|Starting a "Biggest Loser" Club within my homeschool support group turned out to be exactly the right move for me. Thankfully, a couple of my blogger buddies were game, and the responses to the announcement about it were enthusiastic. We limited the Club to those who were at least 20 lbs. over the top of their healthy weight range for their height and to those who could commit completely to losing 15 lbs. over the length of the 8 week competition. All had to be homeschool moms and members of this support group. We will have formal weigh-ins every 2 weeks and there is a planned activity on the weeks there isn't a weigh-in. Members agreed that journaling their food intake in detail, and exercising a minimum of 30 minutes per day, 5 times a week would be our primary strategy. Each had to choose her own diet plan and form/s of exercise. We are not only competing individually, but have divided into teams. This gives each of us a stake in the other's progress. If someone on the team GAINS weight, well, that erases the fact that someone else has LOST weight. Also gives you a big sense of responsibility. And accountability. In short, it is proving to be a recipe for success.|
I had been floundering in my efforts to lose the necessary 75 lbs. before, but the specter of a public weigh-in got me on track abruptly. I started in earnest the week before the first BL Club Meeting, in a conscious effort to avoid the "I'm going on a diet Monday, so have to pig out all weekend" syndrome. This got me down to a not-so lean, but very, very mean (drumroll, please) -- Two hundred and twenty six pounds. I know, I know. Scary. I'm 5 ft. 6 and one-half inches tall, so it isn't like I'm carrying it well, either! This was at the first official BL Weigh-in on April 14th. If my scales are to be believed, I'm down to Two hundred and eighteen and one-half pounds, as of this morning. So that is 7.5 lbs -- and if you add on the 3 or 4 I lost before the program started, I'm really making some progress. Already, I've broken the plateau that I had reached in my earlier efforts.
At times, I'm sure I'm just having an out-of-body experience, for I seem to have developed some very non-Queenlike habits. Now, instead of driving around doing errands or shopping while waiting for my kids in their classes and lessons, I pop the baby into his stroller and hit the Greenbelt to get my exercise in. That's easy, because I now carry a pair of tennis shoes and some socks in my car. And sometimes, the kids' bikes, so they can have fun, too. I keep my iPod in my purse at all times, just in case an opportunity to go sweat in solitude should arise. Oh, and water bottles everywhere. (Don't worry, I'm recycling...) All these years, I've honestly believed I didn't have time or opportunity to exercise. I think I've debunked that pretty thoroughly now, since the King has been out of the country for 2 weeks and I've still managed to do something every day that I needed to. Mostly, it is walking, and sometimes, it is my exercise bike. Once, I did a workout video (I was skeptical before, but no more!), and another time, I played soccer and frisbee with 2 of my Club Cohorts and all the children present. Nothing like a game of soccer with a gaggle of 8 and 10 year olds to show you how pathetically out of condition you are!
I'm not saying that I haven't found myself on the exercise bike at midnight a couple of times, because that was really the first opportunity I had. But generally, where there's a will there's a way . Somedays, the will may not have been where it needed to be, BUT a team member was there to make sure I didn't falter. Every day, I've learned something new about myself, or about addiction, excuses (many of them my own!), or people in general. It is so nice not to be "in it alone." As I mentioned before, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. But the trip will sure go faster if you have a companion -- or 8!