Tag Archives: public speaking

I survived!

No, I did not have to be rushed to the hospital for anxiety because I had a public speaking gig on Wednesday.  I survived it and it actually went pretty well.  I did nervously race through all of my remarks in about 20 minutes, which was kind of hilarious.  The leader of the writing group did notice that too.  He just smiled at me and he and another writer actually helped me out by starting a very detailed and lively discussion about my writing “process.”  Everyone asked me a lot of questions as if I am some kind of expert.  Ha! I was actually very comfortable with answering questions, so that went very well. 

The workshop was called From Real Life to Fiction.  I have taken a lot of my own real life events and then fictionalized them, often creating completely different stories.  Some have been pretty good and others not so much.  One story actually received honorable mention in a contest, so I guess that’s something. 

But enough about writing…onto weight loss.

I am down to 201.  That’s a total of 97 pounds.  I am surprised that I lost anything at all this week, I have been very bad food-wise.  One day I actually ate quite a lot, which is not good.  I have also had trouble keeping myself on a normal eating schedule.  I’ve just been so busy.  Plus I have been feeling very bloated.  But on the flip side, the chronic constipation has abated.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I can keep that at bay. 

I am kind of excited about the 201 mark.  In just 2 pounds, I will be in territory I have not seen in more than 20 years…below the 200 mark!  It’s kind of a big deal.  Ok, let me be honest here…it’s more than kind of a big deal…it’s a ginormous deal!  I am also freaking out just a little bit, too.  Dropping below the 200 pound mark somehow makes it all seem like this is all really going to happen.  I am really finally going to be thin, whatever that means.  I have not been “thin” since my early 20s. 

It’s weird, because I never thought of myself as thin when I was younger.  In high school, I weighed about 125-128-ish.  College, my weight went up to about 130-140-ish.  At 140, I may have been a little bit chubby, but I certainly was not fat.  I certainly thought I was, however. 

Self image is a strange thing.  I guess sometimes it is easier to believe the negative stuff.  I know I did for a long time.  I am trying to change that, though.  I still struggle with it, but I try to keep telling myself over and over again all of the things that I want to be as if they are true.  I am thin.  I am beautiful.  I am healthy.  I am smart.  I am a good writer.  I am successful.  I am loveable.  I am confident.

I don’t always feel these things, but I try.  Maybe if I keep telling myself this, I will truly begin to believe them.  Maybe if I keep it up long enough, they will all one day be true.

Enjoy some cherry blossoms.  It rained today, so they are all most likely gone already. 

Cherry Blossoms

To Speak Or Not To Speak, That Is The Question

When I was younger, say 7th grade through my whole entire life, I was very bad at public speaking.  My teachers always made us get up in front of class and do a prepared speech every year.  I fretted about this pretty much from the second they announced we had to do this.  No matter how much I prepared or practiced, I would stand up in front of the class and shake, sweat, stammer, and be almost to the point of tears when I had to give my speech.  I was so nervous and shy that the thought of talking in front of people made me physically ill.

I was a little bit better in high school and college, but not by much.  As a working adult, I have had to get up and speak many times in meetings.  I have led training classes, taught diversity classes, given talks at client meetings, etc.  Nothing really big.  I think the largest group I talked to was about 50 people at a client meeting. 

The client meeting was a funny experience.  I was the only travel agent for this particular group of travelers.  My client contact had given me a list of the travelers’ concerns before the meeting.   I was ready and armed with responses for them.   I had heard horror stories about past client meetings and how these travelers were very unhappy with us.  I was nervous, but I was totally prepared. 

Basically, I won them all over.  I let them know that I understood how hard their job was, traveling all of the time, spending most of their time overseas.  I told them I wanted to make their travel easier.  I gave them all new profile forms and asked for all of their updated travel information so that they always got their miles, etc.  I joked with them.  At the end of the meeting, they all came up to me one by one to tell me how happy they were.  I chatted with each of them briefly before leaving the meeting.

In the car on the way back to the office, the sales manager for my company told me she never saw anything like that.  She said that all previous meetings were so stressful.  “You had them eating out of your hands!”  She went back to our director and told her how the meeting went.   The director sent me a nice email and ended it saying, “You must be a natural public speaker.” 

I nearly died laughing.  If she only knew.

Tonight I am leading a discussion at my writer’s group.  I talk to the writer’s group every week from the safe confines of my chair.  I always have an opinion and I share it without hesitation.  I have to admit though, I am quite nervous.  I am sure I will be fine.  I am prepared.  I created an outline and wrote down my comments.  Read articles over and over.  I bought a new dress and new shoes.  I fixed my hair.  I feel I am totally ready. 

I’m not expecting the wild success I experienced at my client meeting, but I’m sure I will do just fine.  Nonetheless, any time I have to get up and speak in front of a group, even people I know, see, and talk to every week, that scared, shy, nervous young girl sneaks up on me and says, “Noooooooo!”