Find a Cheerleader

You can do it

As you may know, I’m a reality TV fanatic. My favourite of them all is The Biggest Loser. I am so motivated by what these people can do, by the challenges they face, the obstacles they overcome, and their sheer drive to lose an incredible amount of weight in a very short time.

Plus, I don’t eat a thing while I’m watching The Biggest Loser, which is good for me.

Recently one of this season’s contestants, Arthur Wornum, came to Ottawa. I happen to be FaceBook friends with the woman who helped to get him here, and I got the opportunity to meet him.

Arthur is about 5’6, in his 30s. He realized he was heavy when he stepped on the scales at 646 pounds. In fact, they told him he had to lose 100 pounds before they would even let him on The Biggest Loser. (He lost over 100 pounds.)

When I met him a couple of weeks ago, he was still about 345 pounds. Still very overweight, but he was thrilled at his progress. He had confidence overflowing, was even flirtatious and he was walking around like a stud. He knew he looked good, and when he looked in the mirror he saw a sexy man staring back at him.  I’m not sure he even cared what other people saw at all.

It is so easy to get discouraged by listening to what other people say, and by listening to other people judge. Can you imagine if he listened to what others said?

I went to a gym class Arthur was attending. I expected him to wipe the floor with me. I see how Bob and Jillian train the contestants, and frankly, it looks much harder than what I do, that’s for sure.

But our workout was what I would consider very easy. I barely broke a sweat (and I’m not bragging about my fitness level here), but Arthur was out of breath, talking about how hard the workout was, and he was soaked with perspiration.

The next day, he and other Ottawa-based fans went out for a 10-km walk. I’m a runner, and that distance is a middle distance for me, so I didn’t blink an eye at that distance at all. Arthur had never walked that far before. While the average citizen doesn’t walk that far, again my assumption is that Arthur works out like a madman. That’s what I see when I watch the show, anyway.

Did you just get judgmental? I know I did. I assumed he would be in much better shape. I assumed that he still wanted to lose another 175 pounds and I found myself judging him based on what I thought he should achieve and do.

Naturally, I didn’t say anything to Arthur and I encouraged him to keep going and to keep on-the-right-track (of course I said that!). I am after all, a motivational speaker.

Arthur is a little different from most people. Most people in his situation would have given up long ago – if they’d ever even started on a weight-loss journey in the first place. Most people would be aware of the judgment of others and listen to it. They wouldn’t listen to their own inner voice cheering them on. They wouldn’t listen to the cheerleaders in their lives – they would listen to all the others who had something negative to say. And they would have given up.

Do you do that? Do you give up because of the negativity and judgment of others? When you meet someone and they ask you what you do, do you say “I’m just a….” When given a compliment, do you turn it around and say, “I couldn’t have done it without…”? Do you beat yourself up with your own self-talk? Are you harder on yourself than anyone else would ever dream of being?

We need to listen to the cheerleaders in our lives, not the nay-sayers. We need to give ourselves, and others, positive reinforcement. We need to stop worrying about the judgments of others and trying to live up the expectations that others have of us. Make your own goals, make your own scorecard and be proud of your own accomplishments regardless of how big or small they are.

Do not listen to society tell you that you should drive an expensive sports car, that if you don’t earn a six–figure salary you aren’t any good, that if you don’t wear size six you are fat and on and on.

You decide what your goals are and celebrate them. What is important to you? Not society. You.

Arthur is hoping to be 300 pounds by the finale on May 24. I hope he gets there. And if he never loses another pound, he has still been successful. This is his goal. I will personally be cheering him on instead of judging him or anyone else on that stage about their weight.

I will be sitting at home so proud of people I don’t even know.

I love hearing about your successes too. So this month, join our blog discussion just to brag about you. Tell us what goal you set, and are proud to have accomplished. Read about what others have done (and hopefully it will motivate you as well) and cheer them on by sending encouraging words. Not just about weight loss, but about anything you feel good about. Stop by to find out what my latest goal is, too.

I’m looking forward to cheering you on the same way I’ll be cheering for this season’s cast of The Biggest Loser.

Be proud, stand tall and keep on-the-right-track!

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5 thoughts on “Find a Cheerleader”

  1. My goals are still about fitness and running. Last year when I over ran, I created a painful stress fracture which caused me to pull out of the Ottawa Marathon. It was heartbreaking for me as I was focused and ready to complete it (except for that nasty broken bone that is). Since I have healed, I have gotten back into running again, but my speed is much slower than it was last year. My goal is to shave 5 minutes off my current 5k running pace, 10 minutes off my 10k running pace and to complete the Ottawa Army Half Marathon in September.

    My deadline for the 3 goals above is October 1st. Cheer me on with tips and motivation!

    What are your goals?


  2. It was great fun meeting Arthur … and a magic thing happened as we did a workout alongside him — I felt more motivated too! His motivation rubbed off on others. It’s contagious (in a good way). My personal fitness goals involve lowering my cholesteral and getting rid of the “tummy” (again for health reasons). BONUS: I’ll look better too!

    Good luck with your goals Rhonda! I know you’ll achieve them … I’m cheering for you.

  3. I can relate to Arthur. I set a goal of losing 100lbs… I’m at 91lbs with 9lbs to go… I’ve heard alot of people say ‘you like fine were you are’ and ‘you don’t need to lose more’ and so on but I know what weight is healthy for me and I’m the one that lives in my body and I have a goal I set so I’m going to reach it, I don’t care what others say cause it’s not their lives and I’m not trying to make them happy (easy to say here, but sometimes I do wonder if I should stop at this weight, then I think of how disappointed I’ll be if I don’t get to my original goal of 100lbs)

    Before the weight loss I was a runner and had run a couple half marathons (among lots of 5km ans 10kms), so I’ decided to train and run the Ottawa Half this weekend and with the weight loss I’ve had so far it’s been amazing. My previous half marathon was in just over 3hrs… now I’m aiming for 2h15m and I know I can reach it. The training has been so much easier (although it’s still hard) and more enjoyable. I’m never going to win first place in these races so I’m running it for me to see how much I can do and how far I can go (without injuries and overdoing it, of course).

    It’s hard to ignore the naysayers but it’s helped me be more positive and supportive of others’ goals as I don’t know what their lives are about cause I haven’t lived their lives so I try harder to support their choices regardless of what I think is better…

  4. I always read your articles but I found this one especially touching. I love the honesty.

    I am 43 years old. I started smoking in my teens. I quit smoking 2 1/2 years ago. I know 100% that I will remain a nonsmoker. I consider this an accomplishment in and of itself but that’s not all!

    This year I signed up with a group called Moms on the Run. We are training together to run a 5k at the end of August.

    We are still running intervals (currently 3:2 – run 3 minutes/walk 2 minutes repeat). Every week the length of running increases while the length of walking decreases. I have never run any distance in the past due to my smoking habit. The hard part about training for me obviously is working up the cardio after having smoked over half of my life. Although I have a lot of support, I know that I am doing this for me and I am my biggest fan!

    I always welcome tips and advice!

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