became even closer to “those people.” Over the years I’ve met a few here and there. Some have stuck it out with Weight Watchers, most quit, and then there’s me who live and breathe it. But now, “those people” were in my heart. It was those members I started with that became amazing friends and I have always felt blessed that they were in my life.
So a few months ago this past weekend was *born* so to speak. One of these women planned a trip to visit another for her birthday. Then, surprises were planned. Visiting for a birthday quickly turned chaotic when our friend told her not to come. We had all purchased tickets and now had to back peddle. But we didn’t. We decided to go help our friend and her business and turn the trip in to what we originally did when we met – support each other.
Spreadsheets and airplanes and hotel and car rentals and mass coordination ensued. Countdowns occurred. And then it was here! What happened next was pure magic. Never did we think, “oh my goodness – five women living under one roof doing everything together – we might kill each other!” Five women came together – we’ve known each other for years and some of us had never met in person – but the bond was real – palpable. We came together and worked hard. Yes – 5 women who originally met on a Weight Watcher community board were now at a Cookie Convention cutting samples and selling shortbread like no one’s business. (I suppose if they overdid it, I could have followed it with a business card saying sign up for WW personal coaching, but I digress.) We worked. We succeeded. We helped our friend – our sister. And we blossomed. We blossomed as friends, as a unit, and individually as women.
Something happens when 5 women come together and work hard in an area we’re unfamiliar. We’d either be stepping on each others’ toes or we’d flourish – and we flourished. For days we worked together, laughed together, ate together (and oh my did we eat WELL!), drank together, slept together (mind out of the gutter, people!) and cried when it was over. Not one bit of drama among us. Not one moment of angst. It was ideal.
So I thank Weight Watchers, yet again, for the vehicle that was necessary to bring people in to my life. What I know is that being affiliated as a member and as a leader has fulfilled me in so many countless ways. The fact I lost weight is just a bonus.
The beauty of these strong women was in our diversity – not necessarily ethnic, although there was some of that – but in our values and ideas and careers and our tastes. We celebrated each other – our differences and our samenesses. (Yeah, I’m making up words.) We were all fortunate enough to be able to make this happen (and we don’t take that lightly!) and are all richer for making it happen. We bring different strengths to each other, different words of support, different ways to digest information and conflict, different coping mechanisms and definitely different sleeping patterns! (Can you say ear plugs?) We have new ways of looking at cookies and laser pointers and raviolis. Forever changed and forever blessed. Thanks, ladies. I love you.