Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekly Weigh-In

I just started week 3 of C25k.  Week 3 consists of a five minute warm-up followed by two sets of 90 seconds running - 90 seconds walking - 3 minutes running - 3 minutes walking.  I haven't run for 3 minutes straight in a long time.  At least not on asphalt. 

Let's get to the weigh-in.  It's late and I need sleep, so I'm putting the picture off until tomorrow.

I weighed in at 267 pounds this week.  It's a .2 pound loss from last week but I'm glad I lost instead of gained.  Still, pretty unimpressive.

I feel like my weight loss efforts have come to a grinding halt.  I've only exercised a couple times since my last weigh-in.  I've failed enough to recognize when I'm starting to slide.  There are a lot of reasons.  The weather has been gorgeous, I've been busy at work, I went to my alma mater, the University of Minnesota, Morris, for a weekend of sin, I've been sick, blah, blah, blah. 

I think the biggest thing for me is I have had some success.  I've lost over 30 pounds (actually 29 pounds if you take my recent spike into account).  I don't try to rest on my laurels, but I'm prone to doing so.  Not this time.  I worked hard to lose that weight and there's no way all that work is going to be in vain.

But that's just talk.

This Sunday at church we had a guest sermon by Rev. Dr. William Schulz, who, among other things, was the executive director for Amnesty International from 1994 to 2006.  He brought up a parable of a king who reached into a bird cage, took out a bird, and twisted its neck slowly until the spark of life had left the bird.  His cheeks were stained with tears the entire time.  One of the remaining birds in the cage turns to a comrade and says, "Look, there's hope.  The king is crying."  The other bird replied, "You fool.  Don't look at his eyes, but at his hands."

I know that's a very strange story to bring up right now, but the message was incredibly straightforward for me.  In the end, we're judged by our actions, not our intentions.  Schulz intended this story to be a call to action to make the lives of the less fortunate better.  We can't change the world by feeling sorry for the poor and the unfortunate, we need to make the world a better place for them with our deeds. 

So how does this relate to weight loss?  For me, this means I can talk about losing weight until I'm blue in the face, but unless I'm doing something about it, I'm still going to be fat.  I need to quit making excuses and work hard. 

I'm also going to tie a fairly sizable carrot to the end of a stick for myself.  Those of you who know me, know I'm a huge nerd with an eye for gizmos.  I've been up for a new phone on my Sprint contract for a while now and have been drooling over the HTC Evo.  It was announced a month ago and is slated for release "this summer" (hopefully June 6th or 13th, but those are both rumors).  This phone is sexy.  I've already decided that as long as I can afford it, this will be my next phone.  I want to be in line at the store the day this phone is released.

I've decided I have to lose 2 pounds every week (on average) from now until this phone comes out in order for me to get it.  That means if it comes out on June 13th, which is 8 weeks away, I will need to be 16 pounds lighter than I am right now in order to buy this phone.  If it comes out on June 6th, I'll only need to be 14 pounds lighter.  Even if it takes me a little longer to lose the weight, I'll still get the phone when I reach that number of pounds.  I want this phone bad and this is the only way I can think of to stay motivated on my weight-loss journey.

What do you do to stay motivated when you feel a slump coming on?


  1. I think about my daughters and don't want them to be embarrassed of haying the "fat dad."

  2. This happens to me too. I get going, see some success and then....peter out. The thing that I've finally learned though is that that's never the end. It's a lifelong cycle. You speed up, you slow down. That end is not THE END. I just have to remember the gorgeous, strong feeling I had when working out, or the clean, light feeling I had when eating well. Or be reminded of my mortality. That's always a kick in the pants. :)
    Anyway, I wish for you renewed inspiration. This is too important.

  3. I think that you can reach that number -- it seems reasonable with a lot of hard work.

    I think it's good to set some rewards too. I like it.

  4. This phone reward doesn't make any sense. You're going to buy that phone even if you don't drop the pounds, you already said you decided it will be your next phone. Also, a phone has nothing to do with fitness. Rewards should be immediate and directly tied to the task (this is why long term fitness is hard- results take a long time to show). You need a better motivator that's actually tied to your fitness goals.

