Sunday, May 29, 2011

What Would Ulysses Do?

From the The Harry Ekman Gallery, date and title unknown
I am in the process of compiling a list of 30 Things I Will Do Before Turning 30.  The big day is still one year and nine months away but as some of them will take a bit of time to plan, save for, or get in shape for I think it's as good a time as any to start.  The full list will be published shortly (though perhaps with minor edits for public viewability) but one big challenge has just gotten bigger.

It is no secret that I am a curvy girl.  I will never be a stick thin model or have thighs that don't touch.  More and more, however, I am becoming proud of that.  I enjoy feeling feminine, sexy, and svelte and I owe it to my Swedish ancestry not to be ashamed of legs that are built to do real work, not just prance down a runway.  

While like many many people, I have a desire to shed a few pounds, rather than set a benchmark for weight, several items on my list pertain to gaining strength as well as confidence.  In the Nerd Fitness challenge I focused on getting my arms stronger.  I wanted to do 10 pushups and was able to do so by the end which is kind of fabulous.  But I want to keep going and I like the thought of getting all boot camp on my ass and pushing myself to 100 consecutive pushups.  So that's on the list.  I've also been working toward doing a pull up.  I want to be able by my 30th to say that I am in the best shape of my life.  Hence the addition of 10 consecutive pull ups.    

As for the confidence building, I added a Pin-Up Girl Photo Shoot to the 30/30 list.  Pretty excited about that actually.  It scares the shit out of me to do something like that.  I am terrified I will look horrible and feel awful about myself.  On the other hand, the thought of doing it and really rocking it makes me really happy and excited!  I don't want to wait a year to do it so I decided to aim for the end of the year.  And by aim for, I mean make a bit of a contract with myself.  

A few weeks ago I listened to the radio lab show Help! where they talk about the power of a Ulysses contract.  In essence this is when a person makes a binding contract on their future self to influence their current behavior.   For example, in the podcast, one woman talks about when she decided to quit smoking.  She was only able to stop when she tells a friend if she ever smokes another cigarette she will give $5000 to the KKK.  Kind of a big deal.  She never smoked again.  

I've been talking with a friend about what my Ulysses contract would be.  It's not very original considering the example above, but I decided by December 31st, 2011 if I am not able to do 100 consecutive pushups and 10 consecutive pull ups,  I will give £500 to the Westboro church.  While Sarah Palin was on the list of possibilities, this is the most repulsive institution I can possibly think of.  I won't link to their site here but feel free to Google it if you don't already know how abhorrent they are.  Now, to be clear, I won't do 100 and then 10 at once, I just have to be able to do them by that day.  If I can cross them off by September then so be it.  That's the contract.  And once it is published it is binding.  So here we go!!!  

UPDATE:  Considering the cost of this photo shoot I no longer have £500 to lose.  So the photo shoot is the motivation now.  I booked it.  It's happening.  And I am REALLY excited!!!!!  Turns out doing something that I am looking forward to and anticipating is more motivating than not giving money to people I dislike.  Ready. Set. Shoot!