04 October 2012
Weight Loss Competitions WORK!
My weight loss plateaued for several months in between April and September. It seemed no matter how hard I tried, I just could NOT lose any weight. At least permanently. It was so frustrating! I was training for a half marathon for goodness' sake! I could run 10 plus miles at one time but I couldn't lose a single pound?! How does that work?!
With the hope that a little competitive edge could change something for me, I joined a weight loss competition hosted by one of the gals from my Facebook running group. It began on Labor Day and lasts for eight weeks, ending right before Halloween (*sigh of relief*).
Over the course of the eight weeks we do daily tasks, earning points if achieved each day. These are things like "Drink at least 64 oz of water", "Work out for at least 30 minutes" (bonus points for each 15 minutes on top of that), and "Keep a food journal". There are also weekly challenges to do if you're feeling ambitious and want to win bonus points. "Take a daily vitamin", "Try and share one new healthy recipe", and "Eat extra fruits and veggies" are a few examples.
At the end of the eight weeks there will be two different winners. One with the most points and one with the biggest weight loss percentage. To be in the competition you had to pay $25 into the winner's pot. With 30 women participating...that would be a lot of nice, new clothes to fit a nice, healthy body.
I'm not exactly winning so far, especially when it comes to weight loss, but I'm not doing too shabby. I was already doing several of the daily tasks on my own before this competition (look to my "Guidelines" bar on the right) so point-wise I'm actually able to give the group some competition.
For me, the hardest part of the whole thing has been one of the dailies: "No sugar or sweet treats". I thought I had been abstaining pretty well from sugar before the competition, but when I was actually recording it and reporting to a group...not so much. Over the past 4 weeks of the competition, I have lost over 6 pounds, where before...I couldn't lose a single pound. Even though I was "trying so hard". Ha ha!
I know sugar is my biggest weakness when it comes to weight loss. It is a struggle I think I will have for the rest of my life. I am most successful in losing weight and being healthy when I limit myself to having one treat a week. While that may seem extreme to some, it really has taught me what sugar SHOULD BE, and that is an occasional treat and not a daily indulgence. I'm not ready to go cold turkey on sugar, but who knows? Maybe some day I'll gain that much self control. For now, I really enjoy baking a treat with my kids and sharing with the neighbors or relishing a sweet holiday tradition. I don't feel like it's so bad to indulge once in a while.
That being said, I'm a tad terrified for when this weight loss competition is over. And--gulp!--right before Halloween, the sugar holiday of the year! It's hard to have self control when you aren't accountable to anyone but yourself. I'm going to have to dig deep and remember how much better I feel when I'm not partaking all the time. Remind me of that, would you, when I'm whining about gaining some weight back over the holiday season, okay? ;)
Honestly, I've been avoiding anything by the good ol' JM. Why? Because she's scary, that's why. Have you seen her on The Biggest Loser? But many of my friends like her, so why not? I'll give her a chance. I was pleasantly surprised. No screaming or yelling or belittling. She didn't try to convince me that I was fat because I had been molested as a kid. Just lots of really tough, but kind of doable circuit training.
Ahhh circuit training. Something else I've been avoiding too. It was hard. But hard is good. That means I needed to do it. I'm realizing just how weak my upper body and abs are. I look forward to having my bum kicked again later this week. Also...I really need to get out of my comfort zone and try some new exercise routines. A gym membership is not in my budget right now, but any other suggestions?
P.S. *whispers* Psst! Psssst! Hey! Since the library is going to need that DVD back, I was considering buying the JM workout until I found it on YouTube just now. And there are lots of others on there too! Free workouts? Woohoo!