Monday, 18 July 2011

A wager on weight loss

Does anyone remember the New Zealander James Hurman, who in 2008 sold his smoking addiction in an auction?  The deal was that whoever bought his "right to smoke" would be on the receiving end of a legal contract, drawn up by Hurman's lawyer, obligating Hurman to pay them NZ$1,000 every time he smoked a cigarette. The auction was successful - his "right to smoke" sold for a couple hundred NZ$, which he donated to a cancer charity, and, after trying for years to kick the smoking habit, he finally managed it.

Today I came across a website that runs along a similar premise, called When you register to the site, you commit to a certain goal, such as losing a certain amount of weight, and a time limit in which to achieve that goal. You then nominate a referee to verify your progress, and you make a wager on your success. You have to provide your credit card details up front, and then every week your referee determines whether you've succeeded or failed. So, if you commit to losing 15 lbs in 5 weeks, the site will calculate that you need to lost 3 lbs per week, and every week that you fail, the amount of money you wagered will be deducted from your credit card and donated to the charity of your choice.

Genius, n'est ce pas?

When I mentioned to A that I was thinking of signing up, he was concerned that rather than motivating me in a healthy way, it would encourage me to compete with myself so much that I'd get sucked back into a full-blown ED. For about half a second I felt irritated, and the thought flashed through my mind, "you can't control what I eat". But almost immediately, I realised that was wrong, and that I'm so fortunate to have someone who takes that possibility, however remote, seriously and helps me steer clear of that path. We decided it might be best if I sign up initially for a small, short challenge and see how it goes. So I start tomorrow, with the aim of losing 2lbs a week for 2 weeks. Each week that I fail, £20 (about US$30) will be deducted from my bank account. If I succeed - by that I mean lose the weight but without it negatively affecting my work or home life, I'll sign up for another 5 weeks.

My start weight this morning was 127.2. The aim is to lose 15lbs, slowly and healthily, over the next 7 weeks. Wish me luck! Or, if you want to, join me :)


Cinnamon Brown said...

That's so weird, my housemate mentioned the exact same thing to me three days ago! It's a brilliant idea! Pity I haven't got any money to wager. Maybe I'll wager something important like my music or my jewellery! Ha! All the best, Love! <3. XXX.

K said...

It's a great idea, and I'm so sad that I haven't got any money either... I want to find a site that gives you money when you succeed! Haha. Good luck!

kes said...

That sounds like a good idea. But I have no money either. Good luck! I know you can do it!

Anonymous said...

I don't have any money to wager but you can bet if I did I'd stick to it. Brilliant plan!

Kat not Jas said...

That's a really good idea!!!

I will totally join you when I get some money, but until then I can only wish you tons of luck!


Princess Perfection said...

That sounds like a brilliant plan!
If I was not living with my parents at the moment, and actually had a stable job and some money, I would totally join you.
Alas, I cannot.
But I can wish you tons and tons of luck, and I know you will do amazing!
Stay positive, stay beautiful! <3

Beth said...

Wow what an amazing website, its such a motivation. Thank you for finding this and sharing it with all the lovely blogger people xx