Commitment and the Lack Thereof
This past March, after hitting my adjusted target weight of 165, I told Scott and Eric that I was going to try to make 163 by the end of April, but I didn’t set a penalty for failure.
So, can you read the tea leaves in my “commitment?” I was going to “try” to make 163 and I didn’t establish a penalty for not achieving my objective. Is that a formula for failure or what?
As it turned out, I waited too long to get serious about getting down to my target weight of 163, and with 2 days to go I was still 5 pounds over. I didn’t want to fast those two days (even though I’ve actually enjoyed fasting in the past), so I said frack-it (who knows what TV show that comes from?), and didn’t make my target weight. Immediately upon telling Scott and Eric that I didn’t make it, I realized the error of my ways. They were merciless. The biggest blow was when Eric said he had lost respect for me. That hurt! Hopefully, I gained back some of that respect with a foot sweep: King of the Back Yard
So now I’m about two weeks away from my July 4th target date by which time I am “committed” to making my target weight of 161, the lowest I’ve been in 30 years. I still can only commit to “trying” to achieve my objective because I do not believe in saying I “WILL” achieve my goal, because you never know. So many things can happen that are out of my control, so the best I can do is “try” to make it. This time around, however, I’ve agreed to be penalized if I don’t achieve my goal — I will have to go out to a restaurant wearing a dress and a sign around my neck which reads, “I’m a Loser!”
I break into a cold sweat just thinking about how humiliating that would be, so clearly I will be trying much harder to make my target weight this time. In fact, I am already doing much better, as I am only 5 pounds over with two weeks to go. I agreed to accept the “dress & sign-wearing” penalty because I wanted to make sure I would do everything in my power to achieve my objective. Over the past three years, I’ve hit most of my quarterly target weight objectives without an onerous penalty dangling over my head like the Sword of Damocles, but after missing my April target and suffering abuse from my fellow L-Wackos, I didn’t want to take any chances.
Of course I am acutely aware of all the positive physical and psychological reasons why I should achieve my weight-loss objective — I’ll be healthier, live longer, look better, have more energy, be mentally sharper, feel good about exerting self-discipline, help others lose weight by example, to name a few — but sometimes, especially when I’m relatively close to my optimum weight, I need a little extra incentive to overcome my powerful desire to enjoy eating delicious food anytime I want. You see, even when I’m 10 pounds over my optimum weight, I still feel good and people tell me I look thin, so losing that 10 pounds doesn’t seem to be a really compelling goal. And when one’s goal is not compelling, it’s much more difficult to achieve it, especially when it means reducing the amount of pleasure I enjoy from eating.
That’s why, if you want to increase your chances of achieving your weight-loss objective, establish a compelling reward for achieving your goal (or penalty for not achieving it) to give you the extra incentive that could make the difference.
I heard through the grapevine that the newest addition to the L-Wacko clan, Lee S., had not yet begun to get serious about achieving his July 4th target weight of 182. Keep in mind that Lee has agreed to the “dress & sign-wearing” penalty mentioned above if he does not achieve his goal, so I am 99.9% certain he will make his weight one way or the other because Lee is probably the most self-disciplined person I’ve ever known. He worked out harder than anyone else on the University of Rhode Island wrestling team and for the past 10 years (or more) he’s been competing in triathlons. The only question is whether he is going to make his weight in a sensible, pound-a-day effort, or is he going to lose 15 pounds in 3 days by fasting and working-out like a madman. What’s it going to be Lee?
Another fairly recent participant in the L-Wacko Challenge, Eric S., achieved his target weight of 176 in March, and now he’s shooting for 170 by July 4. The “dress & sign-wearing” penalty is hanging over his head, so I’m confidant he’s going to make it. Scott says that even at 176, Eric is a porker — all he has to do is think about working out and he loses a couple of pounds.
Dr. K is committed to hitting 190 by July 4, with the d&s penalty waiting in the wings should he fail. How you doing Doc?
Scott, another d&s penalty boy, says he hasn’t checked his weight in awhile, but he’s been working out pretty hard for the past few weeks, so he’s probably within 5 pounds of his 165 target after a work-out. I don’t anticipate any problems there – Scott is in the same self-discipline ballpark as Lee.
Tom P. says he’s been under 180 (his target weight range is 175-180) for the past month or more, so he’s doing fine (even without the d&s penalty). Notice that the wrestlers and the Doc are doing fine. But I’m sure Elyse, Queen of the L-Wackos, is also staying slim, but I haven’t heard from the rest of the L-Wacko peanut gallery, so I’m not sure about everyone else.
I haven’t heard from Jean A. in awhile. She was on a 1,000 calorie-per-day diet (without exception) for at least a month last I heard. But I’m concerned that the lack of communication could mean the lack of continuing to apply her willpower to sticking to her weight-loss objective. I will get in touch with her soon to find out.
Anyone want to come clean? If so, the comment section awaits.
Good luck to all you L-Wackos trying to hit your July 4th targets.