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Have you been a lone warrior trying to fight the battle of losing weight?
I think we all go through it, we look in the mirror one day and realize we no longer recognize ourselves.
Once you realize it, it keeps you up at night. It creeps into your everyday life.
You need to lose some weight! You have read about success story after success story.
You have seen people lose weight at work, at social gatherings, on television, online, everywhere. But it feels like you are the only one not losing weight.
Nothing seems to work!
You have tried changing your diet, looked into supplements, maybe you even went to see your doctor to get some advice – but lost nothing.
Right now, you know what you want and you are willing to put in the work. You are going to make a change in your life for the better and you are ready to start. So go ahead and start here. Let’s get you kicked off to a weight loss new year!
This is going to be in depth, but I want to give you all the tools and lessons I learned over the year. It is not about what we actually did to lose weight, but how we went about it.
Believe me, it may be a lot of preparation, but the results are worth it! I will be linking another post about our 90 pounds combined weight loss results soon and will post the link here.
What is a weight loss challenge?
Just in case you are unfamiliar, a weight loss challenge is when a group of people
For our challenges, we put up front $25 to join the new challenge. As we meet weekly, we get penalized for gaining weight, and other wagers we make. The harder you work towards losing weight, the less money you contribute and your odds of winning in the end increase!
Why a weight loss challenge like the Biggest Loser?
Facing weight loss alone is sometimes a losing battle and the world does not make being
Or even worse, if everyone at work is constantly bringing in unhealthy foods or birthday cake, what is stopping you from indulging?
A powerful group mentality will stop you. So will being accountable to yourself and others.
At the beginning of the year, I looked in the mirror and did not recognize myself. I had zero energy and no motivation to do anything. My baby was six months old and I was scared that I would not be able to keep up with her as she became a toddler. It was a frightening thought.
At the same time my sister had just had a baby, he was a few months old and she too was struggling to lose that
So I thought to myself, why don’t we try to lose weight together? I researched some group weight loss programs and saw many people did the Biggest Loser (a popular television show based around weight loss challenges), so I figured why don’t we come up with some guidelines and do something similar?
We did it and it worked! So now I want to share with you all the knowledge and insights we gained from basically doing a weight loss challenge for all of 2018.
Once you find a
#1 Find Your Weight Loss Squad
There are so many people going through what you are going. You are totally not alone. So find those people. What works the best for us is
The lowest hanging fruit is family and friends there are four of us in my squad. There must be someone in your family, or within your friends that you talk to about your weight loss struggles, tap into them. Weight loss and healthy living
But if none of them are motivated, reach out to:
- People at your church
- A fellow mom or dad
- Parents at your kid’s school
- That lady you chat with at the park every once in a while
- The people you volunteer with
I do want to emphasize, choose people you are comfortable with, they will be seeing your weight and struggles over time. I went from never letting anyone know my weight – to shouting it out in front of my weight squad as it started to come off. Bottom line, surround yourself with others that are motivated like you and who you trust.
#2 Come Up With Strong Rules and Guidelines
When it came to guidelines, we looked online and found some examples, here are the guidelines we used, they are ready to be used for a new year: 2019 Weight Loss Challenge Rules. We switched them up to help us meet our goals and to make things more challenging or to level the playing field. The first time we did it, it was a three month challenge and we met every other week. But we realized to be really accountable to each other we needed to start meeting weekly. We also realized that three months was too long, so we switched to about six weeks each round.
The Basic Rules that Worked Best for Us
- Challenge Length: Six Weeks Long
- Meeting: Every Sunday
weigh inregistration fee: $25
- Weigh in fee each week: $2
staythe same fee: $2
- Penalty per pound for gaining weight fee: $3
Penaltyfor missing the weigh in(including weight in fee): $7 Penaltyfor not meeting active minutes goal fee: $5
For the past few
We also switched up what criteria would be the winner of our challenges. Sometimes it was who lost the most weight, sometimes it was who lost the most body fat. There were other times when 50% of the money pot went towards whoever lost the most weight and 50% of the money pot went to whoever lost the most fat. Since we restarted it every six weeks, we aligned it with our weight loss goals.
One of our most successful challenges was when we chose teams, it was my cousin and
Player 1 Weight Loss Goal: 6 pounds
Player 2 Weight Loss Goal: 4 pounds
Total Team Weight Loss Goal: 10
Player 1 Weight Loss Goal: 7 pounds
Player 2 Weight Loss Goal: 4 pounds
Total Team Weight Loss Goal: 11
Regardless of the goal, the team that meets their goal wins. If both teams meet their goals, the
Bottom line, discuss your weight loss and health goals with your squad and come up with rules that
#3 Pick a Place to Weigh in Once a Week
You need a place to meet up each week. Since I was the one who initiated the challenge I volunteered to host our meet up at my house. We meet at 10 a.m. every Sunday morning.
Each time everyone meets up, I get the scale ready. I calibrate it with a
I also power up my laptop and prepare to gather everyone’s data right then and there.
