Iím a great public speaker Ė enthusiastic, entertaining, humorous and personable. When I facilitate weight loss group meetings, I enjoy myself and I believe the attendees do too. Since Iíve led so many meetings for so long, and I work so hard at being the best leader that I can be, I am constantly thinking of ideas, strategies, motivators, questions, jokes, group exercises and other success factors for my clients. I seek out information from the web, from friends, fellow weight-management veterans, from magazines, and you name it. I have a strong personal ethic that I want to be as effective and help as many people as I can, because I enjoy both the process and the results.
At the same time, wearing that hat as leader/mentor/role model can be very misleading. Because Iím so busy with active listening, conversational development and group facilitation, I spend less and less time being me and more and more time being ďthe guy in front of the room.Ē And as fun as that can be, it has limited value as a method for my personal weight maintenance. Which is unfortunate because, as faithful readers know already, I am definitely not cured!
So this morning I did something really weird. I went to a group where I was unknown, I showed up, paid my fee, got weighed, and sat down to just be an attendee. I didnít need to take care of anyone else, I didnít need to have the right answers, I didnít need to be funny or smart or helpful. It felt amazing. It was so fun to listen to peopleís problems, successes, suggestions, recipes, tips and stories. I talked about my struggle with the vending machine at work, and strategized with another member about introducing a little variety into my meals. I listened, laughed, pondered some of the insights and generally felt like I was getting a fresh start.
I guess basically my point is this. No matter how many times youíve lost weight, no matter how many books youíve read, meetings youíve attended, recipes youíve cooked, friends youíve emailed, journals youíve kept, etcÖ donít forget to just sit down and be taken care of every now and then. Sure, each of us has to take responsibility for what goes into our own mouths, but we definitely donít have to go it alone.
Where are you going to find some unconditional support this week?