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I need an incentive!!!

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Old 09-26-2004, 09:06 AM   #1
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Default I need an incentive!!!

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.
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Old 09-26-2004, 10:08 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 09-26-2004, 10:56 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 09-26-2004, 11:06 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 09-26-2004, 11:26 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 09-26-2004, 12:41 PM   #6
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Default Idea

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!

Blessings,
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Old 09-26-2004, 02:42 PM   #7
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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?
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Old 09-26-2004, 05:18 PM   #8
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Smile A little story...

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.

Blessings,
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Old 09-26-2004, 06:59 PM   #9
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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
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Old 09-26-2004, 07:20 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 09-26-2004, 08:30 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 09-27-2004, 07:53 AM   #12
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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
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Old 09-27-2004, 11:03 AM   #13
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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.
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Old 09-28-2004, 04:49 PM   #14
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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
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Old 09-28-2004, 07:43 PM   #15
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