I've struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. Actually, "struggle" isn't quite the right word. I'm not sure what words fits this situation - I've thought about my weight EVERY SINGLE DAY for at least 25 years. I weigh myself and get depressed if the number has gone up while telling myself "Who cares? Might as well eat." I weigh myself and feel like "Oh yay, the number went down! I can treat myself with ice cream!" I weigh myself and calculate how much I have to lose. I get depressed because the amount seems impossible so why bother? I try to button snaps on my jeans and cry because they won't fasten. I notice little tears along the back pockets of my capris because the fabric has been stretched a little too much for a little too long. I get winded while walking up the stairs. I workout for a couple days and feel good about myself. Then I stop. And I beat myself up for being a lazy, fat cow. I eat really well for a couple days, then I gorge on pizza and tell myself I'm a loser. I hate trying on clothes and always end the day in a depressed funk when I have to go clothes shopping for some reason. I think about dating, but then conclude that no one would ever want to date a fatty like me. I worry about getting diabetes. I'm concerned that I'll pass poor habits along to my kids. I wake up and think about my weight first thing every morning, and decide that today's the day! Today is the day that I turn it all around. I go to bed, mad at myself, depressed, and vowing that tomorrow's the day. Tomorrow is the day that I will turn it all around. I've tried more diets that I can count, some healthy and sound like Weight Watchers, some idiotic and unhealthy like eating only veggies and one cup of yogurt a day. I've tried more exercise plans than I can count. None of them last. And every time I try, I end up more depressed, more disgusted with myself, and more defeated about the whole thing.
It's exhausting! And it's unproductive. I've wasted most of my life, obsessing over my weight, unhappy with myself, and not doing anything about it. How stupid is that? There are so many things in life that we cannot control. We can't change the weather, we can't change what other people do or how they act. We can, however, change our weight, our eating habits, our exercise routines. We have the power to do that. I have the power to change those things, and in a world where there's so much I can't control, why wouldn't I take the power to change that one thing that makes me feel awful every single day?
Those of you who have read my blog for some time, know I have a little, itty, bitty problem with competition. My kids refuse to play board games with me for this very reason. If it's a contest, I must win. It doesn't matter what the contest is about, I must win. When a website, Healthywage.com approached me and gave me information about their site, a little lightbulb went on over my head.
Here's how Healthywage works: You place a bet on how much weight you will lose in a certain number of months. If you meet your goal, you win a hefty payout! If you don't, you're out the money you've wagered. Most of us don't have a bunch of extra cash lying around so if we're going to bet $50 month that we'll lose 50 pounds in 6 months, we will do whatever it takes to not lose that money! And if we reach our goals, we get an awesome cash prize!
For people like me who are competitive and/or could really use the money, this just might be the incentive they need to stick with a diet and exercise plan. It's easy to sign up. You decide how much money you'd like to wager, how much weight you'd like to lose, and the time frame in which you'd like to lose it. Then, you can either make a quick, private, 30-second video showing you weighing in, or you can get your weight verified by one of HealthyWage's partners like Weight Watchers meetings, health care professionals, health clubs, etc. At the end of the challenge, you get your weight verified once more either by a private video, or by a HealthyWage partner. The top pay-out is $10,000 (the amount you win when you hit your goal depends on how much you have to lose, how much money you wager, and the length of time in which you're losing weight. You can get an idea of your pay-out by plugging in your variables HERE.) You can earn even more money by inviting others to join.
Last week, I signed up. This first week I dropped 8 pounds. The money I stand to win is a HUGE incentive to me! The past few days I spent at IMG Academy talking to the folks at Gatorade, registered dietitians, doctors, and other professionals in the field of sports nutrition have also motivated me to change my eating habits both for me and for my children. I've made a commitment to not only drop 50 pounds, but to change my lifestyle permanently. I will not stop working out when I hit my goal. I will not stop eating well when I lose 50 pounds. This is the way I want to live and the way I want to look, and since this is one thing over which I have control, I will do it. Not to mention the fact that I stand to win $1000 when I hit my goal!
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Image: courtesy Flickr