We get success stories from HealthyWage users every day! We’d like to share some of our favorite stories here on the HealthyWage Blog. Here is a story we received this afternoon from Sharon:
I read about HealthyWage in Time Magazine early in 2010. I was intrigued by the monetary motivation since lack of motivation was the big hurdle for me to get back into shape.
After graduating college I gained 30 pounds over 3 years as I ate terribly and never exercised. I then gained an additional 30 pounds in 18 months when I was in graduate school and gained 5 more pounds in the first 6 months of my new office job. In late 2009, my employer held a promotion to know your health numbers and I learned that my weight was up to 202 (obese for 5’3”) and my glucose level was considered pre-diabetic. I freaked and bought three diabetic books that week. Of course I knew that I had been buying bigger clothes but I hadn’t stepped on a scale in months. I also knew I needed to do something or I would dig myself right into diabetes.
I signed up with HealthyWage in mid-January 2010. For me, a $100 reward was not going to move my motivation needle so I took the $1,000 challenge. I signed up with a friend and later promoted the program to a third friend as well. After signing up it took a full month before I actually made any changes. I joined a gym – well I should say I finally utilized my two year gym membership that I had purchased with good intentions almost three years earlier, but I always had some excuse of why it’d be better to wait to join. I also hired a personal trainer twice a week.
To win the BMI challenge, I had to lose 62 pounds in a year. A few months into it, I never thought about the $300 I’d spent but focused on the $1,000 I’d win. I set several small reachable goals throughout the year – aiming for 6 to 8 pounds of weight loss per month. Some months I was perfect and others I was not, but I made continued progress toward my long-term goal. I made ongoing optimizations to my meals (no fried foods, smaller portions, limited alcohol) and eventually I was eating nearly perfect and working out six days a week. I consider the past year a lifestyle adjustment rather than a diet as all my tiny steps, over time, have evolved how I now naturally think about eating and exercise.
The most valuable aspect of the BMI challenge was accountability with a firm victory date, and in doing the BMI challenge I learned commitment to myself. I made getting healthy a top priority in my life and stayed dedicated to my goal. Sometimes this meant sacrificing social events, so I requested physical activities with friends such as kayaking or rock climbing, instead of anything involving food or alcohol. I also frequently changed up my daily exercise routine to keep boredom at bay.
The $1,000 incentive was a great push at the end. I knew I had set a goal of 62 pounds in a year and I had already worked so hard. The last month was intense but I am so happy that I attained my goal. In the end I lost 64 pounds and went from a size 16 to a size 6. Thank you for starting such an effective and rewarding program. I’m using my $1,000 to buy myself a well-earned bikini!