Somehow, a couple of days ago, these words escaped my mouth at work: "Hey, we should have a Biggest Loser challenge leading up to the Christmas dinner!"
I think what got me thinking about it was my coworker, who lost her mother in May following a long illness, and who simply, understandably, cannot be convinced to do anything remotely enjoyable. While I wouldn't try to force her into pretending she's feeling anything other than what she truly feels, lately I've been trying to encourage her to do things she talks about having enjoyed before, like doing her eye makeup for example. It's been nice to see her take little steps out of her sadness, if only in a "humor me" way for now. I know that sometimes the "fake it til you make it" principle can start to work a little magic.
A few of us were talking the other day about getting a little dressy for our Christmas dinner in December, and she (actually a few of my coworkers) mentioned how nice it would be to lose some weight before then. And it was that moment that gave birth to the idea. Isn't it easier to get motivated to do so many things when you have a group of others to get excited about it and keep you accountable?
It took a little bit of convincing (mostly with my boss, who I think was waiting for everybody to tell her she didn't need to be part of the challenge, which she doesn't, in my opinion), but to my surprise, the ENTIRE branch decided to sign up. Two of the young men who work there are going to do the competition in reverse (they are thin and looking to gain weight), but in the end it's the change in percentage of weight lost or gained at the end of a month's time that is going to determine the winner. At $20/participant, the $220 pot will be a welcome little booster come Christmas gift shopping time.
Not everybody wanted their weight advertised, but none of us trusted each other enough to work on the honor system, haha, so I volunteered to bring my scale in and do weigh-ins, which we made happen today.
To my surprise, by the time I arrived mid-morning, everybody was ready and excited to weigh in. Caught up in the moment, nobody even cared who was standing around when they got on the scale, and we were all pretty ready to get started losing.
Today's New Activity: Kicking off a Get-Healthy Challenge
I am typically one of those people who doesn't like to share my weight (like most women I suppose), and I definitely shy away from anything that asks me to consistently challenge myself when it comes to my physical health. Yes, I go to the gym with some regularity and like to try and keep my weight in check, but I dislike the ideas of challenge and competition in these areas. Weird, then, that this whole thing was my idea.
I was happy to find myself in with the majority, jumping on the scale in front of co-workers male and female alike and not being ashamed of what came up (160.4 pounds, for the record). Yes, I wouldn't mind losing 10 more (hell, 5 more would take me to my high school weight, which I was pretty comfortable with), but I think I've absorbed some of the lessons of the past year in a way that translated farther and wider than I'd expected:
I do, in fact, accept myself exactly how I am. I love myself and am so able to accept the love of those who love me as I am as well. I also don't care as much about the whos and whys when it comes to people who don't love and accept me as I am.
And feeling this way makes my heart open wide and accept others exactly where they're at as well. I want to encourage people to be their best and to do better than they ever thought they could. If a little friendly branch-wide weight loss competition is what that means for the time being, for some of us, there it shall begin.
I could definitely use a little challenge in my life of the non-emotional variety. I don't mind emotional challenge; it makes me feel that I'm truly alive. But sometimes it's nice to get out of your head and your heart and just feel the power and essence of your physicality...to focus on how good it feels to be healthy in flesh and blood. The next 4 weeks should be interesting...and at the end of them I will find myself exactly where I was (literally, since the dinner is again at Maggiano's) a year ago when I decided to start this project. How nice it will be to feel healthy and pretty in my dress when that night comes :)