Wednesday, July 19, 2006 

The Mowing Diet!

I saw this guy this morning on the Today Show. He has lost 18 pounds now and says others are starting to do the same thing. He says since he has made a personal commitment to mow other people's lawn it keeps him motivated.

Darrell Nelson's Mowing Diet Provides Lessons on Personal Motivation

Talk about an interesting approach to motivation. Darrell Nelson had consistently been putting on weight. After failing to sustain a workable diet and exercise plan, a comment by a neighbor has given birth to the Mowing Diet Plan! Something clicked after Darrell's neighbor commented that his mowing of his lawn was a good exercise.

He realized that a good workout in the yard was something he enjoyed doing and was a good way to work up a sweat and also be productive. He decided to initiate a unique plan to lose 50 pounds. He would mow a lawn a day as his exercise plan. He used innocently posted a listing on the website Craig's List this week advertising free lawnmowing services. He got more than he bargained for. Not only does he now have five lawns in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area plus his own to mow every week; he's losing weight and talking about it to an amused media.

Darrell knew that one of the secrets to staying with a plan is making commitments to others. By committing to people who needed their lawns mowed, he has all the motivation he needs to keep him on task.

With five or so lawns per week, sweating for about an hour per lawn, he has initiated a pretty good exercise non-program. The former power lifter, who is about 5 feet 9 and weighed about 258 pounds when he started, has a goal of losing 50 pounds.

Toro Lawn Mowers has negotiated some added incentive. They are supplying the new lawnmower. If he reaches his goal, he gets the lawnmower for free. If he doesn't, Darrell will have to pay.

Darrell is utilizing two concepts that are known to work in changing habits. He has unleashed the power of commitments and self-reward. Now, if you live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, you may want to contact Darrell. He has more lawns to mow than he has time to do them. If you want to start your own mowing diet, he can help.

By the way, all the media attention has just increased his motivation. Darrell said to a Star Tribune reporter the day before he was scheduled to appear on "The Early Show" on CBS, "This is just insane. This has turned upside down. I'm in an onslaught of phone calls. ... I never anticipated what this has turned into. I have to lose weight now. I cannot fail, now that this has gotten this big. I'm overwhelmed by it. I'm getting my 15 minutes of fame and didn't expect it. I just wanted to lose weight."

Source: Eric Hanson, "
Weight loss plan: I'll mow your lawn for free," Star Tribune, July 07, 2006

What a GREAT idea! Some people are just sooooo creative! 3 CHEERS for Darryl!

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  • From Elizabethton, TN, United States
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