Weight Gain 4000, the competition


Some years ago, one of my colleagues mentioned at the lunch table, "I went hiking this weekend, and man, my backpack was so heavy. I weighed it, and it was like 35 pounds. And then I realized, wait a second, I'm overweight by 35 pounds. I'm carrying this heavy backpack all the time!"

Thus began a collective weight loss competition we called Weight Gain 4000, named after an episode of South Park which had aired recently. ("I'm not fat; I'm big-boned!") I set up a Web page where people could enter their current weight, and it charted everyone's pounds over target weight as a function of time. Oh, and the goal was to lose weight, not gain it.

It so happened that I won this little competition with the aid of some extra bike rides. Then again, I also had the least amount of weight to lose. And my colleagues accused me of cheating because I managed to accelerate my weight loss as the deadline approached. (But I didn't cheat, honest!)

I was reminded of this competition from years ago when I read about John Dirks and Adam Orkand who also learned that an effective way to make you stick to your weight loss plan is to make a wager out of it.

Comments (9)
  1. nathan_works says:

    but are you a BEEFCAKE!!~! ?

    And is dropping water weight cheating or not ? The guys behind stinkymeat (a 1999 meme) did a parody of the "lose 30 lbs in 30 days" ads by recruiting a man and woman to gain 30 lbs in 30 days.. Hmm.. Seems it’s on the spark, but work won’t let me link to it. This link may or may not still work: http://www.thespark.com/science/fat/index.html

  2. John says:

    I once got some spam from "Colon Cleanse Support" claiming I could "Flush 20 Excess Pounds out of your Colon".  Unfortunately the domain the image spam was hosted on is no longer active; it was hilarious.

  3. Adrian says:

    I started the Hacker’s Diet this year.  It was created by an engineer.  The nice bit is the tools  (online or Excel spreadsheets) filter out the noisy fluctuations in your weight, so you get exactly the feedback you need to adjust your calories.

    http://www.fourmilab.ch/hackdiet/

  4. kog says:

    so Raymond how long after the contest were you able to keep the weight off?

  5. MrEricSir says:

    Nathan_works: "but are you a BEEFCAKE!!~! ?"

    We’re developers here.  That should be 0xBEEFCACE.

  6. Cooney says:

    By your metrics, I’ve lost half a backpack so far since the summer. Nice timing!

  7. Drak says:

    Setting a goal for the weight you want to lose really helps.. I wanted to lose 20kg (=44 lbs) before I moved to my new house. Setting the ‘time limit’ (of 6 months) made it a lot easier to keep up (and it helped to make sure I didn’t lose the weight too fast).

  8. -dan says:

    <<  (But I didn’t cheat, honest!)  >>

    sounds like Candyland all over again…. LOL

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