Invited to a Weight Loss Challenge

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Weight Loss Wars

There is a competitive side of me that likes to play. Even if I lose, I like to be in the game. Recently, a friend in the geek community started a weight loss challenge called Fat Twits. You pony up five bucks, join the weight loss challenge and whoever has lost the most weight in the group wins the pot. It sounded like fun to me, but there were a lot of problems with it.

Firstly, it’s a bunch of guys. Guys typically lose weight faster than girls, so a mixed sex competition usually is fruitless for the girls.

Secondly, I promised the wild child in me that I would never starve her again. That animal part of me doesn’t believe me and is sure that I’ll go back on a restrictive diet again. Honestly, it has been a hard promise for me to keep.

Lastly, a weight loss competition is just the sort of thing that I would jump into and end up causing a massive binge after the competition was over. I have done this enough times to finally recognize my own patterns.

After some serious thought about it, I decided not to enter the challenge. Phil’s a good friend, but I have to decide on my own health first. Then, Phil called me out on it:

It’s one thing to decide on my own not to join something, but it’s entirely another one to be asked specifically to join.

“Speaking of which, Laura Moncur hasn’t joined the challenge yet – I’m counting on you Laura! 🙂 Anyone that’s interested in competing with geeks to lose weight, join the competition! So far the pot is at 30 bucks – winner takes all!”

I wasn’t insulted that he might think that I need to lose weight. That didn’t even occur to me until another friend pointed it out. For me, I was struggling with my competitive nature. I like to compete, even if I know I’m going to lose. It was so hard for me to say it, but I had to decline:

“Sorry, Phil. I won’t be joining the weight loss challenge. It’s just the kind of thing that would cause a huge bingeing episode after the competition is over. I promised the wild animal inside of me that I would never starve her again. It’s amazing how hard it is to keep that promise.”

Ironically, just thinking about joining that challenge sent me into a little bit of a binge the last couple of days. I think I was able to avoid an eating disaster.

What are you doing right now because of peer pressure? Have you ever joined a weight loss challenge? Do you think they are a good idea? I’m wondering your thoughts on the matter. Did I make the right decision?


5 Responses to “Invited to a Weight Loss Challenge”

  1. Sarabeth Says:

    I would say that you did the right thing. I’ve never entered a weight loss challenge because I never thought it would help me. My biggest competition is my own self, not someone else. I liked being on Weight Watchers with a bunch of other women in the same situation as me, but we didn’t ever compete against each other. It was about being accountable–because any loss was a win.

  2. lovelines Says:

    I think you made the right decision. Competing for most pounds lost is highly dangerous for women who are prone to eating disorders, especially because you’re almost definitely going to be losing less than the men. Weight loss and fitness should be for you, not anyone else.

    I’ve never done a weight loss challenge, unless you count the “I challenge you to workout today with me” type of thing you do with gym buddies. =)

  3. Phil801 Says:

    Laura, I’m mortified that I may have insulted you or caused you stress. My invitation was based on knowing about this particular blog and that you were working on weight loss/fitness. My wife (Adria) follows your blog very closely and talks about you all the time, you’re an inspiration to her. Yes, I was directly challenging you, but it was mostly because I was also trying to get my wife to join the challenge but she didn’t want to be the only girl – that would be the “counting on you” part. I don’t know very many female geeks and I wanted to create a place for geeks around the area to congregate and have fun together. You were a natural candidate in my mind, if only for the fun of it. After reading your post here, it occurs to me that the whole ‘challenge’ part of it might be more of a guy thing – I’m highly motivated by competing with others. I also totally understand your reasons for not wanting to join, and if I hadn’t been on vacation and only minimally paying attention to my blog I would have responded to your comment instead of this post. I sincerely apologize for any insult, slight or discomfort I may have caused you – it was totally unintended. Sign me a thick-headed male that thinks everyone wants to do what he wants to. 🙂

  4. Phil801 Says:

    Oh, I also think you totally made the right decision!

  5. judy wyatt Says:

    Good for you for having the sense to say no. You’ve been writing for a long time about making realistic lifestyle changes in your life and eating sensibly. Losing weight as quickly as possible to win a pot of money will do nothing to help you achieve your goal of living the rest of your life with healthy habits. Keep in mind that this challenge wouldn’t be any healthier (physically or mentally) if the group were all women.

    Congratulations! You’re learning something about yourself and making good decisions based on that knowledge!

    I recently dropped my gym membership because I am too competitive with myself. Each time I would go I would see if I could go longer on the elliptical machine and lift more weights on the other machines. It was too hard for me to say “hey, I’m here to get some exercise in my life — this is supposed to be for the rest of my life, so lighten up!” I kept getting exhausted and sick and having to stay home for a while and each time I returned I couldn’t just do a reasonable amount of exercise. So now I’m working on the concept of how to get a reasonable amount of exercise in my life on most days of the week. At home. I’m ok with the food issues — as long as I keep in mind where my weak points are.

    You’re an inspiration to us all and I’m learning a lot from reading your blog. Thanks!

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