Sunday, July 20, 2014
Biggest Loser Challenge
I joined SP over 4 years. I jumped in with both feet, desperate to lose weight. I signed up for all the SP official challenges and joined so many teams I can't recall all of the names. Yes, I lost a few pounds and then regained some pounds and then lost a few more.
I decided to shake things up by streamlining my teams and focusing only on the ones I thought could make a difference. I lost more weight and gained some back.
I decided that I needed to create my own streak - targeting problem areas like exercising and tracking. That worked for awhile. I lost weight, but gained some of it back.
SP then presented SparkCoach. The overall concept is great. But it was not enough for me.
Then one of my SparkFriends blogged about BLC and the impact it had on her life. There was no denying the positive change - there were the before and after pictures. I asked her for her "secret" and she directed me to the BLC mailing list. What's that I asked? She explained it was how you sign up for the Biggest Loser Challenge and get placed on teams to get to your weight lost goals.
I signed up and began my participation with Round 22, assigned to the True Blue Team. Each round is a 12 week commitment with nutrition, fitness and for Team True Blue, personal insight challenges. For the first time I found the accountability I needed in a supportive environment. I acknowledged and befriended my own personal demons that were getting in my way of my goals. I learned that I was stronger than I really thought I was and it was okay if I stumbled. Just don't give up. I was pushed outside my comfort zone and it was fine. I could do it.
And, I lost weight.
In Round 23, I joined a new team, the Sunset Stingrays. During that 12 weeks, LIFE roared and tried to throw me off my game. My mom suffered a stroke and it accelerated her dementia from mild to moderate. After her hospitalization, I began staying with her on the weekends. My team rallied behind me to give me the encouragement and support I needed. I learned to balance work, Mom and the challenges and still lose weight. I prove that I could rise over obstacles thrown by LIFE.
And, I lost weight.
Now, I am looking at the end of Round 25 with my current team Navy Ninjas. Yes, as with the other teams, the support is there for my LIFE which also included the death of an aunt and me re-entering the dating world. But more important, through this team and all the challenges, I have learned the importance of ME. You see somewhere I lost ME while trying to reach my weight goals, taking care of Mom and everyone and everything else. Yes, I gave lip service to it. But I was not living it. I needed that extra push to make me do more, because I Deserve More. I deserve a quality life on my terms.
Navy Ninjas reminded that the primary purpose of BLC is to lose weight. You lose weight by doing what You Know what it takes to lose the weight. A problem for me - inconsistent fitness. Yes, I do have medical limitations, but so what? Modify as needed.
Binge snacking? Track every BLT.
Family gatherings, graduations, birthdays and holidays? Make a plan.
And it is not just my team that does this, but the entire BLC is designed to strengthen, motivate and yes, push everyone to reach their weight loss goals. The Weekend Challenges are designed to prevent you from blowing your good work from Monday to Friday. The last chance workout keeps you focus on the scale and get your cardio in. The Tight and Tone midweek challenge emphasizes strength training.
It is all there.
And for me, it has made a difference. I am no longer pre-diabetic, my clothes are noticeably looser, inches are gone and I get compliments about my weight loss.
And, I have lost weight.
When this round ends, I will continue with my team's break challenges. Bye bye in between round weight gain. I will continue to celebrate my favorite non-scale victory that I attribute to this BLC round: ACTION. As in, I am doing what it takes to reach my goals.
Talk doesn't get you anywhere.
Monday, May 12, 2014
My plan if I get off track: NEVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP!
I strongly believe in getting up after every fall. I do a self analysis, forgive myself and move on. Long gone are the days of regret or self-pity. That does not get me anywhere, but depressed and feeling unworthy. So, if overeating is the problem - the change may be tracking or strict adherence to my calorie range with the next meal or day. If my exercise is lacking, maybe switching to a different type or maybe I do need a rest day. Maybe it is an overall indifference. That is where the Navy Ninjas come in. I remember it is not just about me, but the team. That extra accountability really does matter.
For planned splurges (like last weekend): deadline and exercise coupled with honesty is the key. I had to be honest about what I want for food choices and when I wanted it. And then enjoy it. If I don't, I self sabotage later. I must exercise because splurges do not mean everything has to stop. I will get in the fitness minutes and otherwise fully participate in the BLC Weekend Challenges. Veggies, water, posting, etc.
Life does not demand perfection. And it is a good thing. What is better for me is staying on the path of better eating, more activity and good self care.
I will NEVER, EVER, EVER, GIVE UP!
Tuesday, May 06, 2014
I completed the BLC fitness test. I was quite surprised with my time for my one mile walk - a little more than 17 minutes. I am hoping that by the time I finish this round of the BLC, I can walk a 15 minute mile. Then I can start aiming for 3ks that will not hurt my foot in terms of time. I need to factor in the waiting time, the distance from parking to the start line, etc. All the extra time standing, waiting and walking prior to the start of any race event. I hope to be able to return to my training team and tag along and do a small race and be support to others doing half and full marathons.
I know I can get there...
