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Motivation series, Read how others did it!, Success Stories

Sharon’s Big Success!!

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!


Congratulations, Sharon!!!


One thought on “Sharon’s Big Success!!

  1. I think this is a wonderful accomplishment. Sharon should be a model for everyone wishing to change their lives and their lifestyle.
    Her self confidence and poise must be very much improved.

    Posted by Judith Thompson | March 10, 10:53 am

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