Sunday, August 03, 2008

Weight Watchers Week 18: 192.6 lbs In The Great State Of ILLINOIS

Whew, the scale started moving in the right direction this week. I had been especially worried because I went up to Illinois recently to visit friends and family all over the state. But I planned well with lots of Core snacks for the plane and car trips, and I talked with both sets of parents to see what was on the "menu," so I was all set. And I followed through.

But what was most eye-opening on the trip was the WW meeting I went to while I was up there. I was all excited, too, 'cause I roped my mom into coming - I really wanted to show her the motivation behind all my recent success in downsizing. Wow, was that a mistake. I really hate to say this, but the WW leader was TERRIBLE. She had lots of confidence to speak in front of a group, but it felt like she used her leader role to turn the meeting into her own personal therapy session. She talked about herself most of the time, gave us lots of little side stories about her own weight loss journey, and .... well.... it was just bad. She finally came out and said that recent post-pregnancy-weight was the reason she turned to WW, which, in my not-so-unbiased opinion isn't related to an eating problem of ANY kind. I'm guessing that most of the other women in that room, myself included, couldn't relate to her, because unlike her, the rest of us had battled our weight our entire lives. She just had a baby, so of COURSE she's a bit bigger than she's used to. So what!?

The absolute worst part of the meeting was when she said that she joined WW when she finally ballooned up to a size 16 and was absolutely disgusted with herself. I wanted to walk out of the meeting at that point. There I was, so proud of all my efforts to GET BACK INTO my size 16 jeans, and she was DISGUSTED with that size? And most of the women in that room were bigger than me. If I felt bad, I'm sure quite a few of them weren't exactly feeling great about themselves, either, at that point. To top it all off, the topic was all about focusing on body parts that we like, and so she went off on a 5-minute tangent about how much she liked her butt! I seriously wanted to crawl into a hole, 'cause my mom was there and I'm sure she wasn't enjoying it AT ALL. I was SO distracted by the leader's inability to.... well, lead..... that I forgot all about my amazing 5-lb loss at weigh-in. That's right - FIVE POUNDS. For some reason, I assumed the lady meant 5 ounces when she weighed me in, so I made her repeat herself, and nope - 5 POUNDS :) But did they give me my 5-lb gold star? Of course not. Just a bad meeting all around.

I always knew my leader at home in Florida was great, but it wasn't 'til having the aforementioned awful experience that made me so grateful for MY leader. She clearly has a gift for what she does. I genuinely look forward to each and every meeting, just to listen to her talk and watch the way she turns every negative into a positive. It's impossible to leave without feeling like I can conquer my eating challenges, and the world, for that matter. She NEVER discusses her own size, and come to think of it, she never really discusses herself at all, except perhaps a few off-handed comments about how she gave into some dessert that week and got back on track the next day..... or her new gym membership and the challenges she faces making herself go...... just normal, everyday things we all face and deal with. She's so down to earth. And I'm sure she's never raved about her butt at a meeting, either.

Anyway. The rest of my trip was fantastic. I saw all my friends and family that I wanted to, I went and visited my alma mater (GO ILLINI) and went to visit my old high school. All of it made me sincerely miss small-town life. People who aren't from the Midwest will never understand the draw of being surrounded by a sea of cornfields instead of condominiums.... to experience four seasons instead of summer year-round..... and to be forced to slow down and take note of all this beauty because of traffic congestion of a different kind: a tractor pulling out onto the main highway to get to the next field. It all just made me sigh and say, "AHHhhhhh. I'm home."

The picture above is taken one such small town very near where I grew up. This pic is in Harvard, Illinois - "Home of Milk Day" (Hence the cow at the town's main intersection. Apparently, this intersection has a lot of accidents because everyone's busy staring at the cow. The Harvard Hornets were big rivals of my own high school back in the day, and rumor has it that the cow was susceptible to many a prank by such rival high schools. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.)

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