Alright Folks – Confession Time.

The Pandemic really took a toll on my overall health and wellness. A general pandemic anxiety combined with anxiety caused by being forced into unsafe circumstances by my employer and the overall Groundhog Day-ness of everything has led unhealthy choices. Pizza again? Sure. Another drink? Why not. Workout? Why, what’s the point if I’m going to get sick anyways? Might as well treat myself.

One smart choice that I made was participating in the annual health screening at work. This led to a high cholesterol discovery which in turn led to a couple doctors appointments and the embarrassment of having to get on that scale. Even though I am convinced that Doctors scales are 5-10 lbs heavier than my home scale the weight on that screen confirmed my tight clothes and I am easily the heaviest I have ever been. I have always been a big guy but athletic and generally healthy so the worst part is the pain I have felt while doing some manual labor like building my kids a swing set.

So, now that I’ve had this health concern laid out for me and I can see the light at the end of the Pandemic it’s time to get back in shape. Taking inspiration from Jane McGonigal and her SuperBetter book I am going to try some light gamification of this. I’m not talking about points, badges, and leaderboards here. Instead I need to engage those deeper motivations of Relatedness, Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.

Relatedness – Y’all, dear readers are part one. Relatedness refers to socialization and collaboration. In this case I am asking all of you readers to be part of this journey with me. I’ll be posting weekly updates on my progress. In my mind I will have a social support group that will be able to see my progress and support my efforts. Hopefully I’ll get some support through the comments and on Twitter when these are posted. So, every Friday I’ll be posting a quick update.

Autonomy – This motivator is the need for the player to make meaningful choices. The first choice is the decision to begin. Next choice is how I want to workout. I love running but the depression brought on by the Pandemic and the stress of being in person at school tempered my enthusiasm. I also really miss the atmosphere of 5K events. But Monday I will be starting to train for a 5K run which are starting to open up again. Third choice will be eating habits. In the past I have used a food journaling app which has helped track my intake. I will be faithfully using this again for a few weeks till I can get back into some good habits.

Mastery – Mastery is pretty straightforward but can look different for different people. In this case I am thinking if mastery as ‘goal setting’. I an not going to be running a 5 minute mile anytime soon but I can set the goal to complete the 5K on May 30th. By this date I will be fully vaccinated and, as a masked & outdoor event this should be a safe event. If I reach that goal I can adjust it to finishing the 5K under 30 minutes. Personal Bests are mastering oneself. I am also setting a weightloss goal. I am currently the heaviest I have ever been at 223lbs (on the doctors scale). I few years ago I was running consistently and eating better and was down to 195. My goal is to get back to 200lbs. At 2-3 lbs a week (recommended healthy weightloss) the would take around 10 weeks. This is coincidentally around the same time as the 5K that I am going to sign up for.

Purpose – there are short and long term purposes to this effort and I will try to focus my goals around the purposes. First is the short term – I feel sluggish and lazy. I want to feel energetic again and be more active and playful with my kids. So my first goa is to get back into shape represented by finishing the 5K in May. I’d be lying if there wasn’t a but if vanity involved here too. I’ve been recording lectures for class and look puffy and tired. Losing about 20lbs would go a long ways towards looking and feeling better so that is my weightloss goal. On my home scale as of this writing I am at 216. My goal is to be at 200lbs on the day of the 5K. The should make my clothes fit correctly again too. Long term my family has a history of heart disease and I need to get that under control before I end up with bypass surgery like many of my relatives. Sure there is some genetic component but cardiovascular exercise will help. Also, my back and knees have always been achy. Getting rid of some pounds will help that too.

So there we go.

I have stated my goals and sought your help! Feel free to check in on me and my posts and keep me in line!

Current weight – 216 lbs

Current 5k time – n/a. Though I did complete week 2 day 1 of couch to 5k going 2 miles at about a 13 1/2 minute pace.

Current self image –