Friday, August 24, 2012

Losing Weight, the Forge World Way!

As a middle-aged man who is at home most of the day with the kids, it was easy to become, shall we say, 'well-built'. Or we could say 'fat'. its up to you. Whatever you choose, I am quite certainly the visual definition of overweight. Medical charts would classify me as being dangerously so. Not in imminent danger of diabetes, heart disease, or any of the myriad other health issues weight can precipitate, but certainly heading that way. Ok, I'll be brutal - I'm obese.

Thank you, Doctor.

The key to successful change of any kind though is motivation. Sometimes this can be fear of negative consequences but such is human nature that more often than not the appeal of gaining something is far more powerful. So I have decided to utilise a trick that helped me quit smoking nearly a decade ago to help me lose weight.

I simply added up all the money I was going to spend on tabs and instead spent it, guilt free, on toys.

Thank you Valve, and Gordon Freeman, for saving me from lung cancer.
I did this with a simple spreadsheet. One column had the day's date. The next, how much I would have spent that day on nicotine. The third kept a running total of that cash. Being that smoking is habitual, it was easy to make a count each day of how many cigarettes I was likely to have consumed. One after breakfast, another mid-morning, maybe a couple at lunch time, one late afternoon, two, maybe three in the evening, and so on. I knew what my triggers were, when I was likely to have needed more nicotine, would have been too busy to smoke and so on. Before long I had a steadily growing total of cash saved up.

Just in case anyone reading still doesn't know that.

Note I did not stop myself from smoking per se. If I really wanted one, I could have one. But it took practically no time at all before the potential reward (another £6 to add to the total!) quickly outweighed the desire to smoke. Instead of satisfying that craving to sit down, relax, chill, smoke, I could remind myself I intended to buy a new graphics card for my PC and I would far rather have that than five minutes poisoning myself.

It is easier, then, to change a habit for a reward than it is for a punishment.

So, with my weight, I have decided (with my wife's support too!) that for the next three months, I will be rewarded with £10 for every 1% of body weight I lose down to 100kg. I currently weigh just over 116kg, meaning I could gain about £150 to splurge on Forge World!
Swapping a gut for this.

The cash incentive is to help me form new habits, healthy habits, that will get me fitter and slimmer, faster. Instead of sitting in front of the PC or TV in the evening I can go for a walk or run. I can say 'no' to those late night cravings for cereal, bread and peanut butter, or chocolate, and instead check out Forge World's website for new models, books and supplies.
How far would I have to run to get these boys?
 It is already working. Instead of wasting the morning surfing the web and mooching around the house, I am going for a swim. Maybe I 'll spend the afternoon digging the garden. Maybe I won't as I will have my 5-month old boy with me. But maybe I'll spend the time bench-pressing and bicep curling him instead :)

And then I can re-watch the Horus Heresy trailer and plan out tomorrow's exercises....

Thats the plan then and I would love to hear from any other overweight gamers who would like to lose weight along with me. Maybe some sort of friendly competition? A fortnightly weigh-off with prizes for the winner? Or just get in touch if you want help getting motivated to get slim and/or more healthy. If I can figure it out, I will share the Google Doc with my weigh ins here - any tips on how to do that would also be welcome. Thanks :)

UPDATE: As of 31/8/12, one week in to the plan, and I have lost 1.2kg, just over 1% :) Thats the first £10 done!

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