I am a lifetime member. I am a leader. I’m also a human and despite the fact that I love WW more than anything and despite the fact that I believe this program absolutely works, sometimes I struggle and when I struggle I try to keep it quiet because I don’t want to disappoint the people who look up to me as a leader and a lifetime member. I feel like if I’m honest people will lose faith in me or worse, the program. If people leave my meeting because they feel I’m not a good role model that would suck but what would suck worse is if they said “she’s a leader and she is struggling! If she’s a leader and she struggles clearly this program doesn’t work so therefore I might as well just leave!”
What I'm saying is I'm a member and I struggle every day just like other members. I didn't get hired by WW because I was cured. I got hired by WW because I'm passionate about this program and I love it more than anything. My job as a leader isn't to fix people or solve their problems and I'm not meant to be a perfect WW'er. My job as a leader is simply to facilitate a conversation. To create a safe space where people feel like they can say things they can't say outside of our meeting room.
I have the honor and absolute privilege of working for WW because I love the program and I know it well. I'm absolutely able to talk the talk which is important; but I also walk the walk. Most of the time. I stopped walking the walk when I stopped attending my regular meeting and I didn't do that because I thought I was cured or better than other members, I stopped because I thought I didn't belong there and I was afraid that my presence would ruin other members experiences. No one told me I couldn't go to meetings anymore, no one suggested I should stop going but I did.
And then I tried to white knuckle it when I started to struggle. I didn't have a network of support to call out to. I didn't have the structure and accountability of a weekly meeting. I kept saying I was going to go back to meetings as soon as I took off some of my gain because I didn't want my coworkers to think less of me. They never would but I created a lot of drama in my head about just coming to terms with what was happening and I feel myself spiraling. I'm pushing off weigh-ins, I'm not attending meetings, I'm halfheartedly following the plan and I'm feeling resentful.
I love my job so much, this is what I do full time! I am happier working for WW than I ever could've imagined and despite the fact that I'm struggling with my own weight at the moment I'm actually pretty good at it. I don't want to quit but I don't want to feel resentful anymore either. Last night I realized I had 2 choices, I could come out or I could quit but I couldn't keep going the direction that I'm going. There has to be an end to this craziness; this back and forth. This secret shame that I'm carrying around with me is weighing me down and I'm ready to get it off my back so I can finally move forward.
I sincerely hope I don't lose members by admitting this and I really hope that people won't think that WW doesn't work because I've gained weight and because I struggle because that is so far from true. However, I can't carry around this secret in an attempt to protect others because the truth is if someone wants to leave they'll find a reason to do it. If it's not me it'll be someone else and I have to remember I can't save everyone. In an attempt to try I'm going to burn myself out and I'm starting to recognize signs of burnout already.
I will not allow myself to burnout this time. I'm reclaiming my life here and now and I'm ready to stop lying-which is exactly what I've been doing. I've tried to spin it in my own head and say "I'm protecting members" or "it will be true soon!" For example when people ask how much I lost I say "100 pounds." Which is true. I DID lose 100 pounds but I'm not maintaining that weight loss and every time I hear myself say "100 pounds" a little part of me dies inside. That's unjustifiable and I'm sorry to those who I've lied to. I am maintaining a 75 pound loss currently. I will get back to my 100 but I'm not there right now and I'm more more ashamed of the lie than the gain.
I hear myself lie, I feel the shame and then I use that shame to justify terrible choices. Lately there has been a lot of "I'm starting tomorrow" and tomorrow comes and I start strong but as I get closer to the meeting I was going to attend I get more and more nervous, sabotage myself and skip the weigh in and meeting. Then the cycle begins again. I lie, I feel ashamed, I sabotage. I lie, I feel ashamed, I sabotage.
