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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts

Persistence, the key to overcoming obstacles and reaching goals.

Posted: November 11, 2014

I’ve been chronicling the weekly progress of participants in our new accelerated Seven Week Biggest Loser program. We had two new goals with this one.  

I wanted to jump start their effort by giving them more help and more workout opportunities through the week. We started off strong on day one, and many have become regular Boot Camp Warriors (those workouts are tough)!
I’ve also been testing the idea that the new format could help our completion rate. We’ve had 21 different Biggest Loser groups over the last 10 years, ranging in size from 12 to 68 participants (that was a BIG one). While there are a lot of success stories, no matter how well some did, the average dropout rate always stayed around 50%. I’m hoping to change that. 
So we’ve made it to the end of Week Four and we still have really high participation. Of the few drops, one dropped right away, and another is out due to surgery. A third has missed two weekly weigh-in’s but I think she’s still trying. So with just three weeks to go, it’s looking pretty good.
Typically, most people drop around the fourth or fifth week, which is right now. They may not have had the dramatic results that the leaders have had, so it’s hard for them to maintain their motivation. With a shorter, more intense program, I’m hoping they’ll see the goal posts in sight and keep on running. 
I believe it really doesn’t matter what program people use. There are lots of good ones out there. Whatever they do, what really matters is that they STICK with it. And the people that work the hardest always seem to do the best. You have to be persistent. 
Everyone has obstacles and setbacks, and we’ve all had our own mountains to climb, and struggles to deal with. Sure, some are much worse than others. Some we can’t even comprehend. 
But people can bounce back from the toughest things, though it might take years. One of the highest rated shows on TV, “America’s Most Wanted”, started with a man’s tragic loss of a child. John Walsh went on to host the show, and is personally responsible for bringing many people to justice. 
People tortured brutally as prisoners of war have gone on to have remarkable successes. Perhaps most notably, Senator John McCain, who was the Republican nominee for President of the United States. 
Popular author and radio host Dave Ramsey turned a personal bankruptcy into an amazing program called “Financial Peace University.” This system has been wildly successful in helping millions of people get out of debt. 
Bethany Hamilton, the champion surfer, lost her arm in a shark attack several years ago. She’s since returned to surfing, and is now starring on “The Amazing Race.” On that challenging show, she went over a long rope bridge one-handed, and put a puzzle together with her feet. 
I can’t say I really understand what any of these people have truly gone through. Even right here in our community, we’ve seen some tragic things recently. You just can’t even imagine. 
But the quality that people who survive seem to have, is a desire to keep going. They have something inside them that carries them through. I’ll bet faith often plays a large role in it. 
I think they show us that we don’t have to be defined by our problems, struggles or failures. Even the hard ones. Instead, we can be defined by how we overcome them. By how we find a way to keep going, and by what we do with them. I’m pretty sure this works in the little things too. 
Some people who have kept going include this week’s Biggest Losers. Tracy Whitaker placed first, losing 3.8 lbs and 2.4% of her body weight. Mark Clark was second, losing 3.4 lbs and 1.3%. Alyssa Horner was third, losing 1.2 lbs and about 1.0%. 
Next week, some of the killer workouts we’ve been up to. Until then, remember. Just get started, don’t quit, and be persistent! You’ll get through it.