If you’ve been following me for a bit (and I know I have), you’ll know that I’ve started running/walking/moving more than I used to. I’ve got a bunch of reasons to start this up: it tends to help regulate any sort of depression I’m having, I feel less lethargic, and I’m trying to lose some weight. In fact, Lovely Wife and I have a bet that we’re just beginning regarding weight loss. I won’t give you her numbers (because a gentleman never reveals, plus I’m afraid of her retribution), but I’ll say this: I have to lose 20 lbs. (228 to 208) before she loses 15 lbs.
But what’s the prize? What kind of goal could get me off of the couch and running laps around the park?
I know that being healthy should be it’s own prize – but then again, the people on the Biggest Loser have a $100,000 carrot at the end of the stick, so maybe everyone needs a little help. Lovely Wife, being the cheap bastard that she is, won’t put up $100,000. But maybe there’s something else…
The problem with a lot of material rewards (iPad, etc.) is that I’m at the point in my life where I could snag one if I really wanted to. I’m not Bill Gates (and if I were, I still wouldn’t be buying an iPad), but I do have enough cash in my reserves to pick up a piece of tech if I want it. Anything above that price point, then, is something that neither of us could afford, and therefore wouldn’t work as a motivator.
Plus, do I really need any more tech? I don’t have time to use a lot of the stuff I already have, and if I’m going to spend any money, it’ll be to replace my 5 year old laptop that’s been having death rattles as of late. I’m afraid it’s going to start saying, “Kill me…” in beep codes.
Experiences are also hard to use, because there aren’t any experiences that we can think of that one of us want to do without the other (and that the other wouldn’t enjoy). Lovely Wife and I have an incredible overlap in things we enjoy. I can’t say, “We’re going to the Lawn and Mower Expo!” or the equivalent. We’re both generally good to go on whatever experiences the other wants, and I can’t remember the last time I was dragged to something that she LOVED but I hated. Well, I might be able to think of one thing I dragged her to…
So what makes me run? I know I shouldn’t need a carrot, but I do. Without a carrot, without something at the very end, my brain just has trouble engaging. I’m not one of those self-motivating people; for better or worse, I need a reason to get my ass off of the couch and go do something. Or put the muffin down. Or not eat the second helping of Fundamentalist Mac and Cheese (deserving of it’s own post).
My 5th college reunion is coming up, so there’s always that motivation – you know, look better for people who haven’t seen you in 5 years! The thing is, I’m basically the same weight/look I was back then. Not much as changed in 5 years. It’s not going to be, “Good God, look how fat he’s got.” It’ll be more along the lines of, “Oh, that’s him, looking the same as always.”
Bribery, guilt, shame, self-confidence: nothing seems to really catch my brain and get it into full weight loss mode.
So what makes me run?