Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Biggest Loser

The NBC show "The Biggest Loser" is one of my favorites, and I find it so inspiring. If you don't know the show, it's on Tuesday nights. It starts with 12 - 16 people on it. It is one of those reality elimination shows involving morbidly obese people competing for several large cash prizes. However I find this show is not just about losing weight. It's about finding themselves, figuring out why they allowed huge weight gain, and why they have not been able to gain control. It is so moving to me to witness their inner and outer transformations. Many have serious challenges at home, so they have not even put themselves on their own "list". They now have a unique opportunity to become the people they hope to become. They become very vulnerable at pivotal points along the way, and it seems that is the time they decide they are worthy of a huge change and improvement. I have cried many times watching it I guess because I can so relate.

First, I have a teeny weight issue. I weighed 30 pounds more than I weighed 6 years ago. I have lost 12 pounds so far. I am planning to get back to the 2004 weight. I have 18 more pounds to go. On Dr. Oz, the new way to look at our "perfect" weight zone is following this formula: At 5 feet we need to weight 100 pounds, then add 5 pounds for every inch over that, then we can range between + or - 10% of that total. So my 2004 weight fit into that range perfectly and I plan to go back there. If you do not know me before or during that time, I have always been thin, actually too thin. In 1992, I finally achieved an appropriate weight for someone my height. I maintained that weight until 1997 when I had a grand mall seizure due to a prescription medication. I was immediately taken off the medicine, but I was immediately put on another really strong medication for seizures. I, of course, knew I would not have another seizure because I knew what caused it. I wish I would have been more assertive with the doctors and gone with my instincts and not take the strong medication. It had a severe side effect, which directly caused a 30 pound weight gain within six months. By 2000, I had lost all the weight and maintained until the end of 2004. I began to eat to mask and stuff high pain levels. I ate myself back to the 30 pound overage. I have see-sawed up and down, which is terribly hard on the body. My poor, ravaged body has taken all it could, and basically gave up this summer. The signal was to stop, get control, heal, and listen.

So I have digressed from my original purpose, but I guess I needed to explain that one aspect of why "The Biggest Loser" inspires me. Another big reason I am so fascinated with this show is the emotional transformations through which these people go. They make incredible sacrifices, such as leaving their loved ones (some of them for months), taking a leave of absence from work or quitting their jobs, and leaving their entire support system or enabler system behind. At first, they are totally on their own, in a new environment, having to make changes in privacy and food intake, and are forced to confront their present state of health and physical readiness. Sometimes it takes someone else holding up the mirror to our faces for us to admit we need to make a change.

I wanted to make the change without someone else pointing it out for me. I am quite aware of my shortcomings and am a big believer that life is a process, a journey. This is a marathon and we always need to be pushing forward and attempting to improve in all areas of our lives. I am also a big believer that we need to love ourselves and accept who we are this very minute. Then we become worthy within our own hearts to make serious strides forward. It's the self-hate and loathing that keep us chained to inaction. When we do not like ourselves, we do not believe we are worthy of improvement and a better life. It's okay to say, "I like me", but better to say "I love me". It's great that we love ourselves. We need to keep repeating to ourselves positive self-affirmations. Sometimes it sounds like a lie, but it's important to keep the process going until we do believe we are great and worthy. We need to look at ourselves as Christ sees us. He sees us as we are, warts and all, but loves us deeply. He sees our potential and knows our infinite worth. He also knows all we are capable of accomplishing in this life. He doesn't want us to throw away the beautiful end product of who we can become, especially because of bad habits which we can change.

I would positively love to be able to talk to some of the contestants from this reality show to tell them how awesome they are, how they inspire me and many others, and how they are so worth all the emotional & physical work they are doing. And I would say to them as only Yogi Berra would say, "Half their work is physical and 90% is mental!" Haha!

Moving forward is all about pushing ourselves beyond our perceived limits. I actually like it when people say they are putting in 110%. Some people claim that's actually impossible, but I feel the opposite. We each have these mental barriers. We think to ourselves I am doing all I can, but truthfully if we keep moving forward, we can exceed our expectations. I am doing that now. I push myself every single day now. My body and mind have no way out; they simply must readjust. The proverbial carrot is always out in front but out of reach. I will consider my carrot caught when I reach all my goals. One such goal is complete health, healing, and wellness. I have others, including the weight loss I mentioned. I'd love to hear about some of your own stories about what I've discussed. One thing I don't want to debate is my weight loss. That's between me and me, but concerning any of the posts, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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