My thoughts on the weight-loss race

Nope, this is not an article about whom I love more out of British legends Ed and Sam. Nor a piece on the dangers of rapid weight loss and it's wider physical and mental health implications. My first question is why does everything have to be a competition?

It has now gone public that Ed and Sam are in a 'friendly' competition for who can lose a stone first. There are even Facebook groups dedicated to it, with Team Ed and Team Sam sides. It was brought to my attention via a personal training client, who's own personal jouney really made progress when she shifted her priorities. I guess that's what this aticle is mainly about.

We are living in a society where it appears our focus is all wrong. Rather than aiming to achieve a healthy, postitive and practical lifestyle; easy to maintain in day to day existence, so many of us aim to reach a target weight or dress size and are competing with those around us, as a form of motivation.

Not only is this, in my experience a recipe for disaster, but also a very unrealistic way of living. I have covered exactly why you don't need to weigh yourself in a previous article, and cannot stress enough how important this is. A person (lets say Ed or Sam) could reach their 'target weight' or lose their desired number of pounds, yet not look any different physically; nor be any healthier.

I train several ladies that spent years attending weight loss groups, only to have become more and more obsessed with what the scales are saying each week. Breaking this habit can be extremely difficult, what with the value attributed to a weekly weight loss (success) vs no loss or a weight gain (failure). As for the 'support' these groups pride themselves on offering, my ladies sadly found out the hard way who their real friends were, as soon as they stopped attending.

What we need to remember is each day of our lives is a new opportunity to learn, grow and progress. Ask yourself what is really important: reaching a target on a scales, or living a healthy balanced life where each day is not a battle but an opportunity to nourish and nurture the body nature has given us.

Let's hope Ed and Sam find a realistic way of living healthily and happily too.

PT Gen Personal Trainer Southampton