I have 10 pounds to go to reach my weight loss goal. When I started this journey I signed up with HealthyWage.com (HW) and made a bet I would lose 120 pounds in 15 months.
My motivation for signing up was to use HW as an accountability partner. I had lost weight before… but in the past, I would get to a point where I had lost some pounds (never reaching my goal weight) and then would either get upset because it was too hard, or get mad because I stopped losing (which was happening because I wasn’t being honest with myself that I was eating unhealthy foods or too many calories). With HW, I pay the amount of a gym membership every month and as part of the accountability, I weigh in often to track progress. There are even team and jackpot challenges I’ve participated in which have made it fun and kept me engaged.
As the final weeks before my last weigh in approach, though, my thoughts have started running rampant. I sometimes find myself talking to myself about not winning, or not achieving the goal I signed up to achieve. Up until a few days ago, I was stressing myself out and worrying about weighing out and seeing a number on the scale that wasn’t the “right” number.
Then, my friend Zuta texted me. She was “checking in” to see how I was doing and told me she wanted to start eating a high fat diet (which I have been doing to lose weight). She asked me a couple of questions and I answered. Then I did something I don’t normally do. I shared with her that I had 10 pounds to go and a few weeks left and I was worried I wasn’t going to make it. She texted back, “You totally got this!” and in that moment something relaxed in me. The thoughts were still there, but they were quieter and didn’t have ahold of me.
After I received her text, I started seeing all the ways I would worry about things. And I saw my tendency to start complaining about what I was doing, which made finishing it harder.
Perfect example: about 3 weeks ago, my friend Pamela and I ran the “Rock the Parkway” 1/2 marathon in Kansas City. 13.1 miles was the longest distance I had ever run. I remember lining up in the pace areas which designated how fast we would go through the race. Once we started, it seemed pretty easy. Then when we got to mile 7 or 8, my legs were cramping, and I wasn’t loving the experience anymore.
I noticed as I was talking to Pamela, I was complaining about this… or that. And I proudly shared them with her. “I’m done,” “my legs hurt,” “I don’t want to do this.” She listened and then finally said casually, “You realize quitting is not an option.” I giggled because I knew she had read my thoughts that I was ready to quit. After that, I didn’t complain anymore. I re-engaged in the race. And before I knew it, I could see the finish line. We did it!
Accountability is so important. Whether it’s the HealthyWage app, or a commitment to track food, or having a friend telling you the truth, being accountable creates honesty and engagement when the task at hand seems insurmountable. I used to think I didn’t want to tell anyone I had a goal to lose weight. The reason, I rationalized, was because I thought they would be judging me. The reality was the little child inside of me didn’t want to be told not to do those things which didn’t support my goal.
I wouldn’t be 10 pounds from my goal now if I didn’t have accountability. And the cool thing is, having people to talk to about what I’m doing and how I’m feeling, especially when I perceive that the “going has gotten tough” is a gift. It allows me to rebalance and refocus on the goal so I can dig in and give my best to completion.