Lessons from the Mission Middle School “Biggest Loser” Competition.

 I am the biggest loser.  Well, at least, at this moment.  At school the staff is doing the Biggest Loser competition for 20 weeks, the person with the greatest percent weight loss will get a couple of hundred dollars.  A start on a new summer wardrobe!

In the first week I thought a lot about how much weight I could lose and realized that, realistically, I couldn’t be the Biggest Loser.  I didn’t have enough weight to lose. But, nonetheless, losing weight seemed like a good idea.  And doing it with a bunch of nice people seemed motivating.

Now I have people asking me how I’m doing it.  ( I’m not cheating!  Is there a way to cheat?)

I have a plan.  I’m using The South Beach Diet.  Tried and true, research based, plenty of data.  Many people have used it to successfully lose weight.  There is an abundance of information about diet, habits, successes and faqs in Arthur Agatston’s  books.  I didn’t just tweak my diet – I made significant changes in what I eat, when I eat and how much I eat.  My meals are different, my refrigerator looks different, the pantry is looks different, and by summer, my wardrobe will be different.

The lessons learned that can be applied to my ‘day’ job?  If you want to see change you must make change happen.  Not just random changes, not just ‘tweaks’ but significant changes.  And you have to be committed for a significant period of time – no changing horses in midstream.   There must be a well thought out plan; research based and data driven.  And it helps to have others around who are also committed, encouraging, and, yes, a little competitive.

We all want to improve student achievement at MMS.  To make that happen we must be prepared to make changes – big changes to get big gains.  We need to build a path to success.  The Biggest Loser competition may save the lives of some of our coworkers.  Improving the academic achievement of our students will improve the lives of our students, and, possibly, save their lives.

 I don’t think I’ll be the Biggest Loser in June when we do the final weigh in.  But I’ll have a new bathing suit when you see me at Moonlight Beach on September 8 at the Annual Staff Day at the Beach!!

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