Weight Loss Support - I need an incentive!!!

View Full Version : I need an incentive!!!

09-26-2004, 10:06 AM
Hi everyone,

My wedding is coming up in 10 weeks and I need to shed at least 40 pounds. I have tried just about everything but can't make a commitment. Then I thought of an interesting idea and was wondering what y'all think of it.

Wouldn't it be great if there was a company with whom I could enter into a contract that states:

1. My commitment to weightloss
2. Deadline for my commitment
3. A pledge of a large sum (based on my financial standard) that I would lose if I do not meet my commitment

Now, the thought of losing a large amount of money would force me lose the weight by all means. It's a do or die situation. If I would succeed, I would only have to pay a service charge.

I know you have been in situations where you have to lose weight by a certain date (maybe your wedding) and just couldn't do it.

Tell me honestly, what do you think. I appreciate all feedback.

09-26-2004, 11:08 AM
First of all, are you really going to try to lose 40 pounds in 10 weeks? I hate to burst your bubble, but that's not really possible -- no one can lose 4 pounds of FAT per week in a healthy way, unless they weigh 300 or 400 pounds to start with. I doubt that it's even possible to lose that much weight that quickly by anything other than total starvation. Sounds fun 'n' healthy, doesn't it?

Second, incentives like the one you describe only encourage crash dieting, which is what you're trying to do. And, attaching deadlines to weight loss -- even if you chose sensible numbers -- is a bad idea. You have no control over your metabolism, hormones, or other circumstances that determine how quickly your body will burn off fat. So, what if you stick to your plan perfectly, but your body falls short of the deadline you set?

There is nothing that says you can't create a contract with yourself, lots of people do it. And, some people who choose to pay for a program or fitness club membership DO use the money they are spending as an added incentive. But, honestly, for weight loss to do you any good long-term, the incentive has to be more than just fitting into a wedding dress or avoiding a financial penalty.

09-26-2004, 11:56 AM
To begin with, I'm going to echo what funniegrrl said about 40 lbs in 10 weeks.
I have a couple of thoughts as I read your idea. Firstly, wedding photos, you want to look better, right? There's incentive. Trust me in 25 years your kids are going to show those pictures to everyone! I was slim but I had an afro!
Secondly, women are notorious for underestimating what they should weigh. I was at a website the other day that said that I was lighter than 91% of women my age and height. However, most women of that demographic think 121 lbs would be ideal. You follow? In a nutshell, you probably don't need to lose 40 lbs.
Thirdly, I had no idea that I'd look like this at this weight, when I was 162 lbs. I didn't even know what shape I was. You could be drop dead gorgeous after losing only 17 pounds. Chances are you're better looking, right where you are, than you think.
Fourthly, I have never made a deadline type goal for weight loss, no matter what was at stake.
The sad truth is that people would probably pay and the company would make lots of money.

09-26-2004, 12:06 PM
Have you seen the show Buff Brides? They use a 12 week program I believe of diet and exercise with a personal trainer in which they work under a personal trainer. The girls generally look awesome after the program but they lose no where near 40 lbs, more like 20 lbs. I would definitely use the fact that you want to look your best as your incentive.

About the company idea, personally I think it would be demoralizing for most people that would sign up. Our bodies are all different and it is hard to meet unreasonable deadlines, like 40 lbs in 10 weeks. If someone didn't happen to meet their goal then not only would they feel horrible about that, but they would have to give some company who hasn't helped them meet their goal some money.

09-26-2004, 12:26 PM
I still have a goal to lose a little more, but because of exercise, I'm toned, and people say I look just fine now. I still want to drop a little in the mid-section, but if I'm conscious about my posture, you can't even tell the little bulge still there. So like others said, you might not need to drop 40. If you drop 40 that fast, you could end up with wedding photos of a gaunt and sickly looking bride from unhealthy starvation.

A gal at work wanted to compete with me in weight loss, and offered a money jar, where we each put in a dollar a week and whomever lost the most by XX date won the jar. I refused to do that because I didn't want to put money on something serious. This wasn't a game to me. But we still tracked our progress, and I lost the weight, and she gained weight. It takes a determination, not money, not challenges, not games. Just a clear goal of what you want and a determination to reach it.

