60 Women and Me

The Surprising Power of Community

Photo Credit: Stephen Radford on StockSnap.io
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” An African proverb

Week two of creating Xco (btw, this is not the actual name) and it has already shifted multiple times. Seemingly, every conversation helps uncover a new idea or a different way of seeing an old problem. For now, let me tell you about the 60 women.

A musty smell filled my nostrils as I walked into the dimly lit Scottish Rite Theater. A little nervous, I tiptoed down the hall looking for any sign of my meeting. The auditorium was empty. There were only two women chatting. I thought to myself, “Did I miss it already?”

“Excuse me. Is this Weight Watchers?” I asked sheepishly.

“No. They are downstairs.”

The kind Scottish Rite Theater employee walked me down the hallway, “Apologies for the smell. We were hit pretty hard by the flood. Here you go, Weight Watchers.”

Once again, I cowardly peered around the corner and to my amazement, 55 women gathered in a circle and another half dozen or so were waiting to weigh in. Not one dude; just me.

I felt like I stumbled into an all-girls party without an invitation. So I quietly backed out the same way I came in. I was intimidated yet intrigued. Why would so many women come together every week to weigh in? As a former wrestler, I had a love/hate relationship with the scale. When it told me what I needed to hear, I loved it. When it didn’t, the scale drove me to tears, starvation, and dreams of Whoppers. These women were willfully subjecting themselves to, in my experience, abuse by the scale.

When I finally mustered up the courage to return to the Weight Watchers meeting, I was shocked to see the group was happy and not demoralized by that blasted machine. It was clear to see that they were forming a supportive community by sharing tips on preparing meals or laughing about the “Smart Points” of a Snickers Almond bar.

My new weight-loss buddies are a real cross section of society; economically, racially, and now I bring a little gender diversity. So how does this relate to the new venture; you will have to wait and see.