While the world continues to grapple with losing pounds, there is an entire industry making money on the backstage of this eternal drama. However, news that a Michigan woman has lost pounds to win hundreds of dollars has caught the fancy of many.
Sara Lugger, who placed bets over her own weight loss on a website called Dietbet has proved that money is a huge motivator. The wisdom in this is that a person may be motivated to invest consistent effort to save the money he or she puts into any endeavor. In other words, you would rather push yourself a little more than feel the sting of money lost. The model on which the website works is a combination of the money factor, the thrill of a game, the ease of achieving small-time goals, and the moral support of a dedicated online community.
On Dietbet, participants strive to achieve the goal each game sets so that they become entitled to a share of the total money being pooled in as bets. Sara, who began at a skeptical $5, seems to have stepped up the stakes to $10 and $50 bets over time, a clear indication of the kind of confidence losing pounds can bestow. However, none of us are naive enough to imagine that a game alone magically shoved the needle on the weighing machine south.
Sara, who had been an obese person for most part of her adult life made a decision to no longer let her weight pull her down. While most people battling similar issues are capable of making that decision, the real test lies in the consistency of their efforts. And it is this lack of consistency that makes money for losing pounds and for the weight loss industry.
There will always be more people who will fail in between their crusades against their bodies; and they will always want to keep trying to achieve that ideal body. People like Sara are a rare minority, who manage to swim to the other end. Seen from this end, they are like gleaming beacons for a better, beautiful future.
Speaking about her own success in losing 140 pounds and winning over $330 dollars on Dietbet, Sara recalls a past when she shunned social situations that called attention to her body. She was like everybody else, feeling embarrassed about herself and the piling pounds were making routine activities difficult. She was neither seeing people nor places, thanks to her obesity. So in 2013, right after her birthday the 342 pound woman decided to do something and found inspiration from friend Christie Williams who had lost 60 pounds on Dietbet.
And then as her story goes, she chucked the junk food out of her home and she said good bye to the fast food joints. She roped in exercise and discovered low calorie recipes on Pinterest. And her friendship with Christie began revolving around their respective weight loss goals, with the girls looking out for each other, providing support and necessary checkpoints in their journey down the sizes.
This kind of a friend, who not just supports, but shares their friend’s goals is an important key towards maintaining consistency. It paints the whole exercise with the joy of being out with a friend- only now, the friends are taking long walks instead of eating pizza and watching back-to-back movies. The girls were getting healthier and leaner by the day and none of it was lost on their social circle. From being the girls who only dreamt of doing everything they wanted to do, they became people who were actually out there making their dreams come true. In losing pounds, they surely did win much more than just dollars.
Opinion by Aruna Iyer