Putting My Money Where My Gut Is

November 14, 2010 · 13 comments

I have set a goal to lose 40 pounds by June 30th, 2011. With my starting weight today being a regrettable 304, that puts the target at 264, a level that I saw a few years ago when I first started my weight loss journey - in fact, looking back I see that I weighed that in January, 2008 - about 5 months after I started to get serious. That’s the nice sloping part of my status graph way to the left-hand side of the graph. So, this seems like a perfectly reasonable goal given that I have done it within the last few years. Clearly it’s not the final goal, but it will represent a huge start.

Why do I think I can accomplish it given the major struggles I have had since actually hit this weight the last time? Well, I think I have figured out the right motivation. Apparently it isn’t enough to be motivated by worsening blood tests, decreased stamina, the real possibility of not have an active retirement with my wife or seeing my children and eventual grandchildren grow up. No, those would all be very motivating things for someone else but apparently not for me. I would think they would be enough, but clearly they haven’t been. I am not in denial, I have a good feeling for where I am at health-wise and the ramifications of that. And yet I have chosen to ignore these motivating factors.

Las Vegas Sign

So what’s my motivation now? Well, this is probably going to show that I am a bad person, particularly if I am actually successful at leveraging this motivation, but the fact is I like to play poker. Playing poker in Vegas. I’ve been going to Vegas one or two times a year for maybe 20 years or so, and since 2003 I’ve been going during the World Series of Poker, not always playing in the series, but usually taking a trip during that period of time. This year I cashed in a non-bracelet event that they have introduced to ward off competition from other casinos that have introduced what are called “Deep Stack” poker tournaments, which I really like because they allow a lot of play for the money. So this year I had already started to plan for next years trip.

Next year’s trip to the WSOP in Vegas, which takes place roughly between the middle of May to the middle of July, is my motivation. I have told my wife that I am not booking that trip until I lose 40 pounds. Once I lose the 40 pounds I am free to go ahead and plan for it, so if I lose it before the June 30th date then I am fine. The June 30th date is about the latest I would want to plan for the travel so that’s why I set that date but really the date is the latest date that I could still plan to go to the 2011 WSOP.

So I told my wife about this goal and I have told all of you. I also told my kids I am starting a diet today (although I didn’t mention the motivation), and my daughter offered to slap me whenever I tried to eat something inappropriate. Wasn’t that nice of her!

I don’t like it that this is the kind of motivation I have to use but if it works, I’ll be happy. And if it doesn’t work and I can’t go to the WSOP next year? Well then I will be mad.

Sounds like a good motivator.

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John November 14, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Ha. I understand the love for poker. I go to Vegas 3-4 times a year. I am not a tourney player though, but I have never played deep stack. I only play cash games unless I get talked into a tourney.

Anyways good luck.

John November 14, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Oh I guess I should also say that I am with you on this 40 pounds, but with a shorter timeline. My original goal was to lose 39 more pounds by March 8th. This my be unrealistic so now I am thinking 23 pounds by March 8th and the rest of the 16 by June 1. If its faster, all the better.

Oh and not Vegas, but once I am in beach shape I am going on a vacation to Mexico or on a cruise. I can not wait to finally feel good with my shirt off.

Cynthia November 14, 2010 at 4:55 pm

I’m not a Vegas person myself, but this sounds like a good motivator to me! If you can, put up little notices like on your computer and on the fridge about it, so you don’t forget and let time slip away.

John's Weight Loss Blog November 14, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Good luck to both of us, John!

John's Weight Loss Blog November 14, 2010 at 6:48 pm

Cynthia, I may not need the written reminders, at this point when I see something I shouldn’t eat or if I make a motion towards something unhealthy this little “Vegas baby, Vegas” rings in my ears and I’m good to go. Hoping I can keep that going!

Greg November 15, 2010 at 8:43 am

Hey, the most important thing is finding what motivates you, right. If having some fun playing poker is what gets it done, then I say go for it!

Gotta love kids, too. She MUST love you!

Cynthia November 15, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I hear you! At the moment, any time I’m tempted to really stray off, I think ebook, ebook… and it stops me. But if it doesn’t, then maybe *I’ll* be doing the reminders on the fridge, LOL!

Anyway, sounds like you found EXACTLY the right motivation for you!

Jan November 15, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Hi John,

That is a great goal! I know you can do it. I might have some ideas on how you can reach those goals a little faster.

Mark November 15, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Whatever motivates you to make the changes you know you need to make is a good motivation. Actually, Vegas is a great motivator because that is something fun and fun things are usually easier to plan for than non-fun things.

Jay November 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Whatever it takes to motivate you ~

For me it was the fact that if I wanted it bad enough, I would be the ONLY person that could do it. No one else was going to lose the weight for me. It was me and ONLY me. Once that clicked and the fact that the weight wasn’t going to come off by itself, well I got it done.

Keep us updated!


AndrewENZ November 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm

If I can help in any way just email!

Merry November 20, 2010 at 2:01 am

John, if this kind of motivation works, then I’m all for it.
Please let me know if it would help to unleash my inner nag.

Not that I enjoy nagging people, but I do dearly love the feeling of success that comes from meeting a goal. I don’t care what it take to drive you to that goal, if we can help you please let us know!

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