Both last week and this week have been pretty emotional. And…exciting. And…bittersweet. And…sad. And…stressful. And…exhilarating. And…a slew of other emotions. Honestly, it’s hard to put my finger on it. Maybe it’s because I am not exactly sure how I feel…yet.
(NOTE: To all my WW members who might be reading this, PLEASE read until the end. PLEASE!)
On February 14, 2010 I started working part-time for Weight Watchers as a receptionist. My full-time job was a newspaper reporter with the Echo Press. In October of 2010, I took it to another level and became a leader with WW, in which I facilitated the weekly meetings for the members. At that time, I still remained at the newspaper. Becoming a leader was something I never would have dreamed of doing because it meant I had to get up in front of people and talk – out loud. And, they would all be looking at me. OMG!
My biggest fear in life – at that moment anyway – was public speaking. But, I conquered it. (For the most part. It still scares me half to death and I still occasionally sweat like I’m in a sauna, but it has definitely improved!)
On February 4 of 2011, nearly one year later of part-time employment with Weight Watchers, I kicked it up another notch and became a full-time leader. I left my newspaper reporting gig, which I had for 12 years, and hit the highway – literally.
So, what made me start working for WW in the first place? Well, let’s back up a little.
I joined WW “just as a member” in November of 2008 – the week before Thanksgiving. I became a Lifetime member sometime in 2009 when I reached my goal weight, which at the time was 155 pounds. I had lost at that point, about 50 or so pounds (my starting weight with WW was 190.2, but MY starting weight was 200 or so pounds. At the beginning of October 2008, I know I had lost about 10 or so pounds because that is when my hubby and I got married and I had to have the dress taken in – twice! I know there was a point I was even heavier than that, but for a period of time, I wouldn’t weigh myself. I knew, but didn’t really want to know. You get my drift? Know what I mean? I know at some point, I was a size 18/20 or XL and sometimes, XXL. Clothes size, really though, doesn’t matter. Really, it doesn’t.
Anyway, my goal weight is now 145 and I typically stay between 140 and 145. Although I have dipped down to 138 and I have been up to 150. BUT, that is the highest I have gone since losing my weight. 150 is THE magic number. Meaning if I hit it, I have to get my butt in gear and get back on track!
I know I have posted these here before, but it’s always good to have a visual.
The first pic was October 8, 2008. It’s our wedding pic. The second pic was taken October 8, 2013, our five-year wedding anniversary. Yes, my hubby has changed just a wee bit, too. He lost about 40 pounds! And has also kept it off. So proud of him.
So, now that you have the background, here’s the scoop.
I have decided to step down as a leader with Weight Watchers. I have one meeting left; it’s this Thursday. And yes, most of my members already know. And yes, there has been a flood of emotions – from me AND them!
I do know this…and I can’t stress it enough…I LOVED MY JOB! I love “my” members. I love the gals I work with – ALL of them and I am going to MISS THEM so much. Not that I want to single anyone out, but I am going to. To Stacey, thank you is not enough. I don’t know what else to say though. You have no idea how important you were/are to me and I know I didn’t tell you enough. You are one of the most inspiring, motivating and nicest people I know. Thank you for EVERYTHING. You are simply amazing! And, I love my manager (thanks for putting up with me and thanks for believing in me!).
I love helping people. I love motivating people. I love inspiring people. I love Weight Watchers. Period. Okay, there were some things I didn’t love, like paperwork and inventory, but really, you can’t love everything about your job, right? Weight Watchers has been my life for nearly five years – well, more if you count when I was “just a member!”
So why I am leaving? Sadly, the main reason is the miles; the time spent on the highway. I don’t live in a town large enough where I can work enough meetings to be a full-time employee. Working full-time meant I had to travel. In the nice months, May through October, it wasn’t so bad. Winter months? They killed me. They got to me. They drove me bonkers. I was stressed and my anxiety level was through the roof. Only a few people know/knew just how much I loathed driving in the wintertime. Am I a baby about it? To some, probably. But to most – or at least I hope to most – I wasn’t.
