Sunday, April 29, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 Challenge - Final Results!

Since the Biggest Loser finale is on Tuesday, this is my final weigh-in for the challenge.  It may seem strange to weigh in today...but remember, the contestants always step on the actual doctor's scale Sunday before the finale anyway.  The numbers are recorded and programmed into the giant TV scale for Tuesday.  So technically, it's only fitting to make today the day!

Since my birthday was on Thursday, I did indulge a little...but I still made sure I got all of my workouts in.  I lost .6 pound this week.

But overall, I lost 17.4 pounds since the beginning of the challenge!  I'm really happy with that, especially after the stressful times in the past couple of months.  I didn't give up and lost as much as I could.  (And hey, the finale is two weeks earlier than I origially thought it would be...most likely because of the walk-off.)  I'm still proud of how far I've come.

I'm over 17 pounds lighter than I was in January - and that's an accomplishment!  How did you do?  Let me know so we can celebrate our successes together!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 - Finally the Final 3

Talk about an anticlimactic episode.

I suppose it was somewhat exciting, seeing all of the contestants come back for one last shot at the finale.  Well, almost all of them.  It was strange seeing Ben and Chism there, without Buddy and Mark.  I wonder how they were feeling, knowing their partners had walked off the show?

The weigh-in kept the people with the top 8 percentages of weight loss in the running, and then those 8 had to compete in a challenge.  The first part was 100 yard dash that took it down to five - Cassandra, Megan, Lauren, Mike and Jeremy.  The next part was a food/calorie puzzle, which brought it to three.  Lauren, Mike and Jeremy competed in the final part, holding a giant golden ticket over their heads while balancing on a platform.

I was really hoping Lauren or Mike would win at that point, mostly because all Jeremy seemed to do was whine about having to compete for his spot, and still complain about bringing everyone back. (Conda also still whined about the twist...she should know by now that second chances are what the Biggest Loser is all about.)  Dolvett was right to tell him to just forget about that and focus on the challenge. 

So Jeremy won his spot back, and joined Conda and Kim in the final three.  It looks like I'll be rooting for Kim.  And I'll actually be more interested in who takes the at-home prize this season.  I'd rather enjoy watching a more positive, inspiring person win something.

How about you?  Who would you like to win the grand prize and the at-home prize?  Drop me a line and share your thoughts!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 Challenge - Getting Closer to Finale and Running My Own Race

We're just a little over a week to the Biggest Loser Season 13 Finale.  And while I can't wait to finally see the finale so we can get this season from H-E-Double Hockey Sticks over with, I'm kind of sad that my challenge will be ending.

You see, I enjoy setting these goals for myself.  I don't always reach the exact number that I set at the beginning of a challenge, but I always make progress.  If I didn't set goals at all, I'd either stay stuck or take a step backwards.  Knowing that I challenged myself - and put it out there for the world to see, join in, encourage, judge or whatever they decide to do with it - I try harder.  I put in more effort.  Sometimes I hit the goal, sometimes I just come close.  Either way, I'm still a winner.

So today's weigh-in is another step closer to my goal, with a loss of 1.2 pounds.  Life is a marathon, not a sprint...and sometimes during the road race of life we have to climb steep hills or dodge falling rocks.  Staying in the race is the most important thing - sitting on the sidelines watching other people run is not an option.

You can bet after next week's finale I will set another goal for myself, whether it is connected to Biggest Loser or not.  There is no BL during the summer, and rumor has it that there will be no fall season coming up.  ("Rumour has it she's the one..."  NOW I have Adele playing in my head!)  No matter what is going on the the wild world of reality shows, we can all still reach our own personal goals. 

Please join me here as we all work on becoming the best we can be...any season, any time of year.  ALL THE TIME!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 - Walking Away a Loser

What a depressing episode...and for the way this season has gone so far, that's really saying something.

I find something positive in just about every show, and I still did this week. But first let's talk about the sad display of sour grapes and poor sportsmanship shown by the remaining contestants, especially the two that actually left.

