I started a 'Biggest Loser' competition at work about ten weeks ago. Twenty-three coworkers signed up for the challenge. Everyone was excited and determined.
Weekly weigh-ins would be optional. All that was required was a $10 deposit into the 'prize pot' as well as an initial weigh-in and then a final weigh-in ten weeks later. A chart was hung in a central location so that people could log their progress if they chose to do so.
Wednesday was the final weigh-in. Eight people showed up and only five people had lost ten or more pounds.
Disappointing? Yes. Surprising? Not really.
Taking care of yourself is hard.
Upon starting back at work this fall, it took me all of six months to gain fifteen pounds. FIFTEEN. I was taking care of my students and job responsibilities, taking care of the house, taking care of my kids. Myself? Not so much.
I ate ALL of my kids' Halloween (Christmas and Valentine's too) candy. There were nights that I ate dinner... twice. When I was alone in the car, I'd hit a drive-thru window for one (or two) large orders of fries. I finished my kids' waffles, chicken nuggets and ice cream. I couldn't walk through the kitchen without grabbing a handful of something-- sugary cereal, cookies, chips. When Liam would wake up crying in the middle of the night, he would get a bottle and I would get a few handfuls of M&Ms. I was like a human vacuum cleaner.
I was 'too busy' and 'too tired' to work out. I deserved to sit on the couch every night.
Soon, my closet started shrinking. I was having a hard time putting together enough clothes for the week that fit. I was changing outfits two, three, four times each morning-- trying to find something that looked decent. My jeans became unbearably tight and yoga pants became my new best friend.
I'm not sure when I bottomed out. Maybe it was after Will and I made two dozen chocolate chip cookies one night and he woke to find all said cookies gone. Maybe it was when I found myself eating day old french fries from Liam's car seat. I was getting winded by the stairs at work and racing my four-year-old was getting harder and harder. Maybe it was the impending dread of chasing my kids around Hurricane Harbor and running into current and former students in a bathing suit. It was probably a combination of things.
Ten weeks later and I'm down those 15 pounds-- back to where I started this fall. It was hard. But it wasn't THAT hard.
Binging on cookies, fries and ice cream is good; but buying a great dress and being proud of the way you look is better. Sitting on the couch with munchies in hand every night is good; but the pride of finishing a few miles on a cool night at the shore is better. Feeling good about yourself-- the choices you make and the example you set for your kids-- that's the best.