I know not all days were like what you see in the pictures below, but these are the kinds of roads I had to drive on – occasionally – that caused the most anxiety. These were the ones I feared the most. These were the ones that got the better of me. These were the ones I had nightmares about. And I wish I was kidding. Yes, it may have been an irrational fear, but it was my fear and it was real to me. Driving in the winter time scares me as much as public speaking once did. Fortunately, I got over my fear of public speaking. I will NEVER get over my fear of driving in the winter. Ever.
(Photos by Confessions of a [former] Fat Girl)
So, to help put things into more of a perspective, there were times I was averaging 700 miles per week – that’s 2,800 miles per month and roughly 33,600 miles per year. And that was just mileage I put on for work. That’s not my own miles for my own things. I drove to the towns of Sauk Centre, Melrose, Morris, Long Prairie, Fergus Falls and St. Cloud. Not all in one day. But all in one week. There was a period of time I had 14 meetings per week.
Now, I am not complaining, although I know that’s what it sounds like. It’s just the driving, the miles, the time spent on the roads, the oh-so-long and windy roads, that got the better of me. It wasn’t the job or the work. Now I know there some people who love driving and don’t mind the time spent behind the wheel – even in the winter. Some people are cut out for it. Some people LOVE it. I, apparently, am not one of those people. I don’t judge those who like it and I hope like heck I don’t get judged because I don’t.
Alright, enough about the roads, the driving, the mileage.
TO MY MEMBERS!
My awesome, wonderful members. I will miss you. Truly, I will. ALL of you inspire me and keep me on my toes. You give me hope. YOU motivate me.
I honestly don’t know what to say. Other than this:
And some of you have already heard it. This is YOUR journey. Make it your journey. Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. I know I do. I believe in each and every one of you. I believe you have what it takes to take this journey and make it your own. I believe you have the willpower, the strength, the motivation, the drive, the whatever it’s going to take to get it done. You know this is not a diet. You know this is a journey, a lifestyle. A new and healthier way of living.
If there is one thing I can ask of all of you, it’s that you don’t give up. Please. DON’T GIVE UP! You can’t. That will crush me. You have to continue on this healthy living journey. Like I said in my meetings, it truly should not matter who is standing up in front of the Weight Watchers meeting room (although I know it can). Every single one of us who works for Weight Watchers believes in you.
It’s just YOU have to believe in you. Dig deep. Figure out why you are on this journey. Decide what it is you truly want. Ask yourself why you are here (as in why are you in Weight Watchers). What do you REALLY want? If you can’t figure out why you want to be healthier and lose weight, try and figure out why you don’t. What are you afraid of? What don’t you want to do? Will you really be missing out on anything?
The journey is hard. It’s a lot of work. There are going to struggles/challenges. But you got this. YOU CAN DO IT! Each and every one of you CAN. It is worth it. I guarantee you it is. The rewards are so much more, so much bigger than the struggles and the challenges.
Okay, here’s some more words of advice, pieces of wisdom, nuggets of knowledge. Please take them to heart.
Do the work.
Give it your all.
Work the program. Live the program. Be the program.
Indulge. Live. Eat a cookie. Or cake. Or ice cream. Or whatever.
Lose the guilt. GET RID OF THE GUILT!
Go out to eat. Make healthier choices. It can be done.
Change your mindset. Change your way of thinking. Open your mind. Try new things. Don’t be afraid.
Think you can. Know you can. Be THAT little engine.
Stop worrying about what could go wrong and start believing in what can go right.
If you want it and it’s important to you, you’re gonna find a way. If not, you’ll come up with an excuse. Stop with the excuses. Period.
Stop thinking it’s going to be perfect. It’s not. Just go with it. Cut yourself some slack.
Be kind to yourself. Quit beating yourself up.
Tell yourself, “I can.” Lose the “I can’t!”
Don’t be afraid of change. Change is GOOD!
Move it. Do some kind of activity. Exercise. Walk. Run. Crawl. Swim. Bike. Clean. Lift weights. Dance. Go to the park. Ski. Shop. Just MOVE! Focus on what you CAN do, not on what you CAN’T do.
And lastly, please know that I am still here for you. You know where to find me. Facebook. Email. My blog. Instagram. Twitter. I’m gonna keep tabs on you. So don’t quit! Keep tabs on me!
WIth much love and admiration,
Here’s where to find me:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (cel beam at gmail dot com)