SHELDON—Hi, this is Justin Rust, as you can tell from the byline. You may remember me from columns such as Live Healthy Northwest Iowa begins and the midway point of Live Healthy Northwest Iowa, both of which chronicled my journey through the 10-week weight-loss and activity minutes competition.
Look, I needed a bit of a humorous opening given how Live Healthy went for me. And, hopefully, you found it humorous. Those who remember Troy McClure’s character — voiced by the late, great Phil Hartman — from “The Simpsons” probably know what I was going for there.
Live Healthy Northwest Iowa ended on Friday and as I write this, I don’t know the full results of how our team at Iowa Information, “A Subscription for Loss,” did. What I do know is that our team probably will finish in the top 20 in the state in percentage of weight lost. The percentage of weight lost by our team was 5 percent and four team members lost almost 8 percent or more of their body weight. In terms of activity minutes, five team members averaged about 30 minutes a day.
They did all of this despite having me as team captain. Hey, sometimes teams can overcome some questionable leadership.
As I’ve written in this column before, my goal was to get down to 315 pounds. I started at 330 pounds, and I got two different results, neither of which reached the 315 pounds goal.
The digital scale I have at home had me at 316 pounds on Friday afternoon when I got back from the Northwest Iowa Lifelong Learning and Recreation Center. The scale at the LLRC had me at 320 pounds.
Now the question is, which scale should I trust more? The LLRC scale obviously was out to get me, right? No, that’s a pretty good digital scale that they have while mine was bought off Amazon for about $20. So, the LLRC’s is probably more accurate.
I started off Live Healthy well, but I plateaued basically. I lost about 10 pounds in the first two weeks but after that, my weight fluctuated from 316-325.
So, the question I have to ask is where did I go wrong?
Well, the obvious answer is the activity minutes. I registered a total of 25 activity minutes during the whole 10-week period. Woof.
In my first column, I said I needed to get to the gym more, plain and simple. Well, it obviously wasn’t as plain and simple as I made it out to be I guess because I didn’t go. And this is with me living only a couple blocks from a gym.
Laziness is the reason why I don’t go to the gym more. I get too comfortable in my recliner when I get home or I find something else to do, like laundry or something around my apartment. Even when I do laundry, it should be easy enough to get a workout in you would think. There were times that the cold snaps kept me from wanting to go outside, but that was only added up to a few days. I just kept finding lazy excuses not to go.
It’s not like I didn’t have people encouraging me to go to the gym. Editor Jeff Grant would bring it up usually before he went to work out. Sports editor Scott Byers would ask me what time I would be at the gym. Each time I found ways to get out of it. March Madness hadn’t even started yet, which was my excuse on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday. That’s three days out of 70, so I was basically lazy for the other 67 days.
The question I have to answer is how do I find a way to motivate myself to get to the gym on a regular basis? It doesn’t have to be daily, but it needs to be at least two days a week. That shouldn’t be hard, especially on the weekends.
It comes down to basically my own self-motivation. Do I want to continue to make slowly if very little process in losing weight or do I want to speed it up? Do I want to continue to be more out of shape than I should be, even at this weight? It’s honestly a bit embarrassing and that should be enough to get me to the gym, even if I think I look embarrassing at the gym because of my weight.
Maybe shock therapy is the way to go on this . . .
Another answer is what I ate. While my diet did improve, it still wasn’t as good as it should’ve been. I did reduce my food intake, but I didn’t make as many different meals or do as much food prep as I wanted to. I need to get in a set schedule of when I eat, when I get groceries and finding the right recipes. That way I can avoid eating later and that will help as well.
It is nice not limiting myself in what I can eat now, but I need to be smart in what I eat and when I eat. Honestly, that wasn’t that bad. There were times that it was super annoying but it’s the not working out that bothers me more.
The good news, hopefully, is this is just the first step for me. As LLRC director Greta Giese has said multiple times, the 10-week competition isn’t meant to be only 10 weeks. The goal is to develop healthy habits that you take with you after the competition.
So, I need to continue to eat better and for the 100th time, I need to get to the gym.