Lose weight. Win money? Get in shape!

Lose weight. Win money? Get in shape!

June 3rd I wrote how I don’t like diets — just the word has me imagining sweets like a negative pavlov effect. Challenge is a better word for me.  Then I read of HealthyWage where you bet yourself that you will lose weight.

I read about Teresa S.  Teresa wrote when she started, “It was traumatic to see the scale say 266; I knew I could be at 300 within months.” Teresa bet $125 per month that she would lose 60 pounds in six months.

HealthyWage: you lose, you win

That’s the way HealthyWage works.  You set your bet per month, how many months and your goal.  If you don’t make your goal, you lose your money.  If you meet your goal, you win your money plus some.  Teresa could have lost $750 but instead won $2,415.   Many people who have tried HealthyWage said not wanting to lose the money was a strong incentive.  It would be for me too.

My goals

One of the reasons Teresa’s story appealed to me is that her goals are close to what I want to do.  I weigh about 250 lbs which I have for decades.  However, in Oakland I lived on a hill and walked a lot so I was much healthier.  In Arizona, I don’t walk hardly at all.  Plus 3/4s of the year, it is so darn hot that driving is the preferred mode of travel for any sane person.  The upshot is that even though I am the same weight, I am not as fit as I used to be.  When I came to Tucson, I walked 7.5 miles.  Now I’m hard put to walk half a mile.

I’ve decided I want to lose 65lbs over 6 months at $30 per month. I wasn’t up for betting $125 like Teresa.  Too scared if I failed.  I clicked the button “Calculate Prize” to see what I might win. If I fail, I lose $180 which is not good.  If I succeed, I receive $768, getting back my original $180 plus $588.  I’m good with that.

I thought about calling Thursdays: Thunder Thighs Thursdays, lol.  Thursdays will be my check-in day here.  What I’ve done towards my goal.  I plan to change my eating habits so they are healthier: less carbs and meat and more everything else.  The other thing is to start building up my walking skills again.  I used to enjoy walking. I want to buy one of those fitbit things to monitor my walking.  HealthyWage actually has a StepChallenge for people wanting to bet they can increase their steps.  I might try that later but need to establish a baseline first.

On the Today Show

I was a little concerned about the legitimacy of HealthyWage but watching this Today show reassured me and I also found listening to the people inspiring.  The show starts off discussing a Mayo Clinic study that found 62% of the people in a weight-loss group that received a cash incentive lost weight but those that had no cash incentive, only 26% reached their goal. They didn’t have anyone from the Mayo study on the show but they had three people who had successfully lost weight using HealthyWage.  Two of them lost more than 90 pounds.  One of them got involved in HealthyWage at work when she and her workmates decided to do a team challenge.  You can do more than one challenge in HealthyWage so she added on a personal weight challenge.

I’m in

So June 4th, I signed up for $30 monthly to lose 65 lbs over 6 months.  You have to have a verified weigh-in and you need a newspaper with the day’s date to prove the date.  So I went out and picked up a USA Today.  Did you know former president Clinton wrote a novel with Patterson?

Next I downloaded the HealthyWage app.  While that downloaded, I changed into clothes that matched their approved weigh-in clothes list which for me was a tight t-shirt and bikini bottoms (nope, no picture here: no one is going to see me in that!).

Finally with an app, I took the video in one stream.  Hit the scale to show it at 00 with the newspaper next to it.  Then in a full length mirror viewed my full front, then turned left, then right.  Stood on the scale.  252.1 pounds! What the heck?!! I thought I was 249, ok maybe 250.  Never mind.  Then full front again in the mirror,  then left and right. And sent the video.  (Actually it took me several tries before I got the full nonstop video — they have a button so you can start over from the beginning).  Waited to see if it was ok.  I was worried the numbers were too dark.  Yay, they accepted it.

And now I am in.  Since I already did a verified video, I thought I’d try to add-on another challenge to see if I could use the same video as long as I did it on the same day.  So on June 4th, I also joined the Slimming & Winning Jackpot challenge.  This one is only 3 months and anyone who loses 6% of their weight wins.  The jackpot is split between the winners less 25% going to HealthyWage. So at the end of 3 months, I need to be at 237 pounds to get my money back.  Current pot is $12,015 with 265 participants and ends on August 27th.    Your final verified weigh in has to be within two weeks of the end date.  I joined this one to give me an intermediary goal towards my 6 month goal to help keep me in track.  It doesn’t look like people win much with these mini challenges so this one, if I succeed, I’m just likely to get my money back which is $20 a month for this challenge.  Also the team challenge looks interesting — your team together can win $10,000 if you’re the top team weight loss winner.  I think these are the ones that people join up with their coworkers.  Talk about peer pressure.

So how am I doing?