You can motivate yourself a few ways however. This is costly, but if you haven't already purchased the gown, buy it a size smaller. Then you MUST lose enough to fit into it. If you lose more, great, have it taken up a bit before the wedding.

09-26-2004, 01:41 PM
I am sure people here would enter into a challenge with you to help motivate you. It would be much better to do something like that with those of us who care about you and are in the same boat you are! Maybe there are others who are getting married who can challenge each other to lose as much as you can by a certain date...whether there is another reward other than fitting into your dress on that day would be up to the group itself. Start a "BRIDES TO BE" challenge in one of the forums here and see what happens!! You could meet some great friends in the process, I know I have with my SAHM's group here!

Also, I have seen so many fitness experts say that when you exercise, especially lifting weights as you lose weight, when you lose 20 and you are toned and fit, it really can look like 40! So why not forget that number and just put your best effort forward and see where you end up? Don't just weigh...take measurements when you start and keep track that way, too. That way when the scale isn't doing what you want, you can check your measurements and see that often you are still losing inches and you can stay motivated!

Good luck, I hope the ideas here can help you reach your goal!


09-26-2004, 03:42 PM
Thanks guys for your adivce about weight loss. I guess my expectations are a little unreal.

Please, give me advice on my idea though. I want to see if people are willing to risk money on a personal committment. Is it doable?

09-26-2004, 06:18 PM
My brother entered into a bet with the guys at work to lose the most amount and they each pledged a large sum of money to help them acheive the goal. My brother worked out night and day, ate a very strict diet and lost the wieight and won the bet. In the end he lost over 70 pounds in a short time. In addition to the fact that many of the guys never paid up, he has gained all the weight back PLUS some and looks really bad in a year since he won.

So to me, if you are doing it for any other reason than the desire to be healthier, you are setting yourself up for failure. Meeting your goal and gaining back all the weight plus is a failure. It's not temporary, it's lifelong! So sorry, but your idea wouldn't work for me at all. JMHO.


09-26-2004, 07:59 PM
Last year everyone at work also decided to play a game similar to that one...everyone who wanted to play would put in $10. Each time someone was "caught" cheating, they would owe the pot $1. Whoever had lost the most weight at the end of 3 months would get the whole pot. Almost everyone (including myself) quit doing it. The winner only lost about 2 pounds LOL. I think the reason that everyone quit was because they were more interested in winning the money than losing the weight.
I personally would not join a program like that, because I can't see giving someone money because I didn't lose weight. Besides, wouldn't you feel bad, hoping that they didn't lose weight so you could make some money? Instead of that, maybe have a business where people paid you for weight loss support and help, something like Curves, or LA weight loss. Something where you didn't have to hope they didn't lose weight so that you could make a buck. If everyone lost all the weight that they were supposed too, you wouldn't make any money!!!

:) Sam

09-26-2004, 08:20 PM
Samantha, isn't LA weight loss kind of like that? I had heard from someone I knew that joined it that if they lost the weight, then they got their money back (not the money they spent on any food) which amounted to something like $500 dollars? It seemed a bit expensive for a program to me and the person I knew ended up only losing a couple lbs.

09-26-2004, 09:30 PM
I am doing something similar with a good friend right now, but with a big difference. We have a deal that we have to exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes four times a week. For each time we don't exercise, we have to put $10 in a pot. At the end of the month, we exchange pots. It is totally on the honor system. This way, it is not based on actual weight loss which can be erratic, as pointed out in some of the previous posts. But it is also a motivation to take the "baby step" of increasing our exercise, which we all know is extremely important to permenant weight loss. So far we have been going strong for a month and sh has had to pay me $10 and I have not had to pay her anything. With this next month we are trying for five days a week. I'm down 15 pounds and feeling so much better that it's now more about the exercise and the sense of acomplishment rather than the money.

If you don't have someone close you can do this with, maybe do it with yourself and any money in the pot at the end of the month has to be donated to the local food shelf or other favorite charity...just an idea.

09-27-2004, 08:53 AM
Nelie - I may have made an uninformed statement. I have never joined LA weight loss, nor do I know much about it. I apologize.
Janet - Now that is a great idea. That is a much healthier plan.
The gym that I joined a couple of years ago (I have since stopped going to that gym) has a plan similar to that - If you go 12 times a month for your first two months, you can get the third month for free. (Of course, I didn't get that deal) That is a good idea, too!

