Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I Got Paid To Lose Weight

One day last May I was cruising the internet and saw an ad about being paid to lose weight.  "Right!", I thought but I clicked anyway.  I ended at at the HealthyWage page and I read it pretty throughly.  They have a few different programs but the one that interested me was the challenge to wager on my weight loss.

At that point, I was at least 75 pounds overweight.  I'd tried lots of different programs and sometimes lost up to 25 pounds in the course of dieting.  But I always got discouraged and quit and eventually regained all the weight - and then some.

So I was frustrated and discouraged and pretty much willing to try anything - except maybe surgery.  The way the HealthWage challenge worked was that I input how much I weighed and how much I wanted to lose in what time frame.   I decided I wanted to lose 50 pounds in 6 months. They came back with a challenge: I would pay $50 a month for the 6 months and if I was successful, they would send me my $300 back PLUS another $588.55.  I don't know how they came up with those numbers but I was willing to give it a shot.  I was 90% sure it was a scam and that I'd never see my $300 but I was 10% hopeful I'd get the money and lose the weight.  And even if I didn't get the money, I decided I was willing to pay $300 for yet another diet program.

So I set out on my 6 month challenge. I had to submit a before picture and a video verification of my weight and was accepted to the program.  I decided I wasn't going to "diet" but rather make my new mantra, "Eat Less, Move More" though I was sad ELMM didn't resonate as a fun acronym. I ate whatever I wanted but I limited my calories to 1200 a day.  I wasn't obsessive about the calories but I looked things up and rounded up.  I did limit some things; rice, pasta, potatoes, bread and wine.  It wasn't easy but I do think the money was an excellent motivator.  Every time someone offered me goodies or whenever I thought about cracking open a bottle of wine, I thought about that money and I kept my willpower.

Coincidently, about that same time, our prevention program sent me a notification that because my BMI was too high, I was being sent a Fitbit Flex for free.  Who could say no to that?  That arrived in June and I started my 10K steps a day and have been pretty consistent with that.  As it turns out, I'm a bit more competitive than I ever knew and as soon as I saw my friends' step totals I ramped up my game to catch up with them.

And it worked.  I started losing weight right away and I kept it up for 5 months.  I lost 55 lbs and I'm still losing but just not as quickly, probably because of the holidays and vacations I've been taking.  I allow myself to enjoy the good stuff when I'm out with friends.

Once I met my goal, I made my claim with HealthyWage.  I submitted all the information they requested and got an email that said I was a winner and "the check was in the mail."  And it was!  It arrived last week and I deposited it.  The bank cleared it!

I'm on maintenance until the year end but then I might enter another challenge in January to take some more pounds off.

Here are my before and after photos that HealthyWage required:

I know not professional and all, but not edited either.  I'm wearing clothes that are 2 sizes smaller than before and I've donated a huge pile of things I can't wear any longer.  And I feel great. Thank you, HealthyWage.