Competing for Confidence: A Unique Weight Loss Challenge

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Dec. 10 2012, Published 6:59 a.m. ET

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We all have that one friend…

Whatever the blank may be filled with, it differs for each person. There can be many different types of “that one friend” in each group. In this case, the friend is probably one of the sweetest people that you’d ever meet, but she’s the last person you’d call if you wanted to go out for a night on the town. Why? Because she’s a reflection of you, figuratively, without being a reflection of you, literally. When someone is uncomfortable in their own skin, you can smell it, and it’s not a pleasant scent. No one wants to go out with someone who doesn’t like to get just as dolled up as they do. No matter how casual an event is, I believe big t-shirts and sweat pants should be reserved for lounging around the house or at the gym, no exceptions. That’s my inspiration behind this journey, to help a friend feel fun again.

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The five of us graduated college within 2 semesters of each other. We’ve all put on a significant amount of weight throughout our collegiate career. Each has tried to get it off, some more successful than others. With fluctuating weight, it was always something we all had in common so it came up in conversation more than one could imagine. After graduating, each of us had faced many changes and challenges, adjusting to new cities, career moves (or lack thereof in my case), and being a “real adult” for the first time. It’s a journey we’re all experiencing together, offering advice and encouragement where we see fit, but the challenge we all have in common is our weight.

Me personally, I went from not weighing 100 pounds at the beginning of my freshman year in college, to pushing 165 on graduation day. For me, all this new weight is uncomfortable. I don’t like wearing shirts that show my arms, and my stomach is the most unattractive thing I think I carry. I want to be able to buy something without trying it on and knowing I won’t have to keep up with my receipt to come back and exchange it for a bigger size. But more importantly, I want to look better naked. Not for a man, but for me. I don’t like the way my birthday suit fits.

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That “one friend” in particular is always talking about her weight, yet doing nothing about it. She had her failed attempts at every crash diet invented, and always seems to relapse and/or quit. Again you can smell her unhappiness, and quite frankly I’m sick of it. We’re all in the same boat; let’s do something about it, together. Everyone needs a little motivation right?

A few text messages were sent amongst us, ideas floated around, members added, and a plan was created. For the next 3 months (starting Nov. 14 ending Feb. 14th) we will be in competition with ourselves and each other to reach our weight loss goals. We’re all motivated by money so to make things interesting; we will all put $20 in an account every 2 weeks until the competition is over. The winner takes all.

With the help of we will weigh in every Wednesday just so everyone knows where they are at and where their competition is. Skinnyo tracks the weight loss in percentages so everyone has a fair chance to win with no bias. We have a GroupMe chat and we send each other encouraging messages, trash talk, exercise & food tips, and more trash talk. We’re all single girls (this may or may not have any or everything to do with this unwanted weight…) and the competition ends on Valentines Day 2013. That happens to fall on the weekend that NBA All-Star Weekend will be hosted in Houston, where two of the members of the competition are currently residing. The three of us in Dallas decided we would road trip to Houston to celebrate as a group the weight we all will have lost.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our challenge: “Getting Fine With No Valentine.”

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