If everyone is in a rush, we get our weigh in done pretty quickly. If we have time everyone can be at my house for over an hour. It is what you want to make of it, but coming together at the same time is very effective.
Since we are all ladies, my husband gives us privacy. We are also all moms, and we bring our kids so they can play together while we weigh in. My daughter (and my pups) enjoy it when everyone comes over. It is a mini play date for her.
Bottom line, whoever’s
#4 Track All of Your Data
Tracking the data is a great way to see your progress over the challenges. When we started our first challenge in January 2017, we never thought a year later we would still be doing it. So I am glad that I kept track of our stats the way I did. We have data for the whole year.
I will be honest, while I have kept track, my data is not neat and organized. I basically put our data into an Excel Spreadsheet, then would make space to put in the new challenge data at the top of the spreadsheet. If I had known then what I know now, I would have kept better track of my data.
I do not want you to make the same mistake! So here is an Excel Spreadsheet (same from above) that you can use to input your information. Here is a
Tailor it to what you need, if you want to track something else add it in. Make it your own. If you do come up with things that others should track, share the ideas with us by commenting below.
#5 Discuss Your Weight Loss Strategies Together
As mentioned above, it is important to choose a comfortable place to meet – that is because you need to discuss your past week. This is one way we stay on track and we discuss:
- Why we are doing this
- Tips to share
onweight loss, health andoverall life
- Our struggles over the week
- Our successes
- Really anything else we want to share,
weight relatedor otherwise
This is very important because going through the struggles of a weight loss challenge together is an amazing journey. At times there are struggles and other times victory, you are going to be there for each other through it all. When times get rough (and they will) it is your weight loss squad that will keep on going.
There were times when I just wanted to give up, times when I wanted to stop it all, but I could not because we were in it together helping each other out. If I had given up, I would have never gotten to the point I am at right now. It really has been
Bottom line, communicate with each other about everything, especially your struggles. Do your best to motivate each other. Keep in mind someone may have a great week, while someone else may have a bad week, be there to cheer each other when things are amazing and be there to lift up each other up when they are not so amazing.
Add In Mini-Challenges Along the Way
One thing that we began doing about
Here are some examples:
- No sugar for a week (one time we did no bread products or tortillas)
- 20 pushups a day or other fitness routines
- Eliminate one thing from your diet that is sabotaging your weight loss
- Log what you eat and send it to everyone daily (one time we logged calories)
- Drink green tea every morning
- Each day let us know one healthy thing you did to make progress
- Plank challenge
We would keep in touch via a group message. Each day we would check in and let everyone know that we completed our activity. Life does get in the way, so there are days when we forget to text everyone, that is fine it happens. But if you do miss a day of doing your activity, be ready to pay up.
Another thing we did was the Fitbit step challenge to see who gets the most steps. It was fun but we knew we had to step it up, so we started competing with our active minutes. One challenge the winner who got the most active minutes got a ‘5 hypothetical pounds’ added to their weight loss at the end of the challenge.
After that challenge, we had to meet the active minutes from our previous challenge, so we were going up against ourselves. If we did not meet our goal, we would have to pay $5, a pretty hefty fine.
Adding mini-challenges along the way really helps keep you on track. It makes you move and be active. There are weeks when we end up paying a lot of money, but it does two things:
- It grows the money pot and it teaches you to keep up with the challenges, especially when it gets really expensive.
- If you do not want to pay another extra $5 you will be jumping around the house Saturday night trying to add to your active minutes, trust me!
Bottom line, keep things fresh and fun, try a new rule every time you start a new challenge. Also, if things work great, keep doing them. If nobody is making progress, discuss what you can do to reignite your passion!
#7 Make Your Healthy Lifestyle Plan
Now that you know how to conduct a weight loss challenge, you also have to think about what you are going to do to lose
Do not start the challenge and think that being a part of a challenge will automatically make you lose the weight.
Take small steps at first, such as eliminating things from your diet like donuts and other junk foods. As you get better at that, replace them with veggies and fruits. Stop drinking your calories and replace those drinks with good old water or teas.
I am going to write more posts in the future on the changes I have made in my life to be healthier, more active and how I lost that pregnancy weight. I am also going to see if my weight loss squad will share their secrets to losing weight as well.
Bottom line, have a plan of action to conquer your health and weight loss goals!
I hope I gave you what you need to kick off a new year to losing weight!
For this challenge to work you must be in it for the long haul. It is not an overnight success story, it is a year of slow but steady progress. We made it work for us, so I know you can make it work for you and your future weight loss squad.
The best thing to do is stay in touch with one another, share your goals and aspirations beyond weight loss and health, be supportive and stick with one another through the good and bad times.
If someone does end up quitting, that is okay, this was not for them. You can try to find someone new or just get used to your squad being a bit smaller. Persevering together will make you closer.
Are you ready? If you have any questions let me know, you can contact me here. Please subscribe to my blog, I will share more tips and lessons learned on weight loss and parenting. I am also starting up on social networks, you can find me Pinterest. If you enjoyed this, please share it with your friends, especially those you want to include in your squad.
Thank you so much for reading this and I really want to hear back from you!