Week 8: Time for drastic measures?

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The ten week programme that is Biggest Loser is starting to draw to a close. I was going to say “wind down” but that is far from the truth - as the final weigh in and measuring session looms I’ve decided to push things as hard as I can towards the finish line.

I’ll be honest and say that I’ve not lost as much weight as I would have hoped for on Biggest Loser - despite a sustained effort and much shaking of my head when offered a biscuit or a glass of wine. I have driven past the chippy at the bottom of my street many times over the last eight weeks, the smell of the salt and vinegar almost bringing me to tears of longing, but I have resisted.

I have turned down nights out - knowing that my willpower isn’t strong enough to resist the temptation of a glass of wine or a couple of slices of toast when I got home again and I have eaten salad and vegetables until they are coming out of my ears.

But I’ve not, so far, dropped loads in terms of weight - even if my shape has changed and my fitness levels have rocketed.

I have to admit like many a dieter before I’m a little disappointed - because my mind has been quite fixated on the numbers on the scales. When I finish this process, short of a minor dose of cholera or an amputation of one of my limbs, I will still be really quite overweight. I may even still be that horrid obese word.

So one of my biggest lessons has been learning not to focus so much on the numbers on the scales. They have dropped, slowly if consistently and I know thanks to the advice of the team at Biggest Loser and the OLT that I have undergone a healthy and sustainable weightloss. I have lost fat - wobbly, icky, yucky fat - and I have built lean, strong, fat burning muscle. I have a mean right hook down which I didn’t have before.

But had I expected more? Some transformation like on the TV show where the contestants drop half their bodyweight? Yes, well I probably was. But then the contestants on the TV show are locked in a bootcamp 24/7 with trainers shouting at them to keep moving all the time. (I bumped into one of our trainers this week while nipping into the Centra for some lunch. I hid, even though I was being good and buying a salad. I was afraid he would make me drop and do 20 burpees there in the vegetable aisle. The TV contestants have no chance to hide.)

The long shot is, at times I have felt thoroughly disgusted when my weight has not dropped through the floor as I step on the scales.

But rather than go home and eat my emotions with a takeaway or an extra large bar of chocolate I’m trying to use those negative emotions to fuel me during workouts. When at our pool session this week (which still hasn’t transformed into an easy dose of aqua aerobics) we were told to punch the water as hard as we could I visualised each of the pounds I wanted rid of and punched the living daylights out of them.

And it worked - I came away determined to give the last two weeks my all and to accept that this is the start of a process I hope will become a permanent part of my life.

I loved that during the pool session this week I didn’t, at any time, pray for an early death like I had on the first week. I loved that while it was hard work, I didn’t feel as if it would defeat me.

But what I loved most about it was as we were getting changed afterwards the sense of community and friendship among my fellow losers was enough to also encourage me to give the next two weeks all I could.

All of us are wondering what we will do when the 10 weeks are over. All of us are saying we will miss the routine. All of us are saying we never believed we could enjoy exercise.

So, I won’t be walking away from this at my ultimate goal - but I’ll confidently be a lot closer to it than when I began. So now it is time for renewed focus. Two weeks - four classes - it’s time to give it my all and make a difference that will last.