In a famous story in Homer’s Odyssey, Ulysses and his crew had to sail past an island where the Sirens lived. These sirens were known to sing so beautifully that listeners would lose control of themselves, ultimately luring them to their deaths. Ulysses wanted to hear how the Sirens’ sounded like. However, he knew that he would not be capable of thinking clearly once he was bewitched by their beautiful voice. Thus, he instructed his crew to block their ears with wax. Ulysses also asked his crew to tie him to the ship’s mast so that he would not be able to do anything stupid, once he is under the Sirens’s charm. He also told them to not change the course of the ship whatever happens and even, to attack him in the worst case that he escapes.
This tale is instructive on how we can pursue habits that are just too difficult to achieve with our limited willpower. It’s easy to plan that we will stop eating sweets and start exercising. However, when we are already in the moment, when the temptation is already in front of us, it may just be too difficult to resist.
Thus, we need to find a way to tie ourselves to the mast. In my case, I have resorted to this app Beeminder. It allows you to track your goals for free. The catch is if you do not reach your goal, that is when you have to pay them. The first time you break your pact, you pay $5. The next time, it then becomes $10 and so on.
Three years ago, I was able to lose a lot of weight from the service. However, I’ve regained it since them. I’ve restarted my journey again.
As seen by the plot, I’ve lost weight since I started in the beginning of August. I started at 81.3 kg and now am at 77.3 kg. On my way, I’ve broken my promised rate of losing 0.7 kg per week, two times. I’ll periodically update my blog how it is going.