Facing the Music Even If You Don’t Feel Like Dancing

In early September I joined an informal weight loss challenge group. There was a $30 pay in, and the winner (based on highest percentage of body weight lost) would take the pot. A total of sixteen people weighed in and ponied up their cash, making the prize money $480. I felt confident that I would have a good shot at winning, and with no income right now I could use the extra cash for the holidays. The contest would run from September 8th until November 21st so we would be free after to enjoy our Thanksgiving gorge, er, meal.

In typical Karen fashion I began the first week in a gung-ho charge. I was already working out five to six days per week, so I added in a few double sessions and focused on my diet. I had done Weight Watchers in the past, and I knew that my key to success was in controlling my portion sizes and staying within my daily points. I had this thing, I was on it, and I was going to take home the cash AND fit into my skinny jeans!

In even more typical Karen fashion by the third week I was loosening up the rules and allowing myself a few cheat nights. The idea of counting points was quickly replaced with counting pints at the local bar while watching the Thursday night football games (ok, and the Saturday and Sunday games). I was still down a few pounds, but I knew I was nowhere near where I needed to be. So I did what any rational person does…I blamed my husband for sabotaging my efforts. After all, wasn’t he more than eager for a night out versus staying in for yet another plate of grilled chicken and brown rice? Oh, and he’s one of those, you know, the ones who can overindulge and work it off in one gym session. Yup, must be all his fault…

facing the music, or in this case the scale (not my feet- photo credit to pixabay

Facing the music, or in this case the scale (not my feet- photo credit to pixabay)

Fast forward to this past week, and I knew it was time to pay the piper. In the most typical Karen fashion I made a last ditch effort, and I had a good week of healthy eating and double workouts. There was no way I had done well enough to win, but I was determined to have some sort of loss…any loss would feel like a victory at this point. A few days before the weigh-in I learned that several people were not going to bother stepping on the scale. What is this? An easy out? Great! Wait…no, not this time. This time you are going to have some accountability. You are going to face the music…even if you don’t feel like dancing. Wrapping up this story, I did indeed show up for my weigh-in. As expected I did not win the money, but I did lose just over ten pounds. This is not too bad as it equals out to about one pound per week. If I had stuck to my original plan it could have easily been two to three pounds per week, I may have won the contest, and I would have reached my weight loss goal for the year. I am not mad at myself for “only” losing ten pounds. I am mad at myself for having the bad habit of starting something only to fail in following through.

What did I learn from this experience? Aside from the obvious fact that I like my beer infinitely more than I like my skinny jeans? I learned that I need to learn self accountability. While it may be fun to place the blame at another’s feet (those of annoying metabolic machine husband, for instance) for something harmless, I do know better. When all is said and done I alone am responsible for the choices that I make and for the actions that I take.

I would not consider it acceptable to not follow through on a commitment I made to someone else. Why then would I consider it acceptable to not follow through on a commitment I made to myself? Do I consider myself less worthy or somehow less important? I would like to think the answer is no. It is an area that needs exploration, and reform. I will start with this weight loss challenge. I will continue on until I reach my goal. There will be no prize money, there will be no consequences, and there will be no one watching. It will just be me holding me accountable. It will be me not allowing me to fail to follow through on a promise that I made to me. I deserve no less. Cheers (only with a water glass and not a beer stein)! Karen

Tell me, do you keep your commitments to yourself? Or are you more likely not to follow through on things that you have started? As always I welcome your thoughts!


26 thoughts on “Facing the Music Even If You Don’t Feel Like Dancing

  1. Karen, I’m sorry you fell short of the goals you set for yourself this time but I do commend you on having the initiative to at least start the program and to keep on grappling with it to the point where you still did have a 10 pound loss. You did improve yourself in that and you also acknowledged how you could improve further. I’m envious of you in those regards…..initiative isn’t a given, you know?


