Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Biggest Loser

Did anyone else watch the season finale of "The Biggest Loser" last night? Holy moly those people looked good! Many of them lost over 100 lbs and cut their weight by more than 40%. Incredible. A bit extreme in just a few months but incredible nonetheless.

Since college, my weight has always been up and down. One of my heaviest times was when I worked for a particularly demanding company which I like to refer to as "Satan's Lair." I was working 10-12 hour days and most weekends. All to get yelled at or praised for yesterday's business. I was only as good as the numbers that I posted each day. Since my identity was completely wrapped up in my career, this misery took it's toll and it showed on the scale. I was too tired to assert will power. I was too unhappy to care. And to make matters worse, I didn't really notice the weight when I looked in the mirror. It wasn't until I found myself shopping in the women's department instead of the misses department that I realized how many extra pounds I was lugging around. Once I realized there was more to life than work and gained a balanced sense of my identity, I started working out and eating better.

My weight still bounced around depending on whether I prioritized working out (which I hate) or eating right (that's no fun either). But I was never as heavy as my days at "Satan's Lair." Until now that is.

I am officially topping the scales at the heaviest I've ever been. AHHHHHH!!! Lillian's illness and death have been beyond painful but it's not the same misery as I felt while working at "Satan's Lair." It's not that I'm too tired or that I don't care. I guess I just feel entitled. I hear this little person on my shoulder whispering "Hey you've been through a lot, treat yourself. C'mon you deserve that cookie/ice cream/pile of chips/etc."

That's part of the concern I mentioned before about letting cancer define me. I want to be Lillian's mommy. The mom who spent 2 wonderful years with a healthy child and 6 months with a sick child. The mom who can talk about her sweet girl without making people uncomfortable. I don't want to limit my identity as only the mom of a cancer kid. And I don't want my identity so wrapped up in one monumental event that I once again lose sight of a balanced sense of myself.

Last October I challenged Jeff to a Biggest Loser competition. He reluctantly agreed and spurred on by the competition, I lost 8 lbs the first week. That also happened to be the same week that Lillian was diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say the challenge fell by the wayside. As I've blogged about before, the hospital was not friendly to my waistline. And as I've also blogged about before, I tried to work out but that too quickly fizzled. I think it's gonna take a little friendly competition to motivate me to drop these extra lbs.

Soooooo, I'm issuing a challenge. Do you want to take a bite out of that muffin top? Do you want to stop those chicken wings from flapping? Do you want to silence the chub rub? Then join me in our own BIGGEST LOSER competition!!

We'll kick this off by submitting your weight via e-mail on January 1st. (Yep, you gotta share the digits peeps. We'll only share the numbers among the contestants. And you don't have to be local, we'll use the honor system.)

For those with short attention spans, we'll weigh in on April Fools Day and declare a winner.

For those who want to go the distance, double down at the 4/1 check point and continue to competition through the 4th of July. Then on July 4th, we'll celebrate our independence from love handles with a final weigh in and announce the winner based on the full 6 month period!

What do you win? (Aside from health and a longer life that is.) Well, if you want to be a contestant in this Biggest Loser competition, you've got to put your money where your mouth is. Each person has to pony up $100. And if you want to double down for 6 months, you'll have to dig deep and throw in $100 for EACH 3 month period. We'll pool the money and the person with the highest % of weight lost, wins it all after each checkpoint. It may sound like a steep entrance fee but to really motivate us, it has to be painful enough to lose and exciting enough to win, right?!

So grab some friends cause we want this pile of cash to be huge. And don't forget to snap a gruesome "before" pic cause we're all gonna want to celebrate your transformation on July 4th.

If you want to compete, e-mail us at I'm counting on you to be my motivation! (Guilt and cash prizes! Now that's what I call a competition.)


Jennifer December 19, 2007 at 5:27 PM  

I LOVE this idea. The finale was so amazing...they all looked incredible.

I gotta talk to Kevin, but I think we may both be in! I need something to kick my butt into shape...I do think there should be some honor system rules...such as no starving yourself...if we're all gonna succeed, we need to make a healthy life change. Just my two cents. Thanks for this awesome idea!!!!

Anonymous December 19, 2007 at 10:00 PM  

i wish i could!!! it's a great idea! i did a biggest loser competition at my gym last year, which kick-started my 50 lb weight loss. HOWEVER, i've gained back over 10 lbs, sooooo... i will try to join you guys in this endeavor. but i'll have to be a silent partner on this one!! we should work out together, i LOVE working out! it's the whole eating-right thing that always gets me! -Becci :)

Anonymous December 19, 2007 at 10:30 PM  

p.s. i am not happy that bill won!! i was rooting for julie!! it's about time a girl won that thing!!! -Becci :)

Sister of Me December 20, 2007 at 3:59 PM  

Count me in. Satan's Lair was no kinder to me, and I don't even have as good a reason as you right now as to why I've fallen off the bandwagon either....
no more dirty bird in the new year (or maybe just no more DB fries...!)


Anonymous December 21, 2007 at 10:58 AM  

Hi Lori, This is very intriguing but I must be a bit dense(or bad at math). When I see those shows, I never get the whole thing about % of weight loss. For me, to get to my IBW I need to lose about 15% of my total body weight,But for someone else to get to their IBW it might mean they need to lose 25% of their body weight. Ex: 150lbs-30lbs=120lbs or 20% of body wt 1751lbs-55lbs=120lbs or 32%of body wt does someone who has less overall wt to lose win this type of competition?I mean...we can all only be so skinny can't we? Can you explain this in your blog so I can understand? thanks, Laura

Lori December 21, 2007 at 1:55 PM  

Your math is correct Laura. Someone with only 15 lbs to lose will not have the same odds of winning as someone with 50 lbs to lose. That's why the heaviest people tend to win on The Biggest Loser. I did some quick research on Wikipedia and the winners from the first 4 seasons of Biggest Loser had a starting weight that was 22% heavier than the average competitor. But they also lost 60% more lbs than the average. So their loss outpaced their original weight advantage.

Generally, I think % makes better sense than lbs because it levels the playing field. A 300lb man could lose 50 lbs and a 200 lb woman could lost 33 lbs for the same % loss.

The timeframe also comes into play. Regardless of the overall weight you want to lose, you've only got 3 months (or 6 if you double down) to do it in this contest which also levels the playing field a bit. The recommended weekly weight loss is 2 lbs which means in 3 months, even those with a goal of 25 lbs to lose should be strong contenders!

I think the bigger trick is keeping it off which is why I'm going for the whole 6 months. I know of a group of guys that did a similar competition over 6 months. They started strong but in the end, almost all of them GAINED weight!

The Tucson Gang December 22, 2007 at 8:38 AM  

Right on sista...this sounds like fun! What fun - motivation and a group of friends to work out with! I can recommend a calorie counting website - it's free - it has helped me from time to time...focus in on what I'm much and the type. You'd be soooo surprised to know how many calories are in foods from your favorites restaurants that you think are good for you...but because of portion size or just the way they prepare it are actually HORRIBLE!!! The website is . I like having that accountibility...sometimes. I haven't been on in a few months...but this reminds me to get back to it and be diligent again. Check it out.

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