By Mike Campbell
Do you think accountability is a scary word? Is it a word you’ve ignored? Or has accountability never entered your mind when it came to weight loss, fitness and a healthy lifestyle? Can accountability be difficult? Yes. Is it necessary? Yes.
Accountability was always a key word in any work or volunteer project in my careers. I looked at all aspects of a project when I worked at the port authority, in nonprofits and in volunteer efforts. I was great at putting together projects, assigning tasks, hitting timeline targets, and beating the final deadline. I held myself and everyone who was assigned to the project accountable. We all knew what to do and when to do it.
As good as I was at creating accountability in work and volunteer projects, I had no grasp at all in taking care of me. I didn’t even attempt to create accountability when it came to weight loss and fitness. I wasn’t even close to being ready to hold myself accountable until March 2009.
I drove my wife, Polly, crazy with my eating and lifestyle habits. I would buy those inexpensive freeze pops by the case. You know, all sugar and water. The freezer would be filled with them, and I’d grab a handful at a time during the day and down them. The worst thing was bringing six or seven up to bed at night and eat them one by one. Polly could not comprehend this behavior. I didn’t try to comprehend this behavior either. So I had zero accountability before I started my journey.
When I hit March 2, 2009, accountability became my way of life. It was the first thing I did on my journey. I started a spreadsheet to track my project/journey. I saved the spreadsheet as FatGuyDiary and used this spreadsheet to chart my progress daily for three years. I documented what I ate, my exercise, and notes about how I felt. I used this document to create the accountability I needed to move forward on a project that will last me the rest of my life!
I learned a lot as I wrote daily on my spreadsheet. Being accountable was not about being perfect. I would track my progress and be honest about my ups and downs. I would look at each day to celebrate the good and learn from the bad. My spreadsheet was the roadmap that would transform my life.
Along the way, I found accountability in many places. I found that sitting down and talking through my journey with Polly was a way for me to stay on track. My brother, Walter, would walk/run the Ravenel Bridge with me and check in on how things were going. I uncharacteristically started a website where I wrote about my journey and gave away my story. Putting it out for all to see was a huge step toward being accountable to me and my journey.
As I’ve grown my network, I’ve found accountability in many places. Having a specific buddy or two to check in with or work out with can be a huge help. I am part of several Facebook groups where we hold each other accountable and assist one another on our journeys. We are honest with one another in a supportive way.
So, what do you do for accountability? Whatever it is, I encourage you to keep it simple. Buddy up with someone you can rely on and trust. Use an app like MyFitnesPal to track your nutrition, water, and exercise. Join an online accountability group to find tips and get encouragement. Do what will work for you and your journey.
Lastly, the most important person you need to be accountable to is you. I had to be able to be accountable to me before I took the first step, hence the spreadsheet. Take a hard look in the mirror and know that you must hold yourself accountable if you’re going to find success.
Accountability is not a scary word if you embrace it as part of your journey. Do it for you!
Note to ME and YOU: Accountability is nonnegotiable if you’re truly committed to your journey!
Continue to join me on my journey with each issue!
You can also contact Mike @ 843.637.0723