    • Thank you for the encouragement. I am prone to a certain degree of laziness, and I get frustrated with my inability to overcome it. I am on a continual journey of self-improvement, though, so I will not give up! I hope your move is going smoothly! 🙂


  2. I am glad you hung in there. 10 pounds is good! You asked a good question and I would have to say I am better at being accountable to others. I think that’s what relationships can offer: someone who will support you in meeting your goals. That’s not the primary purpose of friendships but it works well for behaviors you want to change. You’ve given me food for thought!😋


  3. I do not keep commitments to myself — to others, yes. You raised a great question, Karen: why don’t I? I think the consequences of disappointing myself seem less serious than of disappointing others. But are they? Congrats on losing 10 pounds, which seems like a great achievement to me, even with the cheating.


  4. I think you are on track with everything but the accountability. We may define accountability differently, (my editor and I kept fighting over this, it took her a while to be on-board and even then she was wary) so I’d say re-read this and wherever you wrote accountability replace it with the word responsibility and see if it gives it a positive tweak. AND stay on track with the no consequences idea and to keep commitments to yourself just as you would to others. You don’t need to be hard on yourself to achieve your goal. You’re not naughty, naughty, naughty. Your an adult who makes decisions.

    I know my little war on accountability is my own, but I had to share, because it sure is freeing to make these decisions without burden.

    I’ve been lightly pondering that there might be some kind of 3 week cycle thingy going on, now that I am not holding myself accountable and trying to shove through it, I can easily pick it back up after my stumble instead of getting all worked up about it. It is faster and smoother and I get back to it because I want to, not because I punish myself for dropping the ball.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see where you are coming from, and you have a valid point. I’m not ready to give up on the notion of self accountability, though. In fact, I think that the problem for me is that I don’t employ it enough. I am disappointed when I don’t reach a goal that I set for myself not so much because of failure to reach the goal, but rather because I know how good I would have felt had I accomplished what I set out to do. I have a horrible habit of starting but not finishing things, and I am working on correcting that. I will think about what you have written here, though, and see if I can implement some changes. 🙂


  5. Well done for losing 10lbs Karen! I think you deserve some sort of commendation, even if you didn’t achieve as much as you wanted to, I am having a very similar experience to you in the fact that I too am trying to lose weight (due to the recent diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes).I started off really well and full of determination, but I am blaming my husband for sabotaging my efforts as well. He is such an amazing chef, and gets upset if i don’t eat the huge portions he dishes up! The silly thing is, I NEED to lose this weight for the sake of my health so I need to keep this commitment up. I wish you all the best with your continuing weight loss, and I’m sure it won’t be long before you get back into those skinny jeans!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think you did great. When you’re active, you’re already displaying self-discipline by sticking to a workout schedule. It’s doubly hard to keep to a strict diet on top of that. And, hey, 10lbs… that’s fantastic! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, when it comes to food and drink I often break my commitment. Sigh, I realize I find too much comfort in dark chocolate, wine and potato chips. Not a good combination of things for self comfort. When it comes to projects and work, I’m fairly well committed. I don’t always finish on time but hell, I will finish somehow. Good luck with your diet commitment, Karen!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. haha I think not following through with yourself is a world wide issue. But kudos on losing 10! I struggle between wanting to loose weight and not wanting to work for it. Why can’t pie make you skinny?! lol


  9. The key to achieving personal accountability, in my opinion, is lowering my expectations. If you did that, Instead of thinking, ‘I only lost 10 pounds,’ you could tell yourself that the goal was really to lose 5. That way you feel like you overachieved!

    I works for me:)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I like that point about keeping commitments to others more than ourselves. Some say that’s a female thing, women are socialized to look out for others first. Don’t know, except it is an issue. Maybe we have to resolve to keep our commitments for the sake of the project, the commitment, regardless of whom it’s for? Only commit to fun and growth, let go outcomes? As you did actually, learned something from the adventure.

    Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s