Saturday, January 7, 2012

All in a meeting

A little while ago, I emailed a friend to ask her if she would mind me showing up as her member. You see, I am a Weight Watchers leader, and as everybody who works in the field at Weight Watchers, I'm also a member. I have always gone to meetings, until I became the assistant of the boss in my territory. Suddenly, I felt like everybody walked on eggshell around me. It's probably mostly in my head, but it's hard to feel at ease and welcome when you feel like people are wary of your being there. I do not hold that position anymore, so I thought it was time to get over it and get back in a meeting.

Fast forward to last week, I emailed my friend and she seemed to have no problem with it. There are those people with whom you instantly feel at ease and she is such a person.  I knew that she would be able to tell me anything that needs to be said. So after sleeping in the first week, I finally showed up this week. I felt so welcome when I came in! I knew a lot of the members already and everybody welcomed me with open arms. It was like coming home. 

I knew the topic of course, I presented it twice this week myself, but the discussion really helped me a lot. The funny thing is that it's not anything I hadn't heard before. Most, if not all, of what was discussed came up in my own meeting. This time instead of thinking "how can I use this to help the members", I was thinking "how does this relate to me? To what I am doing?". Two things really stuck with me: 

1- A fellow member decided to try circus training! There's a school here in the city, and really, I am seriously thinking about it! I did some gymnastic in high school and really enjoyed it. I am less flexible now, obviously, but I am stronger than I was back then. Who knows? I'm seriously thinking about it!

2- Another member talked about how she looks back to her old tracker for inspiration. Now that at first brought a "Not working for me" in my mind. 

You see, when I started this journey of building a better lifestyle for myself, I didn't know how to cook, I didn't know much about activity even if I had been very active.  I had always relied on coaches, trainers, and friends to put together a routine. I knew nothing much of nutrition either (that's an understatement!). Now after years of reading and educating myself I know more than the average person about both food and activity. My choices are educated, my portions are righteous and my workouts are carefully crafted. There is no way what I did before would work better than what I'm doing now.

Well, the flaw here is that back then I was thinner than I am now. That sorts of throws a wrench in my whole line of thinking doesn't it? Not only that, but I had fun then! I felt strong, powerful, motivated! Now I feel stressed, pressured, every choice, every workout, every meal is a big deal. 

It's sort of part two of my whole idea of focusing on the goals, not on the process I started in my first post of 2012: Here we are finally! The idea that maybe I shouldn't over think this. That I should keep things simple and set meaningful goals and take the steps needed to achieve them. No more, no less. 

You don't need a PhD in electrical engineering to turn on a light switch... you don't need a baseball bat either.

Over thinking things leads to paralysis. you spend so much time thinking and studying that you forget to do what you need to do to make things work. In the same line of idea, being active doesn't mean Olympic level training.

What did I do in my early years as a member that I really truly enjoyed? 

I made a lot of Shrimp and veggies lunches. I would grab shrimps at the store (or scallops) and veggies and sauteed the whole thing in a pan with whatever veggies I had around and whatever spices I could find. It was simple, quick and delicious! So when I left the meeting I stopped by whole foods, grabbed shrimps, 2 color of kale and garlic and brought that home and made a delicious, if simple, lunch for myself! It took minutes, literally, and I was completely satisfied. Who would have thought?

I did my 30 minutes of high intensity cardio on the elliptical 6 days/week every week. That was the base line of my activity, everything else was extra. On good weeks I'd add a few classes, weight training, walking a lot and on bad weeks I'd do 30 minutes 6 days/week. So Friday, I REALLY didn't feel like doing anything, still I went in and did my 30 minutes of cardio and that's all I really did. You know what? That's enough!

After my super lunch, and my late afternoon work out I felt motivated, righteous, I had done what I set out to do, and I didn't hurt myself or wear myself out in the process. All this because I had heard it at the meeting. It's not like I had never heard it before, it's because I thought about what I heard in terms of "this is for the members" forgetting that I am a member myself.

Mustering the courage to walk through those doors, and admit that you don't have all the answers, that you need help, that you need somebody to smile and say "Hey!! I'm so glad you came!"  can seem daunting. 

"I don't need a meeting, this is ridiculous, I don't need help, I can deal with this by myself". 

I don't know, what's more ridiculous really? To show up for a meeting and get the help, the support, the motivation (and accountability! HA!) that you need? or to stand alone in pride, feeling the ground slipping from under you? 

I made my choice, finally!

Be good n stuff!

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