Is it a challenge or a stresser?
Friday, July 12, 2019
I work in an office of 8 physicians with 35+ employees. Working in the health care field we all feel a responsibility to practice what we preach. For some employees, myself included, that's a constant struggle. I consider myself ahead of the game in that overall I eat a very healthy diet and have less weight to lose than others. Thus, when they started a "Biggest Loser" group, my interest was piqued. I thought this might just be the motivational push that I need to get those 15 lbs that sneaked back on SEVERAL years ago after I had reached my goal weight. Each person paid $20 to enter, winning was based on percentage lost so whether you had a lot to lose or a little, you still had an equal shot at the prize. Our rules were simple, weigh each Monday morning on the same scale and forward that weight to the leader. If you gain, it's a dollar penalty per pound. If you quit, it's a $10 fine. Contest lasts 8 weeks. We set up a social media page for participants. We posted updates, funny diet memes, and motivational quotes.
I jumped on board!
So why didn't I lose?? In fact several times I had to pay for pounds gained.
Notice that I called it a CONTEST not a challenge. I should know better. I spent my adult years between age 25-50 challenging myself with diet after diet until I finally figured that losing weight and keeping it off requires a LIFETIME commitment NOT a time frame. You really have to change the way that you eat for all times. You change you taste buds and learn to find a piece of salmon tastier than a greasy cheeseburger. You quit drinking soda pop and learn to love water. You realize that exercise really does make you feel better after you do it even if you feel like you have no energy before starting.
Seriously, I have done all those things, so what's my problem? Apparently I'm not doing them consistently enough.
For me, it's pressure. Knowing that I had to get on the scale Monday morning and share it with the group wasn't a challenge, it stressed me out. If I went out to dinner with friends on Friday and had a cocktail and took too much salad dressing, and had a piece of red meat, and a baked potato with - GASP! - butter and sour cream, I felt like I had blown it. I made up my mind that I'd already failed for the week and the scale would punish me so I may as well go all out. I mean, I was going to pay anyway what's a few more bucks?
Too much pressure.
I made it through the 8 weeks without significantly losing or gaining. My monetary contribution made for a nice purse for the sweet girl that is still on the diet on diet off cycle and won the contest.
As for me? As soon as the contest ended, I got busy and have lost 6 pounds. If I over eat on a weekend night, I savor the memory of having fun with friends but recognize that's an isolated meal that I allowed to be more "lush" than usual. In fact, I found myself last Friday ordering a nice piece of salmon on a big salad with an olive oil based dressing and a glass of red wine. My friend remarked at how "disciplined" I was and I protested. I LIKE those things!
My co-workers want to take a few week break and then start the contest back up.
I'm going to pass...