Consumed by Competition

How an online boot camp broke down the lies that were driving my all-or-nothing life
Consumed by Competition

When you're managing more than $25 million of marketing budgets before you're 25 years old, the adrenaline rush that accompanies every negotiation you win hooks you. I've spent 15-hour workdays climbing the corporate ladders of two of Canada's largest advertising agencies. Over the years, I've participated in numerous weight-loss programs, and I've invested at least $10,000 in dime-store romances, Nora Roberts' trilogies, and the latest must-have, on-trend books in my quest for an all-or-nothing life. Competition and consumerism have driven me.

There's a pace to this life I was leading, an edge, and I had the gnawing sense I'd ridden that edge to its limit. How can the fruit of the Spirit grow in a heart focused almost entirely on competition and consumption? I wondered.

The antidote for wanting it all

Tired in body and spirit, hungry for energy, ready to get off the quick-fix weight loss roller coaster, I signed up for an online boot camp—a fast-paced exercise regimen I follow on my computer. For 30 minutes, five to six days a week, I move, sweat, roar, and shout, "Yes!" at my computer screen. And during those 30 minutes, my coaches offer a way to live that serves up an attitude of gratitude. It turns out getting off that all-or-nothing ledge is simple. But it's not easy.

First of all, I've had to refuse and refute the enemy's lies. "Tell your negative voice to zip it," says Coach Jonathan as I move into his first two-minute interval. "I don't want to hear her garbage like 'You can't do it. You have 100 pounds to lose. You'll never make it.' Your negative voice doesn't belong here." He, along with the other coaches, absolutely refuses to give that negative voice any credence or authority. As sweat drips and I wonder if I'll make it through the last two sets, I also wonder why I've bought into almost everything that negative voice has served up.

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Renee James

Renee James is a regular contributor for TCW, Leadership Journal, and the Gifted for Leadership blog. She lives in Toronto, Canada, and is the communications director for Baptist Women of Ontario and Quebec. She blogs infrequently at

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Consumerism; Envy; Greed; Identity; Idolatry; Success
Today's Christian Woman, November Week 3, 2013
Posted November 11, 2013

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