Saturday, May 03, 2014
My BLC 25 Goal
Goal: 12 pound weight lost
To avoid any medical problem that is preventable with weight loss, better food choices and regular exercise. I am so lucky that I do not have hypertension, diabetes or other problems that is usually associated with obesity.
I am also motivated to continue losing so I can wear a size 14W (or smaller). That means all new clothes. It also means that I will be closer to my ultimate shopping goal -- to shop outside of speciality stores or departments. I am tired of window shopping, wondering and hoping that maybe they carry plus sizes.
I also desire the additional self confidence that comes from knowing that I am doing what is best for me. No, in 12 weeks, I will not be skinny, but I will look better in my clothes.
Short answer - full participation in BLC!
In addition to the challenges, I will start off exercising 30 minutes x 5 days a week. Two days will be devoted to strength training. I will do a variety of cardio exercises and try something new at least once a month. No excuses.
I will track my food and exercise daily. This is such an easy statement to make, but is my most difficult thing to do. As if I don't record it means I didn't eat it.
I will do one daily action of self care to eliminate stressors that lead to emotional eating.
I will make me a priority. That means regular mani/pedis, hair, facials, medical appointments, time off, and yes, dating.
12 weeks (end of round)
By doctor: appointment will be scheduled for no later than the Friday after the last weigh in.
By scale: 12 pounds gone!
By measurements: compared to starting numbers
By NSV: smaller dress size
By NSV: completed projects and more fun!
Sunday, April 06, 2014
My BLC Goal - Reflection
When I started BLC Round 15 my primary goal was to lose 15 pounds. My secondary goals were to lose the pre-diabetic diagnosis, a dress size smaller and noticeable difference in inches.
When the challenge ends on Wednesday, I know I will have lost over 10 pounds, but I am not sure it will be 15 pounds. I have not measured, but I know I have lost inches as some of my larger clothes are too big. I have also purchased one size smaller clothes and required new foundations because of the ST. I have not made my doctor's appointment, but plan to do so, because it is now time for my annual.
Overall, I feel that I was a success with my goals. However, my participation in BLC has provided me with additional insight.
First off, I am a dieter. I have dieter mentality. On a diet. Off a diet. That is how I work. Yes, I know that healthy and more active lifestyle is the preferred path, but I am not there. Yes, I do make much more healthier choices with food. I actually enjoy eating salads and love veggies. I don't feel right if I did not have some type of veggie everyday. And, I have learned to include fruit as part of my daily snacks. And, I enjoy preparing healthier versions of foods. Also, I do exercise and do not feel right if I miss 2 days in a row without good reason.
What is not so good is the binge snacking I allow myself as a reward for doing so well after my weigh in. Yes, I limit it to just the evening meal (it is the evening meal). But it is not small amounts. It is a whole bag of something salty and a package of something sweet. And sometimes I will throw in a snickers bar. While I am able to get back on track, it is not my idea of healthy and active lifestyle. It is dieting. On a diet, off a diet.
And, I do not think I push myself enough with fitness. Even with my medical limitations, I believe I can do more.
My goal for the next BLC is to achieve a healthier balance with snacking. In my ideal world, "bad" snacks will not be limited to one day when a feeding frenzy occurs. I want to incorporate my sweet and salty tooth into my interpretation of a healthier lifestyle. Since I know I need accountability and thrive with accountability, I requested to join a BLC team that requires open trackers. I know that when I track, I am less prone to overeating and, get this, I will have a sensible amount of a "bad" food. I also know that I will exercise more so that I can enjoy higher caloric foods or a preparation of a food.
My goals will be basically the same as the previous rounds:
Lose 15 pounds by daily tracking, cardio six times a week and strength training at least three times a week.
My current team, Sunset Stingrays, has been an important part of my journey. I love the support and encouragement that is so freely and readily given. I have the greatest admiration and appreciation for the leaders. The challenges were not just challenges for me to complete. They provided a healthy distraction when LIFE events threaten to pull me off course. The challenges also made me realize that I am capable of doing more and that I deserve it. Now. The leaders admirably set the tone of the team. Yes, support, encouragement, but accountability as well. Reminders of the importance of participation, always. And, the leaders change things up to motivate us and provide additional tools to reach our goals.
I especially am grateful to have my buddy.
And then there are my teammates. A wonderful example of what a real team does best - motivate, acknowledge and support. And not just BLC, but real life events. Let's face it, there is no "ideal" time to make a change. However, I faced an unexpected major LIFE event with my mother's stroke and the need for 24/7 care that requires weekend stays with her. And, my workload increased. My teammates compassion for my own LIFE struggles was an unexpected, but fully welcome blessing. They are important factor in me not quitting the team and giving up.
I am thankful. I am honored. I am blessed.
The next round does not start until the end of April. Of course, I am in a panic, because I am not sure what it will take to keep me on track. (Dieter's mentality must be kept in check!) Since I am a team leader for the Fit and Organized team, I am responsible for creating daily fitness, nutrition and organization challenges for April. That will help. But I need more accountability. I am open to suggestions.
If anyone has a team or there is something here on SparkPeople that has challenges with accountability (like weigh ins, etc,) please let me know. You can posted it in the comments or Spark mail me. Thanks.
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