Sunday, August 15, 2010

Playing to Lose

Weekly weigh-in: 211.3
Loss: +.3
Total loss: -80.7
Emotion: A Tad Defensive

There’s a phenomenon in most sports where a team gets ahead by a sizeable margin and changes its game plan. Instead of playing to win, the team starts playing with a different goal in mind: not to lose.

Often, that strategy backfires. The squad that was trying to hold the lead finds itself playing cautious, tentative, hesitant. It’s hard to maintain momentum when you’re back on your heels.

And when that happens, a seemingly sure win sometimes slips from their grasp.

The team snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.

That analogy has been weighing on my mind this week, about how it pertains to the shift from goal-oriented weight loss into maintenance (or near maintenance). Instead of a single-minded focus on what you need to do, you try to do just enough to get the job done. And too often, “just enough” isn’t quite enough…

Last week, in an effort to combat a huge post-vacation gain, I went on offense and scored my biggest loss of the year.

This week, as I shifted the game plan back to a more defensive mindset, and the scale bumped up a tad.

There’s an old sports saying, “The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in battle.” With a minor tweak, it works for weight loss, too…

The more right choices you make during the week, the less you need to worry on the scale.

Time to get my head in the game…


  1. I'm RIGHT THERE WITH YOU! Head in the GAME...

  2. Holy Crap, that is the best sports analogy ever! I hope to hang on to this post and use it when I get to that point in my weight loss.

  3. nice...a sports analogy i actually like!

  4. As a football fan, I enjoyed this sports analogy very, very much and it makes perfect sense. I am *this close* to my original coal weight and I find myself battling with this a lot.

  5. You hit it right on the head!! It's time for this player to get back in the game.

  6. Next week that scale better WATCH OUT! :)

  7. Interesting Jack. The one thing I have not done is what you said about going into maintenance mode. For me, I have most always had "a single-minded focus on what you need to do" vs. the you try to do just enough to get the job done. I have never just tried to do only enouugh.

    I guess because I have had to watch my weight for so long AND it never became easy for me.. I always gain weight back very easily, my focus has always been on keeping what I did accomplish & trying to improve on that when possible.

  8. I've been playing a little "prevent defense" myself, and all I've been preventing is weight loss. I like how you put this.

  9. A few bloggers that I follow have had disappointing weigh ins this week, and I just keep thinking to myself "well, you can't lose every week, or everyone would hate you"... chin up, Jack! :)

  10. I've been playing all sorts of GAMES for weeks now and I too, just need to get my head back into the game! Thank you for this!!


  11. ahh,this post rings so true to so many aspects in life!!!!
    keep on keepin on jack,and keep your head in the game!!!!

  12. Another person on this journey of weight loss said that every Sunday she takes stock of the week..the choices she made, the things that worked and what didn't and then put her assumptions to the test during the week. Just tweaking the game plan every week can help to keep your mind on the goal, but overall keeping the "game" front and center as your focus. The idea is to perfect what works and what doesn't FOR YOU and then follow your own path.

    As you know in life there are many twists and turns, like the road to successful weight loss and maintenance. But being mindful of what you have to do and mindful of WHAT YOU ARE DOING is the key.

  13. Dude! Get off the bench and win one for the Gipper!

  14. I don't think that complacency is ever really a good thing, in any aspect of our life.

  15. *scratching head*
    I don't mean to sound rude here, just merely curious...but it seems that you've been struggling with your weight yo-yo-ing more than it has in the past ever since you've started your relationship with Life Coach Jen.

    So I'm wondering...does this weight-lossy-device that you've it doing something to your head, Jack? Like, are you allowing it to usurp some of the motivation and self-empowerment that you've built over time? Are you allowing this piece of equipment some kind of mental control over you, so you feel subconsciously like you can slack off because this electronic gadget says that you're burning enough calories (even though you KNOW you must be slacking off on the exercise or cheating on the food)....?

    Again, I don't mean to be rude, only perhaps make an observation that maybe you weren't aware of?

    Please let us all know how we can help you get focused. I think you look fantastic, but I also want you to achieve the goals that you've set out for yourself.


  16. Great analogy. I will definitely have to keep this in mind. I'm also telling my husband about your blog. He has started losing with me and will enjoy reading you!

  17. Maintenance is definitely a tough balancing act! I bombed out last time... hopefully I have learned a LOT since then!



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