Friday, February 20, 2015

Fitness Challenge 2015 #1

In 2012, I, along with several other overweight staff members at my work, participated in a weight-loss contest. It was a Biggest Loser-style contest, where whoever lost the highest percentage of their weight won. I worked really hard, and lost 38 lbs. and won that contest. We immediately did a second contest, which I did not win. Then we took some time off (to gain some weight for the next contest I suppose), and did a third one the next spring. At the end of that one, we knew we had to give it up for good. Participation was way down, and so was the excitement for it. The last contest I won the "Top Male Loser" prize by being the only guy who hadn't gained weight during the three months, and I think I'd only lost a total of about a pound and a half.

But now it's 2015. Things have changed significantly since then. For example, I've gained all of those 38 lbs. that I'd lost in 2012 back, and another 20-25 on top of that. A lot of the rest of us who participated in those other contests have had the same problem. So, we decided to do it again.

I already had decided to lose weight with the chiming of the new year, so, even before the contest started, I was working on it. Listener, and friend of the show, Clay Dugger, mentioned on Facebook that he had a similar goal. So, the two of us got into a mano a mano challenge of who would lose 50 lbs. first. But, the two of us were struggling to have success. I lost about six or seven pounds right away, but then a started falling back into my same old lazy habits.

But the Fitness Challenge that my co-worker had been threatening finally arrived. It started on February 2nd. And I stumbled right out of the gate. My heart just wasn't in it, for some reason. I didn't do terrible, but I continued my routine of spinning my wheels and going nowhere. So, when the first week ended, I was up about a pound.

Still, I wasn't worried, until the percentages came out. Everyone weighed in (but me...for some reason I thought I was supposed to weigh in on Monday instead of Friday, so my percentage wasn't included on the list), and I found that everybody was taking this seriously. Unlike the last contest that I had won by not gaining, I was actually going to have to put some effort in if I wanted to be in the running. And there was some sense of lingering pride left over from having won the first ever contest that made me feel like I had to defend my title.

Upon seeing those percentages, I really became charged up. I was going to turn this thing around. I buckled down. I turned down opportunities to eat sugary treats (something I hadn't done the week before). I stepped it up with my exercising. At the end of that second week, I had lost five and a half pounds, which gave me a cumulative weight-loss of 4.2 lbs. I leaped from last place to...well, to tenth. I still had a long way to go.

But I wasn't discouraged. I mean, how can you be discouraged after losing five pounds in a week? I put together a spread sheet that could automatically calculate things for me as I entered my weight each week. I wrote goals on the spread sheet that I needed to meet. I even continued the spread sheet long past the final day of the contest, May 1st, to keep my progress going until I reach my final goal of 200 lbs. As long as I keep my goals each week, that should happen on Sep. 18th.

The spreadsheet and the goals got me even more energized. I seemed to be stuck for most of the week on the same weight, plateaued if you will. But finally, on Wednesday, I jumped off that plateau and started losing weight again.

Today, was weigh-in day #3, and, if the scale is right...and I'm not sure that it is, I lost another 5.4 lbs.  I surpassed my goal. And I'm feeling really good about myself.

I suppose I'll keep putting up a new report on this Fitness Challenge each week, so you can, if you'd like, cheer me on in my goal to be the man I once was in 2012.

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