Monday, February 8, 2016

$5 Motivation

I know I shared with you in one of my last vacation posts that I save five dollar bills.  I do it all the time but most of the time I don't have a lot of cash on hand, as I ted to pay with my debit card. So the saving is there but it's a lot slower.  When I really want to save for something though, I put more emphasis on withdrawing cash to pay so that I can get some fives in change.

I'm not really sure what it is that motivates about five dollar bills but I think it has something to do with how fast the money adds up, and also that five dollars is not a huge amount like ten or twenty would be and it's not so little like one dollar would be.  Anyway, five dollar bills are my thing.  Hold this thought.

A couple weeks ago I shared in a post that I had decided that while I am not into any sort of hard core dieting, I would cut portions of food back a bit in the hopes of feeling and possibly looking a little better due to some weight loss.  Just my regular food, portions cut 1/3 to 1/2.  (This has been going well by the way!)

One of the comments on that blog was from Lori:
Are you going to St. Martin this year? Slow and steady wins the race. It just feels like you aren't getting anywhere. Still eating the same but less sure can help you from feeling frustrated and going on a bender :)
This is the time of year where I have to skim some blogs and avoid others because they lose weight quickly for whatever reason and the comparison is hard.
I've been thinking about this as well for me because we are going to Ireland in the fall and I would love to drop 20 pounds."
I haven't really talked about it, but I too have to be careful about the blogs I read.  When I start following a blog, or a website, or a Facebook page where someone is rapidly losing weight and improving all sorts of things, it's hard for me not to get sucked in and/or to start having thoughts about doing crazy things.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy for anyone who can do that, but most of them are not 55 year old menopausal, hypothyroid women and when I start comparing I feel like a complete and total failure.

Honestly, the hardest thing about just trying to cut back a bit, is staying motivated.  Because slow and steady works but it's hard waiting on my clothes to feel looser.  And so, the other day I found myself once again thinking maybe I'd just rejoin Weight Watchers for the weigh-ins or swing by the Ideal Protein clinic down the road from my job.  (Aside: that last one is so unrealistic - it's a 2 shakes a day program, and the shakes are soy which I can't have.  Plus you have to buy their snacks and some food and it's all soy based.  But I'm telling you people that do it get fast results.  Do they keep it off?  Well I do know one person who has for nearly five years and was able to transition back to "normal" eating but other than that, not so much.)

Truthfully though, when I think about what I really want, it's accountability to keep my motivation going.  Motivation is such a wacky thing  - at least for me.  Remember Bugs Bunny and his dangling carrot?  I feel like I need a carrot.  Lori posted recently about buying her tickets for an anniversary trip to Ireland - that would be a carrot for me!

I was thinking a lot about what sort of carrot I could use to try to stay the course, i.e., not get so discouraged with my slow progress that I end up quitting.  The very issue I've had since 2007 when I was finally given permission by my doctor to try to lose the thyroid weight gain. (even as she was telling me that most of her hypothyroid patients who get the weight gain side effect rarely ever go back to pre-thyroid weight.  Gee, thanks for the encouragement!)

I went to Mr. Helen and asked him if he would participate in helping me stay motivated to stay the course I've chosen.  He said of course he would but then asked me, what is your motivation.  I responded my health, feeling better, blah, blah, blah but that because it's all so slow for me, I get discouraged, and end up throwing my hands in the air as I quit.

Then I said to him, "I know this sounds crazy but one of the only things I've ever been consistently motivated to do besides running, no matter what, is save five dollar bills. But that's not health related.  I wish I could figure out how to use that to help myself but I'm not sure paying myself is enough."

He responded, "What if I pay you? What if you lose weight and I'll pay you $5? Would that keep you motivated?"

I replied, "Well, I think so but I don't want to get crazy about a scale or actually losing weight.  I want weight to be a side effect of me eating a little less and trying to be healthier and feel better."

So we discussed it more and came up with this plan:  I will weigh myself on my zero scale but won't look at it, he will.  Then he will simply tell me if I lost or gained, not even how much, and if I lose, he'll pay me, but if I gain, I have to pay him. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate giving up a five dollar bill.

I'm being realistic about it, especially with my history I know there will be weeks I will do all the right things and might not get any progress, but I do feel this little $5 carrot will keep me motivated, at least for a while.

First weigh in is Saturday.  Keep your fingers crossed for me - I have the day off today and had planned to do a couple fun things, but instead I'm sitting here at home while we get another snowstorm (4-8 inches today - we just got 6 inches last Friday). Everything in  me wants to stress eat, but I am trying to keep my eyes on the prize...

Have I ever told you how much I love Abraham Lincoln?  He has always been one of my favorite Presidents.  Maybe that enhances my love of the five dollar bill.


  1. I like your plan! And sorry for this imagery, but the payment part made me think of Seinfeld's "The Bet" when one would come in and silently slap down their money...LOL!!! Here's hoping Mr. Helen will be the one doing all the slapping down of money!

    P.S. I am right with you on not being able to read *those* blogs - they get so crazed with success that for a moment, it starts to sound normal...and we both know it isn't, or isn't long-lasting, at least.

    1. OMG you made me laugh right out loud with the Seinfeld reference. Yes! I hope Mr. Helen is slapping down a lot of fives lol!

  2. I am with you on feeling the urge to do crazy stuff when I read some blogs.

    So funny, I love $5 bills. I don't like $20s but I love 5s. I don't know why, but I would rather have four $5 bills in my wallet than one 20. John finds that amusing.

    Your plan sounds fun and having an accountability partner helps in that.

    1. I love fives too but if I had four $5 in my wallet, they would be transferred to my $5 box. I, took, am hoping the fun and accountability will keep me encouraged to stay the course no matter what.

  3. OMG, I had to spit out my coffee at Shelley's comment - I remember that episode! I say whatever works!

    I work with a woman my age, a couple inches shorter than me, and she was about 20 pounds overweight. She's doing a new "diet" that tells her that she can only eat protein and low carb veggies - no fruit, and get this NO EXERCISE because they want your body to "eat fat, not muscle."

    So she's down to almost goal in five weeks, but hardly eats 1000 calories a day - and she can't start to eat regular food until she gets to goal weight - wtf?!

    I like food too much for that shit! Hugs!

    1. That eat fat not muscle is a very typical low carb way of approaching food. But unless she can maintain that style of eating, she will not maintain that weight loss. Sad, but true.

  4. I skip those kind of blogs these days. Although like you I was temped to go back to WW at the beginning of this year. I even checked out the website. But I know I will be great at it for about 2 weeks and then I'm bored/done with it. Everything that involves counting or writing down is demotivating for me.

    I like your plan. There's nothing wrong with rewarding yourself if you lost weight. And I would use the total amount in the end buying something nice for yourself.

    1. I just CANNOT track any more. It truly makes me feel crazy. That's why I'm hoping by simply cutting back I'll be able to stick to it long enough to feel better.

      Just this morning I was thinking about buying myself something - GMTA!

  5. I LOVE the money plan! I would be SOOOO motivated to stay on track with a plan like that in place. IN fact, years ago I had a bet with a friend that the person that lost 30 pounds first would have to buy the other one a new pair of jeans. ha ha ha. There was NO way I was buying HER jeans!