Just because we’ve already profiled the awesome winner and leader of the April 2011 Cincinnati Weight-Loss Challenge doesn’t mean that the other ladies in the challenge didn’t change, too. In fact, they’re wicked awesome as well! So today we’re sharing with you 10 of the top weight-loss lessons learned and healthy weight-loss tips from the Cincinnati group’s time doing the FBG Weight-Loss Challenge! They’re such a hoot (see photo at left and below—the dog Rosie was an honorary team member!), and they are now totally living the FBG lifestyle!
Top 10 Weight-Loss Lessons Learned
1. Living a healthy life makes you a better everything. One member said that doing the FBG Weight-Loss Challenge enriched her relationship with her daughter, sisters and her daughter’s friend, who were also doing the challenge. ”Although all intelligent individuals, we have learned to not respect ourselves through the use of food,” she says. “We have been trying to fool ourselves for years. We have let food control our lives to a certain degree, instead of us controlling our food intake. It has been a very slow process to accept this, face this and react to it in a very healthy way. It has been a very worthwhile journey.”
2. You need a support system. Part of the reason why this team got such great results was because of their level of honesty and openness with each other. No woman is an island, and everyone learned that they’re not alone in their struggles. Also, the comradeship of going through the classes together helped them bond even further as a family.
3. Treat yourself like you would a best friend. According to one team member, “The best part was learning to have positive self talk. That has helped tremendously with my confidence in myself and to be happy with who I am, even though I have parts of myself that I want to improve,” she says. “It has also made me more aware of the negative self talk that my friends and family have with themselves, and I point it out and have them practice saying positive things about themselves as well.”
4. Dieting doesn’t work. There is no “diet” in the challenge and nothing is off limits. One participant found this liberating saying, “The focus wasn’t on ‘dieting’ which hasn’t worked for me—much more about making lasting changes and getting to the root of how we’ve gotten to where we are.”
5. Accountability is a must. One participant said it best: “I learned that I need structure, I need accountability, and I need to write things down in order to achieve them.”
6. Eating whatever I want doesn’t make me feel good. While nothing is off limits during the challenge, the classes definitely make you more aware of what you’re eating and how you’re feeling, says a Cincinnati participant. “I like feeling more comfortable in my skin,” she says. “I like myself and the world better when I don’t feel bloated and have trouble breathing because my abdomen is in the way.”
7. You must have a plan. Success doesn’t come by mistake. Whether it’s writing down goals, planning snacks or scheduling your workouts, you need a road map to keep you on track.
8. It’s all about consistency. Slow and steady wins the race, one participant says. “Small little changes are easier for me to achieve. I don’t give up on the whole plan if I mess up on one little part.”
9. Have the right mindset. Throw out the scale, focus on how you want to feel and focus on what you love to do, participants say. “I have taken the approach that an active and healthy lifestyle is something that needs to be ingrained in my everyday routines,” one gal says. “I believe that mentality will be the key to my success in achieving my fitness goals.”
10. I can do anything if I put my mind to it. One participant says she knows that being healthy is something she can achieve. “I knew before that I was strong, but healthy living (aka a more active lifestyle and making good choices when it comes to what I’m eating/drinking and how much of it) has always been a struggle and something I did not feel I was succeeding at. With the tools and knowledge from my FBG experience, I no longer feel like making these choices about food and exercise are things that I’m unhappily forcing on myself but rather things I happily and willingly integrate into my life.
A big congrats to the Cincinnati team for having not one but 10 major ah-ha moments! If you’d like to learn more about FBG’s Weight-Loss Challenges and how you can have healthy weight-loss success like this, be sure to check out details on how you can start your own weight-loss challenge in your neck of the woods. The next challenge starts in September and applications are due in late July, so don’t put this life-changing experience off! —Jenn