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The Biggest Loser

August 10, 2009

When I was at my heaviest and believed that there was nothing I could do to lose weight and change my life, I wished so badly to get a chance to go to army boot camp.  Basic training.  I always thought someone would have a great business if they would set up a boot camp including war games for out of shape executives.  In any case, this never happened and I am glad it didn’t.

I am glad because short term, radical change was the last thing in the world that I needed.  I only felt that I wanted it because it was a last resort and I was ready for a last resort.  It was also an easy fix.  Like a diet it would only be a short period of time and then I would be back to my life.  It wasn’t that I wanted it easy, I just wanted someone to kick my butt.  To make me work.
The person who needed to do that was me.  I didn’t know that then, but I do now.  So, what does this have to do with the biggest loser?  The biggest loser is the modern day equivalent to my dream boot camp (I love the Biggest Loser by the way).  We all know we could get fit if we went to the biggest loser.  We all know that, and wish we could be on that show.  Think about all of the motivators that they have, working hard in front of an international tv audience, fantastic trainers to push you, the risk of getting kicked off the show if you are in the bottom two of weight loss.  As well the lessons they teach on the show are fantastic (although the product placement is very disappointing), exercise and healthy eating.  Yet the idea is to lose weight very fast.  It is a crash course, and that appeals to all of us, especially us unfit.  15 pounds a week… that is unbelievable.  That doesn’t occur in the real world and who wouldn’t like to have such rapid change?
You will notice though, a good number of people fall back to their old lifestyles when they return home.  This is because the lessons they have learned have nothing to do with their real life.  They are taking months off to get fit.  This isn’t the world in which they got fat, so staying thin is very hard.  They go from boot camp back to work.  It must be very hard.  I don’t envy them that at all.  This is why you are much luckier than the people on the biggest loser because you aren’t on the show.
What you need is slow sustainable change within the confines of your life.  You need to learn how to set some goals that are within your reach, develop a plan and timeline to achieve that goal within the confines of your existing life, feedback your progress and repeat this pattern, the whole time not getting wrapped up in your weight-loss.
This isn’t easy, but it if you follow a reasonable plan, you can do this, sustain it and then you will discover why you are lucky not to be on the biggest loser.  You will find out while you are lucky to have all of the obstacles that you live with forming part of your challenge, strange as it sounds now.

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