We are the stereotypical Italian family.

I am loud when I tell stories, and I have been known to wave my hands around like a mad woman in order to get my point across. Travis has an insatiable belly laugh that makes the entire room smile. We love fun and fellowship. We love having friends over and sharing a bottle of wine. A night playing cards something I can never get enough of. And the food! Oh the food! We love pasta, cheese, meats and all other things that taste so good on my lips, and look so horrible on my hips.

I was at my mother in laws house last weekend and she has perfected that adorable ‘pleasantly plump’ grandmother look. She has a beautiful smile and a cute high pitched voice when she gets excited and really I could just eat her up she’s so darn cute.

However, since we are a predominately female family, none of us are happy with what we have. I have two sister in laws who are below the suggested weight range and one who is above. Travis and I are both above. My mother in law is above and my father in law is below. We still have a couple of smokers in the group. The list goes on and on.

So, what do we do about it? Normally very little. However, this weekend we decided it was time. It was time to make some changes in our family and we thought a competition was the best way to kick it off. We divided into two teams (one 4 person team and one 5 person team) and each person picked a goal they would like to achieve before August. We weighed in, extinguished all cigarettes and the race is on.

This is day two of the hostage situation and I must admit I kind of like it so far. Yesterday I stayed within my recommended calorie range, as did Travis. (Which by the way does anyone else think it is grossly unfair how much more the man gets to eat!?) Today I am on track for to hit my goal again and it feels pretty good.

The winner receives $50 from each participant ($400) and if we lose 200lbs as a family we are going to grab our bathing suits for some R&R on a local lake.

So wish me luck all. August is pretty far away, and I am sure it will be a long haul. But I have to admit I feel very blessed. Blessed to have a family that is so understanding and supportive. Blessed that I am mentally prepared to dig in and lose some weight.

But most of all, I feel good about the fact that by the time August rolls around, I will have elbowed out the in-laws and I will be clothes shopping with a cool $400 in my purse… See you at the finish line!