Reflections on a Weight Loss Contest
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Let me start by saying I have been awful about logging onto to SparkPeople lately. I apologize for being absent.
Nine weeks ago I signed up for a weight loss contest at mission FITNESS, the training facility where my husband and I participate in boot camps and personal training (if anyone reading this is in the Hartford, CT area I highly suggest looking them up... missionfitnessllc.com). I was terrified to attempt to lose weight in such a public way. I feared failure, I feared plateaus, I feared weekly weigh ins..the list goes on and on. My starting weight was 171.
Nine weeks later I weigh 149.5. I have not weighed under 150 in 15 years and I am thrilled to be able to say that. Just typing it makes my eyes tear up! In addition, I came in second place in the contest! I really was working hard to win but in the end I am happy with second place. Second out of around 15-20 people isn't too bad!
I have spent lots of time recently trying to figure out what made this contest work for me. Why after struggling for months was I able to lose 22 lbs in 9 weeks. What was different?
So much was different!!.....
I gave everything I had to every workout! I pushed my body hardier than I ever have.
During workouts I focused on being in the moment, completing the one exercise being asked of me. I didn't allow myself to think about what was next. "Stay in the moment Julie, you can do anything for 40 more seconds!" That was my internal dialogue.
Competing against others for a prize brought out the fighter in me. During boot camps I'd watch the others around me, see how hard they were working, see if I could work harder. I found that I'm competitive!
I got a little crazy about weighing in. I stepped on the scale every morning because I didn't want any surprises at my official weigh ins. (Since my final weigh in I have sent my scale on vacation, we both need time apart).
I want to be an athlete! At some point in the past 9 weeks a light bulb went off in my head. I realized that this journey is not about a number on the scale (I still have to remind myself of this at times), it is about wanting to AMAZE myself . (I'm still working on defining what that means to me, thinking of trying different sports, races, etc and see what works for me).
I started asking for help! I probably seemed "needy" to some but I started admitting to others when I was struggling. Most of those struggles were mental. I needed to learn mental toughness. I needed to stop giving up on myself. I needed to make myself proud. I had tons of help along the way. I cried once during a personal training session with one of my trainers. I admitted my fear of failure, my belief that I needed to be thin to be "good". That hour workout was more healing than years of therapy!!
I didn't give up. I wasn't perfect about food intake and exercise. I made mistakes, I made less than perfect choices. Instead of letting a bad decision derail me, I forgave myself and moved forward.
I have learned lots in only nine weeks. I am so proud of what I have accomplished, am so thankful to the people who helped me get here and am so optimistic about what the future holds. I believe this is my starting line, I decide how far I go from here....
Much health and love to all....