All five players threatened to walk off the show, and it was really difficult to watch. The worst part was why - a game twist that not only happens almost every season but was ACTUALLY WRITTEN INTO THE CONTRACT that each person had to sign when they agreed to be on Biggest Loser. Yes, having the eliminated contestants come back the last week on campus to compete for a spot in the finals was in the contract, so the disgruntled remaining players really had nothing to stand on. Not to mention that this is a regular occurance on the show, no matter what week they bring them back.

Bob and Dolvett tried to talk them out of it. Alison brought in the lawyer (with the contract) and tried to help as well. But it was no use. Kim, Conda and Jeremy did decide to stay after thinking over what they would be throwing away if they left. I'm glad some people actually got the sense knocked into them. In the end, Mark and Buddy still left. Nothing they said as to their reasoning made any sense to me, or to most people I talked to on Twitter. They acted like spoiled toddlers who didn't get their way.

Alison tried hard to plaster a smile on her face when she met with the remaining three to go over the week ahead, but you could tell that underneath it all she was really upset. She announced the prize for the week, a new SUV, would go to the person who had the highest percentage of weight loss. She also mentioned that there would be a red line and the person who fell below would automatically go home.

The first of two highlights came when the three players watched their journeys back with their trainers. They were all moved by how far they've come, and it was nice to see Conda say that she was embarrassed when she watched her past behavior. That shows that she's actually doing some growing up...something Buddy and Mark could stand to learn, even though they're older than her and should know better.

Everyone worked extra hard to stay above the line, and Kim really wanted that car. So it didn't surprise me that she came in first at the weigh-in. What did shock me was how much she lost...15 pounds! That motivates me to work extra hard for my goals as well. This, of course, was my second highlight of the show.

Jeremy fell below the red line and was eliminated, but it looks like he will get to compete with the other eliminated contestants for the final spot for the grand prize. It will be interesting to see who winds up in the finals with Kim and Conda. Could we have an all female finale again?

And let's hope this season finishes well in spite of the sad drama and craziness. I actually can't wait for the finale so the season will be over, and I've never felt like that about any season, ever. I still hold out hope that I will be inspired though, by the handful of players who were a joy to watch. There has to be something good to come out of this season!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 Challenge - Chocolate Bunny Recovery

Yes, I gave in this week to Chocolate Bunny Syndrome. You know, the disease that hits many of us every spring at Easter time...Cadbury Creme Eggs, , Reese's Eggs, jellybeans and more seem to taunt us from every basket. And sometimes we just have to have one.

For me, it's always chocolate bunnies and eggs from Malley's. If you live in Cleveland you KNOW what I'm talking about. Once you have the good stuff from Malley's you become spoiled and it's nearly impossible to go back to "regular" old chocolate. And let's face it - if your going to veer off the healthy eating path for a treat (or two, or more) it better be something that tastes good enough to make the fat and calories worth it. There's nothing worse than wasting a splurge on something that tastes like crap, because you put your body through that and don't even enjoy it. THEN you still want the good stuff!

I enjoyed every single Malley's egg I put into my mouth. I still didn't eat as much of it as I used to, but I definitely indulged. I still worked out and ate pretty healthy the rest of the time. And I washed down my goodies with plenty of water.

The scale was relatively kind to me this morning...I did lose .6 pound in spite of Chocolate Bunny Syndrome. Considering that in most years I gained weight the week after Easter, this is a victory. I also learned that food doesn't have to be all or nothing. I'm not a terrible person if I treat myself once in a while, and I also don't have to go totally off the deep end and eat every piece of chocolate in sight along with several fast food meals because I've already "blown it". This is part of that balance I'm striving for, and it's ALWAYS a learning experience.

Now that the Easter chocolates are gone, it's time to get right back on plan. Basically I had already stayed on plan for the most part anyway while enjoying a few goodies. But swimsuit season will be here before I know it, so I want to do the best I can to get down another size before then. The suit I want to wear is ready, hanging around and patiently waiting for me to fit into it.

