Lol my friend and I were dickering about discussing health, exercise and fitness and I think I made the random statement “I’m hopeless at doing things for myself, I wish organizing my own fitness was more like raid leading as I am much better sorting things if it is on behalf of other people” and she said “Raid lead me to fitness Raid lead me to fitness” and I said “… Oh … okay I’ll give it a shot. Don’t hate me, you’ve been warned”
Well that was the gist of it anyway.
Now the real reason I am so slack on the fitness front is I have no real investment in the outcome (being determinedly single with cat in hand – muwahahaha) and oh I’ve always been bad at looking after myself as a priority. My health issues are like me average, no red flags to motivate me into pulling the finger out and I do enough to make me feel like I am “giving it a go” A home packed lunch every workday and hour at the gym every morning before work where I stagger along in a daze on the treadmill and then I walk the dog on the weekend. Com’on what else has a girl got to do, that enough to be fit right? (Probably stop eating all the M&Ms the boss gives me I suppose /sigh.) Still I have thyroid issues (underactive) and a slow metabolism and I live off mugs of coffee like some sort of sedentary computer junkie … which except for the whole “Hey! Ima Librarian” thing is pretty much the case. So there’s a lot I can work on.
Now I tell friend #2 (who actually plays computer games and dabbles as a lvl 14 hunter in wow purely to tame pets of all varieties… companion battle and hunter pets are fair game) about the project and her response was “So you’re going to watch videos on youtube and tell people what to do over vent?”
But there’s more!
First you work out what the aim/goal of the activity is:
- Get friend #1 fit.
- Maybe get fit in the process
Then you employ “Research” which can often involve youtube or any other credible sources for the information you are after, make sure you cross reference sites to weed out any trolls you are trying to “lead you down a garden path”:
So according to research people giving up on their exercise goals etc well thats more about motivation killers than a lack of desire for the goal. So people are apparently far more likely to stick to exercise and weight loss if they both log (like raiding combat log only as food diaries) and are responsible to a community (so a group of people involved in similar activities, preferably RL not just online sites).
- Create a local group of ‘exercise peeps” like a raid team only without tanks and healers – easy! Meet with these people regularly! Do activities together, talk that sort of thing.
- Log it like combat logging… so things like:
- A Food diary (I found a smart phone app for that, fantastic!)
- Weekly weigh ins (at the gym = same scale and it makes you go to the gym)
- Monthly tape measure measure in
- calorie count if you are so inclined… many peeps apparently find this really helpful (frankly i think i would rather stab myself in the face /sigh)
So once you have done your research and you have the accountability covered with your community and the logging you need to put some thought into psychology:
- Goals – okay so you want to lose weight, that’s not the goal you should be setting in the short term that’s more like the overarching “I want to see all the content, wear purples and be a leet raider” goal of all raiders. It’ll come what you need is some small positive thing that you can work on for 1-2 months, something you can achieve, something you can measure. This is more like the I want to increase my ilvl to 500 or 510 to fall in line with the other raiders, or I want to reach a DPS out put of over 80k, we will fucking down that damn horrible dinosaur this week etc etc. In this case I pushed my friend to agree to something very simple… 5mins of stretching a day (each day of the week a different muscle area so: core, arms, legs, butt etc). Humm and I told her to tie it in with a trigger activity… that is something she already does daily such as teeth brushing. This is playing to patterns. People are animals of condition really. So you log into wow on Sat at a certain time to queue up your LFR and get some daily quests out of the way… you may hate it but its probably a part of your regular game playing by now? Thats what we are aiming for here… conditioned exercise period… tied to a trigger pattern. We will extend the length of time later.
- Affirmations – meh its very “fitness and wellness” flavoured but never underestimate the power of telling yourself something over and over. My friend is too overweight to safely fall pregnant at the moment, but she just got married and wants to have children. Lol her cause is far more relevant than mine … I just want to wear skinny jeans rather than curve embracers pffft. So as affirmations have to be positive and present tense if you don’t want to risk warping yourself something like “I am being fit and healthy to raise a happy family” would work well for her. The raiders equivalent is fairly common and well known among any raid group: “I am fucking fantastic DPS” or in my case “Mitigate all the things. Mitigate all the things”. Last night our druid tank ranked on WoL doing aoe DPS on the Tortos bats and I am pretty sure I could hear him humming the “I’m so OP” song over vent /sigh. Avoid anything negative “Everyone else is Fail” is a shit affirmation that does nothing but abuse the people around… equally bad something like “Geeze I’m fat I need to work out” is just going to increase bad self esteem and encourage you to wallow in front of the telly with something coated in chocolate pleasure (pull your minds out of the gutter I was thinking peanut M&Ms pffft).
- Vision Boards – pffft sounds religious doesn’t it. Personally that list of gear we encourage all raiders to prepare before they hit raid content so that we don’t have to waste time with unorganised loot dickering and indecision. That’s a vision board. Its is a visual reminder of stuff that you want, rewards that you are working hard for. So make a vision board… personally I think it is a bit trite to put it on the fridge or the bedroom wall… but you know whats modern and has a phone app? PinInterest… or hell even tumblr. Social media websites for the win… and trust me there are fuckloads of people out there who are interested in whatever weird hobby you have be it raiding, making bento lunches or trying to get fit 😀 connect get all the cool pictures, they will excite your brain and keep you interested and invested. Also look at all the really hot butts 😮 its not even porn.
- Rewards – well its the least likly to keep you coming back if you can’t pin the other motivations down like logging, community and accountability but why not have some rewards for all your hard work. Even raid guilds dish out the Dragon Kill Points so that you are assured a nice juicy piece of loot. We try to have some guild competitions and awesome activities to reward people for sticking with the guild. My friend doesn’t like cash prizes so heres so we are trialing with this group “Gift to future self” – if you keep your monthly goal you get to open that envelope where you promised your self a reward… you will make sure you do the reward activity and report back to the group. (Facial, outfits, dinner out its all fair game.) The Pamper raffle – stick some pamper activity in the hat (have a cheap alternative for the broke peeps so home made facial etc). Draw a random pamper reward from the hat and enact the “fun thing” tell us how it went next meeting.
So yeah I suppose I’m a raid leader. I research on youtube and I tell you what to do.
But there’s a fair bit of negotiation, a lot of background organisation. Someone had to book a room for the weekly meetings. Someone has to arrange the transport for the gym weigh ins and a place to meet. Someone organises to have a scale brought by a team member and a tape measure by another. Someone has to coordinate and form the “fitness group” out of local people resources. Someone will be encouraging (not enforcing) logging. Some one will be looking in each week to see if goals are being met, see if support is needed, see if anyone is showing up to “events”.
And thats what officers do in the background, in those secret chat channels it will be things like “good feeling in raid tonight” or “such-and-such seems stressed does any one know why?” “whats happened to regular shower #6 has he/she touched base lately as they haven’t logged in for a month” “We should organise a guild meeting to make sure people are happy with the raid direction” etc etc.
Its fun… but it is an unpaid job. Lol and sometimes you really wish you were just a regular joe turning up for a three hour event with the privilege of just doing your assigned roles for the evening … maybe bring a feast to help ut 🙂