Friday, March 13, 2009

Public speaking and weight loss, how do they relate?

Through the Toastmasters organization I attended a lecture tonight given by Lance Miller. He is the 2005 World Champion of Public Speaking and beat out 28,000 other speakers from 90 countries to become the world champion. I was in the front row and was mesmerized during the two-hour lecture, as was every member of the audience. 

If you have a fear of public speaking and are put in public speaking situations, you need to join Toastmasters. It's an organization that teaches you how to overcome your fears and lets you practice and hone your public speaking skills. With practice comes perfection. The group I belong to is amazing, they're supportive, helpful and a really great group of people.

I spent some time chatting with Lance before and after his speech. I was very impressed with him. He's not just a great speaker, but he's a very interesting person. He told us and showed us how to win over your audience and how to win a speech contest. It was probably the best two hours of my entire week. Okay, I had a shitty week, but even if it had been a good week, I would still say the same thing.

If you've read this far I'm pretty sure you're asking yourself, why the hell is she talking about public speaking on a weight loss blog? You're probably thinking that's apples and oranges Missy. 

Lance said something that really hit home with me. Actually, he said a lot of things that were pretty cool, but the one thing that I could really translate to weight loss was about how he became a world champion. 

He talked about how he started in 1992 with Toastmasters and how it took him 13 years of giving speeches to get it right. He kept perfecting his skills, trying different things, until finally, he figured out what worked for him. He never gave up, even when he failed miserably. He said he learned the most from the contests he didn't win, and he was in a lot of contests in 13 years prior to finally winning in 2005.

It was literally like a light bulb went off in my head. I thought, damn, I think I finally got it right, this whole losing weight thing that I've been working at for the last 35 years (starting with that five pounds I wanted to lose when I was 13). I've honed my skills and figured out what works for me. All those past diets were just contests where I failed, but with each diet I learned a little something, things that worked and things that didn't work. 

Case in point, before the speech we had dinner at Azteca, a local Mexican restaurant where the food is good and the serving size is enough to feed at least three growing adults. I ordered chicken fajitas. When our waitress brought out two huge plates of food that was my dinner, I asked for a takeout box. Before even starting to eat I transferred two thirds of my food to the box. I ate what was left on my plate and didn't feel deprived. 

I get it. I finally understand that this is how I'll be eating the rest of my life. I feel like I finally have it figured out. Each day is a contest for me, seeing if I can get it right, and I think I'm on my way to a championship!
My St. Paddy's Day Dash Pray

Please Dear God, tell me why in heaven must you make it rain every freaking year on the St. Paddy's Day Dash? For three years I have run or walked 5k in the rain. The freezing, cold, miserable, God awful rain. 

I have three horrible photos of me crossing the finish line looking like a drowned rat. This year looks like it'll be another similar day. What the hell? Do you have something against the Irish? Please, give us a break tomorrow, us and about 20,000 other people as we run through downtown Seattle. Let the sun shine on us. Just this once. Is that too much to ask?

My 2008 St. Paddy's Day Dash picture, which looks just like the 2007
and 2006 pictures and probably the soon to be 2009 picture. That's
my friend Cindy running with me. We were both  totally drenched.   


Ron said...

Damn you did good at Azteca!! way to go.... Good luck on your run!

Ida said...

You are so right about all those years of 'training' until finally we get it. Have fun at the dash....rain and all. (You could send some of that rain to dought sticken SW Kansas!)

antgirl said...

Yup, keep going until you figure out what works for you. Toastmasters sounds great. I'm a terrible public speaker. I tend not to breath. LOL

Oh, I can relate to the rain thing after a decade in Portland. We live on the sunny side of the state now and I have to say I really like the sun.

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