I have to admit that I’m hooked on the Biggest Loser reality show. When I first heard of it, I thought, “No way, I’m watching that.” I had preconceived notions I must admit. And then I watched one episode.
And boy, what a powerful, inspiring, heartwrenching 2 hours a night it is. I’m amazed that I haven’t missed an episode this season, thanks to the invention of the DVR. It’s reality TV sure – with all the drama, but once I got past all that, I learned a lot.
I can honestly say that I don’t consider myself overweight. But are any of us truly happy with our weight? I’ve had those extra pounds of “pregnancy” weight now for years. And when my doctor confirmed that for every decade you live, you usually gain 10 pounds, I cringed. Why on earth have I struggled with losing 10 silly pounds? Losing 10 would make me happy, 15 would put an eternal smile on my face. I think my body has “settled” and likes me right where I am. It’s a constant battle and let’s face it, as we age, gravity works against us.
So, I watch The Biggest Loser and I see these incredible people drop 5, 7, 10 pounds a week and I’m in awe. They workout hard, for six hours a day. They have drive, willpower, macho and moxie. And when that fails them, they have Bob or Jillian, the personal trainers, with an emphasis on PERSONAL. I have grown to love these two people, whose style of workouts and philosopy are sooo different. They really bond with the contestants. They become family.
Since watching this show, I have never felt better in my life. No, I don’t have a personal trainer, but I have an internal voice that yells at me and tells me to get up off my butt and get on the threadmill. When I’m relaxed on the couch, watching the boob tube, that same voice pushes me up. I work my weights and do pilates and think of Kelly, who is, I’ve decided my favorite on the show. She’s one of the two women remaining and clearly the underdog. I remember how she couldn’t make a walk up the mountain when the show first began. And now, since being on the show 15 weeks, she’s completed a triatholon- swimming, biking and running.
I have willpower when it comes to writing. I sit my butt in the chair and write, because it’s my passion, my job and my life. But I was never one to enjoy exercise. NEVER. It was always a chore. And my willpower waned and waned. I came to think of willpower as a four letter word – something I never wanted to face when it came to exercise. I made up excuses and rationalized why I couldn’t exercise that day. And I’d get an occasional walk in with my husband at night and feel justified that I’d gotten my dose in that day.
So now, I’m inspired. I move every day. I find time, though that’s my biggest obstacle. When I’m on a tight deadline (like now) it’s hard to leave the computer when the words are flowing to walk into the next room and climb onto that threadmill. Most days I do it – I find the time, but when I don’t – I work out at night, if even just for 20 or 30 minutes. I do pilates, lift my hand weights, do my squats and keep moving.
Willpower is much easier attained with motivation. The winner of the Biggest Loser gets $250,000. 00 Now that’s what I call incentive. But these once overweight, unhealthy, unmotivated people’s lives have changed forever. They all say, even if they don’t win the money, they have gained years on their lives. Priceless.
Willpower comes into play not only with exercise but with healthy lifestyle eating. I’ve learned that food isn’t the most important part of my day. I’ve also learned that I can eat as much as I want, but I need to put the right things into my body. That’s basic. We eat lots of chicken and shrimp and salmon. I eat fruit every day. I’ve learned to love salads. Not the boring, lettuce and tomato salads, but ones that include healthy things that I love. Sundried tomatoes, artichokes, olives, almonds and veggies. Put a few squirts of spray salad dressing on, add a slice of pita bread and I’m good to go.
Normally, people only eat 7 or 8 grams of fiber per day. To stay healthy and lose weight you need 30 or more grams.
Here’s a list of snack foods I’ve found that help me make it through the day . I never feel deprived. They’re delicious and nutritious:
100 Calories Packs (the ones high in fiber, low in sugar – gotta watch out for frauds)
100 Calorie Popcorn (only the high fiber ones)
Weight Watchers 1 point cakes (carrot and chocolate)
Weight Watchers candy (1 point only- I love the chocolate mints)
Quaker “Take Heart” instant oatmeal (Omega 3’s and many flavors)
So for me Willpower used to be like a four letter word, but thanks to one television show, I know I’ll always be on the track. I’ve lost weight and feel great. There’s the reward.
What about you? Do you have willpower or not? What’s your biggest obstacle, not just for weight loss or exercise, but in life? What inspires you to keep going?