Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Clifton Gibo lost 73 pounds during Weight Loss Challenge

Clifton Gibo, before and after, lost 73 pounds in 13 weeks

Motivation, it’s that thing that makes me get out the door in the morning to do a six mile run.  Without motivation I would be well over 200 pounds and have jell-o for a body.

   Motivation comes in two forms, internal and external, and both can lead to the accomplishing of goals.  External motivation is that pay check that keeps us showing up for work each day and internal motivation comes from our own desire for self improvement.

   Which leads me to the focus of this week’s column that has to do with losing weight through external motivation.

   I’m sure most of you have seen the television show “The Biggest Loser” where large people try to lose weight over a period of time. The person that loses the most weight wins the grand prize.

   Penn Fitness Center offered money to the person who could lose the most weight during a three month period in their own “Weight Loss Challenge.”

   A total of 120 people took the challenge, paying a $25 entry fee and hitting the gym for a required minimum of three times per week.

   After all the calorie watching and aerobic exercises the grand prize winner, or Hilo’s biggest loser, was Clifton Gibo who lost an amazing 73 pounds – going from a hefty 209 pounds to a slim and trim 136.

   “It wasn’t that hard for me to lose all that weight,” Gibo said.  “I ran everyday an average of 7-miles and the pounds just melted off.”

   Gibo, who stands at 5’ 3”, also went on a strict calorie restriction, limiting his total intake to 800 calories per day.

   “I was hungry a lot of the time, but I really wanted to win,” he said.  “My motivation was my desire to win this contest and the money that came with it.”

   Penn Health & Fitness Center awarded the “Biggest Loser” $5000 which Gibo says was his motivation for sticking with his exercise, weight loss program.

   “I’m a student at Hawaii Community College and I could use the money for school and to pay some bills,” Gibo said.

   Gibo grew up on Maui where he was on the high school swim team.  He and his girlfriend moved to Hilo last year, and when he heard about the weight loss challenge he jumped at the opportunity.

   “I really wanted to win the Weight Loss Challenge,” Gibo said.  “In the final two weeks before the contest ended I got my running up to 10 to 12-miles a day.”

  Gibo used the treadmill machines at Penn Fitness and ran on his own treadmill at home.  “My entire weight loss came from doing the running and the calorie restriction,” he said.

   Three weeks after the contest Gibo had already put 19 pounds back on, but was optimistic about being able to lose 10 of those pounds.

   “I sort of let myself go and was lazy and didn’t do anything,” Gibo said of his original 209 pound weight.  “Now I know I can control my weight and I started to go diving again.  I think getting back into the water on a regular basis will help me maintain a decent weight,” he said.

   Whatever the case it is very obvious that external motivation worked well for Gibo as his desire to win $5000 was enough of an incentive to get him to drop 73 pounds during a 13 week period.

   The most difficult thing facing Gibo now will be to see if he can keep himself motivated enough to want to maintain a healthy weight.

  Each day many of us face a variety of motivational challenges which determine where we are headed with our health.

  Statistics showing that obesity can cause a variety of health related problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems and a variety of cancers, are not in itself enough motivation to get all of us up and exercising on a daily basis.

  America is in a health care crisis, due mainly to poor diet and a lack of physical exercise.  If each of us found within ourselves enough internal motivation to take better care of our bodies we could reduce the health care cost in this country by more than fifty percent.

   While cash now money may be a great incentive to some people to make healthy changes to their lives those same people will over look the long term benefits that can be reaped from staying healthy for their own good.

   Gibo proved one thing in his weight loss challenge and that is that he can be highly motivated to make positive changes by cash rewards.  It is the same sort of reward system that many parents use to get their kids to bring home good grades on their report cards.

   External motivation will get people to do things for instant gratification, but will the positive effects stay with them when those rewards disappear?

   Of course the above question has been tossed about for ages and there is argument on both sides of the fence. 

   One thing is for sure, external motivation can get someone started faster onto a certain goal, whether or not that person stays focused onto that goal will then depend on the intrinsic.

   Good luck to you Clifton Gibo!

June 1, 2010 Posted by | Health and Fitness | , , , , , | 3 Comments