I felt sorry for myself on the 5th because my car is dead (won’t start) and ate pie, two pieces.  Okay, maybe three. I had to finish it off, didn’t I? Not an auspicious start.  A little better on the 6th: I ate strawberries with whipped cream but no sugar.  No exercise either unless you count doing dishes.  (Thinks of the Karate Kid…hmmm) Today, the 7th, though, I walked a mile which I hadn’t done in a long time.  I took a 45-minute rest at the half mile mark. I had to; I was breathing heavy. I was surprised at how tired I was.  And my back was whining it wanted to lay back on the sofa where it was comfy. Walking a half mile used to be a breeze for me.  I hadn’t realized I was that out of shape. No strawberries or pie today. I ate beef and veggies. I did have white rice though. Oh darn, I bought an extra-large coke at Circle K at the half mile mark because of the ice and being so thirsty.  Next time I walk, I need to bring water because it’s over 100F here. Still, I walked.  It’s a start. Don’t wish me luck.  Say “Gambatte” instead — they say that in Japan when we Americans usually say “Good Luck.”  “Gambatte” means “Try Hard” and “Don’t Give Up” all rolled up in one.

On Amazon:

Fitbit Flex 2, Black (US Version) Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Large (US Version) Fitbit Versa Smartwatch, Black/Black Aluminium, One Size (S & L Bands Included)


Disclosures: I have signed up to be an affiliate for companies on this page.  I may get a fee or commission if you click a link to join a program or purchase something. Amazon disclosure: “We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”

Disclosure:  I went ahead and signed up as a HealthyWage affiliate.  If you join through the links above, I’ll get a commission.  However, they also have a friends link, if you join up by clicking this friends link, it adds a $40 to your HealthyWager award if you complete your goal and $40 to my HealthyWager award if I complete my goal.  Niether of us gets the $40 if either person fails.   I think the $40 is for HealthyWager challenges only and not the other ones like the 6% individual challenge or the team challenge. The HealthyWage affiliate link doesn’t matter if anyone succeeds but there is no benefit for the friend, just for the affiliate no matter what kind of challenge they join. I think joining through the friends link also lets you view your friend on the dashboard: you’ll see their name and what % they’ve lost so far but not the actual weight.  That’s private unless you make it public.


36 Replies to “Lose weight. Win money? Get in shape!”

    1. Thank you! I agree with you — especially when it comes to being more active — “doing something is always better than doing nothing” (should put that on an exercise t-shirt!)

        1. It’s funny but for some reason I get the image of Coyote and Roadrunner when Coyote does something just before it blows up in his face. Now if he was as smart as Garfield, it would blow up in someone else’s face while he chortles.

            1. Oh, you said “Doing Something is better than doing Nothing” which I think is a great saying esp re: exercise. But then Wile E. Coyote popped in my head — whenever he does Something to try to blowup the Roadrunner (his dream), he’s the one who gets blown up. That cartoon is pretty old though so a lot of people haven’t seen it these days because nowadays it would be rated too violent for kids.

                1. Yeah, I never thought it was cartoons making people violent. After all people seem more violent than ever and there are more controls on violence than ever too. But maybe it just seems that way because violent news seems to fly around the social networks superfast. My own experience of people is most people are nice. Probably just depends on where you live though. I met a young woman once who had immigrated to America from a war zone. She said when she heard a backfire, her instinct was to roll under a car to be safe from gunfire. To live without hearing gunfire everyday was a huge change for her.

                    1. Wow! you hear gunfire where you live? I’m sorry. you can call me Mary if you want. I have MNL as my blog name because I received some strange comments in the beginning. Only one weird person but he left long strange comments. That hasn’t happened since I changed the blog name to MNL. But for the cat folks, I feel pretty safe with them so my own name is ok.

                    2. Yesterday, Mary, a few cars were shot going down the motorway by the airport. I will be going that way Saturday. If I hear something, I will remember you told me to duck! I get long strange comments every week, but I just update my comment spam “keywords” setting to trash them. I appreciaate your comments. Greg

                    3. Wow, that’s scarey! Only yesterday. Be careful on that motorway. It’s hard to duck when you’re driving.

                      You got strange comments too? I thought it was just because I was female. It hasn’t happened in a long time so maybe it’s ok to leave my name out there. I moderate everything so my spam catcher is probably pretty dumb due to not being trained with keywords.

                      I appreciate your comments too! It’s like a conversation.

                    4. I do not drive due to vision problems so I CAN duck as a passenger!. Maybe I should shoot back? Just kidding! I am not John Wayne! Funny I had 20 sex spam comments yesterday in my spam folder. Being a man targets me for this kind of junk. I moderate after a new person leaves their first comment. After that I don’t. No one got thru yet! Enjoy your comments.

