A huge benefit to having your personal weight loss story spread all over social media, newspapers and a multi national magazine, is getting the chance to talk to other people about THEIR stories. Making a connection with another human being who is travelling the same road. We might be at different parts of the road, but we’re on the same one.
The past couple weeks have been super busy with my day job but I have found the time to meet up with some pretty amazing people. First, I got to meet with a mother and her 16 year old daughter from my hometown. I was contacted by Cathy, the mom, when the whole insanity about Woman’s World Magazine first began. Sam, her daughter, is looking to begin a weight loss transformation and wanted to meet with me to talk more about how to start. She’s light-years ahead of where I was at that age. Being sixteen is hard enough to deal with, without having to work on a weight loss goal. But this girl is so determined, I could tell instantly when I met her. She reminds me so much of myself just a couple years ago! She’s ready! It was so heart warming to see her face light up at the suggestions of different food options and the journey ahead of her.
I was nervous to meet them, hoping I would live up to any hype that may have been built up about me. They were both so pleasant and friendly that any hesitations I had quickly went away. During our conversation I didn’t sense any self doubt from Sam at all. Not once did she moan or groan about the changes that will come her way. It felt like a real connection was made and I can’t wait to see how far she goes! And she WILL go far!
Secondly, I was invited to T.O.P.S. Which is a weight loss support group that stands for “taking off pounds sensibly”. Turns out they have been around for a really long time. I actually had never heard of it before being asked to be a guest speaker. I was beyond touched and delighted to do it. But public speaking causes such anxiety for me, it’s ridiculous. I figured there wouldn’t be THAT many people there, not hundreds by any stretch. So I should be able to remain conscious enough to get through it.
I was told a fairly decent sized group checked in that night along with a few people who specifically wanted to meet ME! So nuts! No pressure there at all! There was about 30 or so in the room. I was also informed that the turnout was more than they’re used to on a given week. That was pretty incredible to hear. And beyond flattering.
The stories that were told to me that night and the inspiration that was all throughout the room was overwhelming. I might not have known any of those people but I instantly felt like I was among peers, because I was! My feelings of anxiety quickly dissipated.
Their meeting started with a weigh in and everyone discussed how their week went in terms of pounds lost. It was so incredible to see the support that they got from each other be it .5 of a lb lost, or 3 lbs. In my eyes they were all winners, even those that gained. They still showed up to the meeting, they had the confidence to get out of their home, and go get inspired to continue on their journey. I’m not sure if they realize how much power was circulating around that room, but I felt it big time. The meeting was pretty much centered around me and my story and there was a large question and answer portion afterwards. They asked a lot of familiar questions to me and a couple hard hitting ones. One that stood out specifically was why I chose to lose weight alone, as in NOT in a group like theirs. My answer was this, I have always been the sort of person to go my own way. Often the harder route, but I always get to my goal one way or another. But there are numerous ways to lose weight and get fit. A group like T.O.P.S is so valuable to so many people. And I can see what a great source of empowerment it is for its members. It doesn’t require strict food or meal plans, a workout program and it’s the furthest thing from a “diet trend”. It’s simply a group of individuals having a discussion. Things that work for them, approaches that didn’t. A bunch of like minds all coming together. I would highly suggest looking into something like this if you’re the type of person who might thrive in this sort of setting.
As the question period was rapping up, I was gifted some lovely flowers and touching card. People said how neat it was having a celebrity come to the meeting! I am such a far cry from that sort of notoriety but this was the first time that I got such a large number of people in one room to hear me talk ans who all wanted to meet me and knew my story because they had seen the magazine or seen me on TV. As they were literally packing up the tables and chairs and turning the lights off in the hall, I still had a line up of people asking QUESTIONS! I was so surprised at how engaged they all seemed to be with me. It’s one thing to get an email or Facebook comment telling you how much of a difference you’re making to someone, but to look them square in the eyes and hear that is on a whole other level. Too feel the praise and adoration in person, and to really engage in a conversation in real time was an experience I’ll never forget.