Bribery is Good Motivation

During the holidays, my work puts out a challenge to all employees to maintain (or lose) weight between mid-November and mid-January.  The reward–besides the ability to button our pants after the new year?  They have individual and team drawings for prizes, including a Wii Fit and iPod Nano players.  All we had to do was weigh in last week and go back and do it again in mid-January.  (Just so you know, I’m so lazy, I didn’t even bother doing it last year.)

This year, I already have five pounds I’d like to trim, so I decided to go for it.  To ensure I put in the effort (and show some restraint), I’ve partnered up with someone else.  If I went solo, I have a feeling I would succumb to the lure of pure cane sugar.  But now that my laziness could mess her up, I’m much more conscientious.

For all of you self-starters out there ready to chastise me for my lack of self-motivation, I’ll save you the trouble.  I know I should want to do it for my health, I need to have the internal desire because that’s the only way it will work, blah, blah, blah.  Here’s the deal:  I love holiday foods.  Boxes of See’s candy, tins of popcorn, brownies, cakes, cookies, pumpkin pie, fudge, green beans.  (Kidding about the green beans.)

These treats are acceptable in moderation, you say?  Well, I haven’t been tested, but I’m pretty sure I’m missing the gene that determines will power and self-control.  (Or maybe environmental factors have triggered a mutation which causes me to consume huge amounts of anything covered in chocolate.)  Maybe I should write every time I want to eat sweet food.  Ha! I could finish my second novel by Christmas 🙂

So, this holiday season, I’m doing my own “just say no” campaign when it comes to the evil, but yummy, sweet treats.  After thinking about it, I decided I’d broaden the campaign to include anything that adds stress* this season.  Holiday party given by an acquaintance? Sorry, can’t make it.  Bring a main dish to feed thirty people at a potluck?  No thank you.Lose weight and stress?  What could be better than that?  I feel lighter already!

*As used in this blog post, stress is the emotion caused by commitments made for any reason other than a heart-felt desire to do so, including ‘yes’ responses induced by obligation, guilt, pressure, water torture or any other means of coercion.

What are your techniques for resisting holiday treats or beating stress?


26 thoughts on “Bribery is Good Motivation

  1. Brown Eyed Mystic November 11, 2010 / 4:19 AM

    To beat stress I need to figure where it’s hiding! Seriously, with the sunniness here in the country, birds chirping through the day, and “days” lasting till 8 in the (ironically) “nights”, what’s there to stress about, eh?

    To top it, I have my new home-office desk (yay!) AND my local library just got a new wi fi connection. That’s a treat sweet enough 😉

    Again, I love the humour in disguise in your posts! LOL


    • jannatwrites November 11, 2010 / 3:17 PM

      Stress can’t find you? My, aren’t you lucky! The sunshine and the new desk sound great…no wonder your words seem all smiles! I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  2. nrhatch November 11, 2010 / 7:07 AM

    To pass on the baked goods . . . I picture the cook sneezing into their hands just before touching the dough, or not washing their hands after using the bathroom.

    All of a sudden, the goodies don’t look appealing. They look gross.

    BTW: I’m only 1/2 kidding. I do use creative visualization to see healthy good for me foods as healthy and good for me . . . and garbage calories as garbage.

    • jannatwrites November 11, 2010 / 3:29 PM

      Ewww. The handwashing (or lack of) would certainly do it. I’ll have to see if it works when I REALLY need a chocolate fix 🙂

  3. chlost November 11, 2010 / 7:15 AM

    Man, if only it was just a pesky 5 lbs I was working to shed. But I think that the stress of trying so hard to lose weight with others keeping track would be very stressful to me in and of itself.

    Good luck! I sense you are strong!

    • jannatwrites November 11, 2010 / 3:33 PM

      I could lose a little more, but I’d be okay with five pounds…and maybe gain a bit of muscle? I want to get back on a low sugar plan because I had more energy. I’ll miss my chocolate, though 😦

  4. Bill Greeves November 11, 2010 / 7:23 AM

    ha ha – I bet you weren’t thinking bacon when you wrote “anything covered in chocolate” right? ; ) We implemented a wellness program at work couple of months ago and I was not happy with my initial assessment. Since then I’ve dropped about 20 pounds with the basics – diet and exercise. No doubt it will be tough for the next couple of months, especially because my wife is an incredible cook. She makes chocolate cookies and pumpkin bread that is illegal in many countries because it is so darn tasty! Avoiding the stress is definitely a way to avoid all the extra intake. Because we have such a big family, we already have most of our holiday schedule planned out by necessity (but it makes it easier to say no to those pressure events). I highly recommend treating yourself a little bit every now and then to keep from falling off the wagon. For me, because of my job, I work out exclusively with cops and firefighters, and that is a serious motivation cause I gotta represent for geeks everywhere!

