This system is a reward-based weight loss challenge that I designed for my wight loss goals. It is different from others because you get a present every week that you complete your requirements. But if you don't complete them, you forfeit your present for that week. Here are the three requirements that I have to do:
1. At least 3 weight routines per week
2. At least 3 runs per week (one of which is my 10.5K)
3. Every single day I need to be in the green for MyFitnessPal, expect for sugar (the reason is because I dislike veggies but love fruit, so I eat a lot of fruit which has a lot of natural sugar). That means every day I have to put out more calories and carbs than I take in.
I keep track of it with his handy tracker (below). Every day I achieve my goals, I get this happy little dragon. Because dragons are awesome. My weeks start on Saturday and go to Friday. This is because Friday was always my binge day. It was the "I'm tired, let's get takeout," day, and that take out was followed by lots of dessert. So I needed a new reason to look forward to Friday, and getting to open my present each week fulfils that.
So, what are these presents? Well that is up to you and how much you want to spend/how creative you want to be. It is totally tailored to your personality. Because I didn't want to spend a lot, I went to the dollar store, and took advantage of the Body Shop's massive summer sale. Each item in my box was $1-3, added up over 13 weeks. It really isn't a big investment, like joining a gym or weight watchers, etc. Each week I get a motivational quote, something Wiccan, a few quotes from Cave Johnson (Thanks, Darrell!), a new poem I haven't read before, and my little present. You can really fill your weekly present with as much or as little as you want, as long as it will motivate you to want to get it. Because if you don't do your requirements, you don't get it!
As for the box, the NSLC sells their wine boxes and they are perfect! I got mine as a gift a long time ago and was using it as my chocolate box, so it seems fitting that it is now my weight loss box. They are $10, very attractive, and the proceeds go to the IWK hospital. Little brown bags can be found at the dollar store (in the kitchen isle, not the party supplies isle) and are great to hold your weekly gifts. Plus you can't see inside them, so by the time you get to week 5 it's kind of a surprise to see what you get.
Losing weight is fucking hard. There is no easy way around it. If you have my genetic make-up, everything you eat will stick around on your stomach, butt, thighs, back (ugh, back fat!), etc. I've always been in the mid 140s (lbs) at 5 feet, 3 inches tall. I'm around a size 10. Most of the time I feel pretty good with how I look, and I'm an active person, but even running 30K a week wasn't enough to keep losing weight. Because I love bread, cheese, wine, pasta and chocolate/desserts. Running 30K a week was enough to maintain where I am, but I wanted to get down a little bit more.
But one of the hardest parts is the delay in success. You don't often see results in weight loss until at least 6 weeks. That part is always so discouraging for me. Every week you're working your ass off and it feels like you get nothing out of it other than being tired and cranky because your daily chocolate ration has been reduced to a pittance. This way, I get something to look forward to every week for my hard work.
Another motivator is that I'm running my first big run in October. It's a 10.5K. My current time for that run is 63 minutes - so around 6 minutes a KM. I want to get it down to under and hour, and I thought maybe if I weighed a little less I could run a little faster.
And then there is all the emotional baggage from being called fat and so on as I was growing up. Don't call girls / teens fat, okay, it messes them up. Just don't do it, even if they have put on a few pounds. And I was around a size 8 in jr. high / high school, so I'm not sure why I was getting called fat, but you know, when you're not pretty and popular, you're fair game for that kind of thing.
So I've always struggled with weight loss. It's a constant battle, and I really wanted to make a serious effort this time. Summer is the perfect time to lose weight! There is NO discounted chocolate in the summer. November we have cheap Halloween chocolate, then December - just don't even try in December, January there is cheap Christmas chocolate, February there is cheap Valentines chocolate, March / April there is cheap Easter chocolate. It's like the chocolate companies control the holidays or something. But those few summer months we are free of cheap chocolate temptation. There are no chocolate holidays in the summer!
So why 13 weeks? I decided I wanted to make this big change in late June. My run is October 2, and just the timing of the two equalled out to 13 weeks (plus 2 days since my run is a Sunday). It was just the way the timing worked out. If you want to try 8 weeks, do that, or 10, whatever you think you can achieve. Start out small if you want and do 6 weeks.
As week 5 approaches, I have noticed some small changes and my clothes are getting a tiny bit big. So it's working! But I am being very good and doing my hardest at this. The presents are a huge motivator! I don't think I could have managed without that small reward each week. I've tried several times in the past and always failed. This reward system really works for me, and if you think it will work for you, good luck! (and let me know how it goes :) )