Buddhas and Gurus and Weight Loss, Oh My!

5960845572_75b2f5ac64 Today I found out that my wonderful Weight Watcher’s leader is leaving our group. I actually got wind of it a few days ago, and when I went to my meeting she let me know that she was going to spill the beans. I had actually planned on leaving a few minutes early so that I would have time to work out before I picked my daughter up from school. But I decided to stay.* I wanted to see what would happen, how she would handle it. I should have known she would handle it with her usual good grace and straightforward manner. She explained how her children’s school schedule, her baby sitter’s schedule and her husband’s work schedule were changing, and that she would have to adjust. She pointed out what a cohesive group we have (true!) and that the new leader was a popular, seasoned, veteran WW leader so we would be in good hands. She said nice things about us and her time with our group — she charged us with not using this as an excuse to disappear from our meetings.

I know a lot of people where stunned, and there are a few people I worry just might give up out of frustration, anger or even grief at the situation. Not seeing Kelly every week will be a real loss: she is so funny and warm and skilled at what she does. She has lost 60 pounds and kept it off for over 10 years. She seems to always know the right thing to say. I have watched her handle people who were angry, confused, people who talked too much, people who were just disruptive; she has handled medical emergencies, helped members who had mental and physical disabilities — she should be writing a blog! Perhaps part of her mad skills come from having been a leader for a long time. I know this because I have been in and out of WW rooms for a long time myself. I have tried different leaders, but Kelly is my favorite by far. Even though I am older than her, she always has treated me like the prodigal daughter — so glad to see me! — when I have come back into the fold after yet another lapse. I feel lucky because I will be able to get to another one of her meetings, even though it will be farther away. My plan right now is to check out the new leader, really give her a chance, but still go to Kelly’s meetings at least once a month. I started this journey with her, and I want her holding my hand when I cross the finish line. She does a whole ritual with her members who reach goal and I want that – I want it bad!

But here is where I am at right now: I love you Kelly, you helped me more than you will ever know, but even if you move to the moon I am going to keep going. I am not giving up, no matter what. I am not going to use this as an excuse. I have so many good people in my corner, cheering me on, guiding me or just walking beside me. But at the end of the day I have to do the work. Me. No one can do it for me. Look at Oprah Winfrey, who has a personal live-in chef, and a trainer at her beck and call and even had Maya Angelou as her very own guru for crying out loud and she still struggles with weight. Because it is hard. And it is what you do all of those hours between contact with your guru that makes the difference, I think.

There was a groovy book in the 70s (yes, I am in my 50s so I get to make references to the 1970s) called “If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him.” The basic premise was that there is no such thing as THE guru for you, you have to do the work yourself. Even the people you make into gurus aren’t perfect, they have their own issues to deal with; don’t idealize them, learn what you can but then do your own work. So, I love my gurus (I will tell you more about them in future posts), and I am hardly a go-it-alone sort, but today when Kelly said she was leaving? I was sad but not defeated. I am working really hard to not let obstacles discourage me, and that attitude is working for me. I am down 32 pounds, and not giving up. *I got in a 45 minute work out instead of 60 minutes because I stayed for the entire meeting.  Giving up the “all or nothing” mentality is pretty cool.

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