It's Family Wellness Week - all about getting and keeping your family fit together. Today, a focus on a family weight loss program that I love because it hits the participants where they can feel it - in the pocketbook!
When a friend of mine told me that she was meeting her family at the grocery store to weigh in on the big scale near the door, I had to hear more. The story that followed made me laugh, think, and smile, because it was exactly what families should be doing to get healthy together: find what motivates and is fun for them, and create an environment that breeds success! Here's my interview with her:
How did you guys come up with this idea?!?
The idea came from one of my cousins... she’s always trying to motivate and make money at the same time; she’s funny that way. My family is probably no different from any other. We range from the size zero to the high 20’s but every once and a while a group of us will get together and decide it’s time to do something about the weight gain.
What are the rules?
No real rules except for paying and weighing every two weeks. You can do whatever you want to lose the weight. If you gain weight you have to pay an extra $1 per pound into the pot. There are prizes every two weeks for the two people who have lost the most weight and they don’t have to pay in that week. The prizes are usually some small thing like wrist weights or a healthy cookbook.
Why did you choose the grocery store as your weigh-in spot?
The grocery store is convenient and centrally located to our houses, and it’s not private so it motivates you to at least do something. If you choose not to weigh in, which some do, you can pay out for that week; $10 to skip (remember I told you my cousin likes to make money!)
How much weight have you all lost?
I’m not sure how much we’ve lost collectively, we haven’t tallied and probably won’t until it’s all said and done. We have a family reunion in June and we will give the results and the money out then. The overall winner gets 75% of the pot; second place gets 15% and third gets 10%, right now I believe the pots at about $400, with a month to go it could get bigger!
How long will you do this challenge?
We've learned it’s best to keep it short. We’ve been doing it for about 3 or 4 months and in the beginning we were all excited about it, but as we move to a longer period more and more people are buying out of weighing in. This could be a strategy for some and laziness for others... I guess we’ll find out at the reunion!
I love this. Love it! The key here is that this family is doing something age-appropriate for the participants, general enough to include everyone, and challenging enough to inspire some friendly competition. I can't wait to hear how she does (she's already lost quite a bit and feels incredible) and how it all goes down at the reunion.
How can your family use this story to inspire wellness at home? Take time today to get creative about family fitness...it can really pay off! (hardy har har)
Go out there and be healthy!