Photo by mrjorgen
After two and a half years, I’m still struggling with getting rid of the extra weight that came with a pregnancy and three months of bedrest. Ugh. I fondly remember the “good old days” when I could drop 5 pounds by skipping a few meals. Unfortunately, that seems to have changed as more gray hairs were added and the years ticked by. Now, losing weight is truly work. And it’s not fun. It’s a frustratingly slow process and I want to see results overnight. Did I mention that I need to work on patience?
Anyway, I’ve dropped a few of the extra “baby” pounds, but not nearly what I’d like to. I lost the most last summer when Hubby and I decided to create a monetary rewards system. We figured what we would have spent for gym memberships and put the money in a jar. For every pound we lost, we got to collect cold, hard cash. I wanted a new camera and worked hard to lose the pounds to be able to buy it. It was amazing how well it worked! Then winter came, we weren’t as active, we ate more while we hibernated, and we came out in the spring with a few of those pounds back. Sigh.
This time, I mean business. I want to lose the pounds for good and start developing healthier habits to keep the weight off instead of all this yo-yo stuff. It’s time to face the facts that I just can’t eat like I used to, and I need to exercise more. So, I’m on a mission to lose 30 pounds. I’d actually be pretty happy with 20, but 30 would be great, so that’s what I’m shooting for. I now know that monetary incentives work wonders, and I found another way to super-motivate myself.
StickK.com is a website that helps people achieve their goals by making what they call Commitment Contracts. The idea was conceived and created by three Yale professors and one Yale student and is based on social and behavioral psychology concepts. Studies have shown that people are more likely to meet objectives when they have contracted a commitment. To take it a step further, stickK.com offers the opportunity to wager on your commitment. You can choose an amount to wager, and, if you meet your goals, you get to keep your money. If you don’t meet your contracted goals, your money is donated to the charity or “anti-charity” of your choice. An “anti-charity” is an organization that you are passionately opposed to. Let me just tell you that it’s very motivating when you know your money will go toward something you don’t support if you don’t meet your goals.
So that’s exactly what I did. I contracted to lose 30 pounds over seven months and wagered $10 each week. I have to meet my weekly goals or forfeit my money to the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Fellow blogger and friend, Amy in Ohio, also contracted and is supporting/cheerleading me in my efforts. Helping out with the support and cheerleading is another bloggy friend, Maura from One Ping Only. My good friend (since middle school), T has been cheerleading me for a year as we’ve been accountable to each other for our daily eating and exercise habits. (Thanks for not giving up on me T. You’ve been an awesome support in more ways than just the weight loss. Love you!)
StickK.com also offers Commitment Contracts to quit smoking, run a marathon, voting, exercising, and offers the ability to name your own goal if you don’t see one listed that you like. I should also mention that stickK.com is completely free and easy to use. What are you waiting for?? Go make a commitment! Get motivated today.