Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Monetary Motivation

I was thinking about two years ago (gosh, was it really so long ago?) when I competed in the Ultimate Girls Challenge.  It was a Biggest Loser type of competition, where we each put in $10 and the top 3 winners split the pot.  We earned points not only for the amount of weight we lost, but also for daily and weekly healthy activities.  It was a great motivator for me, I think because it tapped into my competitive side. 

I didn’t even get to finish the first competition since I got pregnant in the middle of it, and I’ve since pretty much lost touch with that group.  So, I’ve been looking for similar competitive motivators, and I have found a couple of websites that strive to do something similar:

DietBet (www.dietbet.com) has you set up a game with your friends.  You decide how much money goes in the pot, and how much each person has to lose in four weeks, and then the winner gets the pot.  It seems like a nice tool to track everything fairly, although I feel like you could easily do it without the site.  My problem is that I don’t think I have a group of people who would want to do this with me. 

Healthy Wage (www.healthywage.com) is slightly more intricate.  They have 3 different challenges you can take part in (and you can do one, two, or all three at the same time).  The first is the 10% challenge.  You put up $100 and if you lose 10% of your starting weight in 6 months, you win $200. 

The second challenge is the BMI challenge.  You need to have a starting BMI of 30 or higher to do this one.  The goal is to make your way to a healthy BMI (under 25) in 1 year.  You can put up $150 to win $400, $300 to win $1000, or you can put up no money to win $100. 

The third Healthy Wage challenge, the matchup, is more of a team competition.  You join a team of 5 and each person puts up $60.  For 12 weeks, as a team, you try to have the biggest percentage of weight loss vs. other teams out there.  If you do, your team wins $10,000; second place wins $5,000, and third place wins $3000.  To prevent unhealthy weight loss, they do only count weight loss up to 16.6% per person. 

With Healthy Wage, you can put a team together yourself, or you can have the site add you to a team of people from around the country.  To keep things fair, you have to have your starting and ending weights verified by your doctor or at a Weight Watchers meeting. 

I find myself more drawn to Healthy Wage, and I really like the way they have their Matchup challenge set up – there are also weekly contests within the Matchup challenge, and since it’s only 12 weeks, it’s a quicker reward.  But, again, finding 4 other people to do the challenge with me might be difficult. 

Both of these sites say that wagering money makes people up to 5 times more likely to succeed. 

Have you heard of something similar?  Is there anyone out there that is interested in putting their money where their mouth is?

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