Deb – Being Competitive


Playing badminton with the kiddies tonight made me realize how competitive my family is.  One would imagine squeals of laughter and “got it”coming from our yard, but no.  Mostly it’s “haha.. you missed that one” and “hey don’t steal my shot”… and the dreaded “awwwww….. I SUCK at badminton”.  Just so we’re clear, I’m not the one doing the trash talking either.   Fact is, my family is so competitive it’s a wonder the newborns don’t hit the baby scale and yell out “9 pounds SEVEN ounces woohoooo. I BEAT YOU ALLL!”  So how does this relate to my weight loss? 

Well, highly competitive people know there are winners 🙂 and there are losers.  😦  Fact of life.  Which is why the gyms rub their hands in glee about March or April as the gyms empty out and they save tons of money in electricity bills while collecting that gym membership every month until December rolls around.  So, if we are on the loser side of things and can’t see the forest for the trees, how do we offset the “I suck” part of it?  Well, there’s always the age-old question of nature versus nurture. 

Or better put:  natural ability versus practice.

Look at the stats on gifted musicians.  Findings suggest natural talent is not always a precursor of success, but that practice always is.  Practice is determination, devotion, and a bald-faced refusal to quit even in the face of failure.  Practicing is HARD and it’s a time sucker.  We give up other parts of our lives to practice-practice-practice. 

Now flipping the coin, natural talent is EASY and most of us don’t even recognize our natural talents because it’s something we don’t have to think about.  I believe everyone has a natural talent regarding weight loss.  It could be a naturally high metabolism, it could be that you enjoy sports and are involved in them, it could be that you are good at making up healthy recipes, or that you are a whizz at  meal planning, calorie counting, saying NO, ordering healthy restaurant meals, keeping a food journal, etc. 

Maybe you’re like me – I’m a yo-yo dieter (gak!).  I’ve had LOTS of practice and the easy natural part of dieting is easy.   Have you heard yourself saying this?   -WARNING-  It SHOULD be easier than this.  I should be doing better than I am.  I KNOW better than this.  If you’re a 2nd timer, a pro, a yo-yo (ma) haha… or a habitual and chronic diet user,  you already know  – dieting looks like Natural Talent but it’s not! 

Dieting is Practice and Natural Talent mixed with something that makes it schmoooze together – kinda like a fatfree grilled cheese sandwich on WW bread with tomatoes and thinly sliced onion.  And who is holding that sandwich dear friends?  Your Weight Loss Support Network!!!! Sometimes  our weight loss support network (friends family etc) are the big difference in whether we slink off in failure or go on to achieve success that we never would have believed possible.    

Types of weight loss support:

1.   The Enabler.  Maybe you’re not ready to do this.   Let’s start on Monday and order nachos tonight.  If I bought you a gym membership, would you go?  Tactics include making you feel awkward, overweight, and like you are the only person on the planet or in their life that is ‘abnormal’, but always want to go out for lunch with you.   In the end, this person will make you feel like you’re a cat caught in a tree (that they baited with treats).   You’ll think it’s all your fault that you are 450 pounds and in a tree!!  Avoid.   

2.  The “I’ll Push You Til I Drop You” friend.    You just have to WANT it bad enough.  Let’s work out together for 6 days this week maybe you’ll lose more weight after this.   Didn’t you make that recipe I gave you this week?  Well, 1 pound is okay, but you should really try to lose 4 pounds next week.   In the end, this  frenemy usually stomps off to take on another failure protegee, and you are so happy to be free, your family finds you face down in a bucket of donut glaze at the back door of Tim Horton’s.    Avoid.

3. The “Let’s Give Up Together!” friend.   This is too hard.  I’m pretty close to my “natural” weight anyway.  You don’t want to get too skinny, it’s unattractive.  In the end, this person will be 50 pounds fatter when you see her next and chances are she’s just been diagnosed with severe atherosclerosis and ate her drug-eluting stent.   Avoid.

4.  The “I’ll Stand By You” friend.  Blog it out!  You just need to get over this plateau and you’ll be losing again.  Keep track of your food.  I’m not giving up on you.  You can’t beat this – it’s real, it’s true, and gosh-darn-it these people like you!  

To recap:

 Practice + Natural Talent + Good Weight Loss Support Network =  Weight Loss Winner!

Winners practice.  Losers rely on natural talent.  Having friends who help you get past the hurdles are like GOLD NUGGETS and if you compete with a person who is a lot smaller than you, I hope you see clearly through your competetitive fuddle –  that one day you may be the same size as him/her if you keep practicing!   NEVER GIVE UP!



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