Last month I joined Weight Watchers to get back to my goal weight. It has been much harder than I expected. Not the program, the commitment to stay the course. There are more days than I like to admit that I just give up.
Because I’m not heavy or even over-weight, I appear in good shape, but I’m not. I am at the high end of my BMI and therefore very close to being over-weight. And my body feels it; in my joints, my clothes, in my attitude.
My weight loss has been like a roller coaster going up and down the past five weeks. The slightest thing can trigger a change; a trip to see the grandchildren, a birthday lunch out at a restaurant, and even the everyday schedules I maintain with my commitments to Girl Scouts, writing deadlines, housework, and taking care of my grandchildren.
The first week of meetings I had a woman actually confront me and say, “You don’t look like you need to lose weight.” It was disconcerting to say the least, but I explained to her that my attending the meetings was to reach my goal weight and be healthy. She looked at me with a blank stare.
As the weeks progressed I noticed a pattern at the meetings. Everyone sits in the same place or close to it. Some are friends, mother/daughter, and husband/wife. Many are life-time members and I would venture a guess that of the average twenty-five who attend the meetings on a regular basis, 90% are technically obese and of these members, 75% are my age (62) or older.
I am amazed at their grit and determination to improve their health by committing to the program. I am proud to sit in that room and listen to their stories, their trials, and tribulations. They are not unlike me when you take the weight factor out of the problem. Yet, it is clear, that I’m not one of them. They don’t see me as a partner in this journey – at least not completely.
I noticed yesterday that no one sits on my row of chairs until the last minute. I don’t think they are avoiding me on purpose, but it happens week after week. I thought about sitting in another chair next week to see what happens, but what purpose would that serve? This is not sixth grade and a popularity contest. This is my life.
The leader asked me to share a story I told her before the meeting and I noticed the ice crack a little when a few people turned and smiled at me when I shared my story. I don’t need the other’s approval. All I need is my own. I know that what I’m doing is a step in the right direction and I’m going to keep on keeping on, as the saying goes – one pound after another.
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That’s a shame. I’ve been very welcomed at my meetings. Shame on your leader for letting that happen. If you lived near Baton Rouge, I’d invite you to my meeting. Can I suggest you speak up at the next meeting and say you aren’t feeling like part of the group? Maybe this will shake up thier little kngdoms.
Thank you for reading my blog and your comments. Hey, if I lived near Baton Rouge, I’d be one happy camper. Of course I’d miss my family and grandkids but I’d be in my home town surrounded by a whole lot of people that I love. I love visiting!
Angela Beairsto said:
Pris, on my second go-round at Weigt Watchers and almost 12 weeks into it thisvtime. I have gone both times to Friday morning meetings at the MAAC on Signal Mountain and it is a GREAT, supportive group of women ( well, we do have one gentleman). Never once felt judged by anyone for any reason. We are a mixed group of all ages, sizes, backgrounds, dedicated to meeting our own personal goals for a wide variety of reasons. Our leaders are knowledgeable, encouraging, understanding, and motivating! Their nicknames are “grace” and “mercy!” you need a new location!
Good to hear from you Angela. You are the second person to suggest that maybe I should change meeting places and one other suggested I just sign in and weigh for accountability. I actually spoke to an old friend who is an “At Work” leader for WW and she assured me that I’d find kindred folks just trying to maintain their goal weight. So far that hasn’t happened, but I didn’t think it was affecting my weight loss. Now I’m wondering. Let’s do lunch!
Every group has a personality, I find, but the leader is important too. A good leader can warm up a room in no time flat. Hence I agree with your other commenters…go somewhere that’s fun and encouraging! And don’t be afraid to turn around and start a conversation…everyone’s in the same boat and happy to chat…in my experience.
Thank you. Very good points. I appreciate you comments.
I think most support groups tend to be much that way with seating, just look around at any church! We are creatures of habit or most of us wouldn’t be struggling with weight issues. Try moving where you sit, some of them will think you’re a new member!
Groups like these tend to need a “cheerleader” or a “greeter” in the group or a strong leader who can lead an assembly into becoming a group. Groups work if the members begin to care about more than “us four and no more”.
I think too often we look for people in the same situation with which to associate and someone who needs to lose fifty pounds may be envious or resentful of one who needs to lose ten.
If you aren’t getting fed (pun intended) where you are you have two viable options. Become that cheerleader if your personality will allow, or find a viable group or YOU!
You are so right. Thank you for commenting. Becoming a cheerleader is indeed not a problem whereas finding a nearby viable group might be a problem.
I’m sorry that you felt that way. I’ve been switching around until just last week. I finally found a meeting and a leader that I really like. I hope you begin to feel more comfortable.
P.S. I’m also with you on the roller coaster. 🙂
Kana Tyler said:
“not the program but the commitment to stay the course”… funny how many ways this can apply. Four years ago that described me at A.A., and more recently that describes my journey to quit smoking. 😉 But man, A.A. changed everything about life once I truly committed, and THAT’s a good reminder with regard to the smoking. Thanks for the thought-provoking post! 🙂