The mood in the dining room was somber. Team Caylor had just learned that after one month on the Wells Weighs In program, they were not in the top 10. If our calculations were correct, they were tied for 32nd.
“Why’d you have to tell me that?” wailed Colleen, our 8-year-old team captain, burying her head in her hands.
The junior members of the team were preparing to spend a couple of days at Grandma and Grandpa’s house while Mom and Dad went out of town, and they’d done their weekly home weigh-in a day early. Only Ben and Cassie had registered slight losses, while Bob and Colleen were up slightly. How could they regain their motivation? How would they stay focused at Grandma’s, where they typically had more access to treats and pop?
Ben, the team statistician, ran the numbers and concluded it was still mathematically possible to win. The lead was hardly insurmountable, and there were still three months to go.
As coach, I gave them a “locker room pep talk,” stressing three factors to get them back in the game:
1. Don’t concede defeat every time there’s a disruption in routine. Plan for it, don’t use it as an excuse.
2. Track your intake and exercise, even when you screw up. You’ll make fewer mistakes and you’ll learn from them when you do.
3. Finally, they need to stop competing against each other and start supporting each other as teammates.
“So when we’re at Grandma’s, don’t wave a cookie in my face like you always do,” Colleen warned Ben.
“She’s right,” I said. “If you sabotage Cassie and Colleen, you sabotage yourself.”
“And if you do win,” said Rowan, whose Prom Bound team is even further behind in the standings, “I get a cut as Colleen’s personal trainer.”
The kids made plans to work out when Rowan got home from school. They packed their Healthy Goodness bread and Fiber One cereal, and we picked up Subway on the way to Grandma’s, who greeted the gang with a big bowl of grapes and apple slices, a spinach salad and a pan of diet devil’s food brownies.
If they can make these lifestyle changes stick, they’ll win — no matter where they finish in the standings.