Accountability

Much has been made of accountability in exercise programs.  The effectiveness of accountability has been documented by many substance abuse programs including Alcoholic’s Anonymous.

When we began our weight loss programs, my wife and I made commitments to one another.  We have held each other to our commitments and have expectations that each of us will keep up our ends of the bargain on a weekly basis.

Accountability helps us because neither wants to have to admit failure to the other.  We encourage each other every week, cheering on a good week’s total weight loss, and consoling a bad week’s weight loss because we know the effort that we both have put into it.

I also feel accountable because I have decided to write about my attempts to lose weight on this blog.  My little girl also holds me accountable though she does not even know it.  Seeing her refer to the hefty male figures in her books sweetly as ‘daddy’ reminds me of my commitment to her.  All of these accountabilities have added up to help me hold myself to a successful program.

However, true person-to-person accountability is only as good as the commitment of the people who decide to be accountable to each other.  Don’t be afraid to hold people who make a commitment to you to their commitments, and don’t be afraid to ask them to hold you to yours.

 

Update: I lost 8 pounds this week and am now at 272 lbs.  That is 87 lbs in 15 weeks, and I am 62.5% of the way to my goal.  I am seeing the 100 lb mark on the horizon.  I hope to be there in three weeks.

 

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Exercise

I probably should have written about this aspect of my weight loss program much earlier.  I feel that exercise has been an indispensable part of my successful weight loss up to this point.  When I started this program, I also started walking about 30 minutes a day.  Soon I increased that to 45 minutes.  Now I try to walk every day that I can between 45 minutes and 1½ hours.

At first, I had to make myself get out and do this every day, but now I feel jittery if I have not had my daily walk.  I have also increased my speed.  Eventually, I would like to turn this into a jog or run, but at 280 lbs, and with a history of knee problems in my family, I will hold that off until I am a little thinner.

Because I have a responsibility to take care of my child in the afternoons and evenings, and she takes late naps, I do not have a lot of time after work to get in exercise.  I use my lunch and breaks at work to get my walking done.  I am lucky to work at a place that has a large area where I can get out and walk.  I have a cell phone, and am always on-call when I am in the facility.  This works for me because the director has also been nice enough to allow me to take my lunches early before it gets too hot.  If I get a call while I am walking on my lunch, I simply put the walk on hold and service the customer until I can continue the exercise.

Another way I have found to get exercise is to walk to where I am needed at work.  I work at a large facility that has several large buildings within the same complex.  I can get called to assist someone anywhere on the grounds.  I have a cart at my disposal, but I have been walking to my calls lately.  It really does not take me any longer, because I do not have to wait for the cart to warm up, and I get exercise through the walk.

Finally, on the weekends, my family (me, my wife and daughter) go to the park on Saturday and Sunday.  There is a large greenbelt that is interconnected throughout the city.  We take our little red wagon, and park at the City Hall.  This allows us to walk 1½ miles on nice shaded trails to a park with recreation equipment where my little girl can play.  She loves it, until it is time to leave, and we get to spend some quality time together.  When we leave, we walk back to the car, and get that much more exercise.

I have had a lot of success so far with this program, and I hope you can find the time to walk also.

 

Update:   I lost only 1 pound this week.  These weeks are always a little disappointing.  I put in the same effort, eat the same things, but do not get the same results.  I guess that is just the nature of any weight loss program.  I will do as I have done in the past.  I will continue the program as is for another week, before I make any changes to what I am doing.  In the past, these bad weeks always seem to be followed up by a good week with no changes to what I am doing.

As of today, I have lost 79 lbs in 14 weeks.  I now weigh 280, and am 60 lbs away from my goal/reevaluation weight.

Motivation and Positive Self Image

I actually had a revelation watching Paul McKenna’s show.  I don’t think it had anything to do with his point this week, but as I watched the program, I began to reevaluate my own program and motivations.  His point this week was to help people to stop criticizing and start loving themselves (I like the way I said it better).  I do not think I personally have an issue with this.  I have a strong self image that comes partly from my religion and partly from my own ego.  However, there have been all of those failed battles with weight in the past.  What is different about this one?

I think that writing this blog has been a part of it.  I have committed to chronicling what is happening this time.  I also have kept statistics on my progress (See my other blog entries for more info on how I’ve done and what I am doing). 

But as I stated earlier, Paul McKenna’s program this week prompted me to look even deeper.  I looked at and evaluated my attitudes toward myself.  I asked myself, “Why do I have a positive self image while all of the other people in his audience have a negative self image?”  I began to think of the areas that give me a positive self image.  I’ll just deal with a couple of the biggies.  Since I am being completely honest, I think I am a pretty smart guy.  I don’t want to deal too much with this, however because I am quickly destroying my sense of humility which I feel is another good point.

These points are good, but they were no real eye openers.  I hit the nail on the head when I thought about being a father.  I’m a good dad, and I put most of my efforts into this.  As I’ve stated before, my wife and I work different schedules.  This has forced (allowed) me to be a much more integral part of my little girl’s life than a lot of fathers.  Helping her to grow into a good and happy person is my biggest obsession.  And, this is where I hit pay-dirt.  I realized that I have compartmentalized my weight loss.  I moved it from just being ‘how I take care of myself’ to ‘part of what it is for me to be a good and responsible father.’  I gave myself a burden when I began to realize that taking care of her is my biggest responsibility.  I want to be there for her, to see the important parts of her life (for myself), and to make sure that I can meet all of her needs.  I do not want her to have the burden of a 50 something sick parent that forces her to drop out of college to take care of him, or be guy that has the fatal heart attack and is not at her graduation or there to walk her down the aisle.

She is my motivation and my self esteem.  I am already a thin and healthy person in my mind for her, it’s just going to be a few more months before I get there in reality.

 

Tuesday Update:  This week I lost 7 pounds.  This puts me at 78 pounds lost in 13 weeks.  I am at 281 and am 61 pounds away from my reevaluation/goal weight.

 

Motivation

Motivation:  Motivation and morale are the biggest things in terms of sticking to a weight loss program.  I have a wonderful 19 month old motivation.  She is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I want to experience as much of her life as possible.  Even at her tender age, she has shown me things about myself that I do not want to saddle her with.

I love my mother, but she was overweight while I was growing up.  She was not a good example of a healthy lifestyle for me.  I do not blame her, but in a child’s mind it is easy to rationalize the idea that, “Mom’s fat, and she’s OK.”  I definitely did not want to leave my daughter with this example.

And, don’t think a one year old does not notice.  I stopped biting my nails (a life-long habit) several months ago because I noticed that my daughter had her hands in her mouth all of the time.  I noticed one day that it looked just like she was biting her nails.  That day was the last time I bit my nails. 

In another incident, just last week (47 lbs. down) my daughter pointed at a big round snowman on the side of a coffee mug and said in the sweetest voice, “Daddy!”  You’ve got love that, but you can also use it to keep yourself motivated.  I do not want Daddy’s shape to be associated with anything large and round.  That 47 lb. loss is something, but it does not mean that I am thin yet by any means.

It’s hard enough to find good (nutritious) food that is aimed at kids.  By eating healthy, myself, I am not only setting and example of how one should eat, I making healthy choices available for her.  Sure, she may not want to eat what I am having today, and that’s OK, but she will often lean on me and sweetly say, “Some!”  This is the perfect chance to let her try some other things.