I’ve been doing a biggest loser style competition with about ten friends at my gym this year. We measure and weigh in every month and our results are posted in a chart for everyone to see.
The usual pattern for me on the first week; I’m quite motivated and I think to myself ‘yes, I’ve got a whole month to make a significant difference.’ By week two things slow down a bit, life gets busy and other priorities take place. ‘I’ve got time’ I say. Week three even slower and by week four it’s panic mode. I start looking for a quick fix and radical diet.
Am I alone in this?
I ask myself ‘Why is self image so important to me? Why does it sometimes consume my every thought?’
I’m not saying competition is bad.
Healthy competition encourages everyone involved to push themselves harder than they would have without competition, resulting in a personal achievement whether you win or lose.
I question if my approach is more of an unhealthy competition when my reaction to others’ success is negative, rather than inspiring or motivating. Unhealthy competition is where you associate shame with losing rather than see your own nobility for trying.
I admit this is an area I struggle in. It helps to have a great network of friends who are encouraging and not quick to judge.
I’m reminded of the scripture in the Bible;
Be strong, take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Your God is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down. He won’t leave you. (taken from the Message version)
Healthy competition requires courage. Being afraid but doing it anyway. If you’re not afraid of losing, it doesn’t take courage.
This six month competition has taught me to be vulnerable, admitting that I want something that I might not achieve.
I am expanding my courage. Courage to believe in myself and to put aside seeking approval from others. I choose healthy competition over unhealthy and encourage you to start applying courage in your everyday.
Be kind to yourself, step out with courage to change your ‘not so desirable’ patterns.