Thursday, August 22, 2019

Out With a Bang

It's the end of an emotional week, topped by tonight being my last WW (Weight Watchers) meeting of my career with them. It's been nearly nine years!
One of my hallmarks as a leader/coach is that I always wear a special outfit. Today, the Firecracker Dress - 'cause I wanted to go out with a bang!

  • Dress - Tangerine Jill, consignment; last worn here for New Year's Eve with fabulous booties
  • Shoes - Big Presence Desmond, Fluevog; last seen here in May as a picnic princess
  • Coat (below) - Club Monaco, thrifted; last worn here in May with stripes and regret-me-nots

This dress is a work of art - those are individual tabs of silk that are sewn onto the dress. But there are no seams down the sides, so those tabs were sewn on AFTER the black underdress was made. What an incredible amount of work!
"But what about meeee...?"

My coworkers and WW members variously called it post-it notes, confetti and Chiclets.
It's such a fun dress to wear - the flaps of fabric wave as I walk. It's also really comfortable - a jammy dress, for sure.

I needed that comfort today - instead of comfort food, it's comfort clothes!
 I've been emotionally preparing myself for a few weeks for tonight's meeting. I knew I wanted to share my story again with my group, and give them one last bit of inspiration. I also shared my blog with them for the first time, so hello! Welcome to my life. Thanks for swinging by!

Let me introduce you to my rotten cat, Vizzini, who ate 10 rubber bands this morning that he stole out of my purse while I was sleeping (they were for a tie-dye project). He eats a lot of things, including shoes *cough* here *cough* here *cough* here.
"All lies! This is not a good first impression, Woman."

We are keeping a very close eye on our little guy, though. We do love him to bits.

Edited to add: He barfed up a tangle of rubber bands this morning! Thanks to L for cleaning them up!

Outerwear - yes, once again, August strikes.
 It cleared up and got sunny later. Perhaps there's a little summer left after all?

The stuff:
Love these bright orange shoes. They're practically a neutral. That's one perfectly balanced heel.

Superfluous bling:
 The dress kind of accessorizes itself, but my additional big bold bling functions in the "Clothing as Armour" box for me today, giving me strength.

  • Cuff/ring - 60s vintage, Italy, vintage mall
  • Ring - c. 1996
  • Earrings - vintage fair

Forgive my indulgence, but just nine years is a long time to do anything!
Some of the concrete things that I have as memories of all of the wonderful people I've helped, inspired and guided. I send them all thanks for inspiring ME.

  • My 2013 award for Fastest Growing Meeting (received here, scroll way down; and gotten back here)
  • My five year Certificate of Recognition (woo, a certificate, hee hee)
  • My three name-tags over the years, oldest at the top to newest at the bottom
  • My "inspiration" picture that I keep on my fridge

Here's a better look at my inspiration picture. That's L in the bottom with his Goblet of Rock - this is in June 2006 and it's my guy's birthday party. I'm 38 there.
I lost 50 lbs, starting two months after that, and have kept my weight off now for 12 years (an early post about my story here, and another aspect of it, my Dad's inspiration, here). I also did a post for my 10 lb celebration here.

I have always done 1-2 meetings a week since my very first "own" meeting here in 2009 (I did my training and subbed in some meetings in late 2008), and have been at my Thursday group for 3-4 years, I think? I adore my colleague Betty and will miss seeing her every week - we have been together from the start. I will miss my members, but this is a small town, and I'm sure I'll see some of them around.

So, why leave?

Wellness is a three-legged stool - this is the analogy I use. The legs are:

  1. food: eating whole foods in proper portions; having occasional treats
  2. exercise: moving whenever and however works for you
  3. mental health: putting yourself first; doing that thing, whether it's art, music, whatever, that when you finish it, you go, "Ahhhhh...I need to do that more often."

When one or more legs is out of balance, your stool gets wobbly, or falls over.

My stool is wobbly.

I need to move more. One of the things I used to do on a regular basis is a weekly long walk, for about an hour, at a good pace (I used to racewalk - I've won a bunch of medals, pic here on our Bruins/Dolphins shrine). Since I now have my Thursday nights free, I'm going to do that walk then, rain or shine.

