“Check Out These Groupon Getaways” teased the message in my Inbox. As a self-professed travel-addict, how could I resist? And then I saw the destination “The Biggest Loser Resort”…and my pulse quickened. I love watching the show… Would this be the same? I’m adventurous, I thought, so why the heck not try this? It could be fun. I could lose a few pounds. And so I called my girlfriend. “Hey, I said, Would you be into doing this with me??? It’s only a week, and it’s nearly 40% off!” She agreed immediately, and before either of us could over think it, we both booked and paid for our one week stay at Fitness Ridge Malibu, a Biggest Loser Resort.
Buyers’ remorse kicked in the very next day. Oh sweet mother of all things good, WHAT HAVE I DONE?? I just blew a lot of money. What if this is not right for me. I don’t have hundreds of pounds to lose. What if it’s just too hard. What if I can’t do this???
My girlfriend invested a lot of time doing her research in preparation for our visit: reviewing the website, reading the blogs, etc, while I buried my head in the sand and ignored what was quickly approaching. As the week got closer, she emailed, texted and called, all fired up by what she had learned, and her enthusiasm broke through my wall of denial.
And so we arrived on Sunday Nov 4th, 2012, excited to tackle this crazy challenge.
Each night, we each posted brief updates to Facebook to give our friends and family a small glimpse into what we had faced that day.
Really though, there was no way to convey the depth of physical, mental and emotional strain (and JOY!) that we experienced.
Here are some of the basic facts and figures about the week:
Full week program = 36 hours of workouts in 6 days; or approximately 6 hrs/day of intense physical activity.
Workouts were strenuous and engaged all parts of our bodies: Cardio, Strength, Pool, Hiking, Yoga/Stretching – while throwing in some super fun (but crazy hard) classes, such as: Kick-boxing, Zumba, Beach Circuit Training, HIIT, etc.
Attendance at each and every class was mandatory, and attendance was taken. If you missed a class, they would hunt you down! (Happy to say I voluntarily attended every single one!)
Menu was built to a 1,500 calorie/day total, and the meals were tasty and very filling.
Very informative lectures were provided after lunch and dinner daily. Tips & Tricks that I will absolutely use in my life moving forward.
The stats above really do nothing to explain what truly made this week a breakthrough for me. While the physical challenges (some might call them torture…) were tough, it was the emotional/mental barriers that I broke through that were truly life-changing. For me, a classic Type-A over-achiever, learning to face (and accept) the fact that I am not the fastest, don’t have the best endurance, can’t be ‘best’ at many things athletic — this was breakthrough.
The physicality of the week may have broken me, but my willingness to tear down walls, defense mechanisms and fear disguised as self-confidence is the stuff from which magic is made. And by Day 6 friends, I was making magic. I ran at 7.5 mph. I had never run faster than 5.0 because I didn’t believe I could. Those mental blockers are a bitch to overcome. But when you do…pure magic.
Another huge benefit of my week at BLR was the human connections I made. I met people from all walks of life, and in all shapes and sizes. Everyone was there because they chose to focus on health and wellness, and wanted to better themselves. I was inspired and motivated by those participants more than the staff and trainers. Seeing what they could do, at 250, 300, 350 lbs…magic. And a big kick in the ass to me when I was telling myself that I don’t run over 5.0 mph. Thank you to these amazing souls who touched me so profoundly.
Looking back, this was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Natural child birth (x2) was a piece of cake compared to this!! Challenging, torturous, and oh so rewarding. I have never felt so proud of myself.
And I’m forever indebted to my beautiful friend who, without hesitation, jumped into this wild adventure with me.