As you may know, I’m a reality TV fanatic. My favourite of them all is The Biggest Loser. I am so motivated by what these people can do, by the challenges they face, the obstacles they overcome, and their sheer drive to lose an incredible amount of weight in a very short time.
Plus, I don’t eat a thing while I’m watching The Biggest Loser, which is good for me.
Recently one of this season’s contestants, Arthur Wornum, came to Ottawa. I happen to be FaceBook friends with the woman who helped to get him here, and I got the opportunity to meet him.
Arthur is about 5’6, in his 30s. He realized he was heavy when he stepped on the scales at 646 pounds. In fact, they told him he had to lose 100 pounds before they would even let him on The Biggest Loser. (He lost over 100 pounds.)
When I met him a couple of weeks ago, he was still about 345 pounds. Still very overweight, but he was thrilled at his progress. He had confidence overflowing, was even flirtatious and he was walking around like a stud. He knew he looked good, and when he looked in the mirror he saw a sexy man staring back at him. I’m not sure he even cared what other people saw at all.
It is so easy to get discouraged by listening to what other people say, and by listening to other people judge. Can you imagine if he listened to what others said?
I went to a gym class Arthur was attending. I expected him to wipe the floor with me. I see how Bob and Jillian train the contestants, and frankly, it looks much harder than what I do, that’s for sure.
But our workout was what I would consider very easy. I barely broke a sweat (and I’m not bragging about my fitness level here), but Arthur was out of breath, talking about how hard the workout was, and he was soaked with perspiration.
The next day, he and other Ottawa-based fans went out for a 10-km walk. I’m a runner, and that distance is a middle distance for me, so I didn’t blink an eye at that distance at all. Arthur had never walked that far before. While the average citizen doesn’t walk that far, again my assumption is that Arthur works out like a madman. That’s what I see when I watch the show, anyway.
Did you just get judgmental? I know I did. I assumed he would be in much better shape. I assumed that he still wanted to lose another 175 pounds and I found myself judging him based on what I thought he should achieve and do.
Naturally, I didn’t say anything to Arthur and I encouraged him to keep going and to keep on-the-right-track (of course I said that!). I am after all, a motivational speaker.
Arthur is a little different from most people. Most people in his situation would have given up long ago – if they’d ever even started on a weight-loss journey in the first place. Most people would be aware of the judgment of others and listen to it. They wouldn’t listen to their own inner voice cheering them on. They wouldn’t listen to the cheerleaders in their lives – they would listen to all the others who had something negative to say. And they would have given up.
Do you do that? Do you give up because of the negativity and judgment of others? When you meet someone and they ask you what you do, do you say “I’m just a….” When given a compliment, do you turn it around and say, “I couldn’t have done it without…”? Do you beat yourself up with your own self-talk? Are you harder on yourself than anyone else would ever dream of being?
We need to listen to the cheerleaders in our lives, not the nay-sayers. We need to give ourselves, and others, positive reinforcement. We need to stop worrying about the judgments of others and trying to live up the expectations that others have of us. Make your own goals, make your own scorecard and be proud of your own accomplishments regardless of how big or small they are.
Do not listen to society tell you that you should drive an expensive sports car, that if you don’t earn a six–figure salary you aren’t any good, that if you don’t wear size six you are fat and on and on.
You decide what your goals are and celebrate them. What is important to you? Not society. You.
Arthur is hoping to be 300 pounds by the finale on May 24. I hope he gets there. And if he never loses another pound, he has still been successful. This is his goal. I will personally be cheering him on instead of judging him or anyone else on that stage about their weight.
I will be sitting at home so proud of people I don’t even know.
I love hearing about your successes too. So this month, join our blog discussion just to brag about you. Tell us what goal you set, and are proud to have accomplished. Read about what others have done (and hopefully it will motivate you as well) and cheer them on by sending encouraging words. Not just about weight loss, but about anything you feel good about. Stop by to find out what my latest goal is, too.
I’m looking forward to cheering you on the same way I’ll be cheering for this season’s cast of The Biggest Loser.
Be proud, stand tall and keep on-the-right-track!