I also need to get back into my art. It has been years since I did my Zentangle (this is an example here, a fan I made for Mom), and my recent rediscovery of it (here), has reminded me that doing art centers me, helps me get my brain straight. I might even decide to start writing again (I used to host poetry workshops, have won awards and was published in a book sold at our local Chapters), although that is a bit of a treacherous deep dive, emotionally.

But right now, I need some purr therapy.
"Oh, so now the truth comes out."

Wishing you a wonderful weekend, my friends.
"Much love to my fans."

I'll be back on Sunday with the Bigass Weekend Wrap-Up and tales of adventure. Thank you for stopping by.


  1. What a stunning dress and such a fitting piece to wear to farewell your group Sheila! It's impressive you were able to devote so many years to helping others, but having that time to do something else you love sounds like a much needed and wonderful idea. I like the wobbly stool analogy - sometimes it feels a bit like that here but things usually settle down before I start cutting things out!

    1. Thank you, Mica! I've been aware that my end was coming for a few months, but that didn't make my last meeting any easier! The stool analogy is a useful one to help people see their health from a different perspective.

  2. Good for you, Sheila, for recognizing where you need to make changes in your life and actually doing them. I like your life philosophy and actually live my life somewhat by the same principles. I wish you greater balance in your life. :)

    1. Thank you, Susan. It's not easy to step back and realize, "I need to change things," and like many people, I don't like change! Here's to balance!

  3. You look divine.
    What a great dress to wear to an important moment. I am so very sure you have inspired so many women on the way She :) and you can always go back once in a while.

    1. Thank you, Lorena! The dress made a big impact. I know I've made a huge difference in many people's lives (men too!). I don't know if I will go back, but I know it's there if I need to.

  4. So enjoyed reading your story and kudos to you for a true Life Accomplishment. You will continue to inspire those who've known you. That doesn't go away just because you have.

    1. Thank you so much, Michelle. My time with WW will always be a life highlight - I do not regret any of it. I do work to inspire others, both in my real life and at work, and on the blog. I appreciate you reading it, and thanks for the lovely comment.

  5. Dear Sheila, Your words always inspire me, usually in the realm of dressing with more creative pizazz or smiling even more. :-) With this post your words took me even deeper into self-contemplation, while nodding in agreement that wellness is, indeed, like a three-legged stool. Congratulations to you on recognizing what you both need and want to do.

    I am traveling a similar path, having determined that my stool needs a bit more of the personal wellness (moving more and doing what I love: practicing and leading more yoga, plus more time with my grown children and young grandchildren), so with that as my guide I am about to begin my final year (#38) of teaching in independent schools.

    Kudos to you on knowing yourself and putting one foot in front of the other to make the changes that will inspire and fulfill you!

    And, for what it's worth, I enjoyed rereading your past posts (some for the second or third time :-)). I put on 50 pounds with the pregnancies of each of my two children and the journey back to my small frame was not unlike yours, mixed with not wanting to see myself in a mirror and trying to find a way to love myself again. Ah life ;-)!

    And thank you, Sheila. :-)

    1. Oh, Laurie, what a wonderful comment - thank you so much for sharing it! *hug*

      I am glad that you are reaching for your next dream, and taking care of your own wellness, and for recognizing that it's time for you (wow, after 38 years!) to close one door to allow the next one to open.

      Aw, thank you - I also "went down the rabbit hole" and re-read some of them last night. It reminds me of where I came from and helps remind me to take care of myself and love myself.

      Thank YOU, my dear.

  6. Oh Sheila! With WW having been such a huge part of your life for so many years, I'm sure this wasn't an easy decision. It must feel quite poignant to close that particular door and say goodbye to your group, for whom you must have been an inspired mentor. I'm guessing you will feel a bit lost initially, but the plans you've made for the time you'll be gaining seem very sound to me. Oh, and it was lovely to see that amazing dress again. As I read you post this morning, Vizzini's rubber band adventure had me a bit worried. So relieved to read your edited version! Wishing you a most wonderful weekend, my dear! xxx

    1. Thank you, Ann! No, it was not an easy decision - and I shed a few tears during my meeting and afterwards, recounting it to L. I am sad to let go of this very important aspect of my life, but it felt right for me.

