Fittest Loser Team Challenge: Small victories matter in times of adversity
Eight weeks into the Fittest Loser Team Challenge is a decent amount of time to see some noticeable changes to one's body, mind and spirit.
Teams this year have been handed the test of a lifetime and it's important during these struggles to celebrate the smaller victories, or non-scale victories.
Whether it is being able to hold a plank for 10 seconds longer, fitting in routine weekly walks or feeling loose jeans, it is the smaller goals that lead to the main goal -- and it is vital to put these smaller victories in the spotlight.
Team members, while already dealing with an adjusted lifestyle that comes with new eating and exercise routines, now must adapt again with the shelter-in-place directive. Many participants have struggled with stress eating, sleep adjustments and lack of motivation.
"I have noticed it takes a lot of self-discipline not to eat what everyone in my family is eating," says Ann Marie Kociuba of Mount Prospect Park District's "Sergeant Steppers Lonely Heart Clubs Band." They are helping to prepare and eat healthy meals and are very proud of me when I push myself to exercise and not eat the snacks they are indulging in."
In times of distress, many of us can agree that it's easy to find refuge with comfort food, but filling the void for a temporary moment can lead to binge eating that literally weighs us down.
Fortunately, teams are doing their best to fight food desires through the support of teammates, family, friends and personal inner strength.
Teams "Size: Sexy" and "Waist Management" of NEC Display Solutions in Downers Grove have been connecting through group chats and healthy challenges found on social media.
Ebony Treadwell of "Size: Sexy" is taking control and making adjustments.
"I have become more independent and self-motivational," she says. "Due to the gym being closed, I am not able to work out with my personal trainer and feed off her drive and energy, so I had to adapt and find my own. I am more strict on myself when it comes to eating and snacking healthy and not out of boredom."
Julianne Baker of TTI Inc.'s "Waist Watchers" from Schaumburg is also adapting to the situation. "I do some floor exercises while I watch the news" to help break free from the current sedentary lifestyle, she says.
Jack Palmieri, captain of Tempco Electric Heater Corp.'s "Las Vencedoras" from Wood Dale, says his team has been enjoying online workouts and one member is also getting creative by enjoying dancing while cleaning her house, which burns some extra calories.
Some of the best non-scale victories are the visual ones.
Karen Christopoulos of Wood Dale Park District's "Bike Fight Fit Blue" admits it is hard to keep up with the challenge and self-care during these trying times, but she is happy her clothes are fitting better, which will hopefully help motivate her to stay strong.
Dan Hart of the Hanover Park Finance Department's "Hanover Net Loss" is celebrating a drop in his pants size and hopefully will experience another one before the challenge ends.
It is great to hear participants are continuing their best effort to stay focused with their personal health and well-being through this time of adversity.
During these circumstances it is OK to struggle, but we have the power to overcome these obstacles by taking action through small steps. These small steps build a foundation and pathway to reach our goals and it is important for each of us to take a moment to celebrate these successes, no matter how small.
• The Fittest Loser Team Challenge will honor top teams and individuals as determined by weight loss and participation in challenge activities. Those awards, as well as a team captain champion, will be announced around May 12. Follow the teams' progress and join the discussion on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheFittestLoserDH.