Picture this: you're running a race. You're exhausted, you're drenched in sweat, you're out of breath, your body feels shaky all over and absolutely everything is sore. You run up a big hill and at the top, you finally see it - the finish line.

The thing you've been hoping to see for what feels like forever now, is finally in sight. You hesitate for just a moment as you make the last big decision of your race - push just a little bit harder with whatever strength you have left to finish strong, or relish in the fact that you actually made it to end of the race alive and coast at a more relaxing pace down the hill to victory.

Either way you've made it. You finished what you started. You did what you set out to do. So, what's the big deal then? You're a winner either way, right?

I'll be honest here. I've been VERY tempted to relish in all the progress I've made & just coast through the rest of the challenge.

After all, I'm perfectly content with where I am right now and as I'm sitting here writing this, we only have the rest of this week & all of next week left before we have to do our final weigh in and body composition reports.

It really doesn't feel like a big deal if I give myself a pat on the back a little early for all my hard work and start to turn my diet and exercise routines down a notch or two. After all, my husband, family, & friends think I look great as it is. Besides, how much more progress can I really make in another week or so.....

But as I sit here contemplating all of this, it hits me. That's just not the point.

What really matters, to me at least, is that I can know that I did my very best and finished just as strong as I started. I need to know that I didn't let up just because the finish line was finally in sight. I need to know that I pushed myself right up to the very end.

What I don't want to have at the end of this challenge, is regrets and "what ifs". What if had pushed myself just a little bit harder? What if I had taken it all just a little more seriously towards the end? What if I hadn't given up a couple weeks early? What if I didn't allow myself to give into complacency? What if I did my very best instead of just good enough?

These are the kind of thoughts I don't want lingering in my head after the numbers are all added up and the results calculated. I'm well aware that I was given a tremendous, once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity here and I don't intend to squander it all at the end.

I know that I was once of only a few people selected from a large number of applicants to participate in this challenge and that means a lot to me. I am both humbled and honored to have even been chosen for this and I want everyone to see how much I've truly appreciated this opportunity to make positive changes in my life, my health and my body.

So, to do this, I must push aside the tempting thoughts of taking it easy these last days and keep working hard right up until I cross that finish line. I know that, if I do this, I'll truly be a winner, whether or not I actually win and that will be enough for me.