Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Accountability and Recruiting Supporters

I’m about to cut the MFD cord completely. I’ve “met” some great people on there and been inspired by the success and maintenance stories. At the same, I feel that overall, my years on using the site have not necessarily helped me. Good-hearted people have unwittingly offered support that ultimately served as enablers – encouragement even – of habits that detract from my overall health and peace of mind. “It’s OK. Just get back on the wagon.”
You know what? It’s not OK to say “I’m going to change” and not do make the change. Sure – it may not hurt anyone, but myself. But it does hurt me. Saying I’m going to do something and then not doing it demoralizes me. It beats me down. It makes me start thinking like a victim. It’s one of the worst things I can do for myself – especially in terms of mental and emotional health.
I read the Kindle eBooklet, The $500 Diet: Weight Loss for People Who Are Committed to Change by Ian Ayres. He suggests using dis-incentives - huge penalties that hurt – as motivation to change. Like publically pledging to give $500 per week to a charity for each week he doesn’t lose 1 lb. Um, who has $500 a week to lose? I was on OPTIFAST and some weeks I didn’t lose weight! But, the book got me to thinking about the psychologist who led the behavior modification classes at Emory. He definitely advocated public accountability and the recruitment of people to support him. For him, support came like this: Colleagues would stop by his office and ask him how he was progressing on a certain goal. He paid them to do this – each time a person asked him how he was doing, he put their name in a jar on his desk. At the end of the week, he drew a name out of the jar and gave that person a gift for supporting him.
I need a bit more from my supporters. If they ask and I hem-haw around – they need to give me a look that says “come on Maura – quit dilly-dallying around and stop making excuses. Do what you said you were going to do.”
I’m recruiting supporters here on my blog and at work. At work – I’ll ask some of my colleagues to email, call or IM me and ask how I’m doing with drinking my water. And at the end of each week, I’ll draw a name and give an inexpensive gift.
I’m going to do it a bit differently on the blog. For each person who comments (if you leave an anonymous comment – please put some kind of way I can identify you), I’ll put your name in a jar. At the end of the month, I’ll draw a name from that hat and donate $25 to the charity of that person’s choice. What do I want you to help me with? Holding me accountable.
I am going to lose 17 lbs this year. That is my goal. To meet my goal – I need to make some behavioral changes:
Delay eating to set eating times. I cannot eat every time I want to eat. I can eat, and enjoy my food at my set eating times: 8:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 3:30 pm, 7:30 pm. Beyond that – no eating. Each day, I will post my success with this.*
Drink water or green/white/herbal tea – at least six cups per day. Hydration is essential. Each day, I will post my success with this.*
That’s it for the rest of this month. I know my tools (habits) and this is the year of making sustainable change. That means slow, not all at once.
Posting every day will sometimes be a challenge. But I am committing to posting each day’s successes – at least every third day.
How would I like for you to be accountable? Leave comment if I don’t post at least every third day. Leave a comment saying – yay Maura – you posted! (or some other rah rah bs). If I post that I didn’t meet my goal - don’t let me get away with making excuses. Call me on it. I just ask that you be gentle. Don’t say it’s OK. But don’t condemn me to fail, either. Y’all know what I mean. Just comment to let me know you’re watching/reading.
That’s it for now. This starts today, by the way. And I’m happy to report that I’ve delayed eating twice!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. I have been a lurker for a long time...but I am going to be one of your cheerleaders!!!

  2. Maura
    I too was on optifast and lost 72 lbs..have gained back 20 and am quite discouraged with my self. The only was I was able to maintain(for a year) was to keep using the shakes...I finally had to quit them completely because of the hair loss and constipation Its a struggle wishing you the best

  3. Thanks, Stacy! When you were on Optifast, did you add a fiber supplement? I used Benefiber and it did help with the constipation.

    I'm looking at making my own shakes - well, soup mix. If I'm successful, I'll post the recipe here.

  4. I did use Benefiber, but maybe I was using too much. I was on the shakes for 9 months and I just think my colon had enough. Interested to see your recipe!


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