  5. You shouldn't be trying to lose weight for rewards. What happens when the weight is gone and there are no more rewards? Are you going to put it back on so you can lose weight again for more rewards? Sustaining weight loss is a lifestyle. It doesn't mean you can't still eat the things you love, you just have to take it with moderation. Lately it seems as if you're thinking of every excuse not to work out/track calories, etc. The C25K is a great program, I've done it. But it's not enough. You don't burn a lot of calories during those 30 minutes.
    You should also add some weight training. Vary up your routine and time of day so your body doesn't get used to the same exercise. It won't be enough to lose weight. Burn more than you take in. Simple math. For this to work you need to change your lifestyle.

  6. Meeee tooo AL!!! I think of my kids, and my hubby. I dont want to embarrass them by being fat, or having their friends make comments. Ppl young and old can be cruel. So my motivator is first my health, its time, Im not getting any younger and secondly my family. I want to be all I can be for my lil army ;)

  7. For me, I just try and set a reasonable goal, and stick to it and wait out the down period. For example, when I was in a real slump with my running in February I just promised myself that no matter what, I'd get out and run every day, even if it was just for a little while. That really helped.

    The key thing I think is to not let the set backs become full stops, just keep on plugging away, if you put in the time, the pounds will come off.

  8. I agree with Jake. The phone as a reward seems like just a nice coincidence but ultimately has nothing to do with your weight. You can have a new phone no matter how much you weigh, technology is non-discriminatory.

    It seems like maybe you need to change your workout like Anonymous said. Running and everything is great but unless you're burning calories... how can you lose weight?

    Changing your routine can be motivating in itself. That's why I like my p90x workout. every month I get a new workout routine added... it's new and challenging and keeps me thinking 'This is new! I only did 11 push ups the first time... maybe next week I will do 15!'

    Also... just get the mindset that you Won't allow yourself to slump and then just... don't. Like you said, you can talk about it all you want but in the end you have to Do something about it to make it happen. Work out with friends too! That's always fun. You're spending time with people you enjoy AND exercising! Woo! Don't you live by Calhoun? Walk around the lake sometimes and see how long it takes you, then try to do it faster!

    New things are good! Old things and routine are boring!

  9. A reward that might make sense would be a belly button piercing.

  10. Hey Andrew, I'm totally in the same boat as you. Weight loss slowed. But you know, move on. Forget Anonymous--pfft! You should reward yourself. And the EVO? Sweet! I'm on T-Mobile, so no EVO for me...HD2 is what I got. Super cool. No Android, but what can you do?!

  11. Oh, and that sermon/parable was a great example. Very timely. Intentions don't mean anything unless they're matched by actions. Very cool.

  12. If you want motivation, find an older person who is heavy. Watch them try to walk and then watch them clean their plate. There is still time for them to change their life, to change their bodies.

    There is still time for you!

  13. I think something to look forward as a reward for hard work is a great positive re-enforcement - a Pavlovian response if you will. It will be nice to look at the phone and remind yourself of the hard work that it took to get there. I always set up rewards for myself and sometimes they are non-material to set my sights on a tangible goal to get to my overarching goal. *thumbs up* for rewards!

  14. Go re-read "Punished By Rewards."

  15. I struggle making my actions meet my intentions. Some one I hurt told me that "People can't change". I'd like to change. So I will go to the gym now.

    Don't let your challenge, your project, your goal fall flat on its face.

    GO DO IT!!!!!!!!

  16. That sermon is very powerful...

    I'm going to throw it in my tool box for days that I'm struggling to keep it together.

  17. Don't let the bad days get you down. Just know you can't change those days once they are over and move on to the next day and do what's right.

    With that being said, I am a tech geek myself. I hear you on the Evo. I just picked up the HTC HD2 last month from T-mobile. I was worried about windows seeing as I am an Android fan but the Sense UI really covers it up.

    See, I get carried away LOL. Take care and let me know how you like c25k. I have been wanting to start it.

  18. When I first started blogging, I saw other people reward themselves after hitting a milestone and to be honest I didn't get it. For me, losing the weight was reward enough. But then after I lost 25 pounds, it became harder and harder to stay motivated. I couldn't "see" any progress in my body (unless I looked at pictures) so I decided to start rewarding myself. My first reward at 25 lbs was a new water bottle. Totally related to my fitness journey. My next reward, however, is when I hit "onederland" and I've decided to reward myself with Dave Matthews tickets. Completely unrelated to my health in any way...but definitely more of a motivator for me than a water bottle or new shoes would be. So I can see why some people may not get the phone as a reward, but they're not in your shoes. They don't know what makes you tick and what will motivate you to take this to the next level. If a phone is what it takes, then it is what it is.