Monday, May 19, 2008

Peer Pressure

I've long relied on skating and walking for weight control, never any fad diets or support programs. The closest I've come to an organized group was The Fat Man's Club when I worked at Wang Labs in the mid-80s. Prospective members showed up on the first workday after New Year, weighed in, and put $25 in the pot. Successful members showed up 15 pounds lighter on April 1st and split the pot. No other meetings, no advice, no support, just the prospect of a payoff. (I made the grade and collected $45.)

Now a current co-worker has put together something similar, but with more checkpoints. At each weekly weigh-in, you pay $1/pound of difference to everyone who lost more weight than you did and receive $1/pound if you out-dieted them. Moving with the group average is a financial wash. You win money by pulling ahead and lose it by falling behind, so there's your cash incentive.

I might be at a disadvantage from having the lowest starting weight in the group. (It's not that my co-workers are so fat, it's that they're taller than I am.) I'll let you know how this develops.

Today: 13 miles. This year: 202.3 miles.


Yury Kats said...

Good luck! How many people participate?

Trail Skater said...

Thanks for the good wishes. I think we've got seven in the group right now, which seems a good size. With a large group the money would start to get serious.

Yury Kats said...

Right, but "serious" money is a good thing, I believe. If you stand to win or lose a buck or two a week, it's not much of a motivator for most people.