On Saturday I led my last Weight Watchers meeting. I’m still in a bit of shock and I’m not sure that it feels real yet.
I’ve been insinuating that change was on its way and this decision is something I’ve been going back and forth on for awhile. I promised myself when I became a leader that the day I stopped loving it would be the day I quit. While I never stopped loving my job, it didn’t feel like the right thing for me anymore. I’m ready to just have two jobs (as an executive assistant and performer) and focus my energy on rocking those two things and also give myself some much needed Ashley time.
I delivered this speech to all 4 of my classes on Wednesday and Saturday:
It is with a heavy heart and mixed emotions that I share the news that I am leaving the Weight Watchers organization.
This journey started for me 6 years ago when I made the decision to lose weight. I lost 30 lbs, but little did I know what a huge impact that my choice would have on me, and subsequently many other people. My life has changed so much from that day back in 2006 and I have grown so much as a person.
I am so thankful for the people I've met and the transformations I've witnessed. I estimate that I have led more than 1000 meetings and watched hundreds of people change their lives through diet, exercise and changes in their lifestyles. It has been an incredible experience and I am so grateful for each and every moment.
I am so proud of everything you have accomplished on the scale and off. I love the community we have developed in the meeting room and I hope that you will continue to inspire, motivate and challenge one another. Thank you for making this meeting room a safe and special place; as one of my members has often said "there is magic in the chairs".
This has been a huge chapter of my life but I am looking forward to what lies ahead for me. I hope that you will continue to share your journeys with me and can't wait to hear about your accomplishments. I am always here to support you, although now it will no longer be as your weight watchers leader, but instead, as a friend.
Thank you for allowing me to do this job for the last 5 years. I appreciate your openness, candour, determination, perspective and love so much. Every one of you has inspired me, pushed me and enriched my life more than you'll ever know. I hope I have inspired and motivated you to accomplish more than you believed you could. You're all so amazing and I am just so proud of you. I know that you'll continue to support, motivate and inspire one another and continue to accomplish great things.
I felt that it was important that I end with a quote and it's taken me a little while to find the perfect one... Here it goes:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I’ve shed many tears over this decision, but I know that it is the right one for me. At my last meetings, there were many tears and a great number of hugs. My members were so wonderful and supportive, and I was so proud that on Saturday morning, two of my members reached Lifetime after losing 77 and 88 lbs respectively(!!!) It was an incredible way to leave and I’m confident that my members will continue to have fantastic success in their meetings. I will be rooting for all of them.
Change is hard, but also necessary. I’m sure I will cry some more and likely wake up on a few Saturday mornings in a bit of a panic thinking I need to be somewhere else, but I’m excited for what the future holds for me. Here we go…