Awesome by August

Some of the greatest ideas I've seen in the past year have come up because of Twitter. This week a new challenge popped up because of a few different people struggling with eating, working out, etc. So Steve at 265 and Falling, Kat at Katdoesdiets and Brook at Not on a Diet came up with "Awesome by August." Simply put, it's a challenge to get people's butts in gear, lose some weight, eat better, etc. It's a four-week challenge for people to better themselves. While there is an emphasis on losing weight, the overall goal is to have a lot of people making better lifestyle changes.

So ... why am I writing about this? Well, when it comes to weight loss and eating better, I'm tired of this being a mediocre year for me. As of last week, my weight loss for the year was at 11 pounds, but this morning I was back up to just over 187. I'm not in this challenge to win anything except some self control. I run enough to maintain and I have moments of getting things turned around with my diet, but I eat too much bad food and it's time to have four solid weeks of improvement. Four weeks can lead to two months, which leads to many more months, which leads to getting back to my lifestyle change I made many years ago.

I often dance around the subject of what I want to weigh, but the truth is, I really want to get under 180 and stay there. While I feel good about myself these days and know that my weight doesn't define me, losing just 4 percent of my weight goes a long way toward making everything else in my life all the more better. With running, I know my possibilities are endless. With three PRs this year, I can only imagine how much faster I'd be if I get a few more pounds off me.

So, if you're interested in this challenge, check out the official rules and get in on the fun.

As for my first weigh-in, I have a pretty funny first photo. I used my Nikon D40 camera, which was actually throwing my weight off more than I wanted it to be -- it is on an honor system, so I'm not going to add weight in my first weigh in to make me look better -- and I was I having a hard time getting a photo. So after about three attempts I got a photo with my weight in it and the paper with the date on it ... but only one foot. I promise I have two feet!

My scale does some quick reading. After it captures the weight it does a body fat reading, so I had to be fast with getting a photo with the weight in it. I have a smaller camera I might use next time, but I still have the speed issue to deal with. I got a good laugh at myself trying to get this photo taken today.

So as you can see, my weight now is 187.6, so overall for the year I'm now down 9.6. I also like to keep it in perspective that I'm 32.4 pounds lighter than my all-time high at the beginning of 2004. I am, however, highly disappointed in myself for acting like the Fourth of July weekend was Christmas when I came to eating. I'm really looking forward to this challenge and seeing what happens. If I want to call this a success, I certainly can't keep doing what I'm doing.