Well, it’s almost here. The day we’ve been waiting for all summer. No, I’m not talking about the first day of school (but that will be nice, too), I’m talking about the end of the Biggest Loser competition.

For the last 11 weeks we have been counting calories, watching carbs, exercising like crazy, watching our waistlines get smaller and the number on our scales go down. There have been moments of victory and moments of discouragement. There have been days when exercise ruled the day, and days when ice cream won. Some days I was offering words of encouragement, and some days I needed them offered to me. I have lost 27 pounds during the competition – 41 overall. My Bacon Lovers (anonymous) teammates have all done well, too. We have been very consistent throughout the competition, and have taken third (twice), first (twice), and fourth (once), at the bi-weekly meetings. That means twice we have gotten a little extra money to give to our charity, Bond Christian Service Camp.

But that’s not enough for us. We want to give more. Since we are going to continue to train for and walk the St. Louis Rock-n-Roll 1/2 Marathon in October, we decided we would ask our friends and family to sponsor us in the race. The money we raise will all be given to Bond Christian Service Camp. Our hope is they can buy at least one (hopefully more) parcel of land to add to their property – this place where kids go to have fun and learn about God’s love for them.

But that’s still not enough for us. We also want to lose more. I don’t think any one of us is at our goal weight, so we are going to continue on. Maybe not as drastically, but maybe so. We most definitely are going to continue our training regimen for the race, and I think we have all learned valuable lessons about how much better off we are now that we have changed some of our eating habits.

But that’s still not enough for us. We want to win this competition. We want to win the money for our charity. It’s a big hunk of cash and we want the camp to have it. We also want to win because none of us thought it was possible at the outset of the competition. This small team of seven women, none of which with huge amounts of weight to lose, all of which with busy lives and schedules, and yet here we are, with a very real possibility of taking the top prize. (Add to that the fact that we are all Type A and highly competitive, and you might be able to imagine just how badly we want to win this thing.)

We have one more week to finish strong. We have one more week to collect lots and lots of heavy canned goods. (The team that collects the most will have 15 pounds taken off their total weight loss and then the food will be given to the local food pantry – two good reasons to bring me some cans!) We have one more week of bantering back and forth with the other teams. We have one more week of competition.

But we have a whole lifetime to reap the benefits of the competition. Lessons learned. Life-changing decisions made. New goals brought to mind. The end of the competition brings with it a choice – go back to the old way of doing things or continue on in a new, healthier lifestyle. I choose to continue on.

I’ll update you next week about the results of the competition, but the overall story is to be continued. In the meantime, pray for us and if you can help our team by pledging or by providing canned goods, let me know. A pledge form is below.

What “finishing” could be a “to be continued” for you these days?