    And by the way – if you tasted my wife’s green bean casserole, you’d add it to the sweets list I bet! : ) Good luck and keep us posted on your stress-free, guilt free weeks ahead!

    • jannatwrites November 11, 2010 / 3:48 PM

      Oh, I forgot about the chocoloate covered bacon. Ick! I should change that to “almost” anything covered in chocolate.

      Twenty pounds? That’s great! Keep it up, and don’t let the police and firefighters outdo you 😉

      For the record, I love green beans, especially with butter, onions and bacon – I just don’t crave them. Now, if your wife’s casserole could change that, I’d be very impressed 🙂

      Thanks for the well-wishes on my holiday journey – here’s hoping yours goes smoothly, too!

  5. jpcabit November 11, 2010 / 3:55 PM

    “What are your techniques for resisting holiday treats or beating stress?” “I won’t tell you!!!!” Sorry, just practicing the “Just say No” campaign. 🙂

    To be quite perfectly honest, my metabolism has always been on my side. Which is to say…that it’s good because I don’t get fat, but bad because… “Oh, sure, I can have sixteen pieces of CHOCOLATE CAKE!” Which is probably not the bestest thing I could do for my health, lol

    • jannatwrites November 11, 2010 / 7:13 PM

      Right now, I don’t like you very much – I just thought about chocolate cake and gained 2 pounds.

      You’re off to a great start on your “just say no” campaign. I hope you can stick with it 🙂

      • jpcabit November 11, 2010 / 8:16 PM

        Hey, that’s wonderful! If it works like that, think about riding a bicycle fifty miles!!!

        • jannatwrites November 11, 2010 / 9:10 PM

          It seems to only work for addition (gaining weight) – not subtraction. Too bad, though 😦

      • jpcabit November 11, 2010 / 9:50 PM

        That is a shame. Maybe you could think of foods that burn more calories to eat than they give you, like celery? Isn’t that addition?

        • jannatwrites November 11, 2010 / 10:19 PM

          You may be onto something….as long as I don’t have to eat it 🙂

  6. milkfever November 11, 2010 / 5:34 PM

    I love your definition of stress. Brilliant. The only way to avoid chocolate binges, for me at least, is to avoid sugar completely. It’s hell to begin with but after a few days the desire for sweet things disappears completely. My advice? Don’t let even the tiniest piece of chocolate touch your lips. Good luck kiddo.

    • jannatwrites November 11, 2010 / 7:07 PM

      I think you’re right about the no sugar idea. So far, I end up giving in after lunch. And then, after I have that first bite, I just go crazy. I may end up in tears, but I’m determined to not gain weight and succeed at the challenge 🙂

      P.S. I’m glad you liked my definition of stress 🙂

      • jpcabit November 11, 2010 / 8:17 PM

        Give up chocolate?

        That would be…Ugh, that would be like giving up coffee!!!! 😦

        • jannatwrites November 11, 2010 / 9:10 PM

          I know, the thought is shocking, but it just may work.

  7. Artswebshow November 11, 2010 / 5:48 PM

    Say yes to treats.
    And no to good behavior. lol

    • jannatwrites November 11, 2010 / 7:16 PM

      Hey, now – you’re a bad influence. I’m picturing you as the little red devil with a pitchfork sitting on my shoulder, encouraging me to not succeed at the challenge 🙂

      Eating 3 pounds of fudge would be more fun though 🙂

  8. Ollin November 11, 2010 / 10:43 PM

    Good luck! Oh man, well, I don’t have problem with sweets. I have problem—or had a problem with strenuous physical activity {and by strenuous activity I mean like walking a block}. So you’re not alone with this hard to motivate yourself thing. I still hate running. But I’m running this 5k in December. So I just sort of get up and do it. I really don’t know how at this point. Because its painful. Sorry, lol, I guess no help here.

    • jannatwrites November 12, 2010 / 9:43 PM

      I like your definition of strenuous activity! I guess I’ll have to follow the Nike slogan and ‘just do it.’

      Good luck on your 5K 🙂

  9. Tim Weaver November 12, 2010 / 3:24 PM

    How to avoid holiday treats that relatives, friends and coworkers invariably bring?

    Eat it in front of them. All of it.

    While naked.

    Trust me, nobody will offer you anything again.

    • jannatwrites November 12, 2010 / 9:45 PM

      And have you tried this?

      Never mind. Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know 🙂

  10. Cities of the Mind November 13, 2010 / 10:48 PM

    I wish I had some secret to share… Never ever stop moving? I find I can eat anything in any quantity without much effect as long as I’m up and moving most the time. I dread the day when my metabolism slows down and I can’t have my abs and eat my cake too. Good luck on the challenge!

    • jannatwrites November 14, 2010 / 9:02 PM

      Thanks for the encouragement! I’m a little bugged that you can have abs AND cake, only because I don’t even know if I have abs anymore 🙂 Anyway, keep moving and enjoy it now, just in case age decides to mess with you at some point!

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