I am not a person who wins things.
When I was four years old, I won an Easter egg painting competition. That’s been it for almost 27 years.
Don’t feel sorry for me. I mean, I’m totally ok with it. Who really wants to win a years supply of red onions anyway? No thanks.
It’s gotten to the point where I enter competitions for the thrill of knowing I’m not going to win. Win six months supply of adult nappies? I’m in! The chance to win a free Eiffel tower tattoo on your back? Hold me back!
My luck is just not great when it comes to competitions.
I do have very good luck at being the person at a restaurant who will have their meal forgotten though. Or, the person most likely to be on the flight where the pilot will have to slam on the brakes at the end of the runway. But near death experiences aside, actually cool competitions where you want to win and feel a sense of success, pride and accomplishment? Nope.
Over the last six weeks I’ve been participating in the HR Biggest Loser with my amazing workmates. We each put in $10 a week and were subjected to weekly weigh-ins (“For the last time – Leave the scales where they are!!!”), substitutions (“I’ll have a glass of red thanks, there are too many calories in white wine”), and weird food experiments (“Chickpeas in cookies are a crime against nature”).
Early on it became less about the money to be won and more about how we were going to celebrate at the end – mostly this involved a lot of talk about a bucket of KFC chicken skin or two litres of ice-cream.
As we continued through the six weeks, we formed something of a support group for each other. It wouldn’t be unusual to hear a conversation in the lunch room go something like this:
Workmate #1: I am going to do terribly in this weeks weigh in. I completely lost it and ate a bunch of curly fries on Saturday (said with head in hands).
Workmate #2: You’re going to do absolutely fine! One little blowout won’t ruin all your hard work. And if anyone is going to do terribly, it’s me. I demolished a cream donut in front of the TV on Sunday. I didn’t even regret it at the time. That’s me out of the competition.
Workmate #1: No way! You’re doing so well! You’re totally going to win.
Workmate #2: No YOU’RE going to win. You’re the best.
Workmate #1: No YOU’RE the best.
For an outsider watching with a bag of popcorn, I’m sure it was just as entertaining as the show, but we actually lost weight the healthy way – check out this depressing article about the show – and without the psychotic, soul destroying personal trainers.
Now six weeks on, since we began in January, the eight of us collectively have lost about 30 kilograms (about 66 pounds or almost five stone). Everyone worked incredibly hard and it’s paid off.
The most amazing thing is… I won! I’m still shocked. I lost 8.17% of my body weight and I can hand on heart say that the chickpea chocolate chip cookies are delicious.
Post competition, I’m continuing with my healthy lifestyle. It was always so much more than about the weight. The removal of processed food and refined sugars has actually changed my life (cue – Oprah moment). Without trying to be cheesy – it just comes naturally – I win everyday when I have more energy, can run faster, sleep better and get a thrill out of making delicious treats like beetroot brownie! I’m not going to lie though, it felt amazing to win.
Sometimes it’s great to win. It’s absolutely ok when you don’t. It just means that when you do, it will mean so much more.
To B-Lal, BooBoo, Flick, Miss M, Sneilson, Flossey, and Miss Page – I totally dig you guys. Thanks for the fierce competition. You’re all losers in my book.
I didn’t eat my two litres of ice-cream, just the two scoops for me. Enjoy the ride x