Time to get ready for summer. Are you with me? Let's hop to it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 - Makeovers Part 2, First Lady Fitness

Since we got to see the actual makeovers last week, you'd think this week would be anticlimactic.

And in a way, you would be right. After all, the best part of Makeover Week is the transformations. Once you see those there's usually not much else to the episode...but Biggest Loser found a way to give us some excitement anyway.

It was really great to watch everyone exercise with Michelle Obama, and especially fun to see how nervous Bob and Dolvett were to lead her in a workout. The one thing I really like about Mrs. Obama is her commitment to fitness and helping kids get and stay healthy. So the fact that she issued the contestants her own challenge was pretty cool. If you go to the Biggest Loser website you can sign up for this fitness challenge, and support your favorite remaining player by signing up under his or her name. Whoever gets the most sign-ups will receive a new gym in their community to help others get fit. I predict a lot of votes for Kim, and possibly Buddy or Mark. But who knows, we may be surprised!

Our dilemma for the week came from Chris. She talked to her husband at home, who was having a hard time without her and wanted her to come home. After she hung up, she literally ate away her feelings. There were all kinds of weird food combinations going on there - right in her room on the Biggest Loser campus. (How do you get that kind of junk up to your room there? Just saying.) Her mind was definitely not on the game, which Bob picked up on right away. He got her back in the right frame of mind so she wouldn't backslide into the old Chris anymore.

Have you ever done something like that? I know I have. I haven't eaten those kinds of foods mixed together...usually my binge of choice was something sweet and/or filled with chocolate, but I have gone the fast food route as well. It's important to stop that slide as soon as you can. Or as Bob said, if you're going to make a mistake like that you need to learn from it so the mistake was worthwhile. We all make those mistakes, but if we learn and do better next time then something good comes out of it. I know for me, realizing how crappy I feel after a sugar rush/crash/burn makes me choose a different, more productive way to deal with problems or stress. It's all a matter of perspective.

Unfortunately for Chris, she did enough damage during the week to cause a two pound gain. She fell below the yellow line with Kim. The rest of the players chose to save Kim, so Chris went home. It's good to see that she has continued to lose weight in her stressful home environment and is getting her whole family involved in fitness. So she did learn from her mistakes after all!

Next week looks like the drama we've all been waiting for - the episode where the remaining contestants walk off the show. I'm sick of drama this season, but curious to find out what exactly happened. With all of the stories floating around out there the last few weeks, maybe we'll learn the truth. Well, as close to the truth as reality show editing allows!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 Challenge - Easter

Yesterday I should have weighed in...but I forgot.

With so much going on for Easter, celebrating at home, church, and then having two dinners to attend - well, I got up early, praised God and got on with the celebration. So I will step on the scale next Sunday.

Now, celebrating didn't mean eating up a storm, even with the two dinners. I paced myself at both and ate carefully, enjoying only a couple of treats. The main thing was to thank Jesus for all He's done for me and spend time with family. That satisfies much more than food!

I hope you all had a blessed Easter, and that you keep the spirit of Easter alive in your hearts all the time, not just on Easter Sunday. Carry your love and gratefulness for all God has done into today and every day from now on. Be blessed all the time!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Power of My Own Words - From God

Have you ever gone back through an old diary or journal...and found nuggets of wisdom among the words you had written during a different time of your life that fit your situation now?

I just took it up a notch from there. I found hope, comfort - and yes, wisdom - in my novel manuscript.

I'm in the process of making final revisions in this manuscript so it will be ready as I pursue a publisher. These revisions will be done within a couple of weeks, since I set a deadline of my birthday to have it finished. (My earlier deadline of March 1st was not met because of the job from you-know-where...stress and time constraints really did a number on me.) My gift to myself that day, and to God, is to finally have the book done that He called me to do and ready for where He wants it to go next.

