There are two large competitive weight loss teams on SparkPeople with similar sounding names. “Biggest Loser (BL)” and “Biggest Loser Challenge (BLC)”.
Both groups run 10 to 15 week competitions where members are divided into competitive teams.
The Biggest Loser ~Snow More Excuses~ Challenge Starts December 5, 2018 and has the following competitive teams:
Amazing Amber Bears
Beautiful Amethyst Butterflies
The Biggest Loser Challenge - BLC39 - WINTER ROUND starts January 9th and has the following competitive teams:
Magnificent Midnight Mustangs
Determined Desert Tortoises
Bronze Wellness Warriors
Minion Cadet Squad
Hot Mocha Maniacs
Fuchsia Beauties International – FBI
Powerful Prism Panthers
Each of these teams has about 25 members. Members of both groups report their weight every Wednesday where it is recorded on a spreadsheet and used to determine how teams rank in the overall competition.
I was a member of the White Rabbit Team for BLC38 which started from September 5, 2018 and ends on November 28th. I will be a member of the 'BL Crystal Tigers Winter Snow More Excuses' that starts on December 5th, 2018.
In this blog I want to share how this kind of team competition benefits me.
1. I’m getting good results. At the start of BLC38, September 5, 2018, I weighed 354.8. Eleven weeks later, on 11/21/18, I weighed 326.0. That’s a loss of 28.8 lbs. I was losing weight before the competition by eating healthy and reducing calories, but the competition helped me to keep my momentum going.
2. It’s Free! There are lots of business out there trying to make money off your attempts to lose weight. SparkPeople offers a variety of valuable tools that we can use for free. For me personally, the recipe builder is invaluable for resizing recipes and correctly tracking what I eat. Having experienced these competitive weight loss teams, if you told me they were going to start charging $200.00 for a 10-week session, I would happily pay it. But since I’m on a budget, I’m super grateful I can participate for free.
3. It’s fun. Earning points for doing healthy activities just makes working on your health more enjoyable.
4. I’ve gotten lots of tips and good ideas from other folks on the team. Not just about weight loss, but about life in general.
5. I’ve participated in four of these challenges in recent years and I’ve met all kinds of interesting people. We’ve cheered each other on when we were doing well and encouraged one another when we were struggling. We share humor and talk about some tough stuff too. I look forward to connecting with team members in my group.
6. The team chats are in a private SparkPeople forum so you aren’t going to get spam and tolls causing havoc.
So, what exactly do you do in the challenges?
There are some basic rules. You are expected to treat everyone respectfully, to check-in a couple of times a week, to participate in team challenges, and post your weight every Wednesday.
The challenges vary from group to group, team to team, week to week, and seasonally. They generally fall into one of three categories. Nutrition, exercise, or self-care. You might be challenged to exercise your upper body for points, or to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables, or to organize something in your kitchen. The challenges often have themes, or they are in the form of a game, like tic tack toe.
I want to address some concerns that you might have about joining such a challenge.
**I’m too old, too fat, or too out of shape.
These teams have lots of fat, old, out of shape participants, including me. I have limited mobility and most of my exercise is done in a chair. These groups encourage you to modify the challenges to meet your needs. They expect participation, not perfection. And if you are in great condition, there are lots of folks on these teams who will challenge you to take it to the next level! I personally love hearing from folks who are training for marathons, long-distance hikes, and cross-country biking. Very inspirational!
**I don’t have time
I get it. Working on your health takes an investment of time and if you are working full time or raising a family it can be hard. Let me say a couple of things about this. First, if you improve your health you will have more energy and it will be easier to do your job or care for your family. Second, the leader of the first team I participated in observed that the people who participated in the challenge enthusiastically were the people who got the best results. If you would like to improve your health and fitness results, give weight loss teams a try.
**I’m a guy and this sounds like a girl thing
You have me there. These challenges are overwhelmingly populated with women. But when a man is brave enough to join up, everyone is so pleased that the man gets treated like a rock star.
I hope I’ve convinced you that joining one of these teams is something you’d like to try.
The Biggest Loser ~Snow More Excuses~ Challenge Starts December 5, 2018. I hope you will consider joining by following this link, joining the team, and adding your name to the waiting list.
BLC39 - WINTER ROUND runs from January 9 through April 3 and you can register here.
Feel free to copy, paste, and widely share any part of this post. Spread the news!
If you have participated in these challenges before, please share your experience in the comments below.