BLS Breakdown

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!!

28 Comments on BLS Breakdown

  1. Katie
    October 24, 2011 at 8:48 am (9 years ago)

    I enjoyed reading this. I would love to one day (when I am settled and can really commit time to it) be a WW leader as well. I know you will inspire so many and I am excited that you are going to fulfill your dreams as well as “pay it forward” to those who are where you were years ago.

  2. Lauren
    October 24, 2011 at 9:23 am (9 years ago)

    Yay, congratulations! How long until you can lead meetings yourself? Do you know where in the DC area you will be leading meetings?

    • Beth
      October 24, 2011 at 9:36 am (9 years ago)

      Hey Lauren! There’s still a few more steps before I’ll actually be leading meetings. I have a Leader Coach and I’ll lead one of her meetings, get feedback, etc. I’ll keep you posted as soon as I have my own meeting… I can’t wait! =)

  3. cool beans
    October 24, 2011 at 9:30 am (9 years ago)

    Congrats! I’m excited/interested to read about the whole process.

    Also, super jealous of your ability to sleep on planes.

    • Beth
      October 24, 2011 at 9:39 am (9 years ago)

      ha it is a gift!

  4. Mary
    October 24, 2011 at 10:22 am (9 years ago)

    That is SO awesome!! I know you’ll make a great leader, and a great leader can make all the difference. Question… do you know what the WW position is on sharing info about your blog in meetings (as the leader)? I would imagine you have to stay pretty true to the program material, right?

    • Beth
      October 24, 2011 at 10:30 am (9 years ago)

      Hmmm that’s a good question! I honestly don’t know the answer and while I probably won’t come out and say it frequently/directly, it won’t exactly be a secret either!

  5. Jennifer
    October 24, 2011 at 10:28 am (9 years ago)

    Congratulations, Beth!!! That is so awesome and I know you’ll do a great job of inspiring others, as you do on this blog. This is so exciting!!!!

    P.S. I am also super jealous of your plane sleeping. Never been able to do it even on overnight flights.

  6. cristina
    October 24, 2011 at 10:42 am (9 years ago)

    Cingratulations! How exciting!! You continue to be such great motivator to all your readers and now will motivate ww members. 🙂

  7. Paige
    October 24, 2011 at 10:49 am (9 years ago)

    So proud of you, Beth! Congrats. Sounds like this is your calling 🙂

  8. Jenny
    October 24, 2011 at 11:14 am (9 years ago)

    Congratulations Beth! You are going to be great!

    (I am a terrible public speaker. I am that person that NEVER talks in the meetings! Even after being in the same meeting for 5 years!)

  9. Lisa
    October 24, 2011 at 12:45 pm (9 years ago)

    Good for you! I knew you’d be great. I have a problem with public speaking too. I think with practice you get used to it. 🙂

  10. Heather
    October 24, 2011 at 1:14 pm (9 years ago)

    Congratulations! How exciting! I used weight watchers years ago and lost 25 pounds with them, I also made lifetime member as well. I’m quite a bit off of my goal weight right now, but for the most part I’m happy with my body. I would like to drop a bit, so perhaps I should look at going back to the program!

  11. Beth
    October 24, 2011 at 3:51 pm (9 years ago)

    Hey Beth – I hope Fran passed along my regards to you! Best of luck finishing out the training process.

  12. Roz
    October 24, 2011 at 4:05 pm (9 years ago)

    Congratulations Beth!!! I’m very excited for you. I don’t know you in person, but feel I “know you” through your blog, and from what I can tell, you are going to be a FANTASTIC leader!!!!!!! You are truly an inspiration for those of us on the program now! Have a good Monday.

  13. Rachelle
    October 24, 2011 at 7:36 pm (9 years ago)

    Congrats on becoming a leader!!!!!

  14. Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun
    October 24, 2011 at 9:16 pm (9 years ago)

    I know you are going to be a GREAT coach!!! It was probably a lot to take in, but I have no doubt you will get in the groove soon. 🙂

  15. Lauren
    October 25, 2011 at 6:51 am (9 years ago)


  16. Cheri
    October 25, 2011 at 7:41 am (9 years ago)


    What an amazing accomplishment! You’ll be a wonderful and inspirational Meeting Leader!

    So, you only have this one weekend of training before you start your new position?

    Best wishes from a WW Girl too!


  17. Christie
    October 25, 2011 at 9:03 am (9 years ago)

    That’s awesome. Congratulations!!

  18. Hot Coco @ Flab to Fab
    October 25, 2011 at 12:27 pm (9 years ago)

    Congratulations, Beth! I am so excited for you! 🙂

    One of my long-term goals is to become a Weight Watchers leader, so reading of your experience is a wonderful inspiration; as much as you yourself are.

  19. Tropical Eats
    October 26, 2011 at 6:42 pm (9 years ago)

    congrats my dear!

    you are going to be an AMAZING leadership coach.

  20. Elke
    May 18, 2012 at 11:13 am (8 years ago)

    Hi Beth, I read your blog with interest. I’m getting ready to do BLS training next month. I was acutally thrown into a meeting before I ever trained. The called me and told me they wanted me to do one and to just read over the materials. I actually loved it and got good feedback 🙂 So I think I may be a little more prepared for teh “meetings” in front of the coaches.
    Here is my question: After you get back from BLS, what happens next? Are you immediately locked into a meeting? I’m asking because we are going on vacation one month after BLS, for a week, and I’m not sure if that will be a problem. I’ve only been a receptionist since January, so I don’t qualify for paid vacation. I was just going to take that week off, not even put a request in for it, as I only have one meeting every other week as a receptionist right now. Any info is appreciated.


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