Tiana’s weight-loss challenge #2

Posted: February 14, 2011 in Health, Hints & Tips

TreadmillOn Saturday I introduced you to the first challenge I tackled to help my mom and I when we had lost our motivation to lose weight.

I find this time of year, I start to get excited for the warmer weather. Once the weather starts to warm up again, I want to get moving, get outside and enjoy the sunshine. I’ve decided to get back into working out on a more regular basis (4-5 times a week as oppose to 2-3 times).

The reason why I shared my weight-loss challenge with you the other day was because of some articles I read online. One article was called “Can money motivate weight loss?.” Obviously I knew the answer to that was YES! At least it was for me! My problem with losing weight isn’t the maintaining, it’s the weight-loss. I really struggle to get that scale moving again, in the right direction. I know what I need to do to lose more weight, I just find it gets harder and harder as I have less and less to lose.

I like exercising, but for me to actually lose the weight, exercising 2 or 3 times a week and eating healthy doesn’t cut it anymore. I need to push myself harder, exercise 4 or 5 times a week and I REALLY have to watch what I eat. I still allow myself the odd treat but I’m much more careful! Of course knowing what I need to do, does absolutely nothing to motivate me, but I find something like putting money on the line does!

I can imagine if your money was on the line, it would in fact motivate you as well, wouldn’t it?

So then I read another article today called “A gym where it costs you to skip a workout.” I thought to myself, that’s freakin’ brilliant! Then I thought about it some more and quickly came to the conclusion that as much as I like that idea, it would in fact not work well for me because when I don’t feel like doing a workout at the gym, I just don’t go. Instead I do something outside or at home. So even if I technically skip my GYM workout, I’m not actually skipping a workout, just doing something different to keep myself from getting bored.

As much as I liked the idea, I needed to come up with something that was similar but worked for me. So, I came up with this. A penalty jar! Inside the jar is a piece of paper with a price amount for a workout, if I skip it. It also includes a start date for my challenge and an end date. Along with a name (I’ll explain below)

This is an example of how it works:

  • My goal for the week is to workout 5 times. 3 are with weights & cardio, the other 2 are only cardio.
  • Before my workout week starts I write-up a schedule and put it on my fridge/wall. It includes the days I plan to workout, what I want to do on those days and what time of day I want to get it done. Schedule it into your day like you would an appointment. (Obviously things happen and this may change but it’s a good starting point, stay flexible but try your best to stick with the schedule)
  • My price for missing 1 full workout is $5 (amount can vary depending on what works for you)
  • If I go to the gym and only do cardio when I’m suppose to do weights & cardio,  I’ll owe 1/2 = $2.50, same for the other way around, I only do weights but was scheduled to do cardio & weights.
  • You keep track of your progress and at the end of the week or even the end of the month tally it up and see how much you owe.
  • 5 workouts missed in 1 month= $25
  • This can continue for however long you like!( 1 month, 2 months, a year!) It’s up to you on the amount of money and the length of time you challenge yourself. Decide at the beginning how long you plan to do this challenge for, write it down on the paper that goes in the jar. (This will help hold you accountable.)
  • HERE’S THE CATCH – the money you owe at the end of the month or the end of the year… It’s NOT yours! YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT AWAY! (Whoever you give it to is up to you. Charity, little brother, neighbour, homeless…) write this name/charity down and put it on the piece of paper that goes in your jar!
  • This is the info that will go in your jar at the beginning of the challenge: Your start date, your end date, who you’ll give the money to at the end( if you owe any) and what the cost is for each missed workout. (You can also add a reward element to this if you’d like, I’ll explain below)

I thought this would be a great motivation for me but it seemed like it was missing something. I love to reward myself for success, for reaching my weight-loss goals. Like my trip to Cuba last year! OR rewards like some new clothes, a massage, dinner/movie, something!

What if I set my goal to something that is realistic on its own, something I know I can achieve and if I go above and beyond I can reward myself?

Seems even more intriguing now doesn’t it? I have a hard time-saving money, this could be a good motivator to save and push myself to work harder! So say on Monday the plan is for a workout that includes weights & cardio at the end of my work day. BUT Monday comes and I wake up early and go for a walk as well. That’s extra! OR I planned to do 20 min cardio and I do 30! That’s extra! I plan on lifting 45 lbs doing 2 reps and I do 3 reps instead, that’s extra! I plan for a 10 min jog & 20 min walk and I jog 15 min and still walk the 20, that’s extra! I could really have some fun with this and I could really push myself! I’m working harder and saving money! For each EXTRA, I can add $1 and it will either be taken off the amount I  owe from missed workouts or go into a savings account if I haven’t missed any workouts at all at the end of the month. The reason I went with a lower number? I think the penalty should be harsher than the reward. But if I push myself and do 3 or 4 extra’s in one day, the money could add up quickly! (Obviously, prices will vary for each person, these are only examples)

I think that at the end of the month/year if I end up with some savings rather than owing money, that would be amazing! I would feel so pumped and excited! I can buy myself something or go somewhere, do something with it. A reward for all my hard work and extra effort!

I’m going to test this challenge out on myself and see what works and what doesn’t. Hopefully at the end of the challenge I’m not going to owe a fortune lol! It would be good for the charities, not so good for my savings account! I might try this out for 2 or 3 months and see how it goes. I don’t have TONS of weight left to lose maybe about 15 or 20 lbs but it’s something I’d like to try. I think it would be a good motivator for me to get rid of the last bit of weight and get moving. Plus its something I can do on my own. Not like the first challenge that involves other people.

I’m going to set my start date for March 1st, so by the end of May or June I should be either at my goal, possibly with some savings in my bank account or I’ll be writing a nice cheque to a charity! (SMILE)

Anyone else want to test out my challenges? Let me know if you’re up for it or have a challenge of your own you’re trying out. I think its great to come up with new ways to make your weight-loss fun and motivating!

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