Monday, October 15, 2007

Aight, so. The Biggest Loser thing.

Two weeks ago I received a very innocuous email in my work inbox from a friend of mine who asked if I wanted to do a weight loss challenge. I was all for it, assuming it was just a thing among our friends and we'd go walking after school and maybe go for salads on Friday nights and it'd be fun and I'd be able to blog about it and that was it. I was so, so wrong.

It ended up being a school-wide thing, and we were divided up into teams of five with each member assigned to a team so we would all roughly have the same aggregate weight. So it was kind of like a team comprised of The Fat Girl, The Kind of Chunky Girl, The Two Ladies Who Want to Lose 10 lbs. Before Their Retirement Cruises in 2008, and The Girl Who Really Had No Business Losing Weight At All. I'm sure you can all guess which role I'm occupying in this debacle. I am on a team with Gen, she of the hotdogs wrapped in cheese infamy from a prior post, and before we even started the challenge I started hiding my carbs from her ever-watchful eyes during lunch. God help me when I walk into the cafeteria on baked potato day, because I feel like I have to go home and put on a hairshirt or flagellate myself to work out the palpable disappointment she has for those of us not strong (or masochistic) enough to endure Atkins for the duration of this thing.

Anyway, so things kind of got out of hand the first week when a huge argument ensued amongst the Ladies Who Lunch (although not so much now) about whether we should choose the winner by the amount of pounds lost or the percentage of their starting weight lost. I was the one who suggested the percentage thing, figuring it wasn't fair if the thin women who joined the challenge to build muscle or get healthier couldn't even begin to compete with the substantially larger women who could lose 10 lbs. just by cutting out sugared sodas. Apparently this was high blasphemy to the other women, who started screeching about "ridiculous amounts of algebra involved" and other blindingly intelligent statements about skinny bitches who didn't need the win anyway. We reached a detente by dividing up the kitty (we're each paying $10 to lose weight) so that the person who lost the highest percentage of body weight got an individual prize, and the team who lost the most poundage would get a separate prize. All was well in Mudville until another woman suggested whoever gained or who just didn't lose that would should have to pay a penalty fee into the kitty. At this point I stalked out of the lunchroom, a Gladware container of whole wheat spaghetti in my hands and a look of supreme disgust on my face. I think I may have told her what I thought of her idea in slightly too-harsh terms, because now she doesn't make eye contact with me in the hall. I'm fine with this, as it seems to have simultaneously abated her entreaties for me to accompany her to an Assembly of God speed-dating night next month. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

I wrote the above half of this post at the beginning of last week when my mouth was filled with the pleasant, minty taste of indignation and I had lots and lots of bad things to say about this challenge. I guess I've backed off this week, mostly because, well, my team's in the lead (the prospect of easy money usually shuts me up pretty quickly), and also because the attitudes from all the teams has made a profound switch from catty to supportive and that's heartening to see. I'm still worried about the women who leave the nurse's office in tears because they only lost a pound and their friends lost seven that week, and we've all been commenting on how gaunt my friend Stacie's face is looking since she stopped eating solid foods and started sucking down protein shakes for every meal, but I guess a thing like this is all about figuring out your own limits and what's healthy for you, and not what's healthy for everyone else.

I'm doing pretty well on my own; I'm sitting very comfortably at about 210.5 lbs. this week, which means I've had a 3 lb. loss in the last ten days and I've also officially reached my goal of losing 10% of my body weight (were I still in Weight Watchers I would be fondling my 10% keychain right now). I'm very, very happy with the progress I've been making and as the clothes start to get a little bit looser each day I'm more and more motivated to keep plodding along. I have two new goals for the end of 2007: First, I'd like to drop under 200 by New Year's Eve, which I think is imminently doable in eleven weeks, and I'd also like to completely pay off my credit card debt by December 31st as well (slightly less easy, but certainly within reach if I can break my habit of staring lovingly at high-heeled boots on for the rest of the year).

One other major goal is to seriously try to get moving again. I baaaadly need to exercise, or else all this fat loss is going to turn into muscle loss and someday I'll be 104 lbs. of pure jiggle and that ain't pretty. I've confessed before that I really despise exercising, and I hate nothing more than getting home from work and having to change clothes and go right back out to hit the gym. With this second job and the screwed up hours of our local rec center, especially, it's very difficult during the school year and I don't ever seem to make in time to actually do anything. I would ultimately like to buy a used treadmill sometime early next year after I've finished paying down some stuff, but in the meantime I'm going to actually use my gym membership and start slowly like how I slowly got the eating and the crazy thing under control. This week all I'm going to make myself do is three 30-minute workouts and that's it. It's lame, I know, but any other time I've created elaborate workout schedules and resolved to pick up my 90 minute/5-6 days a week workout regime from days of yore, it never works out. I gotta start thinking less like College Student With No Perceivable Responsiblities Erin who could go to the gym at 10 am as easily as 10 pm and more like Old Lady Erin Who Gets Excited Over a Good Pair of Naturalizers and Also Has More Bills Than Time and realize I can't go full out until I've built up the stamina and the desire to do so.

I actually get a week where I'll be home at night more than not, so I'm looking forward to checking in with each of you soon. Have a great week, and take very good care of you!


Anonymous said...

I am working on the eating thing first before I get this chub ass in gear. I wish I was brave enough to join a biggest loser game. Instead my room mate and I tivo it and watch it late at night and talk about how to get our asses in gear. haha, your my hero.

Marshmallow said...

Boy, I would've had a lot of arguments against this sort of thing - mind you, I don't have anyone who would ever compete in this sort of IMMA TAKE Y'ALL DOWN WIF MAH WEIGHT LOSS challenge, since for most of my friends, weight loss isn't on the agenda for them, and for anyone who is trying to lose weight, their journey is very personal and the only thing they want is support and encouragement, rather than competition.

Good luck!

MB said...

The only fair way to have a weight loss competition is to do it by percentage not pounds.

We used to have a *Weight Off* at work every year but it got so crazy. There were girls that were so competitive they would eat nothing but eggs and tuna and run on the treadmill wearing trash bags to sweat it off. They would, of course, gain all of the weight they lost back but they won the $$. It just didn't seem fair to those of us who were trying to lose the weight and keep it off and not just lose it for the $$.

PastaQueen said...

who started screeching about "ridiculous amounts of algebra involved"

Heh, aren't you all...teachers?

*ccc* said...

Oy...those conversations about the weight loss challenge would have meant I ended up lunching alone. I have too much of a big mouth (and a quasi-bad attitde right now) that would've gotten me kicked right out of the competition :)

And in regards to the exercise--you are absolutely doing the right thing. Baby steps, woman, baby steps. Start with your smaller workouts and build up.

Abba said...

I wish I could do a weight loss challenge at work. I work with a lot of heavy people like myself. However, I know they wouldn't be up for it. Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up and God forbid if they can't have their turkey and eat it too. Great job on hitting your 10%!!!