One of my main hopes with this book is that it will touch and inspire other people who are going for their dreams in the midst of other life issues. I was not prepared to have my own words come back at me in the revision process and inspire ME. But they did...not just a phrase or two, but throughout the last few chapters consistently. The overwhelming sense of hope that comes over me as I read these words calms me, even on the roughest days. I can only pray that when my novel is published, it moves other readers the same way.

The other emotion coming over me as I read, revise, and write is joy. The writing process brings me happiness like nothing else I've ever known. This is what it feels like to find your true passion and purpose in life. I've learned that even when other issues arise, my writing keeps my centered and closer to God. When in doubt, WRITE!

I know the true source of my writing talent, and the words themselves, come directly from God. He has given me the ability and the love for words, and I am His instrument as I write them down.

It's just like Him to comfort and inspire me through my own words - that is, the words He sends through me in the first place. I thank Him from the depths of my soul for His amazing and perfect ways!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 - Makeovers Part 1, AKA Taking a Swing at Life

I've been awaiting this episode for weeks.

And it's not just because I always love the makeovers. This time I actually wanted a contestant to get to Makeover Week solely because she needed one SO BADLY.

It's no secret to my Twitter friends that I couldn't wait to see Chris get rid of that gray hair that made her look at least twenty years older than she really is. I mean, come on...the woman is 42 years old and looked like she'd had her AARP card for years. I bet she always got the senior discount at restaurants too!

The makeovers began with Jeannie Mai styling the six remaining contestants with new clothes. Kim was really rocking that red dress - after Jeannie made her try on her old clothes first, the ones she wore for her audition. What a difference! Kim was happy to put them on because they were way too big now, but you could tell it still blew her mind to see where it had all started for her.

Jeannie told them all that she wanted them to look Presidential for the White House. Of course, with the hair Jeremy was sprouting on his chin he was already starting to channel Abraham Lincoln. I'm happy to report that he no longer looked like Abe when Ken Paves was done with him. And nobody else, thankfully, looked like a dead President either.

Everyone looked amazing. In past seasons there have been a couple of bad makeovers with either too much change or too little, but this time everyone got just what they needed. And what they needed included having their families see their new selves, which never fails to make me cry. Buddy likened his makeover, both inside and out, to finally taking a swing at life. I really like that analogy, because its true - you just have to get off the sidelines and get into the game. We should all be swinging for the bleachers...all the time.

And as for Chris? Her makeover did not disappoint. The gray is gone and she actually looks younger than 42 now. No more senior discounts without getting carded! She literally looks like a whole new woman, and I bet she feels like one too.

Next week is part two of the makeovers, as everyone works out with Michelle Obama and celebrates their new looks. Of course there's still some drama, and I hope Chris does not have to go home before her time. She's come such a long way that I'd like to see her enjoy it. I guess we'll find out next week what really happens!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Biggest Loser 13 Challenge - Just Keep Swimming...

It turns out that I have a lot in common with Dory.

Nemo's faithful friend isn't perfect, but she always does her best. And sometimes she has no idea how she wound up where she did, but she doesn't let it stop her from trying to get where she's supposed to be. She just keeps swimming.

This is a lot like my life right now. Sometimes things happen that really make me wonder how I wound up in such a weird or stressful situation. Then I try to figure out the best way to get from where I am to where I need to be. But I keep on swimming, otherwise I would just sink.

I lost almost a pound this week, .8 to be exact. It's time for the usual monthly gift with all of it's aches and pains, but I keep pushing through it the best I can, along with the roller coaster ride of life. Considering that I'm also still trying to find that part time retail job to help out as my writing career builds - and working hard at that building process - well, it's been a busy week balancing everything. But I love writing and it's my true passion, so it's completely worth it even on the days that I don't know which end is up. So I dive in and swim like crazy.

One thing I will never, ever do is give up. I may have moments when I feel like crying or at least yelling when no one else is around, but I make it through those and press forward toward my goals. God often reminds me to trust Him, so I know it will all turn out well in the end. He will get me where I need to go as long as I give it over to Him.

All I know is that I have to keep on praying and swimming. Things are going to be all right!