The Antitallow Club disbanded in May this year. With summer racing over, there has been some talk that the club needs to get started again.
The club started last year about this time. Three of us noticed that our summer weight had already begun the dreaded winter creep and we weren't out of September. Things weren't horrible, yet, but none of us wanted the winter five- to ten-pound weight gain that was typical for everyone.
How do we prevent that weight gain? The Antitallow Club.
The rules of the club are pretty simple. First, select a body weight that you would like to keep throughout the winter. (Hint, do not make it the weight you raced at when you were in prime condition and svelte.) This becomes your goal weight.
Then, every Friday there is a weigh-in. The honor system is strictly enforced. You report your weight to the other members of the group.
If your weight is above your goal weight, but less than last week's weight, you are good. No negative consequences.
If your weight is above your goal weight, and you maintained last week's weight, there are no negative consequences.
If your weight is above your goal weight, and you gained weight compared to last week, you owe big-time. Contribute $1 into the Tallow Kitty.
If you are at or below your goal weight, there are no contributions to the kitty. This is true even if you are below your goal weight and you gain. As long as you are at or less than your goal weight, there are no negative consequences. The positive consequences include maintaining a reasonable winter weight, no spring "Oh my God my summer clothes shrunk" and overall feeling better about your winter maintenance program.
In September last year we all agreed that any cash collected in the kitty would be put towards...you guessed it...lunch or breakfast as a group.
I think the club helped all of us. Each of us had different months that are the toughest. One fellow starts his ascent around Thanksgiving. The other fellow starts in December when office treats are abundant. For me, it is February and March.
Interestingly, we all contributed about the same amount to the kitty. It was in the $10 to $12 range if I remember correctly. We never did go out for our celebration meal and we ended up calling the funding a wash.
At our most desperate times, there were definitely coping strategies. Some helpful, others, well, not so much:
Aw, it's only a buck.
If I'm going to be over this week, I'm making it big so I have room to come down next week. (i.e. It's better to gain three pounds than only a half pound.)
Eat anything you want on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday; but you better back things down on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Definitely no salty foods on Thursday night.
On the positive side, the club kept us all accountable to someone other than our lenient selves.
I had a "bad" day yesterday (or week this week), but I'll be better tomorrow / next week / after this party / after this excuse. We can all tell ourselves this day after day and week after week. But, when others are succeeding due to portion control and healthy food selections, those self-justifications crumble.
I deserve this pumpkin scone because I had a good workout. (What I didn't need was three of them this week.)
Most of the time the group was supportive of each other. I can't speak for the others, but I will admit there were times that I wished everyone was packing lard on their arses and not just me. Those self-pity feelings did pass though and I was soon back on the wagon of wanting everyone to do well.
We were able to talk about the club and our eating habits that got us into trouble. If nothing else, it was an awareness of our pitfall moments.
Will we start the club up again this year?