Ok, I've talked about this in my last few posts and now it's time to share it. A good friend and I have entered into a 30-day weight loss challenge. The challenge is tough and the stakes are high. What makes this one interesting is that my friend and I have quite a few differences that give us advantages or disadvantages in the challenge. I'll go through some of them in a minute, but first let me lay out the details of the challenge.
The goal of the challenge is for both of us to lose 15 pounds in 30 days! To make it more challenging, it's not even 30 days. We weighed in Thursday evening and our final weigh-in is on the morning of March 26 so it's really 15 pounds in 28 days. I know it seems like a lot but we will both lose 5 pounds in water weight this first week (I've put on 7 pounds this week but most of that is just water retention). After that initial big loss, it will still be hard to get to 15, but certainly possible. Also because of schedule problems we had to weigh in on Thursday evening and our final weigh-in will be in the morning so you can expect another pound or 2 just from weighing in at a different time of day.
Now of course we are men and a challenge isn't a challenge if money doesn't change hands. If we both meet the goal and lose at least 15 pounds, then the only money to exchange hands is $1. Whoever loses the most gets it. However, if only 1 person meets the goal, the person who doesn't make it has to pay more. If someone doesn't make it they have to pay $20 for every pound short of the goal. This means someone has the potential to lose $300. I like this style of challenge because you are in control of your own destiny. Regardless of how well the other person does, as long as you do what you are supposed to do and reach the goal the most you'll be out is $1. If neither of us makes it, then it's still $20 per pound but it's based on the difference between our losses. So for instance if I lose 14 pounds and he loses 12, then he owes me $40.
So here's a little breakdown of the challengers:
FogDog Background - Most of you know my story, but I'll offer a brief background anyway. I'm married with 3 kids and have been overweight most of my life. At my peak I hit 349 pounds and several years ago I started focusing on improving my health. I've come a long way and I've learned a lot about losing weight, but have always seemed to struggle with the mental side of the weight loss equation. Most days I eat a very healthy diet, but I'm definitely not as active as I should be. My goal is to break the 200 pound barrier before I turn 40.
Big D. Background - Big D.'s story is in complete contrast to mine. Big D. is single and lives by himself. His girlfriend is in NY so he travels frequently to visit her. He's young and very active and has one of those metabolisms that I would kill for. Unlike me, Big D. has never been overweight, but the years of eating lots of junk food are starting to catch up to him and his metabolism is slowing. In addition, he had major knee surgery about 2 years ago which has slowed his active lifestyle a little bit and presents some challenges as he starts to workout regularly.
Metabolism - Advantage goes to Big D. He's younger and has a more active lifestyle. Currently he eats a ton of junk and still manages to not gain a lot of weight
Experience - Advantage goes to FogDog. I've been dieting my whole life and know a lot about what works for me and what doesn't. Big D. has really no experience with dieting. I have been coaching him a little to help him out a little, but he will need to find a plan that works for him.
Support - No advantage. I'm married and have the support of my family. Big D. is single and lives alone with his dog. The reason why I give no advantage here is that having my family to support me can be as much a disadvantage as it is an advantage. My wife can help make nutritious meals, but I also have to watch her when she decides to eat a piece of cake.
Lifestyle - Big advantage to FogDog. I lead a boring lifestyle; I work Monday-Friday and have a very repetitive daily routine. Big D. works 12 hour rotations, half on days and half on nights. From day to day his schedule changes plus he travels regularly to NY.
Determination - I'm going to give a slight advantage to Big D. I don't want to lose money, but honestly my head isn't into this as I would like at the moment. I'm hoping that as I get into it more, my determination will also increase but right now I'm struggling in my head.
FogDog's Weight Loss Plan - My plan is fairly simple... Keep doing what I've been doing but make a couple small tweaks. I currently take in about 2500 calories each day. I'm going to adjust that down to 2000 calories (this has been harder to do than I originally thought). I'm also going to increase my exercise levels to 1 hour each day 6 days each week. It will consist of 30 minutes strength training followed by 30 minutes of cardio. I will also be targeting 120 oz. of water each day as well. I will still allow myself 1 cheat meal each week, but I will not be "taking it easy" on the weekends as I have been lately.
Big D's Weight Loss Plan - Big D's plan is centered around not eating junk food. He's going to try to stay away from all the fast food joints and focus on creating healthy meals at home and buying pre-packaged healthy meals such a Lean Cuisine. For exercise, Big D. will be walking his dog everyday for 45 minutes and he will doing cardio workouts at the local gym whenever his hectic schedule allows it.
So there it is folks, the 30 day challenge has begun! I will not be posting weekly numbers for the next month as we both agreed that we would only weigh-in at the beginning and the end, but I will be posting regularly to let everyone know how I'm doing. Based on what I've written, who do you think will win FogDog or Big D.? Do you think either of us can reach the very tough goal of 15 pounds? Got any advice for either of us? Leave a comment and let me know.