After I decided to increase my focus on weight loss, I started comtemplating ways to motivate myself. Shame seemed like a decent option.
I thought of how humbling it must be for obese participants on shows like The Biggest Loser or Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition to get on the scale wearing very little clothing, revealing not only an embarrassingly high weight, but also a gruesome visual image of how that number translates into physical appearance. I admire their courage for putting themselves out there, and wondered if I should do the same. Maybe forcing myself to face my reality and show it to others would be just the kick in the pants I need to really get serious here.
Or maybe not.
I've been pretty open and honest about even the most unpleasant parts of my journey here, but actually showing everyone how gross my body looks might be a step too far out of my comfort zone. While I was weighing (pun intended! ha! I love puns.) my options, a friend gave me a suggestion that I've decided to use.
I'm calling this my Photo Challenge, and this is how it works:
*My husband took some icky "before" shots of me this week, complete with ginormous belly hanging out in all its (grotesque) glory.
*Those pictures are being kept private for the time being, and will remain so, provided that I meet a weight loss goal I am setting for myself.
*My first major weight loss goal is 9 pounds in 12 weeks. I chose 207 as my first goal weight because it was the lowest post-baby weight I achieved last summer before I started gaining again in the fall. I'm counting the 12 weeks from last Friday, so I need to be at or below 207 pounds by October 12th.
*If I meet my goal, I can choose to either destroy the "before" photos, or post them alongside a much more appealling "after" photo.
*If I do NOT meet my goal, I will post the photos as is, and suffer the embarrassment of not doing what needed to be done.
If this challenge works well as a motivator, I might continue to use these scary photos as incentive to set and meet new weight loss goals. I'm generally not big on being this specific about losing a certain number of pounds by a certain date, but the lack of specificity has not been working for me this time around. If I had been losing weight steadily (even if it were slowly), I wouldn't need to do this. But I simply haven't been getting the job done, so I have to try as many new approaches as it takes to succeed. I made this first goal VERY attainable -- less than a pound per week! There is really no viable excuse for me not to be able to do this. Game on.