Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Road to Being a Healthier Gamer: January Update!

The first in a monthly series of updates on this topic, January is the month that has flown by.  So much to do, so little time to do it.  Anxiety over deadlines, both freelance and Adepticon, my normal day job, and everything in between is cause for enough stress for me to have given up.  Or at least to justify to myself to "take a break" until after Adepticon.  I could always start back up after that, right?

Nope.  I've done that before, and I won't do it again.  I know what I'm like and "taking a break" for me is basically giving up.  So how are we combating that with the want for convenience and easy-mode during a stressful time?

First let me say that the positive response to these "Healthier Gamer" articles has been overwhelming.  So many folks have written, or commented, or messaged me support, camaraderie in their own pursuits, or just agreement and interest on the topic in general that I have been floored.  It really makes me want to continue this, show folks who doubt that it can be done and be supportive of those whoa re truly trying to break the mold of the typical gamer stereotype.

That actually leads me to the first way I'm combating the want to just throw this whole thing aside.

Yup, that evil, evil word.  Why evil?  Because if done right, accountability can be an annoying, persistent and general pain in the arse to deal with.  After all, if done right, its not just that you have someone or someones asking if you've done something, but you actually are telling someone else if you've done well, or if you've done poorly.  This honesty in answer and action drives me to stay on track.  I have my wife to encourage me, friends, family, and fellow gamers (still friends).  I still use the MyFitnessPal App to track my food and water intake, and I know darn good and well if I input something incorrect.  Can't lie to yourself, and nor should you.  Painting groups and gaming clubs do this all the time for each other within the hobby, why not in this way too?

You've got to have a goal, right?  The end game to all this?  I've set that magic number for total weight loss, and know that's the end game.  It's realistic and achievable, which are two highly key components in any type of goal we set, from health to the number of models to finish my a major convention.  (see what I did there?)  I've also set smaller goals within that to keep me motivated as I hit each one. 

Incentives and Rewards
This isn't all for daisies and fairy dust, there have to be real incentives and rewards for working your rear end off at something, no matter what it is.  If you work hard, improve your painting skills and enter a competition, you have a better chance at getting that reward than if you just slapped something together, right?  You look forward to that reward, don't you?  The same goes for this, and fitting into smaller size clothing is only the most basic.   Rewards can be a new figure or game for hitting a goal weight, or even that last slice of cake at a party.  If you work for something, you need to give yourself the incentive to finish it.  And yes, I have bought myself a new Infinity figure after hitting one of my goals.

This final point has to be the most important of them all.  If you aren't motivated to do something, you just aren't going to do it, plain and simple.  Stay motivated and you'll succeed.  How will you stay motivated?  Well, look at the earlier three points and there's a great start.  

Folks, this is a serious issue in our community as a whole.  I'm not afraid to say it, look it in the eye, and raise the standard for at least myself.  And I will support any who take this challenge upon themselves.

Why am I still so gung-ho about this?  In September of 2014 I weighed 281 pounds.  At 5'7" tall, that's a lot of weight on this frame.  When I finally got serious about becoming healthier at the end of October, I weighted 276.  Now?  Now I weight 250.4.  30.6 pounds, folks.  30.6 pounds, pants a full size smaller (if not almost 2), and a full shirt size smaller as well.  Heck, I can fit into a lot of my old gaming shirts that I had to pack away when I got too large for them!!

And I'm not stopping anytime soon.  This isn't a new year's resolution, this is a change of lifestyle. 

- Tim


  1. Awesome job so far! Care to share some of your other goals/rewards with us?

    1. Thanks Casey :)

      The ultimate goal is to drop to 200 total. my "by Adepticon" goal is 245. I have a pants size goal of 38, and a shirt size goal of XL, MAYBE Large, depending on what happens at 200. My "by GenCon" goal is 235.

      Rewards? Honestly, they vary. If I hit my Adepticon weight, then I get two cheat days while I'm in Chicago. (cheat as still try and stay in Calorie goal, but I can ditch the protein shakes) My 250 reward was Angel's painting book. :)

      Sometimes its abotu the little things, not just the end goal and reward. Though I have yet to come up with a reward for actually hitting 200 :P

      Any suggestions on rewards? :)

  2. Awesome job so far! Care to share some of your other goals/rewards with us?

  3. Well done mate. Very well done indeed. Keep it up!

    1. Appreciate it, Dai :) I'm trying to, my friend. Pain in the tail sometimes, but hey, it's definitely worth it!!

  4. That. Is. Awesome. I had to change my lifestyle a few years back when lacing up my snowboarding boots winded me :P It took time but I found a routine that works for me and it looks like you have too!

  5. That's awesome man! I think the healthier you are the more enjoyment you will get out of doing the things you love. I know personally when I have a set workout schedule and put work into my own health its a lot easier to focus on things and not feel like I'm just "going through the motions." Keep up the good work though man!

  6. Really great work! Keep it up. Also don't worry if weight stops dropping for a bit. If you are exercising, you'll be building muscle, which definitely weighs a good deal more.

    I'd highly recommend a trainer once you get closer to your goal to give you a lifetime plan of exercises and stretches to maintain.

    For a good time, go swimming in a pool after you reach your goal, you'll sink like a rock. It's a bit scary after you lose all the buoyancy!

  7. Great stuff Tim. It is so easy to start something like this, but so hard to continue and keep up motivation. Setting yourself small goals sounds like a great way to keep yourself working towards the next step of your programme :)