                    5. Ducking is good. I am assuming you had a safe drive past the airport since I got some likes. Yay!

                      Your comment made me realize how unintentionally sexist I was being — thinking I got screwy spam just because I was female. Never occurred to me that guys got targeted too. It’s really that there are screwy people out there who will target anyone, doesn’t matter sex or any other identifiable characteristics

                    6. Yes, Mary, I get tons about “dating” if you know what I mean, and in my email as well, as my private address got out there somehow. No I didn’t get shot, but a road rager nearby shot at a car that merged onto the freeway in front of him against his wishes! Driver not hurt. I probably make it sound worse than it is. Thanks for your reply. Greg

                    7. It’s crazy that people get that mad over other people’s driving.

                      I never got “dating” comments. Mine was a guy who hated all American women and went on a rant about us. Very strange and very bad spelling/grammar too.

                      Your dating comments/email makes me think of that movie “Sleepless in Seattle” so that makes you Tom Hanks. If Scooby pulls out an email from someone who loves baseball, hmmm, maybe purrs at an email from someone who loves catnip, then it might be Meg Ryan. Hope you’re not afraid of heights! And don’t let Scooby schedule a flight to NYC!

  1. Yeah those markers on the scale keep moving up and the older we get the harder it is to move them back. I lost about 88 pounds once but life got in the way and eating is my way of coping with trauma. It’s a good thing I enjoy exercise but my nutritionist said 1/2 to 1 pound a week was reasonable for me and I’ve seen as much as two pounds a week said to be safe.
    So unless my math is off which it often is, between 24 to 48 pounds would be a better goal. After a fruitless winter I was able to jump start some beneficial exercise again in the middle of May and by the end of May I started phase two which is still pretty light, but I’m feeling like I’ve made headway this week and that is helping somewhat with what I’m eating.
    Good luck, be careful with those goals and I look forward to seeing how things progress.

    1. It sounds like you are losing weight in a healthy way as well as exercising. My goal is actually only a little higher than yours — it’s about two pounds a week in average with the occasional 3.

      I do think it’s more important to be fit than thin actually. When I lived in Oakland at the same weight, I was fitter as I lived on a hill and walked a bit. They’ve also done studies of overweight (not obese though) people who worked out and they were as healhty as thin people who worked out. Having said that though, my concern is my family has a history of bad backs so I think being thinner than I am now will be healthier for my back. My goal of 185 is not thin by any means.

  2. Gambette! May your back be strong and your feet sing along.
    Remember it is one day at a time, and sometimes, one hour at a time. You are doing fantastic by taking this first step. Then, literally, another and another…

    1. Yeah, one step at a time, that’s what I told myself when I walked a mile today and chose a direction that turned out not to have any bus stops so no rest stops. But I made it — huffing and puffing but I made it. Dtills suggested the seven falls hike in Sabino Canyon so I’m going to try that as a goal.

  3. I had never heard of these sites. I bet it works for a lot of people. I have known some parents who “paid for grades” to give their children extra incentive in school. Anyway, gambatte and n’abandonne pas, which means “don’t give up” in French.

    1. Oh, that’s cool, the french saying. My dad’s father’s side of the family is french canadian — not that I speak any — so it’s cool to learn a French phrase. I do think incentives work — some people are better at building internal incentives but others need a little help. The money thing is interesting because it incentivizes two different groups — those who hate to lose/spend their money and those who like increasing/winning money. My parent’s didn’t pay us for grades but my dad told me once he used to pay us a nickel for each new word we learned. No wonder us kids loved Scrabble. I don’t remember dad doing that so it must have been only until like 8 or 9 to encourage to us to read. Funny how something you don’t remember may have influenced you. I still love words.

  4. I hope it works for you. This would not work for me. I need to lose 20 pounds and have needed to lose 20 pounds for the last three years. Oh well.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ♥

    1. I think when a body gets used to a certain weight, it can be a little hard to kick it from that “plateau” which is my problem. I don’t think being too skinny is good either so maybe your having 20 pounds is ok. i heard also that calcium is stored in fat blood cells so medium weight women are less likely to get osteoporosis compared to very thin women.

  5. Congrats on taking this step! I actually love walking in Sabino canyon, but do it quite early when the heat is on! And, of course I do a lot of indoor climbing at the Bloc and Rocks and Ropes. They do a wonderful job keeping the air conditioner going all summer! Yoga is great too in AZ?

    1. I’ve never hiked Sabino Canyon so putting that on my to-do list. I’ve climbed Camelback Mountain often when I used to live up in Tempe.

      1. I think you would really like Sabino. There are some nice long flat areas to warm up on. Next spring you will definitely want to head up to 7 falls to see the water flow! We were shocked to find such a spectacular oasis ??

        1. That sounds like a great idea. I looked it up and it says it’s a 2.5 mile hike. I’ll make that a goal so that I will go hike it by summer’s end. I know the water won’t be there but from what I read, the view is great.

            1. I’ll let you know when I climb the trail. Right now I am building up my “walking legs” in the coolness of Park Mall. I am doing a one-mile circuit so far.

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