:) Sam

09-27-2004, 12:03 PM
Samantha, I thought you might know, I may be misinformed as well, I think LA Weight loss is the new kid on the block so to speak or it just hasn't been around the west side of the US because everyone I have heard that is on it is on the East Coast or in the eastern midwest.

I also wouldn't mind having an exercise motivator or an exercise buddy, so I think putting money on something that is achievable (exercising) rather than something that is questionable (losing a certain amount within a certain period of time) is a better idea.

09-28-2004, 05:49 PM
This is what I think would be a good motivator
Put cash in a jar every time you do exercise then at the end of X amount of time you treat yourself to a nice nonfood reward
even if its a quarter it adds up

09-28-2004, 08:43 PM

09-29-2004, 08:30 PM
Ha ha, thats a good idea. And with all that money you put in that jar, buy something extra sexy to wear on that wedding night. Put of picture of it in the jar with the money. That would keep me motivated. :-) Congratulations by the way.

09-29-2004, 09:25 PM
This is what I think would be a good motivator
Put cash in a jar every time you do exercise then at the end of X amount of time you treat yourself to a nice nonfood reward
even if its a quarter it adds up

Now that's a great idea!

Back on the amount of weight loss thing ... I've only lost about 20 pounds, but I look like I've lost quite a bit more because I've gained a fair bit of muscle :D

Breaking Out
10-05-2004, 02:44 AM
Nelie and Sam,
I was on LA Weight loss for about 5 months. They give you two "rebates". Once you hit goal they put you on a "stabalizier" program then into maintenance. After six months IF YOU MAINTAIN YOUR WEIGHT they refund 25% of the program price. At the one year mark you get another 25% back. They are one of the most expensive programs I've run across. Because I had so much to lose, my program (Before bars and supplements) was around $820.00. With bars and supplements it ran me almost $4,000.00 for a two year program. That included the program, two years worth of their "special" bars and the first three month worth of suppliments (6 suppliments total). I've stopped going because they really didn't live up to their end of the bargain. If it was just a matter of losing the weight I'd probably be OK. I could write an entire dieting bible with the knowledge I have crammed into my head over the years. Where I needed help, was with the head games I play on myself. I'm an emotional eater and the one on one counseling they offered sounded great and from the beginning all was well. They are very supporting as long as your dropping, but if you stall out or have a bad week they don't really help you work through the problem they just try to figure out what else they can sell you. From what I can tell they do really well with people that need to lose 20 or 30 pounds but once you get above that I just don't think their set up to deal with folks like me. I need to drop some where in the neighborhood of 150 to 160 pounds so I'm back to doing it on my own. Hope that answers some questions and please keep in mind this is my experience, there are probably others out there that live and die by the LA Weight loss doctrine.

And hey 11Shirley11,
As far as the incentive thing I have stopped using the size of my pants as incentive. Instead I use weird stuff like walking a mile with out feeling like I'm gonna die unless there's a paramedic waiting for me at the end with a tank of oxegyn. Or playing with my nephews (One's 6 the other is 18 months) without needing a cardiac jump start afterwards. By not worrying about the size of my toosh I'm having better results than I have had in a long time. It amazes me every time I put on clothes that are just a little bigger. I used to pray to the diet Gods that I wouldn't split a seam and now I'm praying I don't walk completely out of my pants.

:dancer: Funny story. I didn't realize I was going down all that much until one day at work I actually walked out of my slip. I had on a dress with a half slip and I had gotten up to go somewhere and halfway down the hall I felt my slip start to slide and I figured no big deal, I'll just detor past the bathroom and see what the problem was. Before I could get there the slip came off, I'm a good 5 yards away before I even realized it was gone. One of my coworkers asked if I'd lost something, thinking I would be mortified if they just yelled down the hall "Hey ditz, you lost your slip!!". They couldn't beleive it when I turned around and just hit the floor laughing. It was so funny. I laughed all day about it and the next morning I hopped on the scale just as a curiosity thing (I only weigh in once a month) and realized total weight I was down 15 pounds. I know it's hard but the less you think about the drudgery of dieting and the more you think about the odd little bonuses that crop up the easier the weight loss thing is. At least it is for me.

Hope that helps at least a little.

20 pounds down and, well alot to go.

Start: 304
Now: 284
Height: 5' 5 1/2"