I hope that after this week's meeting, you will spend some time reflecting on why you originally joined Weight Watchers, and why you continue to spend Wednesday mornings with us.
Preparing for and delivering a meeting every week gives me a chance to reflect as well, and I spent a little time remembering what was going on in my mind back in October 1996, when I (re)joined Weight Watchers the time I made it to my weight goal.
Yep, I joined Weight Watchers because I didn't like the way I looked. I'd seen a photo of myself in a sleeveless shirt and was not happy. My clothes were tight, and I knew that wearing ill-fitting clothes wasn't really doing me many favors.
As many of you may have discovered, the original reason to join is often not enough to be the reason to sustain. So the question I then reflected on this week became "why is it I've stayed with Weight Watchers for so many years?" And there are a whole host of answers and reasons.
From a health perspective, things are 100% different. I was inactive, didn't care about what I ate, and based on family genetics was probably on track to develop high cholesterol and heart disease. Now I am consciously eating a well balanced diet, and get regular physical activity. When I go to the doctor, my vitals are always impressive. In short, Weight Watchers has given me good health.
Weight Watchers has helped me develop a community of like-minded people to surround myself with. Some of my really good friends are fellow Weight Watchers employees. Because I am now regularly active, I've met and formed friendships with people who enjoy working out and eating healthy. It has enabled me to build a village of people whose goals are similar - some form of healthy living and eating. That makes it a million times easier for me to stick to the routines I built while losing weight.
One other thing I'd like to attribute to Weight Watchers is confidence. It could just be coincidental, that I became a Lifetime Member at the age of 23 in the midst of developing my entire personal and career identity. But knowing that I could accomplish something like changing my lifestyle was huge for me. I'd always been the fat couch potato...and now things were changing. I was now the healthy eater in the office. The one who always had some sort of workout scheduled.
And most importantly, working for Weight Watchers gave me my voice. Remember those people in school who were the WORST public speakers? The nerves, the quivering voice, that was me. Thinking about speaking in a room of 50 people I didn't know was frankly a fate worse than death. The training, mentoring and practice I got from becoming a Weight Watchers leader means that in my "real job" I'm the person to volunteer for the job of presenting. Small talk is still something I can't say I'm thrilled about having to do, but practicing it each and every week has made me so much better at it than I used to be.
Had I known back in October 1996 that all this would have happened, I'm not sure I'd have believed it. So if you're ready to change, get out there and get on it. What do you have to lose? And more importantly, what's out there that you have to gain?