The Fat Loss Bet

In my last post How I Regained the Weight I Lost, I mentioned the bet.

Yesterday I entered a bet with three others. We are all going to lose 20 pounds. If I lose, I will be required to go 1 week without coffee. My body could use the break, so this is a win-win.

To me this was the least interesting part of the post, but it is what has gathered the most attention, both online and off. So before I do the post on how I plan to lose the 20 pounds, I want to cover the bet.

Last week I spent several hours working on my health goals and what it would take to accomplish them. Once I had all the data in front of me, it was clear that I needed to drop 20 pounds to help my knee heal. I was already drafting the post when I mentioned this to a friend. This friend liked my goal and adopted it as her own. It was her idea to make it a competition. On Sunday two more friends were inspired to join the bet.

Geoff had a great comment on what makes a motivating bet. For me the motivation is not winning the bet, as I would gladly give up coffee for a week to see my 3 friends lose 20 pounds. My motivation it is getting my knee healthy again. Posting a blog post also provides a level of accountability that I used successfully when I went a month without coffee. In the post A Month Without Coffee – Here Goes!, I laid out the case both for and against publicly announcing your goals. I decided to test being publicly accountable and it worked.

The thought of me suffering a week without coffee is motivating to my friends in the bet. Yet my motivation is to avoid going another summer in Seattle with restricted movement.


When summer hits in Seattle, I don’t want to be sitting down icing my knee. 


Add yours

  1. Ok, but how long do you have to lose the 20lbs? Is it whoever loses them first? (And if I lose 20 lbs first do I win something? What can I say – I’m competitive. Not that I know what I weigh now or anything. But I figure that’s 4 inches off the waist. Maybe I should measure my waist?)

    At any rate, good luck and have fun with it.

  2. @Anemone – We put a 5 month limit. If no one has won by then, the person with the most pounds lost will be declared the winner.

  3. Try any red LED light or incandescent light on your knee?

  4. MAS – You are in the right frame of mind. The pain you would experience from missing a summer exploring Seattle (to say nothing of the physical pain in your knee) is a strong motivation to lose those 20 pounds and heal your knee. Your weight loss goal has reached Dan John’s stage of “must” – you’ll get there.

  5. MAS: If you are a true coffee addict you will subconsciously deliberately lose the bet.

  6. @newtopaleo – No.

    @Geoff – Thanks.

    @Mike – I plan to go without coffee longer than 1 week once summer arrives, but not until the weight is off. If I could do a month in October, a week in the summer is no big thing.

  7. I think Mike could be right about the potential for subconscious undermining of your goal…

  8. @Glenn – He’s not and to prove it, I will commit to going at least 1 week without coffee this summer even if I win the bet.

  9. MAS: Ha! Going one week without coffee?? Big Deal! Try a month or two.

  10. @Mike @glenn I don’t follow…wouldn’t a coffee addict be further motivated to reach his goal in order to prevent the week of abstinence?

  11. @Cooper – Because I stated that I was planning to go a week without coffee in the summer anyway.

    The Side Bet is actually far more motivating to me.

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