For over a year, I’ve been trying to lose weight so I can have more energy to keep up with this Radon thing. We just had our first baby human, so basically this new energy is just in time. I’ve never had much success in losing significant weight until I discovered a story from the band Foster The People.
The jist of the story is they were concerned about a friend and offered him $20,000 if he lost 80 pounds in 8 months. For some reason this clicked with me. If someone offered me $20k to lose a bunch of weight, I would have no problem. However I don’t think any wealthy philanthropists are planning to stop by anytime soon. I got to thinking, obviously $20k is not possible, but what is? My wife knows I’m beyond obsessed with pinball machines and at the time, the Radon had an old machine I had traded up for (Meteor). My dream was to own a modern machine that offered multiballs, ramps and all the fun toys. I could never justify spending the amount of money those machines go for (thousands) as it would just be a very expensive toy.
I suppose the part that justifies it is this whole Radon business, an expensive pinball machine purchase can be enjoyed by a whole community and not just me. We worked it out in the budget, and found a way we could afford the purchase, because really a couple grand is nothing in comparison to our long term health savings from living a healthier life. Of course buying the pinball machine is a carrot, but it’s also the stick as I wasn’t allowed to get any pinball machines and would have been stuck with Meteor until the goal was met.
After 1 year and 1 month of constantly adjusting my life style to be healthier, I lost 61 pounds! I was at 246 when I started, and ended at 185!!! I wore size 40 jeans, and now am at 34. I can wear colored hipster pants!!!
You may have noticed at the Kansas Bible Company show last May there was a cordoned-off area in the arcade section of the basement. The new pin was already purchased and waiting to be unveiled. I found a good deal on a Jurassic Park pinball machine that was in very good condition up near Chicago. The Meteor pinball machine had already been sold to a new owner to add it to his new retro arcade near Edwardsville. Of course I wasn’t allowed to play the new machine until the goal was actually met.
On July 12, I met my goal and have been since playing the snot out of the new machine. It will be setup for free play at all Radon shows going forward, starting with the August 23rd show with filmloom! Check out this video to see a pinball pro showing off what it can do. The T-Rex eats your ball, and the standard 3-ball multiball can become 6-ball when CHAOS ENSUES. The one thing not shown in the video is the amazing wizard mode that happens when all game objectives are completed, very hard to do.
In case you’re wondering about the specifics on how I met my weight loss goal, let me tell you.
The most important thing I did was to not engage a crazy restriction diet, ridiculous exercise plan, or calorie counting. Of course you can lose weight faster by doing those things, but to me it’s only short term unless you make those things your new lifestyle forever. My theory is to keep adjusting the daily routine so that you gradually eat better and become more active. I would adjust something such as switch from regular soda to diet. Then I would figure out more errands that could be done through walking during my work lunches. I started walking to work (2 miles) in more types of weather conditions (hot, cold, rainy) and really impressed myself with what I could do. And no, I didn’t get sick all the time, I actually became sick less! I tried to reign in eating sweets and making decisions like “if I eat this cake now, then I can’t have that sandwich”.
At different points I would not be making progress so then I would brainstorm something else I could do. Instead of a pb&j sandwich, how about just a spoon of peanut butter? When the weather is bad, maybe walk up and down the staircase at work instead of walking outside. I can now climb from the ground floor to the top without getting winded!
I also have a gym membership, but I hate working out as I feel like I’m not accomplishing anything. But playing racquetball is very fun! So I play racquetball in the mornings with my friends before work 2 or 3 times a week.
Lastly, my very random number of 61 pounds came from a BMI calculator. When I was at 246, I had to lose 61 pounds to have a healthy BMI. I remembered this from owning a Wii Fit, which liked to call me obese a lot until it was stolen. Someday I want to stand on a Wii Fit, hear it declare me healthy, and then I will chop its head off.
So now that the goal has been achieved, the next challenge is keeping it off. If I was doing P90x or some sort of restriction diet, this could get tough. But I believe I can keep going with this new lifestyle for quite a few years. I also want to lose 10 more pounds just so I’m well within the healthy BMI range and not just on the edge. Of course looking good helps give me more confidence, which is very important for this Radon thing as well as my work life. Plus I don’t know how I can keep all my juggling balls in the air if it wasn’t for this new found energy.