Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Motivation and Intimidation

My good friend, BT, asked me a question the other night:

"Do you want to go on a vacation?"


We discussed the options, the dates, and did a cursury glance at some of the discount travel brokers...and came upon an all inclusive 5 days, 4 nights in the Dominican Republic and a hotel on the beach.

The trip is tentatively schedule for Columbus Day and we are thrilled...but in the back of our minds, or perhaps the front of our minds, is motivation.

Last night, we were both exhausted, as evidenced by our mutual pasta downfall. We confessed and vowed to do better. Which leads me to the topic of rewards. I read this article today about how a monetary incentive and/or punishment will likely not encourage weightloss in people.

You can read about it here.

I admit, I watch the FLN show "Ruby" about the woman who weighed close to 500 pounds, then decided to change her life. To me, it seemed like death was her big motivator. But even THAT doesn't change some people's minds. Perhaps only negative reinforcement works for weightloss. I'm going to bet it has something to do with people being unable to grasp the reality of what just 10 pounds would do for them. 10 pounds sounds huge, unattainable. It sounds unreal. So when they mess up, they say "oh, I was so pie in the sky anyway, oh well" and move on to the pick-up window at McDonalds.

Then there are the people who make unrealistic goals. I'm guilty of this. I'd love to weigh about 30 pounds lighter. In reality? Pipe dream and probably unhealthy. I keep promising measurements, and I'll do it...but you know where I'm going with this. We have unrealistic expectations and desires and when we get bored or hit a wall, we don't see the progress we've made and we lose it.

But I think this time, for this vacation, I'm going to play the numbers game. Not the weight numbers, but the inches numbers. I have a particular bathing suit made by a certain company that is known for their buxom models...and I love to look good in it. More to come on my theories of how to prepare for this trip...

Now for a discussion on intimidation.

Unfortunately, I'm one of the lucky few who live across the street from MTV's Real World DC house. Apparently, in their quarter block mansion, they didn't have room for a home gym...so they have started using my gym. K and I went to the gym yesterday to discover cast and crew taking up entirely too much room (i.e. about a third of the gym). Really people? At peak hours, have some respect for those of us who pay to go here.

While we were assured by management (who got to meet the angry polite version of myself) that we would not be on TV, my friend K, was intimidated nonetheless. The channel that embodies sex, beauty, and all things superficial was in the room next to her while she was trying to go about her workout. Proper gym etiquette is to ignore all others around you while still being considerate of someone else's needs. Improper gym etiquette is having a camera, sound crew and producers looking at you while some clown asks "when will you be done with your sets?" (gym speak for: I want to use that machine, will you move asap?). That's initimidation and it's everything I work against in the gym world. I've mentioned before that women especially have a difficult time using the free weight area (even though they'd benefit greatly from it)....and now that my gym features four Real World tough guys and their entourage....so much for a comfortable, open setting, which I thought my gym had done a nice job acheiving. It's less "weight room" more "area with weights and benches."

The good news is that management heard me out, I got to speak my mind, and I don't care who sees me hot and sweaty, because that's what I do on my weekends at my other gyms. But that doesn't mean I'm okay with it--if only because I, unlike the corporate offices of Washington Sports Clubs, care about the comfort of other women at the gym.

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