100% Participation So Far!

We just finished Week Six in Biggest Loser “26” with one week left and something remarkable is happening. We’re still at 100% participation. This is amazing given the fact that over the last ten years or so, and 25 Biggest Losers, we’ve tended to average a 50% finish rate. 

I used to get depressed about the fact that half didn’t finish, but over the years I’ve come to understand it’s not me. Even if it was, I could learn to live with it. Much of life is learning how to accept and learn from your failures. I’ve had many more “losses” than “wins.”

Besides, batting .500 would be an amazing percentage in baseball. Venture capitalists expect some new ventures to fail. They just need their successes to be big enough to cover the cost of the failures. 

Inventors usually have to make several tries at it before finding the right product to take to market. Or if they have the right product, they might have to wait for the right timing. Timing is always a difficult issue for me. You can be doing a good job, for a good thing, but the timing is wrong. Yikes!

We’re not always going to have success. We’re not always going to get the job, get the part, or make the team. We’re not always always going to get our way. Not everybody wins first place. I’m convinced that if we’re not teaching our kids to learn how to handle this, we’re doing them a disservice. 

It’s nice when things work, and I always try to make that happen. But in weight loss and fitness, half the people typically drop out at some point or another. It’s so common, there’s a term for it: the “yo-yo syndrome.” You know, you go up, then down; up, then down. Over the years, I’ve tried a bunch of different things to see if we could solve this. 

We’ve done 12-week Biggest Losers and 7-week groups. We’ve tried it on Saturday mornings, Friday nights, and Monday nights Right now, they’re meeting M, W, F at 5:30 pm every week for the whole seven weeks. 

We’ve started slow and ramped it up, and hit the ground running. We’ve focused on food, activity, and presented both. We’ve had “younger” groups and “older groups” with winners in both. We’ve had women winners, and men winners. We’ve had a $1,000 prize and we’ve had no prizes. I’ve been “nicer” and I’ve been “tougher.” 

With all these changes and variations, the best finish rate was still only 66% (2/3). That was rare. Once, it was as low as 25%. That was rare too. But regardless what I do, what they do, or how well the top people do, we always seemed to average right at 50%. Until now. 

What makes this even more interesting, is that this time, our average weight loss is much lower than usual. We’ve had people lose 25 lbs in 7 weeks, and the best total weight loss so far this time is only 11 lbs (which is still pretty good). But it’s only about half of what others have typically done. The average weight loss this time is only 3.4 lbs. So why is this group sticking? 

This is an important question. If we can figure this out, maybe we can help others figure it out too. I can tell you this. To a person, they’ve all said they simply weren’t quitting. It’s just extraordinary. 

With kids, parades for a son’s political campaign, Christmas programs, trips, a pretty sprained ankle doing kickboxing in Boot Camp Monday night, and other major distractions, 100% participation at this point is awesome. When you add in the fact that as a group, they’ve all struggled with the numbers, their never-say-die attitude is simply amazing. 

We were going to be finished on Monday, December 21st, but since they’ve all been so committed, we decided to keep it going and help them get through the holidays. So we’ll keep working until we start the next Biggest Loser group on the first Monday of the New Year.

That group will be Biggest Loser “27” and will hit the ground running on Monday, January 4th. They’ll start with Boot Camp at 5:30 pm, followed by the first weigh-in, a personal assessment and a kick-off message from a former Biggest Loser who’s lost the weight and kept it off! 

This week’s Biggest Loser was Jaylee Wilson, who lost 0.9 lbs and 0.5% of her body weight. Hannah Brewington was second, with 0.4 lbs and 0.3%. Ryan Carroll, Kevin Moore, and Kaylee Peterson all tied for third place with 0.2% and 0.5 lbs, 0.5 lbs, and 0.2 lbs respectively. It was a tough week, but they’re apparently all in it for the long haul. We’ll see how it goes next week!

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