Before I get to the meat of this post, I want to make a correction to my last post. I felt like something was a little off when I was writing about Matt's had with KK vs QQ and AA and after talking to him I realized I made a major mistake in recounting the action. He started the hand with more chips and while I had the preflop action right, I messed up the rest. On the flop Matt bet, got called by the QQ, the AA raised and both Matt and the other player called. It was on the turn after he and the QQ checked that Matt really had to think when the AA bet enough to put him all in. Sorry about the inaccurate reporting!
Now on to weight loss bets! I've never been really fat, but ever since I turned 20 I've always felt like I had a few pounds to lose. When I was still in college my wife (she was just my girlfriend then) and I were apart for a summer and we made a bet to get in great shape while we were on opposite coasts. The bet was whoever worked out more times that summer won the bet, got to choose a day of activities, and the loser had to pay for it all. We both worked out almost every day and both looked great when we reunited (I lost, by 3 workouts if I remember correctly). At the end of that summer I was running 6 miles a day in under an hour which blows my mind since now it takes me about 12 minutes to run one mile and at the end I've got nothing left.
While there were a one or two other short term similar wagers in there, the next major weight loss bet I made was with my good friend E.B in early 2006. I made this bet at my fattest. I was in the neighborhood of 270 pounds and E.B. was around 240. The bet was we both had 5 months to lose 40 pounds and the penalty was $100 a pound for every pound you came up short. E.B. made it under 200 and I made it down to 239. I lost $900, but I also lost 31 pounds so it was worth it.
As time has gone by we both went gradually back to our old ways and put most of those old pounds back on. So now I actually have three concurrent weight loss bets!
The first is with E.B. and this one is much more long term. The goal is to lose 36 pounds which would put me at 230 and E.B. just under 200. This bet doesn't just have one end goal and one time frame. Instead there are many checkpoints. The first checkpoint was March 1st (we started in the middle of January) and we had to have lost 3 pounds by then. If at anytime we weighed 3 pounds less than our starting weight we were safe for that check point. If I didn't make it I'd owe E.B. $250 and vice versa. Of course we both made it easily, but it's going to get harder.
We actually set up 18 check points each on the first of the month for 18 months. For the first 6 months we have to lose 3 pounds a month, for the next six 2 pounds a month and for the last six 1 pound a month. Coming up short on any of these checkpoints results in a $250 penalty.
So far I've lost 9.6 pounds meaning that no matter what happens (even if I gain 100 pounds) I'm safe for the April 1st and May 1st check points. I'll need to lose another 2.4 pounds to be safe for June 1st, 5.4 more to be safe for July 1st and so on.
At the same time I have a similar bet running with my sister in law Kristen. She wanted to lose 20 pounds so we have a five month plan with the same monthly checkpoints but of course we each need to lose 4 pounds a month on average to hit those monthly goals. Since it should be easier for me to lose the weight I've put up twice as much money. My penalty is $100 for missing a checkpoint and hers is only $50.
Today I added a third weight loss bet to my stable of pending wagers! This one is not head to head. In this one I've simply bet Jake that he can't get from 209 to under 190by August 1st. He has to be under 190 in the morning before working out four days in a row anytime between now and then. I'm pretty sure he can do it, but I've only put up $100 and if he doesn't make it he owes me $1,000 so I had to go for it. Now I just have to make sure there are plenty of temptations. I need to start having pies delivered to his office and bacon slipped into all of his meals. You're going down Jake! Downtown! To the plus sized men's shop! But you won't be able to buy anything because I'll have your $1,000! Yeah!
Even though I haven't been able to stay near my ideal weight, I've put in hundreds of extra hours exercising and kept myself from getting really, really fat by making these and other similar bets. Even if you just want to lose 5 or 10 pounds making a bet with someone is a great way to get motivated.