Monday, May 7, 2007

The Biggest Loser

My Sunday school class wrapped up a “Biggest Loser” competition yesterday. Twelve members participated and lost a total of 237 pounds in four months! Isn’t that amazing? I’m so excited for them. A couple have each lost nearly 50 pounds. Two others have each lost 30 pounds. Several are now exercising regularly, and the eating habits of all have improved. The fellow who won the competition lost 20.27% of his body weight, or 48 pounds. He originates from Honduras, and when I asked him what the secret to his weight loss was, he replied that he was eating the type of foods he ate in Honduras and the portion sizes they eat in that country. What does that say about Americans as a whole? We are some super-sized, buffet loving, meat seeking, all-you-can-eat folks. I am just as guilty as the next guy. How did we get to this point? I’m trying really hard now to pay attention to portion sizes and amounts when I eat out, but it’s hard when they shove two loaves of bread and a bucket of salad at you before you even get the entrée. I have this love/hate relationship with the special at AppleBee’s that allows you to order an appetizer, entrée and dessert as a package deal. That blonde brownie caramel concoction is the devil on a plate. The blessing for my meals should probably start out with “Lord forgive me for what I am about to do….”


janjanmom said...

"That blonde brownie caramel concoction is the devil on a plate."

Most brownie concoctions are.

Please email me specifics on how you did this whole biggest loser thing at your church. I want to organize one at our church-but I don't think people(me!) want their weights posted(eveh!)for all to see. Did you do that? Posting losses would be fine-but not weights. Who keeps track?Does one person know everyone's weight?(gasp!)

hulagirlatheart said...

I will email you but post this publicly too, in case anyone else is interested. Our Sunday school class is a close knit group, so it was the perfect venue for this. We kicked off the event by holding a big meal featuring our favorite fattening foods, ie..cheeseburgers, hot wings, turtle cake. We weighed that night to get our starting weights and then weighed each Sunday morning when we got to Sunday school. We kept a scale (same one we initially weighed with) in the small bathroom at church so that we were all weighing at the same time in the same place on the same scale. Each person weighed in private with the weighmaster (me). That way no one else saw your weight, and you could take off shoes and sweaters etc.. if you wanted to. I was the only person who knew all of the weights and kept track of the progress each week. I was not participating in the weight loss so I had no reason to tamper with numbers and was elected to the position so everyone was okay with me knowing their weight. A couple of folks were a little uneasy about sharing their weight at first but then got over that pretty quickly. I never shared anyone's weight with anyone else, not even with my husband. I kept all of the paperwork in case anyone had any questions or wanted to double check my numbers. I posted only the weekly losses or gains, ie... -4 pounds for each person and not their actual weights. I also included their total loss to date. This was posted on our Sunday school bulletin board, so even though anyone could come in and see it (and some did), it wasn't displayed in a really public place within the church. Anyone who missed church had to stop by the two either two days before or afterward to weigh in. They left the weight for me on a slip of paper in an envelope. You had to pay $1 per pound gained each week. The winner was determined by percentage of body weight lost, not total pounds lost. The key to our success seemed to be the intimacy of our group. We're really close and supported each other. The peer pressure was helpful, too, but the most successful folks had really made up their minds to make a lifestyle change and do something about their weight. They also included plenty of exercise in their schedule. Some folks are still losing and the ones who have reached their goals want to maintain, so I think we're going to do a monthly weigh-in from now on with $1 fines for every pound gained above your May 6th weight. The money will go toward a charity or mission.