Tuesday, January 15, 2013

You Too Can Be The Biggest Loser

Yep...I am dusting off this blog again. To be honest...it hasn't been far from my thoughts of late, but I just haven't been of the mindset to actually blog here.

Something you may not know about me is....I procrastinate and avoid. Yes..tis true. If I don't want to think about or know something (for example me current number on the scale) I will avoid. If I don't want to do something or think about something...I will procrastinate. I am not sure whether this is hereditary or not but for my own peace of mind we will say it is.

The last time I posted here was sometime in September I believe, and I was talking about diets, exercise and what works. Since...I have done little to no exercise (what can I say...life is busy) and I have stuck to no certain diet (again with the life excuse). I have however been fairly careful about what I eat and tried to stay away from that which is not healthy. My biggest diet secret thus far though: having the flu for almost a month. Imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scales and found that my current weight is less than it is has been in almost a decade. Trust me though....this is not a diet I would recommend nor wish on my worst enemy. The trouble with this diet too is...when your appetite and health are back to normal....the weight can creep back if not careful.

I am still not a 100% although I think my appetite has returned, so there is the issue of eating normally without the normal activity....let alone any exercise. Still...I am determined to move forward and not backslide into weight gain and unhealthy eating habits. One thing I have gotten in a bad habit of is eating only once a day. Number one rule in the healthy eating book is that this is a no no! Why? Because eating only once a day puts your body into starvation mode. Your body actually believes that it is starving therefore it slows your metabolism and starts destroying muscle instead of fat. Up until now it wasn't a huge worry because being sick obviously burns calories but at the stage I am at...there isn't a whole lot of calorie burn going on. The problem is....my body is not hungry until about 2 or 3 p.m. and trying to eat anything before then results in my stomach thinking it may keep nothing down. After about 2 though...I am actually hungry. Even then though...I can only eat about half of what I used to and then I am done. This maybe the only thing saving me at this point as far as gaining goes. I am probably not eating enough to sustain a weight gain. Another problem is that I have relied on diet soda to get me through this illness. Diet Mt. Dew and I are not only going steady again....we are having a heated affair. It is the only thing that has sounded good to me, thus....I have drank it daily and with much love. Yesterday I ran out and I am going to attempt a cold turkey or at least a luke warm turkey the rest of the week in hopes that I can ween myself off the soda and start drinking water and tea again.

Yes....I know that my current weight although I am ecstatic over it...is only smoke and mirrors and that there is likely going to be a gain before there is any true loss, but for today.....I do the happy weight loss dance and take the small victories when and where I can.

Moving on.....we know there is an epidemic of obesity in our nation. Everyone of us is either overweight or has a family member or friend who is. And I am not just talking a few pounds....I am talking life threatening obesity. Why? Because we have such sedentary life styles. A good percent of us work behind desks and when we are home we relax with tv, movies or video games. We are tired and we don't want to take the extra few minutes it would take to fix a healthy meal...so McDonalds, KFC and Taco Bell become a several times a week ritual. We see this all around us and quite possibly I have just described your own family life. No longer is seeing an overweight person an anomaly. It is now the norm. This was brought home to me yesterday as I was watching an early Roseanne show. I remember when she first came on tv....I thought she was huge. Of course the show played off her weight but I remember thinking that she was one of the bigger women I had ever seen. Certainly the only one of her size who had their own sitcom. Yesterday I realized though....in today's world...she is more normal than someone who is really thin. Early Roseanne no longer looks unusual to me. What does that say about where the world has gone in the last fifteen years? Obesity is no longer a minority group of people. It is fast becoming the norm.

