Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Finish What You Started

I love the Biggest Loser TV show.  I also know that by writing that sentence, a lot of people will come to this blog, read that, and immediately click to something else. Whatever floats your boat.

In the first seasons of this show it seemed that all the emphasis was simply on pounding the weight off the contestants.  However, as time went by and some of the first season's contestants began to almost immediately regain the weight they'd lost, a shift took place within the producers and the trainers and they realized it was about way more than exercising and feeding these people smaller portions of food.  That is when I really began to like this show.

This is not to say that I enjoy seeing people's raw pain poured out as they work their way through their journey, but it does somehow remind me they are not special.  They've let their eating get out of control for one reason or another;  many of them have medical issues that contributed to their weight gain or make it challenging for them to exercise. Other than the fact that they got chosen to go on that show, they are just like me.

This season in particular has seemed to be a kinder, gentler season than usual.  Not as much in-fighting and game playing has gone on and the contestants genuinely seem to like and support one another.  They have been so nice, I never really rooted for any one of them in particular because I liked them all for various reaons.  However, as these past few weeks have gone by I have not been able to help but root for the Purple/Sister team of Hannah and Olivia.  Their transformation - inside and out - has been remarkable. And maybe I do feel a bit of empathy in particular for them because they both faced physical and medical challenges that should have made it impossible for them to be in the final two - and yet they are! Olivia in particular has said some things over the last two weeks that have absolutely struck me and made me realize there are some things I still need to work on.

When people meet me then find out I run there is usually a look of surprise on their face.  I don't look like what a "typical" runner should look like.  There have been times when I have let that perception leak into my soul and I have refused to participate in running events that I would have liked to participate in.  Nothing to be said but shame on me.

As I ran on the treadmill this morning (day 4 of pouring rain) and watched Biggest Loser, Olivia's joy was just leaping off the screen.  She was working out like a maniac and no matter the hardest thing she was given to do, she went at it like she was an elite athlete.  During one of her side interviews she said, "So what if you don't 'look' like a champion.  You can be a champion!  If you want it, you can dream it and go on and get it."   At the weigh in, she then went on to express how she never, ever has finished what she started and that her moment of victory was not making the Final Two or the amount of weight she'd lost (112 lbs.!) but that she was finishing what she started. 

As I've mentioned a time or twelve, I have not always been overweight, so I have photos of what my possibilites are. I said in last week's Good Enough to Eat post that every time I've been at a lower weight, it was never enough, for me. Yet looking through those photos I realized that I would love to be back there now. Again, inspired by Olivia I swore to you that when I get there, whereever it is, I will be good enough.

What I didn't share then was I also had a realization that probably in the last year or so I've begun to give up hope that my thyroid will cooperate and I would ever look and feel "normal" again. The problem with that is that this sort of attitude shifts me into justifications of overindulgence, ahem, like the glass of wine I sipped on while looking at those photos. "No matter what I do my thyroid is not cooperating so screw it, I'll just have (fill in the blank)  ______"

This sort of crazy thought pattern and behavior will come to a screeching halt right now. Even if I don't see spectacular results, when I have stayed positive and focused in the past, I at least got results, albeit slowly. This morning  I realized, there is a Champion inside of me that is dying to get out!  I have reached that point... that breaking point where you just know in your heart of hearts that things cannot continue the way they have been. I am ready to finish the journey I started (<-------click there you won't regret it). Period. You can call me on it if you see otherwise.


  1. Thank you m'aam....I am going to get on my elliptical and watch last night's episode. You pushed me to that place.

  2. Awesome poem!

    I like Biggest Loser too. I didn't watch the beginning seasons, I've just been watching the last 3 I think. It's one of the only things that the WHOLE family watches, even the kids. I've been on a rampage trying to get away from the frozen pizza and mac and cheese and we've all learned a lot. Can't wait to see that Champion come out of you! Good for you!

  3. I wrote about BL this morning too. I've never been affected by that show much until this season. I'm so motivated by them. Whatever works I guess!! :) Great post my friend!

