Breaking unhealthy habits a challenge for Florence’s Biggest Loser contestants

Breaking unhealthy habits a challenge for Florence's Biggest Loser contestants

As anyone who has ever tried to break unhealthy habits, or any habits for that matter, can tell you, change is hard.

You unfortunately cannot expect to wake up one morning and suddenly eat the perfect nutritional diet and complete the perfect workout. Instead, you have to commit to making a change and push yourself to say goodbye to potato chips and hello to tricep dips.

Three weeks into this year’s Florence’s Biggest Loser competition, dozens of individuals are learning just how hard that struggle can be to break their habits.

A few of them discuss what has been the hardest challenge they have faced in the competition so far. …

Shaw Thompson
“The hardest part of the competition for me has been time management. Like many people, I have a job that is a minimum of 40 hours per week, usually more, and social and community commitments in the evenings and weekends. Luckily, I have a very supportive wife who understands that making time for the workouts has to be a priority in order to make the lifestyle change I need. (I honestly do not know how folks with kids do it!) Some days, it means working out at 6 a.m. and then heading to work; on others it means being the last person walking out of (McLeod) Health & Fitness at 10 p.m., and that is OK – I always feel a great sense of accomplishment after each session and know it was time well spent.”

Jamie Bolton
"The hardest thing for me since starting Florence’s Biggest Loser is changing my mindset. Pushing myself past what I think my limits are to show myself just how wrong I am. I am learning new achievements every day. I have also learned I really love working out.”

Travis Fox
“Firstly, this competition is changing my life, and I can’t believe it has only been going on for three weeks. Research suggests it takes 21 days to form a habit, and I sure am glad the competition has created healthy habits for me that I hope to sustain. It has not been without road blocks and mishaps (Super Bowl Sunday). However, I been blessed to have teammates who have kept me motivated and a trainer dedicated to making a difference in my life. The expression ‘old habits are hard to break’ is very true. However, if you adjust the way you think, anything is possible. Eating healthy and not over-eating have been the hardest habits to get accustomed to. Although, I still crave all the bad things that I have consistently put in my body for nearly 20 years, my relationship with food has changed. I now look at food as an energy source as opposed to a crutch to lean on. I no longer find myself stumbling to the fridge to mindlessly eat when I become bored. I instead have been meticulously keeping records of everything that I put in my body, and it sure has made a difference. Changing my relationship with food has been the hardest habit to break, but for the first time in a very long time, I feel hope.”

Jessica Cauthen
“The hardest for me to change thus far is my senseless snacking habit. Even if I'm not hungry, I just want something to snack on. I try to keep healthy things around, but sometimes it's hard, especially at work. But I'm getting better at it. I'm a work in progress.”

Christine Princler
“The hardest thing for me is nutrition. I haven't ever been a fan of cooking. It’s not that I can't, it’s just not something I like to do. I haven't ever really looked at calories, carbs or sodium. I just ate what was convenient. I'm one of those people that tend to either over-eat or under-eat. I found out quickly that not eating enough wouldn't last for long. It is a struggle to read labels and add up the numbers to make sure I am eating what I should. I slip up here and there, but I keep pushing to get back on track. I think another thing that makes nutrition hard for me is my PTSD and depression. I'm used to dealing with both of them by eating. Now I have to tell myself ‘No’ and work on healthier ways to deal with them. I'm blessed as a veteran to have the support of the Veterans Affairs office here in Florence. I know there are others out there struggling with the same thing, and I hope to help someone to not give up and not let mental illness control their lives. It's time to take control of my life again. It will take time, and I've seen so far it surely isn't easy, but it is well worth it!”

Peter Nixon
“Not eating out has been the hardest challenge so far, but I have not broken down yet! And I don't plan to either. …But I didn't say I won't because I'm taking it day by day!”

Amanda Strickland
"I don't think there has really been anything hard for me to change for this competition, I'd say there are a few things that are hard to get used to, such as: following a strict work out routine, and not being able to eat as early as I'm used to at night due to my fitness schedule. I think most people would say the diet is the hardest part but I'm trying to stick to a healthy diet that I know I can sustain. Such as: eating fresh fruit and veggies when available, eating healthy snacks in between meals so that I'm not starving by lunch or supper, and eating some kind of protein with each meal such as grilled chicken or baked fish. I have tried to cut out sweets, junk food, and fast food and out of all those, I think cutting out the fast food is the hardest because it's so convenient. However, if I do eat fast food, I do try to weigh my options and see what would be the healthier option. With all that said, I don't think that there has been anything terribly hard for me to start or change, just things that are a little difficult to get used to."

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