Marci, was it everything you hoped for? (This was my friend’s question yesterday.) Well….. I answered her yesterday, but the question has been floating in my head since.
The last week’s event was purely social – not a Weight Watchers-organized or paid-for event. But Weight Watchers brought us together AND to this place of love and sharing and connection. And we are forever changed.
Last year when the five North Carolina women were returning from a life-changing few days in Michigan, we decided that we should host the following year. We wanted to re-live the connection, recreate it, offer our brand of hospitality. If I just invited dozens of my closest friends over for a party, I could be pretty sure we’d have a great time. If I invited dozens of friends (some who didn’t know each other) I *still* could be pretty sure they’d have a good time. But “a good time” isn’t what happens with this type of event.
What happened here is no short of magic.
We – the North Carolina crew who went last year – threw the invite out to last year’s group – then our territory and whoever we had on Facebook. Among the 5 of us, there are a LOT of connections! We talked it up. We had a LOT of interest but we know that life sometimes gets in the way, we’re not the ones who show up on everyone’s Facebook feeds, and trips can’t be made sometimes. We also know that the ones truly upset they couldn’t come were the ones who had the experience before because we just can’t articulate what happens to our hearts until it happens. It’s not just “getting together to get to know each other.” It’s getting TOGETHER to get to KNOW each other and FEEL our hearts grow!
Taking a trip to meet virtual “friends” is not an easy thing to say “yes” to for a lot of people. The practical reasons why people say no are obvious:
- I don’t want to – that’s just not a priority.
- I can’t spend the money in coming.
- I can’t get off time from my job.
- I have other obligations during the time period.
- I think it’s insane!
But there are the emotional reasons:
- I don’t know anyone!
- My circle is just fine, I don’t need it enlarged.
- I am not LIKE them, I’m not extraverted.
- I’m not in to all that connection or the touchy feeling stuff.
- I’m not at my goal weight.
- I don’t deal well with large groups of people.
- What if they don’t like me?
- This is out of my comfort zone – I can’t fathom spending the money AND being out of my comfort zone – no way.
- I think it’s insane!
It’s just easy to say no. But we say no to a lot of things in life – too many things. We say no to the beach because we don’t want to be in a bathing suit. We say no to family reunions because of how we look. We say no to scary things, fun things, uncomfortable things, things that are hard and uncomfortable and inconvenient. My Nana used to tell me, “For the most part, you don’t regret things you do, you regret things you don’t do.” But I used to say no to many things because of some insecurities.
What if we said yes to more things? What happens then? What if we planned a visit instead of talked about it? What if we picked up the phone instead of texted? What if we knocked on the door to give a hug instead of just thinking about it? What if we took a leap of faith and met other women instead of thinking that it’s “just not me”? What if you want to improve the “just not me”?
Weight Watchers staff members are trained to deliver our service vision: keep members well informed, motivate members to succeed, make them feel well cared for and part of the group. I believe this training helps us live our lives outside of Weight Watchers in our day-to-day lives. I try to do those four things each day of my life. I spent the last few days with women who embody that service vision.
We ate healthy food.
We took over the first nine rows of a kids train in a park!
We rode on a Merry Go Round!
We shopped and helped each other with “NO – try this – it’ll look amazing!” (We sometimes said – “no….that doesn’t look amazing!”)
We went to a meeting! (Okay – I get a bravo for leading a meeting that had a dozen leaders attending!)
We were silly in a scavenger hunt.
We go kicked out of stores. (ooops.)
We line danced.
We created fantastic relationships and a fun atmosphere.
We shared ideas and stories and defining moments.
We explored each other and the Raleigh/Apex area.
We nurtured ourselves and each other.
(Ladies – do those italicized words look familiar?)
We are not our Facebook personas. (No one truly is.) Each of us is made of flesh and blood and heart and soul and gifts and minds and scars and smiles. Each has more to offer than a status update, a funny meme about coffee or bacon, a political post, or a food picture. Each has questions about others and what makes them tick but sometimes afraid to ask. Each has defining moments and know and live the results of those moments. We are all shapes and sizes. Some are rule followers. Some don’t play by the rules. Some are organized and some are more loosey goosey! We have different food tastes and makeup preferences. We have different group comfort levels. Some of us have never met a stranger and others take a while to open a gate to the wall we’ve built. Some of us laugh easy. Some of us cry easier! Some are natural athletes and some have no coordination! (None of us have accents!)
Our job in Weight Watchers is to help members. Well, these are women who feel passionate about doing that. Our commonality – or universality! – is our passion for our members and delivering that service vision to them – and each other. We are constantly proving to each other, the company, but especially ourselves…
We are Better Together!