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Reflections on a Weight Loss Contest

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hi all,

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....


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Saw your link from ClassyQuitters... way to go. AWESOME...
    3725 days ago
    CONGRATS--Second place is AWESOME! And I think it's fantastic that you proved that "it's all mental" when it comes to weight loss. It truly is all mental, and if you psych yourself up enough, you can do anything :)
    3726 days ago
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