I don't watch the Biggest Loser religiously. Mostly because EVERY SINGLE episode makes me cry (which equals Andrew making fun of me in weepy voices), sort of because it makes me feel like a fat, lazy slob, and only a little bit because it makes me super jealous that these people can lose 100 pounds in the time that it (hasn't) taken me to lose 20.
But last night I caught the "Biggest Loser, Where are They Now" show and I have to admit that while I did cry a little bit, it was actually pretty inspiring (and relieving).
It was inspiring to see how many contestants have taken on fitness for OTHER people. So many are trainers, coaches and fitness instructors now. It was really cool to know that they took what they learned and then passed it on, making sure the cycle doesn't stop. I really dig this about the way the show changes lives. It seems hokey on tv, but when the cameras are off and everyone goes back home, its nice to know that the impact continues.
It was relieving at the same time to see that many of the contestants have gained some weight back. I don't know if you caught this season's finale, but at least two of the contestants (ahem Rebecca and Tracy) looked flat out disgusting. As in, lay off the roids, disgusting. They looked so unnatural and dare I say, almost unhealthy?
So its nice to see that even with extreme weight loss, people still find their "happy weight." I mean, while they're on the show, they're trying to win money. That alone I'm sure drives people to weird eating and over exercising (one contestant said she works out 6 HOURS a DAY! SIX?! Seriously?! Doesn't she have a JOB?)
But when all is said and done, it is relieving to see that people can put on a few pounds, enjoy their lives and still be fit. That's what its all about, after all. MAINTENANCE. Enjoying life. NOT obsessing.
Which brings me to the reason that I'm posting this (FINALLY!) As I was watching last night, one of the former contestants was competing in the Kona Ironman (hard.core.) but he had put on some weight and wanted to do it to really prove to himself that he could. He finished dead last. But he finished. And I was totally inspired and jazzed by him saying "sometimes you just have to push yourself beyond what you think you can do just so you can see that you can, in fact, do what you thought you never could" (that's not a direct quote, i paraphrase).
So I decided to take his mentality to the gym with me today. I'm still recovering from surgery but have been cleared to run. So I still have some physical limitations that I'm struggling with. Like not being able to put my hand behind my head to do a sit-up (I didn't know it meant that much to me until now).
Anyhow, I got on the treadmill and just started going. My goal was 5 miles, which is half of the Broad Street Run that I intend to do in April. Everytime I felt an ache (every 40 seconds, basically), I remembered this contestant(who weighs 273 pounds, by the way) doing a FUCKING IRONMAN! I said to myself "you can absolutely do this. The only reason you don't is because you let aches and pains stop you." (Side note: I know that aches and pains mean your body is telling you something and I almost always pay attention, but this was about pushing myself so I worked through them. I do not advocate doing this all the time.)
And that was it. I talked myself through every instance of wanting to just get off. I slowed down for a bit and that's okay. I didn't stop running. And 55 minutes later, I was done. I didn't fall apart, I didn't die, I didn't even take more than a few minutes to get my heart rate back down to resting (which is good but means I didn't push hard enough).
I have really been thinking a lot about what stops us. Why do we decide to quit after 30 minutes and not do 10 more? Why do we skip that extra set of reps? Are we just lazy? Afraid we'll fail? (my trainer says, by the way, that lifting to failure is a good thing sometimes. Its still weird to hear him say "do reps until you fail" though).
What stops us??
My biggest stoppers are:
time (when I'm rushed and squeezing my workout in)
hunger (if I know I have a meal waiting)
just plain laziness (where I promise myself I'll do more tomorrow)
aches and pains (my knee, my back, my shoulder....you name it, it hurts)
What stops you from pushing a little harder? Running an extra mile? Lifting an extra 10 pounds?
And what would it take for you to not be stopped?