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Random Thoughts about Competition

Sunday, April 30, 2017

This blog started as a response to a discussion in the chat room of my 5% Challenge Team. As I was writing I realized it may be good to address the topic in a broader reach.

The initial question was, "Does anyone else find the competition elements of these 5% challenges uncomfortable?"

"Our Spring 5% Living the Good Life (LTGL) Challenge Theme - It Doesn`t Get Easier, You Just Get Better! Regardless of where you are starting from today, compete with yourself to be better than you were the day before. Eat healthier meals, get enough sleep, exercise for good health, stay positive and celebrate your baby steps. You are worth it!" (Quote from the Community Team)

******* Edit to be sure credit goes to KALISWALKER for researching and creating the challenge details. I love this theme!

I personally believe people are self-motivated. We can inspire and be inspired to be motivated to do things. Whatever the "thing" may be.
I also believe we are always competing with ourselves in the sense of personal growth. I am not great at setting and reaching goals, but I do try to improve on things that are important to my journey in life. In that way, I compete with myself to see if I can do that one more step, one more minute, learn that one new thing every day. emoticon

That being said, with 600+ members spread out over 14 teams, sure, there are those teams who consistently are ahead in the race because their members are more active. No one is required to do 120 minutes of exercise a day. 120 is the maximum allowed. If you do 10 minutes of intentional exercise after having been sedentary for years, what an amazing accomplishment that is. Will you always stop at 10 minutes? If that is your limit and you are satisfied with the result you can and should be proud of that accomplishment. On the other hand, your success may motivate you to try for 11 minutes or more. emoticon

Some people are inspired by seeing their name appear on a list for doing well so they are motivated to push that extra effort in order to get on the list. There are those people who would rather keep off the list. That is ok too. Let your leaders know.

This is my 32 challenge and in all that time I was never the "Biggest Loser" on my team until week 2 of this challenge. Am I proud of receiving my "Warrior's Medal"? You betcha! Was I upset or embarrassed because I have never achieved that before? Never, and no one ever made me feel like I was letting my team down.

One of the teams, not wanting to leave anyone out, created a hanging in there badge for those who gained weight. It was meant to be supportive of their continued efforts to work at losing. Instead, it was taken as an announcement of who gained weight.

People are different. Perception is different. It was recently brought to my attention that some members scroll the weight posts to see who is losing or not. I was appalled. I would never dream of doing that and shame on those who do. In any case, share positive support with your teammates. You don't need to know what the number on their scale is.

This probably seems more like random thoughts than a well read blog but I hope it helps anyone who is feeling left out, overlooked, or looked at too closely. The Challenge isn't for everyone. People come and go, but for those who stay, or return every few seasons it continues to inspire motivation to success.

PS: There is a team that is not competitive. It's a popular team and one of the first to reach max number of members at sign up time. The Casual Travelers is an amazing supportive team who do well without being on the competitive end. Keep in mind though, however Casual they may be, they do still like to land.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wonderful point in your blog for all teams. It is not easy to interpret another person's statement when they are online, some people have had hard lives that brought them down this road to being on spark and are fearful of people's intentions.

    Communication in itself is interpreted from the receivers life, not the communicators expression, and with that, there can be conflict created, when none is intended at all.

    Almost everyone on spark is here to develop friendships, support, and knowledge on how to find health and wellness for themselves, that includes learning to be social, not everyone has the talent for it.

    You are correct, and others that have commented, in stating that if anyone is offended, just breath, ask the other person what they meant, and most likely they will explain where they are coming from, and it will clearly be with good intent. Thank you for this honesty and insight.

    One of my favorite quotes is: "It is not your business to care what anyone else thinks of you"

    If we try to carry the burden of everyone else's opinion of us,
    we would try to mold and change everything about us, and be fake, not our true self,
    we would never be free to live life fully, so forgive them.

    1553 days ago
    Good post and thoughts on the matter :)

    I'm not very competitive and don't like trying to be better than other people, however I DO enjoy competing with myself and helping the team to land. Challenges motivate the heck out of me!

    I know I've lost barely anything during the challenge thus far, which is disappointing, but 2 pounds lost is definitely better than none! I may not reach my goal for this challenge, but I know I just have to keep going and stay motivated.

    I think people's thoughts on the matter are valid even if there's some concern or discomfort shown, so thank you for addressing this fairly. I deeply appreciate all the hard work put into this team and the challenges!
    1553 days ago
    I stated on my teams wall that I am not competitive by nature. Not against others. Never have been and at age 56, I don't see that changing anytime soon.I definitely don't check other folks weight. Bu see-saw weight keeps me dizzy enough. However, I love the challenge because it gives me accountability and the LTGL goals have been truly beneficial. The nine inch plate goal? GENIUS!!

    When we socialize online, so much can be perceived, so wrong. It happens a lot. If someone post something that does not sit well with you, send them a private message and share your feeling. I bet that the majority of the time, nothing negative was meant. But if the challenges in general are not your cup of tea or you feel like they aren't a good fit, don't do them. Everything is not for everybody, but everybody can find their thing that is a perfect fit.
    1553 days ago
    emoticon I LOVE THIS BLOG! I agree with you that we are self-motivated.

    emoticon and I love the 5% Challenges. Thank you for writing this blog and thank you for all your hard work before during and after the challenges!

