Friday, May 10, 2013


Last year, we did a big weight loss contest at my work. Upwards of twenty people participated, and it was very competitive. I took it very seriously, and lost almost forty pounds in three months, and took first place in that contest.

Sadly, for a guy like me, forty pounds is not all I had to lose. And there were several others like me who had lost well, but still wanted to lose more. So, we did a second round of the contest immediately following the first. Three months later, I'd lost another ten pounds or so, but this time around, I wasn't the champion. I wasn't upset. After all, I'd still lost some weight, and the prize for winning this time around was much smaller, since there were less people who were participating.

I gauged the interest in people doing a third round of the weight loss contest, and got a very tepid response. "Maybe," everyone said, "after the new year, when we all have weight that we need to lose again."

So, I let it lie. And, sadly, I let myself go a bit. Over the holidays, I gained back about half of the weight that I'd lost throughout the year. Now I really needed a new round of the weight loss contest. I started asking around to see who was interested, and it looked like it would be worth doing again, so we started round three.

Only nine people took part in the contest this time, and from the get go it seemed as though nobody really cared. I tried hard for the first two weeks, and lost about ten pounds, but then my enthusiasm waned, and within a couple of weeks, I'd gained most of it back. Halfway through, I got disgusted with my laziness, and tried hard again. I lost about ten pounds again, but, again, my enthusiasm waned. I gained the most of the weight back.

Then, just the other day, one of the guys who was doing the weight contest told me that it had come to an end. I didn't even realize we'd reached the end. I was bummed, because it was too late to even try. I knew how lame everyone was doing, and if I'd had a week or two, I could have put on some effort and lost ten pounds again like I'd done twice before. But instead, I had until Monday, and it was Friday. So, I didn't even bother.

When Monday came, I stepped onto the scale for my final weigh in. I'd lost something like three pounds altogether in the three months of the contest. If I hadn't taken up training for a marathon, I probably would have gained weight, I'd eaten so poorly. But, at least I had a positive number.

I went back to my desk, and forgot all about it.

An hour later, after everyone had weighed in, the woman who was in charge of the contest showed up at my door with money...for me. It turns out I had won the contest. I was the lead male. When we started the contest, since there were so few participants, we'd decided that there would be a female winner and a male winner, and that was it. No third place or Miss Congeniality or any of that.

Well, it so happened that I was the only man in the whole contest who didn't actually gain weight over the three months. It was a pretty sad state, really. The grand champion, who had lost much more weight than me, apparently lost it because she'd gotten the flu a week and a half before the contest, and had been unable to keep any food down for several days.

I got sixty bucks out of the deal, and like Mr. Potato Head said, "Sixty bucks ain't bad." Oh, wait, he said fifty bucks ain't bad, so sixty must be totally awesome. You could get yourself a rare Sheriff Woody doll and still have ten bucks left over for a dimebag of crack.

I suppose it's time to let the weight loss contests go. Folks around here just aren't interested anymore. I'm going to have to find some sort of internal motivation if I want to lose weight now. But, when it comes down to it, it always has to be internal motivation, doesn't it? Or you can't keep it up for long. I'm going to start looking deep within, reflecting, and meditating and stuff. There's gotta be something left within me that might motivate. Something within in me other than the fat that I've accumulated from drinking so damned much Mountain Dew Code Red in the last few months.

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