Foolish or Good Sacrifices / by Krista Boivie

Every year my health insurance company sponsors a "Biggest Loser" style weight loss competition. The team with the highest percentage of weight loss wins $1000. For the past four years I have formed a team and entered. Initially, my teammate and I followed our workout schedules, kept to our healthier eating plans and started to lose weight. Somewhere around the half-way point we would get derailed and not finish the competition. In fact, we never even went to the final weigh out. This year I have decided to attempt the competition again. Of course I would love to win the money, but this time I am more interested in completion.

Last Friday's post I talked briefly about sacrifice and I wanted to explore that topic a little bit more today. Any sacrifice we make can be considered foolish or good, it just depends on our reasons for the sacrifice. During my first year teaching I decided to give Christmas gifts to all my 180+ students. I spent weeks tracking down their favorite candy bars, writing individual notes and wrapping everything. I did this because I wanted them to behave better in class, see that I cared for them and ultimately as a way to gain their approval. Initially, the students were excited for their gifts--but the excitment lasted only a few minutes and everything returned to normal. I was disappointed by what I deemed to be their lack of an appropriate response. 

After I had finished ranting to my mother she informed me that if I spent my life trying to win the approval of other people that I would always be disappointed. She said that most people will never see how much work you do. Since then I have tried to apply her lesson when embarking on a project or activity where I will need to sacrifice time, money or other resources. I always ask myself why. I don't want to waste my energies in foolish sacrifices.

As I take on my weight loss challenge I know that I will have to sacrifice time, money, resources, cravings, and sleep to be successful. Greater things will come to me if I remember why I am sacrificing. I don't want to be the bitter woman who is perpetually unhappy because I do things for all the wrong reasons. My teammate and I have the ambitious goal of 20% weight loss (this number is based off previous years winners). I plan on checking in periodically to let you know how I am doing. I know that having a public committment will only strengthen my resolve.

When have you turned a good sacrifice into a foolish one?