  4. I've enjoyed this season much more and found it much more inspirational without the backbiting and game playing.
    Though I still feel like a few of the older folk got "played" out of staying to keep the younger set there. I don't agree with that kind of universal belief.
    Last night's show was really inspirational. They all look so great!
    I loved how when they were in New Zealand Hannah didn't just swing across that gorge she "air strutted" across it! I'd like to find that on video!

  5. I quit watching the show several years ago for the reasons you mentioned. Perhaps it's time to give it another go. That poem - is whatever-word-that-Helen-likes-instead-of-awesome!

  6. I have enjoyed BL this season as well. Not as much backstabbing and game play. I always hated the gameplay.

    Finishing what you started is the hardest thing. I think it's even harder than starting. But it gives the greatest satisfaction. Right there with ya. Gotta finish this thing. Let's do it!

  7. What Olivia said last night really struck a cord with me too, Helen! I have always been the same way - " a great starter, but never a finisher". When I started this weight loss journey almost 3 years ago, I decided that no matter how frickin' long it took, I was going to finish! I may be 90 when I get there, but damn I'll be hottest chick in the nursing home ;)

    I totally get you with the thyroid issue also. I was diagnosed with 6 large nodules on my thyroid this year and I'm still fighting with the docs on what to do about it. In the meantime, I notice that exercise really helps me not feel as awful/exhausted. Sounds like it would be the opposite, but for me, it works. Now if I could just get it to help with the weight part... I'd be golden :)

  8. You switch has been flipped. Remember this moment, this feeling, this realization. You have nowhere to go but up, even when things around you get tough. You are tougher.

  9. "Finish what you start." That could be a adage for just about everything. It's so simple and so true.

  10. This has definately been a great season on biggest loser...I actually thought...uhm, can't remember her name, the other girl in the final 4)should have bowed out due to she probably doesnt have much more to lose and the others still can. I think it will be hard for the girls to win, because they are all so skinny.
    Loved Olivia's speech as well. Last night was definately an inspiring episode.

  11. I think I am about the only one in America who has never seen an episode of TBL. I really have no interest in it.

    I do, however, have interest in your statement about the excuses. I tend to let my 'curvy' nature or the fact that I am in my 40s keep me from "starving myself" to get smaller. When in actuality, I could just cut out the extra snacking and be a little hungry for dinner, you know?

    It's close to clicking, but just hasn't gotten there yet. I will look to you for inspiration.

  12. Your first paragraph was bitchy. ;-)
    A champion (of which I know you are) does not refer to their body parts in negative ways. I'm not saying you're doing that today. I decided to call you on it again.

    The only part of the biggest loser I saw this season was about 5 minutes last night when the two sisters weighed in. I'm very close with my sister and we have both struggled for years with weight issues so it was a very touching moment for me to catch.

  13. I have not watched it this season but thank you for sharing your thoughts about it.

    I love your attitude and the fact that you want to finish what you started. I do think you are a champion with all of your running, and your commitment to exercise. I admire you for it!

  14. Great post Helen!! Your statement "when people meet me then find out I run, there is usually a look of surprise because I don't look like a "typical" runner. Boy, I certainly relate to that statement, but you know what I always say to myself "you are a strong healthy woman so don't worry about your size". It took me years to feel that way. I still would like to lose a few pounds but has long as I can still run and and do some form of exercise everyday, its a win win happy day!! Thank you for this great post. :)

  15. Before I click on the link, what I also like is what Hannah said - for her, her "best" wasn't ever good enough - she was her one worst critic, no matter what other people said how good she was.

    She stood on the scale and said "my best is good enough!" What a huge break through - for both her and Olivia.

    Right now I don't look like an athlete, but I am pretending that I am each step of the way until I get to goal.

    Great post Helen! :D

  16. What an inspiring post Helen. You should print it out so you can keep looking at it.

    It's very inspiring and motivating to read this and I hope some of your spirit will fall on me and I will finish what I once started.

    I've never seen TBL by the way, because it's not aired here.

  17. Great post as always Helen! Thank you. Have a great day! (and I hang my head, I've never watched the BL)