Please tell me you’ve played Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! for the NES.
If you have, then you’ll understand when I say that it’s one of the games that defined my childhood. I can’t count the dozens and dozens of hours I spent working my way through the different circuits, beating the crap out of Glass Joe, trying to dodge Bald Bull’s charge, and watching in awe as Iron Mike Tyson knocked me out with a single punch. Sure it’s a fun game, easy to play and almost impossible to master, but there’s one reason above all others that this game really resonated with me:
It’s a damn good underdog story.
Little Mac, the main character in Punch-Out!!, is five foot nothin’, a hundred and nothin’, and has hardly a speck of athletic ability (to loosely quote Rudy, another great underdog story). Sure he’s not the biggest guy, definitely not the most talented, and he trains by running the streets of NYC in a pink jumpsuit (come on!). However, whatever Little Mac lacks in ability and talent, he sure makes up for with intelligence, determination, and heart:
- Intelligence to defeat more talented fighters by outsmarting them.
- Determination to get get up after being knocked down.
- Heart to truly believe he could go from a nobody to heavyweight champion of the world with enough hard work.
There’s just something awesome about a simple dude from humble beginnings who goes onto accomplish greatness, especially a guy that most of us nerds can relate to. Yup, I feel so strongly about this that I ended the previous sentence with a preposition. That’s how I roll. But enough about grammar; let’s move onto the real reason I wrote today’s article:
I want you to be the next great underdog success story.
I want you to be the next big thing, because I truly believe you can turn your life around and inspire others. This country’s weight problem continues to go in the wrong direction, so it’s up to us to reverse the mojo one person at a time. Whether you become a inspiration for just your circle of friends, your coworkers, or for hundreds of thousands of people, if your story can motivate just one person to make a change and get healthy then you’re a hero in my book.
Here is your step-by-step guide to becoming the next Little Mac:
- Decide that you want to make a change. This is incredibly important – if your head isn’t in it for the right reason, you won’t succeed. Find something that will inspire you to make a change – your kids, your family, your girlfriend or boyfriend, whatever. Find the motivation you need, every single day, to level up your life.
- Set specific, obtainable goals. Now that your your mind is made up, it’s time for you to start setting goals for your journey. “I want to lose weight” isn’t going to cut it. “I want to lose 50 pounds by June” is a specific goal that you can get behind. Once you’ve set your goals, you can tailor your diet and workout towards reaching them. If you have a goal to lose a certain amount of weight by a certain amount of time, break that down into months/weeks so you know if you’re on track or if you need to make adjustments.
- Weigh in and take a picture. You might hate the way you look and hate being in front of a camera, but still take a picture of yourself. You don’t have to show it to anybody or put it up on a website or anything like that. Hell, you don’t even have to look at it. Just hold onto it. Secondly, weigh yourself, first thing in the morning, and make a note of what time and what day of the week you do it.
- Tell somebody you’re making a change. Some people (like Tyler at 344pounds.com and Steve at 265andfalling.com) have made websites to track their diets, workouts, and weigh-ins to keep themselves accountable. If you’re interested in starting a website, you can launch a free blog over at www.wordpress.com to get the ball rolling (buy an official domain name if you’re serious about going global with your story). If you DON’T want to start a website, feel free to tell family, friends, or co-workers that you’re getting in shape and that you would love their support. These are the people who will keep you accountable and keep you motivated.
- Keep your stats on a consistent basis. Because you live with yourself every single day (you lucky dog), you probably don’t realize any changs when you start to look different (if you’re losing weight and exercising), so comparing before and after pictures on a monthly/weekly basis will really help you see how far you’ve come. Secondly, when dealing with the anonymity of the internet, these pictures do wonders for your credibility.
- Ask for help when you need it. If you have a blog, write about your struggles. If you have friends, tell them what’s working and what’s not. If you’re keeping this all to yourself, tell me and I’ll do what I can.
- Inspire Others – As you start to get in shape, might start to receive emails and comments from friends (or strangers if online) offering support or asking questions. Go out of your way to respond to every single one of them: these are the people who you could inspire down the road.
They say people who are most successful in life are often those who are too busy to be looking for it. I doubt when Tyler set out to lose 150 pounds he thought his life would change the way it did. Initially, he just wanted to lose weight and take care of his family. Look at him now: sponsorships, TV and radio appearances, and thousands of lives impacted. It’s an awesome story, and one from which you can learn. I firmly believe this next statement.
Why Not You?
Sounds simple enough, right?
Why not lose some weight and inspire others to do the same! I bet you have some reservations about telling your story and putting yourself out there. I understand that the internet is a scary place and you might not be ready to step into the spotlight. That’s fine! You don’t have to plan to end up on television selling products on infomercials or anything like that. As I’ve said previously, if you manage to only to motivate just one other person, you’re already If you’re going to lose weight, I think you should document your success and failures in case you DO have a dramatic transformation.
In case you’re not aware, there are hundreds of thousands of people in your exact same situation, struggling with the same things you’re struggling with, looking for motivation to succeed. I want you to be that person – lead by example and those around you might just do the same. Positive peer pressure and momentum are two very powerful influences in healthy living.
Share Your Story, Help Others Do the Same
This is what I need you to do. If you have a blog, please let the community know what it is so they can follow your progress. If you don’t have a blog, simply leave a comment about your successes, failures, and goals for the future.
I want to make an impact on as many lives as possible by helping Nerd Fitness become something bigger than just a blog post twice a week. I want to help facilitate a kick-ass community of awesome people improving their lives, helping one another, and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.
Please tell me your story, I can’t wait to hear about it.
So who wants to play some Punch-Out!!?