Once a month I go to a leadership type of meeting. No, I’m not a leader in anything and am quite happy with that but I do enjoy listening to the ladies that are there and learning from them. I am typically the youngest one in attendance so there is much to learn every time I go.
About 4 months ago, a new lady showed up to the meeting and really stirred things up. We probably have a new person come every 2 to 3 meetings or so and it’s always nice to get a new perspective and we really do welcome new people with open arms. The meetings, themselves, are centered on leadership and helping each other out in our respective positions so it is always nice to put it into practice by being accommodating to new people. The meetings are not about health or anything fitness related at all as we come from different professions and all walks of life and occasionally we will focus on one particular person’s field of interest, but that’s not the norm. We are there for the purpose of leadership development and supporting each other so who knew that the new woman at the meeting would cause such a raucous this day by not adhering to our purpose.
This is where I want to break and talk about meetings in general with women. WOW. What an eye opener. If you ever want to see the word *insecurity* in the flesh—a meeting will definitely do it. Now, I am not talking about these ones in particular because they are very small and focused, but more in the broader sense. Women are like a pack of dogs all searching for the alpha position—whether they want the position or they are looking to find out who has the position it doesn’t matter, they are all searching. And should you find yourself not knowing which one you are, you can be mowed over by the one who is claiming alpha or pushed out of the way but one who is aggressively looking for the alpha. YIKES.
The meeting time is set for the morning so when we get there our hostess typically has a light breakfast assortment out for us to choose from. The choices range from healthy to nowhere near healthy so everyone there is represented and it is at her house so honestly, no one is expecting her to be IHOP with a menu of choices. I’m happy she’s hosting it, for crying out loud, I know I wouldn’t want to do that monthly. So in walks Dr. Mercola—I mean the new woman. Holy Interruption, Batman! Yes! I am all about health. Yes! I care about the choices that you make and why you make them. But heck no! am I going to torture you if you choose something that is not so healthy.
I need you to know before I go on explaining what went down with this woman at this meeting that I am working on some major things in my personality. One of them is not stomping on people in conversations. If you know me, you know I have my work cut out for me, but dang it—it’s worth it. I can, if given the opportunity, dominate a room…no, wait…obliterate a room full of people if you pick a good enough topic. About 3 years ago, I had to free myself of that burden; too much carnage in my wake and it feels awful when you are done. So, I liberated myself from being the know-it-all that I can be. No…really…I did…stop laughing…sigh. But I also have an incredible knack of blending in the background, too, so that no one knows that I am there and I just sit back and watch the drama unfold. I brought the silent woman to this meeting in case you wondering.
So Dr. Mercola, as I will now call her, systematically went through the room shaming everyone for their choices in a very passive aggressive manner. It looks like this:
“Oh, I love Danish. I haven’t had any in such a long time. They cause too many gastric issues and they’re not good for you. I gave up anything with white flour or any refined foods for that matter. I’ve lost over 100 pounds in 2 years. I don’t let anything unhealthy pass my lips.”
My immediate reaction to this was sarcasm…in my mind. I wanted to say some things out loud…but I’m reformed. My biggest problem with what she said is the “I am better than you because I can make a better choice than you can” kind of tone. It was mean and it was a pot shot. Essentially she was picked on and debased when she was heavier so now it’s her turn to unleash the cracken on someone. Not cool.
The ladies at the meeting are just that: true ladies. So they let Dr. Mercola have her say for a minute or two and then moved right into the meeting. OH…but the nonsense did not stop! The meeting was barely in motion before we heard about how alcohol was so bad for you and that not ONE drip should ever be consumed because it is so poisonous. And studies show that…[my eyeballs begin to bleed]…
Why did I take such offense to that? Because in her ranting she neglected to stop and find out about the people at the meeting and who we all were. One of the participants—whom I have truly grown to love—is a newly life living ex-alcoholic and she needed to hear this like I needed someone to ask me if I ever take my own nutrition advice (another story for another time). It was only about her and it was apparent. The other thing that made this very difficult for us was how much she tried to make it seem like it wasn’t about her and how she wanted to help everyone. Oh how I wish that people—more trainers than anyone else—could see that their soap box is just that—theirs! When you are in the business of helping others…help them! And helping them is not making them look and act like you. OY!
We barely got through the meeting that day. Every way that she could interrupt, she did. She had the most extreme ideas about food, health, health care and so on. I was mortified. And I was also silent. I said not one word. Who can believe that? Not one. Why? For two reasons:
Why bother? Years ago I came to the realization that in the fitness industry everyone is a nutritionist and everyone is a trainer if they, themselves, have dieted themselves or worked out at least once and had some measure of success. If you cannot handle this, get out now. Almost all people operate under the fallacy that ‘if I have gone through it, I am now qualified to take you through it’. This is why you see guys/girls do one show and become a coach. It’s frightening and dieting is no different. Once you have dieted and had success, you are now officially a nutritionist. I have to say that this is the number one reason I avoid social engagements that are centered around food. They are just not fun for me. I either get challenged by someone in the room or I have to listen to Dr. Mercola, Dr. Oz and a splash Oprah all night long.
…the second reason…
Where would I start? That woman’s pain was sitting all over her sleeve. Torment, anger, resentment, vengeance and pride were all abound. Which one would I pick on first? None of that was about food. She wouldn’t know good nutrition if it took her out to dinner for goodness sakes. No…that was 100% about her personal pain and she drags it with her everywhere she goes. I will spare you her diet regimen but she was so rigid about what she ate and how she ate it that I think I let a tear fall down my face for her daily eating plan. We can all be like this at times, ourselves. We truly need to be mindful of this monster because we develop a false sense of security in the rigidity of our choices and the routine of our lives. We think that somehow we’ve erased a painful past or challenging circumstance because we count out 10 blueberries and avoid sugar all day long.
The saddest thing about this is that she looked gaunt. She was not super thin at all, her weight was fine, but she looked unhealthy. I believe that was simply because her frayed edges were showing and she couldn’t hide them anymore…
More to come tomorrow…