Thursday, December 15, 2011


Another Biggest Loser finally came to an end. While 25 people started, only five people made it to the final workout, with six weighing in—a completion rate of just 24%. That’s about half of what it usually is (typically it’s around 50%).

Part of it was the holidays, shopping, and a few people had injuries or illness. But I always wonder why many of the others simply couldn’t make it. Dropping out is all too common a problem these days, especially with exercise programs and weight loss.

People can know they need to change, even want to change, but it’s often hard finding the will to change. It’s tough coming up with that thing deep inside where quitting is not an option, and you’re willing to do whatever it takes, no matter how long it takes.

12 weeks seems like such a long time when you’re in it, but when you look back, it’s over pretty fast. Compared to a year, it’s pretty short. Compared to a life, it’s not even a blip on the screen. But if you can finish, it’s often produces lasting change. So how do you stick it out? Five women finished the program, so what made them different? I asked them how they did it:

  • “The knowledge of the scale helped a lot—seeing those extra parameters like water percentage and metabolic age kept me motivated.”
  • “Having someone to workout with every time—we scheduled it. It made us more accountable.”
  • “I became moody if I didn’t go.”
  • “I learned that when I weighed in, it was a new week—even if I messed up, ate too much, or didn’t workout, it was a new week and a new start.”
  • “Writing down the calories.”
  • “Being honest—realizing that I was fatter than I thought.”
  • “I wasn’t going to go into another New Years and have to make another resolution.”
One guy also finished, but had to work and missed the final. I’d spoken with him in the gym, and he was always motivated. At that point he was focusing on building muscle.

Four of the five women only missed one of the 13 sessions; the other had perfect attendance. That alone goes a long way to explain their success. So I asked them what difficulties they’d faced along the way:
  • “Scheduling my workouts.”
  • “My guilty feelings—taking away from family and work.”
  • “Laziness.”
  • “Being motivated.”
  • “Being honest.”
Finally, I asked them what they’d want to tell someone who might be struggling:

  • “Do something.”
  • “Get started.”
  • “Everybody has time.”
  • “Quit making excuses.”
  • “I wish I’d done this earlier.”
Our overall Biggest Loser was Michelle Clark, who lost 15.8% of her body weight, and 26.2 lbs. Vince Porter was second, losing 13.5% and 33.6 lbs. Kara Englum finished third, losing 9.9% and 16.8 lbs. Sande Sherer placed fourth, losing 9.0% and 17.0 lbs. Darcy Midgley was fifth, losing 8.1% and 19.6 lbs, and Shirley Fiscus was sixth, losing 7.4% and 16.0 lbs.

If you have any questions about exercise or weight loss, or would like to weigh in on whether we should do another Biggest Loser “15” after the New Year, feel free to contact Tom through Facebook at !

No comments: