Thursday, March 12, 2009

I feel like The Biggest Loser

I've never watched the show The Biggest Loser before this season. What drew me to it? I honestly don't know. Perhaps it was this season's theme of "couples" that drew me in. Most "couples" aren't actual couples but relations. Still, it was nice seeing the husband-and-wife team (they were the first kicked off) and the future-husband-and-wife team (they were the second kicked off) on the show. It gave me hope. I don't look at my husband as "fat" or anything, and he is in pretty good physical condition (thanks to his job and the army). But let's be honest... we could BOTH stand to use a few lbs or more (much more in my case). Yet I find it hard to do when around him. It's not that he purposely sabotages me or anything, but we both love junk food... he's a bigger salt guy and I'm a bigger sweet gal, but we both have more than our share of both.

So I watch these people who started out about my same weight (or close enough, anyway), and they're losing weight and I'm still thinking, 'this person has a way to go still' and they weigh less than me. Yes, I have a way to go myself.

And this week's episode really hit home to me for some reason. There was one team, clearly superior to the other and overly cocky. I was rooting for the other team kind of secretly, because I like rooting for the underdog. And the cocky team won. They won a challenge and a reward, and they still ended up winning after being gluttonous for 24 hours during that week. Then the always-losing team had to vote someone off. Last time they had to vote someone off, they sent their strongest player home. Dumb move. Dumb, dumb move. This week, they sent another very strong player home. Dumb move. But why? Well, because 3 of the team members had been on a team since the beginning, and they refuse to vote against each other. One is a mother-daughter duo, so of course they aren't going to vote for either of them, but the third person is a man whose lack of weight-loss has resulted in his team being up for elimination TWICE... he is CLEARLY the weakest player there... yet he is still there. He should've been sent home when the teams were re-formed.

But that's not what hit home... the thing that hit home to me was the fact that the person who was sent home had worked her BUTT off that week because she was going head-to-head against the strongest member of the other team, and she was worried about losing to him. She did. But she didn't just lose to him. She GAINED weight. In that week of her eating healthy and working out hours each day, she gained 2 pounds.

Her team and trainer were clearly shocked when she was weighed. She was devastated. And then the explanation the trainer gave was that she was very stressed that week. Stress.

Knowing how stressed I've been and how sick I've been and how irregular my periods have been and how my mental health has suffered and how my motivation is low and my cravings for comfort food are high and how sore my muscles have been and how messed up my sleep has been was not enough for me. SEEING how stress effected someone else who WAS not sick and DID not have some of the other issues I have right now, however, was enough. It hit home. Stress can take its toll.

Yes, I've KNOWN stress was probably a major cause for some of my ailments, if not all of them. And I've HEARD that thrown out as an explanation by doctors, friends, family, etc. And I've read articles and articles and lots of information about how to manage stress, but I just can't seem to find the real answer for me.

I mean, if your job is super stressful, maybe it's time to find a new job. But when that job hunt lasts for months and months and ends up turning into 2+ years of looking for really suitable employment-- something that REALLY matches your personality and skill set, THAT's even MORE stress.

I made a list a couple months ago of my stressors. Then I looked at what I could control and what I couldn't control. I've been trying not to stress about those things outside my control and focus on those things that I do have control over. But "don't stress" is easier said than done, and looking for a job is just an example of me working to change things within my control that may have added to my stress levels.

Now instead of skipping just about every other period, I've lately been skipping two in a row. Now instead of feeling sick one or two days a month, I'm feeling sick all but a handful of days each month in one way or another. I've had 3 colds, each lasting several days or more, in the past 2 months. I've also been sick to my stomach, had migraines, digestive problems, and other illnesses.

So, what I'm doing isn't working. And I've learned that eating well and exercising may help to an extent, but that's not going to solve my problem either.

I think the next season The Biggest Loser starts, I'm going to start with it and go on their website and try to follow along. I thought about enlisting my husband or a sibling or friend as support. But if they aren't there, at least I won't feel like I'm doing it alone. My "couple" will be me and the Internet. But in the meantime, I'm not giving up!


Living Advent said...

Hi Debra, I'm a long time lurker and first time commenter. I think I found your blog through linkedin as I used to work for F&C. I just wanted to say that my heart and prayers are going out to you. I know all too well the struggle with weight and stress. I was wondering if there's an LDS faith-based weight loss program? Since I'm Catholic, I tried a Catholic faith-based weight loss program and have lost 79 lbs in the last 15 months. Blessings, LA

Debra said...

I appreciate you writing. :) And I don't think there is such a program through my church, but I could be wrong. I will look into that. My mom, mother-in-law, and a friend have recommended Weight Watchers. I'm not sure if something like that's all I need to do. I really feel deep down that getting a new job will help quite a bit.