At work they do this thing twice per year called Survivor Island. It's a similar challenge to what many clubs and workplaces do. Basically you join for $10 with a partner and weigh in every week. You have to have lost at least 1 pound total between the 2 of you to remain on the island. You can gain immunity by losing at least 2 pounds each I think after week 2 to use in case your team doesn't lose at a later date. There are prizes for most lost in a week (percentage wise) and at the end, there are prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.
They've done this for a while. Pretty much every time in my past my buddy Peg asked me to join and I would refuse. I don't do competitions unless I'm prepared to give it my all, and at that time I knew that I wasn't going to put any effort into losing weight, plus the thought of weighing in in front of someone filled me with guilt and shame. So, no island for me.
But then I started losing weight on my own. Peg had retired and a woman I worked with me told me that since I had been losing weight that she and I should team up and try the island challenge. So this time I said yes. And I found it was fun. I don't know that I needed this challenge to keep me on track, but we'd all line up and weigh in and when I'd see the number drop, I'd come out of the super-secret room and raise my fist like Rocky and everyone left in line would cheer. Once I dropped 5.5 pounds in one week and that was very cool.
We took 3rd place that time, if I remember right - right before the holidays in 2010. Boy, time flies! And then we joined again in January when they started the next challenge and I remember telling the weigh in woman in February after seeing my weight that this made exactly 100 pounds down and even though she worked in a completely different department and we only knew each other from this somewhat awkward relationship, she was so complimentary. It felt good to share my victories with other people's victories.
This takes someone to step up and organize, so they don't always do the island. I next remember anything about the challenge in late summer 2012. They were starting a new challenge after Labor Day and sign up sheets were going around. And as I walked by the sign up sheet I was thinking "Oh! I totally need to join this again!" and I even had the pen in my hand when I remembered - as stupid as this sounds - that I had hit goal and didn't need to lose more weight. And even though this fact should have been on my mind, it actually stopped me in my tracks. I was not overweight any more!
Now they just started another island challenge - the first weigh in was today. I realize how ridiculous this sounds, but I almost feel left out that I don't get to play on the island. I'm a SUPER competitive person, and I really enjoyed the challenge of trying to lose more then other teams but I also liked being part of people all working to improve themselves. Don't get me wrong, the face that I have been able to maintain my weight loss makes me pretty proud, but there is still the feeling of sitting on the bleachers while everyone else is on the field.
And so the last time they did this, I would eagerly ask every week to people "How much did you lose?" "Who's in first place??" But I came to fear that people were thinking that I was asking out of judgment or nosiness rather then just wanting to still be included in the "fun".
So if your workplace does anything like this, I encourage you to get involved. Join in and use it as motivation to keep yourself on track. And when someone who is not part of the challenge asks you how you're doing, please don't assume that they are asking for the wrong reasons!!