If I had to pick just one word to describe BLS, it would be incredible. While intense, surreal, exhausting, emotional, humbling, and inspiring would work too, none of them quite capture the essence of the experience that was BLS.
For a little background, BLS stands for Basic Leadership Skills, and it’s basically an intensive three-day training course that prepares you to be a Leader for Weight Watchers. Being a WW Leader has been a long term goal of mine, and I’ve been working as Receptionist for them since March of this year with this goal in mind.
I’ve been go-go-going for so many months, that I didn’t really take any time to consider what it meant that I was going to BLS until I was actually on the plane to Chicago. Granted, I passed out for almost the entire flight (I’m a really gifted plane sleeper), but as I was boarding the plane, it hit me.
I was on my way to a course where I would learn to lead and inspire others to change their lives, like Weight Watchers had done for me.
It also made me realize that I am really a real-life Weight Watchers success story, and even though it’s been a little while since I’ve changed my life, it’s still hard to get my head around that fact. I’m one of the ones who made it through WW, stronger, thinner, and a million times happier on the other side of the program.
When I actually got to the hotel and into the training room, I realized that my story wasn’t so unique in that group. There were about 25 of us all there for the same reason, everyone having used WW as a tool to change their lives and hoping to be able to pay it forward to others. People had lost between 20-something and 120 (!) pounds, and while I was definitely one of the (if not the) youngest people there, I felt like I fit right in.
Though it had been a while since I’d been in a classroom setting, the three days FLEW by. We went through the history of Weight Watchers, and it’s pretty incredible to think how it started in someone’s living room based on where it is today.
The rest of the three days were used to break down the different components of a WW meeting and practicing the different portions of the meeting in front of the group. The final test was to prepare for and present a full meeting in front of other Leader-hopefuls and the trainers who were leading the training.
We got feedback at every stage of the way, and I was honestly surprised at how terrible I was at the beginning. I love talking in front of people, and really do live and breath Weight Watchers (most of the time) so I didn’t think I’d have any trouble transferring that into leading a meeting. But, during my first presentation, I had my hands glued to my thighs and was standing there frozen!
Luckily, during the course of the three days, I improved quite a bit and got a lot more comfortable presenting in front of the group. I ended up doing well on my final presentation and am excited to report that Weight Watchers will be moving me forward in the process to become a leader! It’s really happening!!