One year ago today, I started using the web site http://www.loseit.com to change my life. Right up front, I need to thank my lovely wife Teresa for recognizing Lose It! as something I might be interested in. She sensed I wanted to change, knew I had tried a few things that weren’t getting the results I was hoping for and realized this site had potential to work for me.
The Lose It community – Lose It is way more than a web site or a smart phone app – has many facets. One is a series of “badges” for successes. Some of them seem rather random, others clearly designed to help motivate toward a specific goal. Today I achieved the goal of logging daily for 52 continuous weeks, and earned the “Die Hard” badge.
One of the many things I have learned is that for me to be successful as I adopt a healthier lifestyle is that I seem to have a poor (or maybe just selective) memory regarding what I eat and drink. In fact, I just realized I forgot to log the orange juice I had with breakfast and jumped online to do so before I have an extra serving of something later thinking I have an extra 167 calories in my daily plan. The Lose It tool which helps those of us with a problematic memory is logging. And, to help develop the habit of logging, Lose It awards badges:
- 3 days: Keep It Up
- 2 weeks: Regular
- 4 weeks: Dedicated
- 8 weeks: Committed
- 24 weeks: Hardcore
- 52 weeks: Die Hard
I get it, and I got it. Its displayed proudly with the others on my Lose It profile page, and above for anyone who ventures here to see.
When I first joined Westwood Health & Fitness, I had a simple goal…enhance my cardio capabilities enough to survive a High Adventure week at the BSA National Sea Base with my son Matt and other scouts and dads from Troop 24. Goal achieved, and we had a great time. Fast forward a while to spring 2011. I had a goal to lose 21 pounds so I could ride the zipline at Utah’s Olympic Park on our vacation in June 2011. After starting Lose It, I did lose 21 pounds, and I did ride the zipline. Then I wanted to be lose 26 pounds by our 26th wedding anniversary a few weeks later. Goal achieved.
Then I went out on a limb. Double or nothing so to speak. I hoped I could lose 52 pounds by my 52nd birthday, and began thinking about my long-term target weight. By that time, I had begun to realize that a number on the scale isn’t really much of a goal and doesn’t provide much satisfaction or motivation. Maybe that’s why I missed the 52 goal. In fact, I’m still trying to get past 45 pounds. It seems I’ve stalled here, gain a pound, lose it. Gain 2, lose 3. Gain another, lose 2. Gain 3, lose 1. Etc.
I mentioned that Lose It is a community. Anyone who is just using it on their smart phone (there are both iPhone and Android versions of the app available in addition to the web site) is missing the best part of Lose It, the community of friends. People who are there with you. Who have similar hopes and struggles. People who have similar goals and are working along side you to meet them. People who have made their goals and want to help others. People like Belle, who has made some incredible changes in her life, lost over 265 pounds and starts every day sharing a joke and ends every day sharing a motivational or inspirational quote. People like Cheri, who cheer *\o/* everyone on. A few family members who are getting healthier along with me, a few “real-life” friends, who joined after seeing my success. And people like Debi, who posted something really profound a few weeks ago that I’ve been thinking about almost constantly ever since.
“If you really want something, you’ll make time for it. Otherwise you’ll make excuses” – Debi O.
That morning I had made a comment about it being too cold to ride my new bike and my schedule being too busy to get to the gym so I was just going to have to try to get some extra steps in that week. As I look back on the past 4.5 months – the time I’ve been “stalled” at my current weight – I can see I’ve made a lot of excuses. You may have even heard me make some of them.
- I’m traveling this week and its hard to lose weight eating in hotel restaurants.
- I’ve got meetings every night and won’t be able to get to the gym this week.
- Its too cold/windy/rainy to ride my new bike.
This past weekend, I didn’t use any excuses. We went camping as planned even though the weather forecast was for overnight temperatures near/below freezing. And I took pictures of the snow on our tents and smiled. I hiked the west bluff trail at Devil’s Lake state park even though it was cold and rainy and my knee hurt.
Over the past year, I didn’t use any excuses about logging. If I was away from my computer, I made notes and logged when I got back. When I got an Android phone, I got the app and started logging wherever I was. I earned that Die Hard badge.
And, now, I’m setting my next target…I will have that 50 pound badge before the end of the month. No excuses.
What are you making excuses about in your life? Leave me a comment, or drop me an email if you’d rather talk about it privately. Stop making excuses. Stop hoping. Start doing. Start succeeding. Want to make some healthy changes in your life? Join me and Teresa and Sami and Jon and Belle and Cheri and Debi and over a million others on Lose It.