Thursday, April 23, 2009

Weight Loss Hindered not Helped by Competition

It is my experience that competition (yes, I'm still ranting about the Biggest Loser) hinders rather than helps in weight loss.

Of course different people react differently...so maybe for some it is a good thing...

I think that collaboration and cooperation is a better solution than competition when it comes to our overall health and fitness. When we compete than it is necessary that someone win and therefore someone loses. Ego gets involved. We are either better or worse than another person.

My proposal is that we support and encourage one another...let's not vote one another off or worry about who is the biggest loser! Let's all be big winners!!! We can help each other--sometimes we gentle nudges, sometimes with loving kicks in the behind...and sometimes by leaving each other alone.

The truth is, it is harder to support and encourage with love because we have to put ourselves into the other person's shoes and really listen to them. It is much easier to focus just on ourselves and what we like, how we react...

I have certainly been "guilty" of this--even with this post...so if competition serves you--then use it! I ask that you please use it with others who also thrive on the competition. For like-minded people, competition can be the motivation they need...especially if they truly respect each other!

Competition about my physical appearance has set me up for failure in the past--because I was then comparing myself to others. It seemed that I always came out on the low end of the comparison, no matter what it was about. I was never good enough, pretty enough or my hips were too big or my eyes were crooked..whatever. The comparisons reinforced my negative feelings about myself.

Truth is, I competed just fine in other areas where I had more confidence. But comparing myself to others about my weight and appearance was too personal, too emotional...I was too sensitive about it.

The end result for me was that I gave up! I wasn't making as much progress as "Sue", or my hips were bigger than "Diane's" or because I was fatter than "Joan" or because I was a girl I couldn't lose weight as quickly as "Joe"...all of these comparisons led me down the path of despair and I lost confidence, faith and the desire to even try. If I couldn't be the best, what was the point of trying???

I have been able to shift a lot of my feelings and thoughts...about myself, my value as a human being, being worthy...and that is what allows me to be successful with my weight loss goals...and I still know that I am better served to come from love and support and allow my body and my spirit to be different from Sue, Diane, Joan and Joe...and to allow theirs to be different from mine.

So if you are a winner for health join me in supporting everyone else in their efforts to be healthy and fit and live the best life they possible can!

2 comments:

catherinecarey said...

Hi Laurie,

Awesome comments about using love and encouragement for supporting others!

It is harder. We have to think more and choose words based on what we observe or sense.

I'm linking to your blog post today because I'm intrigued about supporting with love and encouragement.

Thanks for blogging about respecting others where they are and using approaches specific for each person.

Catherine

Laurie Tossy said...

Catherine--thanks for the response. I hope I can continue to intrigue!

I know how supportive you are--with people like you the world is really better off!

Laurie