      I know, the dress worked its magic on me - I felt buoyant and light and protected and safe in it.

      I had to edit as soon as he'd barfed up the rubber bands - I knew his fans would worry. What a silly boy. Tsk.

      Happy weekend, my dear!

  7. You are such a creative person! Didn't know you were a WW coach for so long. Have a good evening and a wonderful weekend!

  8. Having met you later in life I never knew you were overweight in younger days. A big hurray and cheers to you for keeping it up. As I know that dropping weight is one thing but keeping it like that is the hardest part.
    The orange dress is absolutely fantastic and suits you so well.

    1. Yup, and I was worse/heavier before I got to a place where I accepted myself to the point where I was ready to lose weight and take control of my life again, Greetje. Keeping it off is HARD.

      Thank you so much, my dear!

  9. You definitely went out with a bang in your fab dress.
    I think your 3 legged stool analogy is so clever and true. X

  10. first of all--OMG!! dress is so cute!
    and 50 lbs! that's an look amazing...recently i lost 20 lbs myself--took 10 months, but I did it! for me it was intermittent fasting, but i can eat what i want...i've always been plant forward and nutrition based eater, so that helps...and the other thing, was the gift of a iwatch that monitors my daily steps... i never go below 10,000 steps a did you lose 50 lbs?--i know through WW, but it's a multi-factorial approach, right?

    1. Thank you so much, Eva! It's a difficult thing, isn't it? Yes, through WW - it's a 3-part plan, much like I outlined: tracking your food, following their Points system; exercising, and taking care of one's mental health. The happy side effect is weight loss!

  11. Wishing you every joy Sheila. Thank you once again for sharing your sadness and vulnerability, your honesty makes me - and others I'm sure - feel like I'm normal. Here's to your new 'hour of power'!

    1. Thank you, Leanne! I appreciate it your kind words. It is hard to put oneself out there sometimes.

  12. That orange and pink dress looks amazing on you. I like the orange shoes you paired it with. Such a powerful look!!! I can imagine that that last weight watchers meeting was an emotional one. I love what you said about our heath resting on 3 things: healthy food, reasonable exercise and taking care of our mental health. I'm a believer in pur therapy too, cats are amazing.

    1. Thank you so much, Ivana! It felt powerful and was definitely needed. Yes, very emotional. I indulged in quite a bit of purr therapy this weekend!

  13. You're right that balance is the key to happiness. You're making the right choice while, of course, there's sadness in ending anything. I'm glad you marked the occasion with my favorite dress of yours -- I was there at its discovery!

    1. I was thinking about you, remembering finding that on our shopping trip with Dar! Thank you, Ally!

  14. loving your dress, loving your attitude and inspiring words and loving that you share it with us!. Totally agree that orange is a neutral. Yes!
    And glad that Vizzini's problem with rubber bands was not serious.

    1. Aw, thank you, Monica! It has been an emotional time.

      I'm relieved too - little monster!

  15. Hi. This is Fay, who emailed you recently about having trouble commenting. I'm just trying this as an experiment to see if it works!

    1. Great!! Thanks for letting me know. I'll do it this way in future x

  16. Naughty Vizzini. I cannot imagine how vile puked rubber bands were!!! Naughty boy!!
    I do love your orange and pink flaps dress! It really is a statement- glorious- like a sun rise or something!
    Well done for inspiring other people during your WW years! What a lot you lost. I hope you enjoy your regained time!

    1. He's SO bad for eating things, you would not believe it! I'm glad L cleaned up the pukage.

      Thank you - I love that dress so much! Aw, thank you! You can expect to see Walking Posts!

  17. I like your "wellness is a three-legged stool" analogy, and good on you for recognizing that something is out of balance. Exercise and making art (whatever that means to you) are both very important elements of a physically and mentally healthy life.

    I'm also very impressed with your commitment to your weight loss and your WW group. I'm sure they will miss your leadership very much.

    1. Thank you - it works well to explain the balancing act we all do. Art and exercise over here!

      I do miss my group.


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