Thursday, September 25, 2014

Team Weight Loss Challenge

I started this blog five years ago for one purpose and one purpose only:  To document my weight loss efforts.  It seems hard to think that for the past five years I've been writing in this blog, that originally started as a weight loss blog, and I'm not that much lighter than I was five years ago.  Of course, the blog has gone off in a much different direction than when I first started, but it makes me sad that after five years I haven't really succeeded in the one thing I set out to do when I first decided to start an entire blog about it.  And that would be to lose weight, and keep it off.

Five years ago, this blog was called Diary of a Mad, Fat Woman.  I started off slow, posting here and there when the surge of motivation rushed through me to, once again, try and tackle my weight issues.  I had been told by countless weight loss professionals that blogging was the way to go to really hold myself accountable.  Of course, if there's going to be someone to prove the professionals wrong, it's going to be me.  Not that I'm proud of that.  I mean, I'm not happy nor proud that I followed the advice of so many professionals about how to go about my weight loss efforts and still sit here, some five years later, weighing only a few pounds less than I did back then.

Of course, there has been some major success along the's been holding on to the success that I've struggled with.  Four years ago, when my blogging really took off, I was at my highest weight and determined to get it down.  And I did.  I lost 80lbs in 2010 in to 2011.  I got down to my lowest adult weight, and I was doing amazing things.  I was able to run 5K, I completed fitness bootcamp, I was faithful to exercise and healthy eating, and I no longer shied away from a camera but kept my blog and Facebook updated with constant photos of my ever changing body.  

Not only did I do those wonderful things, but I did them all during the height of the most stressful times of my life.  The last year of college.  While it should have been the time where I binged and ate due to stress, it was the one time in my life that I stopped myself from using stress as a crutch and used it as my motivation to succeed.  If I was stressing about class expectations, student teaching, creating a portfolio, or what would happen after I graduated, I just got up and went for a run.  And I ran until I felt better... less stressed.  And I walked across the stage on my graduation day weighing less than I've ever weighed during my adult life, in a dress that I had picked out to highlight my new curves, and in 5" heels that I never thought in a million years I could even take a few steps in, let alone walk across a stage in.  

But, unfortunately, my new found confidence and smaller dress size didn't last very long... and slowly the weight started creeping back.  

I have tried over and over and over again to get back to that girl that took her stress to the track and pounded the pavement until it was gone.  I've tried so many times to find that motivation that made me beat all of the odds and overcome the cravings and desires to eat junk food.  Yet, I still have yet to find her.  She's in here, somewhere, dying to come to the surface once again.  I just have to reach deep down and pull her out.

Which leads me to my new weight loss effort:  A team challenge.

In the two years I've been teaching, I've participated in several weight loss challenges hosted by our school nurse.  She arranges and coordinates the weight loss challenges, oversees all of the weigh-ins, and keeps track of everyones progress.  And, not one of those challenges has even gotten me close to any form of good weight loss.  I pay a fee to join in, yet my motivation is short lived and I end up paying out week after week because I gain instead of lose.  I don't know why.  I mean, it's not like I deliberately try and gain weight after I join in one of those challenges, but it has always seemed to have gone that way.

So, why on earth would I put myself through trying it again?

Well, this time it's a little different.  This time, I'm not doing it alone.  This time I'm not the only person accountable for my success.  This time, I will have a team of people counting on me as I will be counting on them to see us through to weight loss victory.  Our school is doing a team weight loss challenge.

When I think back to the time that I decided enough was enough and I really needed to lose weight, I joined a fitness bootcamp.  I went to a gym three times a week and worked out with a group of people that were counting on me to be successful.  If I failed, we all failed, and we all paid the consequences.  If I didn't log my food, we were doing sets of grueling calisthenics.  If I complained about the exercise being too hard, I was pushed even harder.  Yet, if I was able to overcome and obstacle I didn't think I could do, I had an entire team pushing me to do it and helping me every step of the way.  And overcoming some major obstacles was what I really think pushed me in to overdrive to continue succeeding.  As I watched the young, fit people run circles around me, I told myself that I could do anything they could do.  They could do pushups?  Well, then I was doing pushups.  They could run through the obstacle course in record time?  Well, then I was staying on their heels giving it my all to beat their times.  Anything they could do, I would do.

Being a part of a team is really what pushed my motivation in to high gear.  If I know one thing about myself it's the fact that if there's no one counting on me, I have no one to let down.  I have no one to answer to.  If I don't succeed in a weight loss challenge, I have only myself to blame...and I'm OK with that.  But, throw in a group of people that are going to be counting on me to (excuse the pun) pull my weight?  That's a game changer.  I don't like to let anyone down, and I'm not about to sit back and bring a group of people down because I can't be bothered to find the motivation I need to succeed.  

So, I'm going to give the team weight loss challenge a try.  Maybe, just maybe being a part of the team was the root of my success back then, and it's been the missing factor ever since.  Maybe, just maybe having people counting and depending on me is what I need to succeed and show them and myself that I can lose the weight (again).  Maybe, just maybe I can finally find some success and hold on to it.

I just don't understand how I can be the woman that has overcome so many struggles in her life, yet can't control this one tiny hurdle.  Losing weight isn't really hard, if I put my mind to it.  It just requires motivation.  That's it.  Motivation to stop shoveling food in to my mouth, motivation to get up and exercise, and motivation to change my habits so that I stay on the path of success.

I have overcome teen pregnancy, poverty, an abusive relationship, put myself through college, followed my career dreams, juggled work, school, and family.  Yet put down a donut or drink water instead of soda? Those are the things that I haven't been able to do.  Seems kinda silly, huh?

It is silly.  It's ridiculous, in fact.  There is no one, valid, viable excuse I can use that can explain why I am so able to overcome every single life obstacle thrown my way... except losing weight.  It doesn't make any sense, and it's high time I stopped being so stupid.  

I can do this.  I know I can.  And, I am excited about having a team of people to work with, encourage, get encouragement from, and succeed in losing weight.  Again.

First weigh-in is today, and I hope it's the last time I ever have to look at that number again.  I hope it's the last time I have to write one of these sorry blog posts about not being able to lose weight.  I hope it's the beginning of a new attitude, a new outlook on my abilities, and a new me.  

Today is the day!!

And I hope it's a great day.


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