I think this new norm is why shows like The Biggest Loser (TBL) impress me so. The new norm is no longer a size 8-10. The new norm is now closer to a size 22. If you go into a store where they have regular size clothes (0-16) and plus size clothes (18-26)....you will almost always find more people looking in the plus size than the regular size. The people who are on TBL are at the top of the plus size scale and some are even over it. Their health is in jeopardy, they have mobility issues and they are eating themselves into an early grave. They have lost self respect, dignity and are quickly losing their health....they have nothing left to lose but the weight, so the women dawn exercise bra's and shorts and the men go shirtless with shorts and the whole world gets to see their years of unhealthy eating, binge eating, stress eating and addictive eating. Every bulge and roll show for all of America to see and yet they gladly put themselves on display in such a way in hopes that this is the last time they will weigh that weight and look that way. This for them is a new life.

Granted....those on TBL have 24/7 support and the worlds best personal trainers working with them every day, but if they don't do the work laid out for them....all the support and trainers mean nothing. Yes...the numbers the losers lose weekly are huge, but they don't starve themselves....they simply workout like someone training for the Olympics. They also learn good eating habits, portion control and have the ultimate goal....a cash prize to motivate them. Why does TBL seem to work so well? My thoughts are that it gives those on the show first of all the incentive to change and look like the person they have always wanted to be. Second it motivates monetarily and thirdly.....it brings in competition. Those are three pretty large reasons to change. More important than those things though....it makes the contestants not only take the weight off....but helps them to figure out why they got so big in the first place. When you know what your fighting....it makes it a lot easier to win. It also teaches them real life solutions to eating. It is not a diet it is a real lifestyle change and something they can take away from the show with them and implement in their real life. Finally....it shows these former couch potatoes what they can do if they remove themselves from the couch. Some of these people never knew they could walk a mile let alone run it. Each time they stretch themselves and accomplish something new in their workout....they learn something new about themselves and what they can accomplish in life.

I know many people watch TBL and see the struggle that comes with each pound lost and we all cheer them on with each new accomplishment....but that is where it stops for most of us. We come up with a thousand and one reasons why that is them....and this is us and we can't possibly accomplish what they do. We have no 24 hour supervision, we have no personal trainer and for many of us....we don't have a support group that is willing to cheer on our accomplishments and help pick us up if we stumble and set us back on the right track. The fact is though...we don't need to be on tv to be a biggest loser. All you really need is the following: 1) A desire to be healthy 2) The ability to do some research and find an eating lifestyle that works for you. If you are a do-it-yourselfer and like to prepare your own meals....try something like Weight Watchers. If you think you would do better having your meals prepared for you and you have the money...try Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem. 3) Again with the research.....and find a workout program that works for you. There are videos that start with beginner and work their way up or check out your nearest gym. The Y is a great and economical place to start. You have the availability of a workout facility fully stocked with machines to help you tighten and tone every inch of your body and burn fat too, plus there are classes to take and if money permits.....you can even get a personal trainer of your own. 4) Finally....find yourself a support system. If your family isn't supportive at first (they usually jump on board when they start seeing the results of your hard work) then find someone or a group outside your family. It can be a friend, someone in your weight loss group or a gym buddy. Often times while you are getting support...you can also be giving some of your own. There may not be a monetary prize at the end....but just like the biggest losers on tv, you will look better, feel better, have better health, have a lifestyle change and know that you have accomplished goals that up until now you thought only happened on tv or in your dreams. And of course there will be that new wardrobe that you will have no choice but to buy!

Weight loss...like most things, does not happen over night. You did not gain 20, 50 or 100 pounds overnight, it took days and weeks of work. Losing it can take some time and there are likely to be bumps and chug holes in the road to try and derail you but weight loss is attainable. Being healthy and fit are not just pipe dreams and you too can be TBL. Just remember: The longest journey starts with just one step.

So hopefully the flu is on the way out. I have an amazing support system in my both family and friends and I am ready to see what I can accomplish in 2013. Now I hope you will excuse me while I get back to my happy weight loss dance!


  1. Congratulations and sorry about the flu. Everyone I know has it. Love the blog and love the comparisons to the biggest loser. Keep us posted on your progress and wisdom.

  2. I love the Biggest Loser. I watch it faithfully. I have even tried out for it but was not selected. Thanks for the perspective.