    1553 days ago
    Challenges are good, I took a break but will rejoin. It always depends on your mind set. Good morning! can sound pleasant, sarcastic, or just automatic with no thought intended. If something bothers you, move on. I'm rather done with complaining, being offended and political correct. Just move on people if something doesn't agree with you (tomorrow it may!). Keep Sparking, lovely people! emoticon
    1553 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. emoticon
    1554 days ago
    This is a great blog. Sometimes I worry about these things too -- weight loss is not something we can control. However, we CAN control our healthy behaviors like plate size, calcium monitoring, etc. And as for exercise - I completely agree, some is better than none. I see it as a competition against myself and as a way I don't want to let the team down. But I also think it's a little weird to congratulate those who lost the most weight each week -- not only is that really outside of our control, but it's also not always accurate (water weight, weight due to bloat the previous week, etc.) and not always desirable to loose a lot of weight in one week. So I see both sides. I really like your attitude, and I think our team's attitude, that we are all helping each other to land, not competing against each other!
    1554 days ago
    Random is nice, sometimes.
    1554 days ago
    I like the feeling of accountability I get from the challenges. I appreciate the huge amount of work the leaders put into it. There is no way to please everyone. If you try, you just end up miserable. Keep doing what you're doing. Your intentions are honorable, even if all the competitors are not.
    1554 days ago
    Good thoughts.
    1554 days ago
    I love the 5% Challenges! Happy to be a part of this!
    1554 days ago
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    1554 days ago
  • no profile photo CD17288779
    Good blog.
    Like that you acknowledge that folks abilities are different. Just been in holiday waits s friend with some walking difficulties who expressed a sadness that she couldn't join me on a longish all to church. I offered to let her try a bit on the way back while I leapfrogged her in the car parked then walked to meet her and walk to the car, I ended up having to walk the whole way back too, as she reached the end of the short bit and wanted to go on. It was so good to see her look of sheer joy at her accomplishment.
    1554 days ago
    I loved Casual Travelers and will probably ask to go back in the Summer. I'm not hot on the LTGL's and I'm afraid am not very honest most of the time. I can only concentrate on one thing at a time - most of the LTGL's come pretty automatic so I don't have to specifically count, track, etc. But I love the support and being in a group doing the same thing = losing wt.

    You gals do a great job! emoticon
    1554 days ago
    Very well written blog. Thank you for putting it all down in writing. We are in this journey together. We do need to support each other. We all join for different reasons but for the same goal- a healthier life. I am not a competitive person but I love the support a team gives. I do love this team (5% challenge) and feel very supported by the leaders. emoticon
    1554 days ago
    Excellent blog! I do feel guilty when I gain or don't get much exercise as I personally feel I am letting my team down! that being said, no one makes me feel that way except me!
    1554 days ago
    emoticon I agree with the idea of sharing with the entire community. emoticon

    1554 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    Great Blog!!! I can say this I am so glad you addressed this issue as I became aware of it for the first time in 3 Challenges I've done, that there was something like this. I know it is what you perceive. People have to remember that this medium is only 2D and you truly don't know the intent that the idea was created or for that matter the badge. People say things on here or insinuate all kinds of things, that I am sure if you were face to face with that person, you would not felt that way at all.

    We need to remember that. It seems like people make this a reality for them. It is like any other social media. You are the captain of what you read or don't read. I'm sorry for whoever felt chastised by these badges. I tend to like to see them, but then that's all I do. We also have to remember we don't know what truly going on in other's lives, and if we had to walk in their shoes, things would be a whole lot different.

    I have come to find these Challenges a good thing. It helps remind us of what we need to be on the lookout in our diets, sleep habits, and perception of what exactly healthy is. It helps give you accountability to what you are doing on a daily basis if you want it to.

    Thank you again for addressing this so that others know that we are all here for the same purpose. We give support and take support when needed. I really don't think anyone would do anything intentional to belittle anyone.

    Now that I've gotten this out and over, I shall step down from my soapbox. Thanks for being a wonderful leader!
    1554 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/30/2017 3:12:18 PM
  • ANNIE1114
    I enjoy the mileage competition between the teams. I always try to do more exercise during the challenge so my team can do well. However, I don' care anything about competing with members of my own team. I think we should be pulling together.
    1554 days ago
    Great blog!
    Being a casual traveller is great. I know that I'm in it for the long run and that these days the weight takes longer to vanish, but that's ok...
    1554 days ago
  • HICIM705
    I love this blog, Ceri - thank you for taking the time to write it!

    If the reader is inspired, that is great ~ if not, that is also fine.
    1554 days ago
    Thank you. Being New here of only a few weeks, this gave me things to think about . Positive motivation. 😊
    1554 days ago
    emoticon emoticon Ceri, thank you very much! My suggestion, send this as an email to the entire 5% community.
    1554 days ago
    The great thing about SparkPeople is that if you find something uncomfortable you have a choice to suck it up or not do that challenge!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.
    ~Hugh Downs
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    1554 days ago
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