Yes, it’s true…I’m turning 25 today! For those of you who are gullible enough to believe that, I have some swamp land in New Jersey to sell you. Most of you know that the idea of me seeing 25 again can immediately go on your Fat Chance List.
What is 25 today is one of the most important relationships in my life. 25 years ago today, along with my friends Gail and Alice, I joined Weight Watchers.
I had heard about Weight Watchers for years. When I was in college, I’d toyed with the idea of joining. My roommate had showed me her sister’s materials from Weight Watchers. I looked it over and determined that they wanted you to eat too much food. I didn’t think it would work for me. Little did I know that years later I would be singing the praises of this same program.
I’m not sure what got us there that first night. We had discussed it for a long time. There may have been a promotion going on.
It also may have been because I was going away with my Mom to visit a friend in Atlanta. I decided that would be a good time for my Last Supper. You’ve never heard of the Last Supper? It’s one of those unwritten traditions that you hear about when you’re with a group of Weight Watchers members. I spent that weekend in Atlanta eating as much as I possibly could because I knew that on Monday, everything would be changing.
On that Monday night, when we got to the church basement where the meeting was held, we couldn’t believe how many people were there. We staked our claim on the front row and started to fill our membership forms. I remember everybody being very pleasant. The employees and the members were all talking to each other like old friends.
I remember being shocked and somewhat embarrassed when I saw my weight on the scale. In the years since then, I’ve often been unhappy with the result I’ve seen on the scale, but I’ve never been embarrassed again. The embarrassment was all mine. No one ever made me feel that way.
It took me thirteen months to reach my goal of 50 pounds lost. I had never thought about working for Weight Watchers but in truth most people thought I already did. All I ever did was talk about the program and what it had done for me. When I completed my 6 weeks of maintenance, my leader Mary Lou had “the talk” with me. Every member who reaches Lifetime is approached to work for the organization. I didn’t even have to think about it. My answer was Yes!
I spent 15 years working for Weight Watchers while I worked other full-time jobs. At one point I was leading 5 meetings a week. It was hard but I loved it.
I came to know how much the people who you meet at Weight Watchers can mean to you. I came to feel so close to the members in my meetings. It was heartbreaking when I had to give up my meetings due to the demands of my full-time job. I think about going back to working for Weight Watchers and I still might. I’m in the thinking stages at the moment.
I have wonderful friends I have met during the time at the meeting where we attend now on Saturday mornings. We all watch out for each over, staying in touch during the week and supporting each other through our trials both in Weight Watchers and in the rest of our lives. Gail and Alice are spending the winter in Florida, but still attending a meeting there. My other WW friends keep an eye out for me while they’re gone.
There of course is one person I need to thank for this. I met her that first night 25 years ago and though she doesn’t like to hear it, I know that she is the reason I have had such success at Weight Watchers. She has seen me through good and bad times over these many years. She is a wonderful person and has shared her joy and enthusiasm with thousands of Weight Watchers members during her 36 years as a leader.
Thank you, Mary Lou for all you have done for me. I am what I am today because of meeting you that Monday night 25 years ago. I can never repay that.