The First Month of the Weight Loss Group

I blogged a month ago about a new approach I was taking to weight maintenance. Four friends and I made a pact: lose 5 pounds every month (or have reached our weight goal and maintained that weight) or else we have to pay $50, split between all the people who managed to meet their goal.

It was interesting watching how it played out over the course of the month. I thought I wouldn’t have any problem losing the weight. I was a pro at this, right? Except the first two weeks involved a couple of conferences and a vacation trip, and halfway to the finish line, I hadn’t just not lost weight. I’d gained 2.2 pounds. So now I had two weeks to lose 7.2 pounds, which sounded a whole lot worse than 4 weeks to lose 5.

Friends, I have never been more motivated to lose weight in my entire life. My natural inclinations to win any game I play and to be a tightwad came together perfectly. I watched each calorie like a hawk. Hunger was just a reminder that I had to win. I lost the weight and saved the money.

For the most part, it seems like this was reflected in the other participants. Well, except for one, who somehow managed to lose 12 pounds and never looked back once. For the rest of us mortals, things seemed iffy toward the middle, but in the end 4 out of the 5 participants managed to lose the 5 pounds. So the one who didn’t pays us each $12.50.

I count this as a success, and I’m excited for the next month. If I reach the goal of 5 pounds lost this time, then it will officially be the lowest I have weighed since high school. I don’t have that much left to lose 10 pounds or so, total. So if this gets me there, that’s great. More importantly, I hope it keeps me there.

Some people have said we’re basically betting, but I want to stress that I don’t view this as a bet. It’s a weight loss program with a $50/month fee that you don’t have to pay if you manage to meet your goal. Weight Watchers costs $20-$55 each month, depending on how much coaching you get. Would a program like that be willing to refund your money if you’re successful? I think not.

Though really, this only works if all of us in the group are doing it. If we start bailing, then suddenly the outside motivation can evaporate. So I’m glad to see that it’s worked well so far. And the one who didn’t make weight is now highly motivated to correct that this month. (I think.)

Of course, this month also has Thanksgiving. We’ve moved the weigh-in date to Thanksgiving morning. My goal is to lose extra weight before I head down to Pennsylvania, because I know I’ll want to eat extra while I’m down there. We’ll see how it goes.

In any case, so far, so good. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

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