Gaining Levels and Losing Weight

Well, this is my first actual article on this site and I was back and forth on what I wanted to write about.  Now I am sure I will post many different things, but for this first outing I wanted to create something worthwhile, or at least intriguing if nothing else. While I know that all geeks and gamers are unique, I am a semi-stereotypical in some respects.  I definitely have the mindset of “IT MUST BE MINE!!!” when it comes to new merchandise involving my hobbies.  Yet it is one of the “larger” stereotypes that I am sadly a victim of and have been for years.  I am the dreaded Fat Fanboy.  I wasn’t always this way…as a young chap I was a skinny kid but then Middle School hit and I became more sedentary, liking games and TV a tad too much.  Fast-Forward to during High School when after two years as an underclassmen I grew sick of how I looked (at 240lbs) and the jokes here and there and I decided to do something about it.  Then SHAZAM! Through eating better and working my butt off I dropped 60 lbs (down to 180lbs) and joined the Track Team.  It was nuts, life in High School became a lot easier when you weren’t the fat kid and also stopped caring about what other’s thought.

Then college hit and the dreaded Freshman 15 came, and then 15 more and then 15 more and then 15 more and I was back to where I was.  But it didn’t stop there.  After college I had a relatively sedentary job, that was at times stressful and gained another 15 then another 15, then another 15 and another 15 (not quite so regular but you get the point).  I doubled what I lost going backwards.  It was like a critical failure to the gut.  I even gained about another 15 – 30 more, however I did manage to scale that back down over this last year even lost more but then gained it back.  So here I sit, for those of you counting, I am now at about 300 lbs.  While I may not be the heaviest geek you see at a convention, I am still way way way above what I want to be.

I will be the first to admit that when it comes to weight loss I talk a good game, but I have shown time and time again over the last few years that I am like the DND campaign that only lasts one session, or even worse never makes it past character creation.  Best of intentions and all that.  So I thought here was a chance to put myself out there for the world to watch, hopefully this way I will be even more encouraged, scared, shamed, ridiculed and lambasted into losing the weight.  After all, the Internet can be a cruel and harsh mistress.

But not only did I want to loose weight and get in better shape, I also want to be a better person, more well rounded, as I became less, well uh, round.  Add to that the fact that this is a geek and gamer site, not just a self help place so how to make it geeky.  Then I thought why not take what I have a passion for, and combine it with what I would like to do.  In all the games I enjoy playing, my character grows more powerful.  What if I wanted to do that?  What if I wanted to be someone who is leveling up in life?

So I decided to connect my changes with a type of game I am fond of, that of DND or Dungeons and Dragons (but really any role playing game would work).  Part of this will be to create my own chart for leveling up.  Now the chart isn’t finalized yet but I believe I will start out with the DND famous Ability Scores as a way to categorize the things I want to change.

Strength (STR):  Self explanatory and pretty standard with the DND version.  I hope to increase my Strength through weight-lifting and working out.

Constitution (CON): I thought for this possibly my long distance endurance through things like running and swimming.

Dexterity (DEX): Flexibility and Balance through stretching and yoga among other things.  I am very not flexible and could use all the help I can get.

Intelligence (INT): Here I thought I should expand my mind and try to take time to study and learn things that will help me in my jobs and hobbies and to learn new skills.

Wisdom (WIS): Chores, because I know it’s not a wise thing to not do my chores.  But in addition to that I will try to be more organized and financially responsible.  This is the toughest to measure but I will try to elaborate in the future.

Charisma (CHA): Now I can actually measure this by weight loss or body measurements, but I was also thinking the old school Perform Skill for DND and incorporate skills I would like to improve such as Music, Art and Writing.

My next thing was how do I level up?  Well I think it would be fair to get 1 Experience (XP) Point for every hour I do something that would fit in one of the categories.  For starters, I believe Level 2 will be at 100 XP and one item of treasure, to be determined (maybe something on the random dice roll chart…).  I may modify this as I go and flesh out the rest of my Gaming for Losing system but I wanted somewhere to start.  If you have any ideas, suggestions, or would like to join in your self please leave a comment.  Maybe eventually I will create some character sheets!

I will try and check back each week for Weigh-In Wednesday’s and let you know how my progress is going.  If you are looking for a more day to day happenstance you can also follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/vanguard1042  and there will soon to be a twitter feed you can follow on this website to keep up with all the Guild 1042 twitter users.

Lastly in order to fully lay it out there and prepare for my next step in this adventure I need to be able to look back as a commoner to see where I have been and where I need to go.  Thus, a picture of my ogre-like physique at Level 1.

 

In the interest of full disclosure these pictures are a little old, but sadly I haven’t really lost any weight since they were taken.  If I get a chance to get some new photographs I may swap them out, but I wanted to get something started on this Wednesday February 1, 2012.  Let the adventure begin…

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