And, it happened. Pam got sent home this week on Biggest Loser. WHAT? WHY? HOW? She came in 3rd in the 5k race! White Team crushed it all week, on their own, without a trainer! This sucks so bad. Pam was my beacon of light. The one I most identified with in the BL14 group of contestants. Around my age, mouthy, full of piss and vinegar — and also totally afraid of failing. So much so that she got in her own way early and often during her time at the ranch.
Not the least bit ashamed to tell you all that I cried when she got the results of her weigh-in, and was immediately eliminated. I didn’t cry because she “lost”; I didn’t cry because she wouldn’t be able to do this at home on her own (she did and she continues to!). I cried because I will miss seeing her transformation (mental/emotional) on the show, as I continue on my journey.
I’ve written about my one-week stay at Fitness Ridge (Biggest Loser Resort) in Malibu, and I’ve touched on some of the challenges and fears I faced there – but I haven’t fully delved into what was truly going on in my head. Possibly because I’m embarrassed. Probably because I’m afraid to give these fears a new life; a second-wind, if you will. But since I’m all about keeping it real, and I really want to use the vehicle of this blog to both grow personally and also to inspire others along the way, I think a little more soul-baring is in order.
So here we go… [cue dramatic music]
If you haven’t yet, I’d encourage you to read How a Groupon Changed My Life. It provides a bit of background on how I came to visit Fitness Ridge, a snapshot of what the week looked like, and touches on the emotional versus physical struggles. You might also want to read How My Week of Tears became My Year of Sweat. Both of these posts will serve to set the stage as I start the process of peeling back the layers of the onion to expose what really went on in my heart, in my head and in my body that week.
I’ve already shared that the Monday morning hike started a downhill slide for me, physically and mentally. I just could not understand why I was struggling so much with a hike that I knew I could readily do back home on my own. Looking back, there were clearly two issues at play:
- Physically: I did not listen to my own body. I know that cardio endurance has always been an issue for me. I know that taking frequent (but short 30-60 second) breaks gives me the opportunity to slow my heart rate and then carry on with a hike. Yet, inexplicably, that day despite all the tell-tale signs (heart racing, short of breath, could not carry on a conversation if my life depended on it), I chose not to stop. I chose to keep hiking, getting slower and slower and more and more angry at myself with each step.
- Mentally: Inside my head I was fully listening to my body. My body was screaming at me: I NEED A BREAK WOMAN! I knew that I was in an anaerobic state, and that meant I wasn’t burning fat. I knew that this was going completely against my goal for the week. I knew I was being stupid. And yet my mind never stopped my body from motoring on. Why? Looking back now, I think it was because I was more worried about keeping up, not being last, not being the worst. This need to be competitive, to finish at least in the middle of the pack, if not at the front, kept me from focusing on my goals of burning fat, getting healthy, getting strong.
And here I am (in pink), climbing (ANOTHER!) hill about 3/4 of the way through that Monday morning hike. I’m huffing, puffing, nearing heart failure… But, hey, at least there are a handful of people still behind me, so I’m not last. How messed up is that people??? Holy shit! Someone call a shrink STAT, because momma’s clearly gone loco. For reals. Re-living this as I write about it has me sitting here, literally, shaking my head in disbelief. That was some messed up shizz, even for me. And I really, really need to focus on not letting myself fall back into those patterns. So unhealthy.
Oh, and as a quick but important aside, did I mention that it was my first time hiking with a camel-back? Camel-backs are wonderful! Hands free water intake system. Gotta love it! Except for one thing: being that it was my first time using one, and unfamiliar with how much water I was actually taking in (versus feeling the water level of a bottle decrease as you carry and drink from it) was a bit tricky. The fact that I was way too caught up in my own head (see bullet 2 above) to even be giving a second thought to how much water I was taking in certainly didn’t help matters any.
And I got dehydrated. Severely. It wasn’t pretty.
The hiking guides told me that dehydration would manifest as flu-like symptoms, and they would last for a couple of days. Those hiking guides know their stuff. Spot on.
So, with the stage set from Monday morning’s hike, I then faced an afternoon of back-to-back-to-back (that’s 3, for those of you counting) classes ranging from HIIT to kickboxing to cardio conditioning, etc. And with each class I felt like a bigger failure. My energy level was off the charts (negatively) and my head was racing with thoughts of failure. We had 15 minute breaks in between each of the 3 afternoon classes. Just enough time to run back to my room to change into dry clothes, and to cry in private. God forbid I should let anyone know I was struggling. Not me. Way to strong and independent for that.
And with each trip to my room, and 5 minutes to cry alone before splashing water on my face and heading back out, I felt worse and worse about myself.
Okay, methinks that’s enough for today. I can only expose so much of my insecurities and fears in one sitting. Wow, I just realized that for those of you reading this who know me “in real life”, all of this must be like a major WTF moment. I know I present myself as a totally self-confident go-getter. I’m really starting to learn, first-hand, that self-confidence (or the veil of it) is often just a mask to cover up fear.
I’m a work-in-progress folks. Be patient with me. I promise to try to get as real as I can on this journey of self-discovery.
‘Til then… Get moving!