A new bottom line — Week 44

Remember that time this fell and, like, hit that coyote on the head? Yeah, that was awesome. This represents what I have lost.

It was more than four months ago that I posted a bottom line, the one you see at the bottom. Coincidence that the bottom line is at the bottom? Now who’s naive?

My strategy was to post the info when there was a new milestone. At last that has happened. And how! Thanks to a concentrated effort over two weeks I’ve reached a new low. I’m now down 34 pounds from where I started, and I think I have found a strategy that can work for the long term. That involves finding something positive and negative to motivate me.

Years ago I heard Tim Harford, an economist and author of The Logic of Life,” on the radio talking about how he motivated himself. He sent a friend $1,000 and committed to some exercise regimen. He said if he met behavior goal over six months, the friend was supposed to return the $1,000. If he didn’t, he’d give it away. That motivated him to keep to his goals.

I thought about that all that time. Since I don’t really have $1,000 to put up for a gamble like that, I found it hard to find something similar.

Then a while back I wrote about rewards and penalties. It’s a strategy used by former Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summit. You basically think of something you’d consider a reward, and another thing you’d hold out as a penalty. I tried it one week not long ago to see if it would work for goals that didn’t really help me lose weight. It worked. So then I set a one-month goals, but neglected to establish the reward and penalty. As a result I buckled on day 10.

After a few days off of the plan, I came up with a two-week behavior commitment, strengthened by the reward: I’d go see The Campaign at the SEEFilm Bremerton Cinema here. The penalty should I fail: I’d give up the Mariners tickets I have for Sept. 1.

The commitment was pretty simple. I set a daily calorie max and exercise goal. Over two weeks I met it. The result is I’m down to 370. I picked Friday as the last day, because on Saturday we planned to go to a family reunion and I wanted to be able to go to that without stressing over food.

The real bottom line is it worked. The key will be repeating it. On to the next low!

Bottom Line:
Beginning weight: 404
Target weight: 199
This week’s weight: 370
Total weight lost: -34
Pounds to go: 171
Percentage body weight goal: 50.5 percent
Percentage body weight lost: 8.4 percent
Percentage of goal lost: 16.6 percent