A year ago today, I challenged myself to lose 50 pounds and finish 50 games off my backlog. I decided on this challenge right after I had completed my Master’s program. I needed something to fill the void and to keep myself aiming for some goal or I would just sit around and feel miserable. Now that the challenge is over, I can share with you all my results and what I’ve learned from this experience.
After a year of working on my backlog and weight loss, here are my results:
Weight loss: Loss between 5-10 pounds (Can’t give accurate number since my scale started to act weird)
Games Finished: 29/50
Hooray I didn’t do it! To be completely honest, I knew that I wasn’t going to meet my goals. This is not me trying to sound defeatist. I try to not gave up on my goals at any time, but I didn’t put in all the effort that I know I’m capable of. If anything, this challenge has helped me understand more about myself that I was unaware of.
I will say that the biggest thing that I have learned about myself is that I don’t like to do what I tell myself to do. It is bizarre and weird for different reasons. I am the type of person who will drop anything that I am doing to do any request asked of me. That trait is thanks to my upbringing (for better or worse), and I never hesitate to help others when asked (within reason). That doesn’t apply when I tell myself what I want/need to do. I will actively fight with myself over the things that I need to do over what I want to do. For example, if someone told me that I need to wash the dishes, I will get up and do it with little to no fuss. When I tell myself that I need to wash the dishes, I will mellow over it until I finally do it…a few hours or days later. It could be something subconsciously that weighs other’s tasks more important than mine, but that is a whole can of worms for another time.
So how did this affect my challenge? First and foremost, this was a self-imposed challenge that I gave myself. I was doing this for myself and no one else, so naturally I was going to stop caring about it sooner or later. Unlike other projects of mine, like this blog or my spreadsheet projects, I didn’t have the same amount of passion for it. Sure I was determined to make my goals, but at the end of the day it was just for me so my subconscious rejected it. This was very evident in my weight loss goal where I saw the least results in. The desire to lose weight is there, but the only motivator that I have is myself; and since I hate myself apparently, the motivation gets lost pretty quick. I thought talking about it would help keep me accountable, but no one (IRL) was keeping me to my word or encouraging me to keep going. Without that, I saw it as something only I wanted.
Video games are different apparently. Playing games has always been for my enjoyment, so playing through them is for my sole benefit. The problem came from my attitude when choosing and playing the games I want to play. Earlier this year, I made a post about the games that I wanted to finish this year and how they were going to be a priority for me. So far, I have finished 3 out of the 15 that I said I was going to do. Yes I still have time this year to get them done, but I no longer have a strong desire to do so back when I had the desire to play them. Kat was the one who actually pointed this out to me. I have a hard time agreeing to play games that people recommend to me. I tend to play only what I feel like playing right in the moment. When it came to deciding what games I should play for this challenge, the easiest thing that I could have done was to find all the games I had that could have been finished in the shortest time. That felt like cheating in some way. If I shied away from them during this period, then I would shy away from them in the future in my decision making. Being actively engaged with what I’m playing makes the hours-long RPGs go by faster since most of my time is spent only on them rather than sharing the game time with two to three other games. I know the response to this is “well duh,” but this is me that we are talking about.
This whole challenge was not a bust. I did learn a lot about myself and what makes me tick. I also have started new habits that will benefit me in the long run.
My diet has changed drastically. In the past I have cut out soda and other sugary drinks, but now I’ve cut off almost all of those types of drinks by 98%. I will have one now and again, but now I gravitate more towards diet or zero sugar versions of those drinks (which are still not the best). Fast food no longer appeals to me. I now start to feel great discomfort whenever I eat at most places. I already didn’t eat a lot before, but now my portion sizes and what I eat have greatly diminished. The only thing holding me back are gummy candy since it gives me something to gnaw on while I’m playing or working on things. My hope is that my improved diet will help me reduce my calorie intake and start seeing small results there.
In addition to that, I do have some neat additions that will hopefully steer me to do better things. I convinced my boss that I needed a new desk for my office, so now I have an adjustable table where I can choose to sit or stand. I also keep a resistance band in my drawer so I can do some workouts during my breaks. For at home, I now have a workout bike on each floor, so now I have no excuse for when I feel like peddling.
With gaming, not much has changed. Now that I understand how my brain ticks, I have been playing more games to completion. According to my data, I have finished more games during this challenge than I have in any other year since 2017 when I started tracking. Currently, I am on track to finishing the most games than I ever have by the end of the year. This is good to know since I have so many games in the backlog to finish.
So what would I like to do with all of this information? For starters, I think it will be beneficial for me to either join others who are trying to lose weight or hire a personal trainer. I’m fortunate enough to have options via my job, so I may look into those benefits. It’s weird to think that I’m more motivated to do something if I know that others are willing to participate with me.
There are not a whole lot of changes that I need to do with gaming. The only real change is for me to start playing what I feel like playing and not something out of obligation.
If I decide to do something like this again in the future, I think I will take some more time to prepare myself and be absolutely ready on day one. This doesn’t conclude my weight loss or backlog goals. Rather, I see this as a new outlook on what I want to accomplish in the future and what I need to do in order to see it through.
Big congratulations on the weight loss. I know it probably doesn’t feel like much, but most of the work you’ve done thus far was in changing your diet. It can be really tough to cut out unnecessary sugar, and scale back food portions, but it’ll pay dividends in the future.
Also congrats on finishing 29 games. Reading how you felt while trying to do the challenge reminded me a lot of when I tried to finish 52 games in a year several years back. Games just aren’t as much fun when you’re forcing yourself to play stuff to meet a quota, or otherwise can’t spend a lot of time with a game you’re really enjoying.
Fingers crossed you find success in both your future weight loss, and gaming related endeavors.
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Thanks Frosty! I have a good feeling about about the new diet as well. It will be nice to look back on this next year to see if there are any noticeable changes.
I don’t think I want to do another gaming challenge like this in the future. While it was nice to have the little extra motivation, it also felt like I had to send all of my free time to try and get stuff done. Maybe just a monthly challenge to not throw my whole routine off.
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