The Quest to Win by Losing

We started a “Biggest Loser” challenge at work. For the next 8 weeks, participants partner up, weigh in once a week and report the results to the organizer. Like the popular TV show, winners are determined based on the percentage weight loss vs. total pounds. However, there are no celebrity trainers screaming in our faces during grueling workouts and there is no set meal plan. We’re on our own as to how we want to accomplish our goals. If you gain weight, you have to contribute $1 per pound to the kitty. The first place winner collects $100, plus whatever is in the kitty; 2nd place is $50 and 3rd is $25. While the potential to win a prize is enticing, it’s not the real motivator for me.

The Week 1 weigh-in was not pretty. I knew I’d gained some weight over winter, but it’s easy to delude yourself when you can cover up with bulky sweaters and elastic-waist leggings. Sadly, the numbers on the scale don’t lie, and the harsh reality is that the extra “insulation” I’ve been carrying around is more than a couple pounds. Now the real work begins. I’m excited and simultaneously dreading this process.

However, I’ve got a few things going for me to help me succeed. Number one is my somewhat competitive nature, which enjoys a good contest from time to time. The second is accountability, which the research substantiates. I’m relying on my partner to help keep me motivated and getting weighed in front of her each week is a bit intimidating. (I don’t even want to know how much I weigh, let alone someone who’s not my M.D.) I’ve also got a couple of events in the next couple months that will spur me in my efforts. The first is fitting into an unforgiving dress for a friend’s wedding. The second is running a 10K without keeling over.

Knowing myself as I do, I’m not going to make any grandiose proclamations. (I cannot totally forego wine, cheese or chocolate.) I can, however, make small changes that will add up: eating more lean protein and veggies (psyched to try this), drinking more water and avoiding foods that are filled with sugar or enriched flour since they do you no favors nutritionally. Couple that with increased activity and I should be good to go.

Easy peasy, right? If you have any tips that’ll make this endeavor successful (or even more tolerable), let me know! Appreciate it.

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