I'm ready to be done with the lies and the secret shame and I'm ready to own who I am and love her because I know I make the best decisions when I love myself. I know I am more accountable and happier when I'm in a meeting. I'd rather tell the truth and face the consequences I've created in my head than live day in and day out experiencing the consequences of the lies I keep telling. I'm sure I won't be bullied, I'm sure I won't be looked down on, I'm sure people won't leave my meetings in hoards, I'm sure I won't be fired...but if for some reason all of those things really DO happen, I will move on and recover from that. What I cannot recover from is the hole I'm digging myself. It's getting deeper and deeper and it's looking more and more like a grave.
So here it is. I did a stupid diet to lose my last 10 pounds. WW had worked for me but I felt like it was taking too long to get to goal and I felt like if I got to goal faster I could work for the company faster. So stupid. I took off a little more than 10, like 15 or so. I maintained this crazy diet and lost every week I was on maintenance so I never really learned to maintain. I was obsessed and food phobic on the diet I was on. I was at my goal weight for 1 official weigh in which was just over 2 weeks. I hit goal June 15th, my first LT weigh in was the beginning of July and I was 2 pounds over my WW goal but had gained back 6 pounds since hitting LT. Right after that weigh in I left the state for my grandma-in-laws funeral and I binged everyday I was gone. I was emotional and starving because for over 3 months I'd been obsessing over food and barely eating any. In one week I gained 12 pounds that I never took back off. I went to leader training about 10 pounds over my WW goal and I thought I was disgusting and I was ashamed of myself. I felt like I didn't deserve to be there but I was so happy I was...I kept promising myself I'd really get back on track soon, even telling myself I'd start my crazy diet again. I never stopped weighing, measuring or counting points even on the crazy diet so I still thought I was following WW. I thought I'd just diet back down to where I wanted to be then I'd stop but this time I'd handle the transition off the diet differently.
The problem is that every time I was ready to pull the trigger I'd freak out and binge. I knew deep down this diet wasn't going to work for me and I knew it had messed up my mindset, I didn't want to do it but I kept telling myself I had to. I still tell myself I "should" sometimes to be totally honest with you but I know that's the old me looking for a quick fix and maybe even an excuse to binge, which I haven't done since May 6th, btw. I've been working really hard to handle personal stuff going on in my life and juggling all of it has been really challenging but I'm doing it and I'm finally feeling like I'm recovering from all of the stuff that was plaguing me.
I steadily gained weight until October when I was introduced to the new and improved WW FreeStyle plan and when we were first told about the program I thought I was going to fail. I thought there was no way this program would ever, COULD ever work for me but I talked myself off the ledge and decided to embrace it. I decided to trust the program and hoped that it would flip the switch and get me back into lose mode. I again, halfheartedly approached the program and about 50% of the time I didn't do anything. Fortunately FreeStyle helped me maintain which is huge. There was a lot of stress in the fall and the winter months are always challenging for me so maintaining is fantastic but of course it wasn't good enough for me. I want to lose. I want to take off this weight I've gained because it is so much more than fat. It is shame, regret, guilt, secrecy and disappointment. The weight I've gained is a physical manifestation of the stress I put myself under and a daily reminder of how terribly I treated myself. It is not a scar it is a wound that is gaping and will not heal and I feel like I'm pouring salt into it daily when I'm trying to squeeze into pants that don't fit and telling people "I lost 100 pounds with Weight Watchers" and then screaming in my head "but I gained 30 back!"
It makes me sick to think about where I was vs. where I am. I am so disappointed in myself that I fell into a trap thinking I needed some stupid diet to get me where I needed to go and I'm even more disappointed that I now walk around in a body that is bloated and swollen full of regret and shit food. I'm so ready to move on and shed that and I know it's going to be a challenge which is why I need the support and accountability of a group. I need to face the music and I've done it a million times as a member but never as an employee and this is going to suck and it's going to hurt and it's probably going to break me but if I don't, it'll kill me.
So here I am. Bearing it all to you letting you know that I'm struggling that I'm not perfect that I'm far from cured oh and yes, I'm also an employee. I hope my story doesn't discourage you, I hope that you won't lose faith in the program that I absolutely love and have total faith in. I hope you'll forgive me for being human and surround me with the love and support I need cause I can't do this alone.