Last year, was a stellar one in various ways. My best goal last year was reaching my lowest race weight since H.S. Realistically I probably am the worst example of a long\ultra distance athlete. I am built like a football player and am completely opposite of your stereo typical ultra-thin, no upper body mass bike racer. After my races were done last year, I got to an even lower weight with a bit of motivation.
A group of us have been swimming together for years on a fitness swim team. The team is made up of various adults aging from the low 20's to the upper 40's. Last Spring, one of the swimmers was complaining that they just could not lose the last 10 lbs that they wanted to drop. Several of us commented that we "had a couple" we'd like to lose also. As a group, we decided to brainstorm over the weekend on ideas for a weight loss challenge and for punishment(s) incase a participant didn't make weight.
The following Monday, teammates mentioned things like "if you don't make weight, you can't swim that night", "sit out for some of the practice", "wear a goofy swim suit", or "you have to swim an extra 500 meters". I openly stated that I thought not allowing a person to swim at all or for a portion of the practice was awful because that would directly contribute to the person probably gaining more weight. I was also against the additional 500 meter idea we had a couple teammates who have rotator cuff surgery due to swimming stress\intensity already.
My suggestion was simple: "If you miss weight, you pay a set financial penalty to everyone else in the challenge". After the gasping, pretty much everyone stated my idea was absolutely horrible. I replied "maybe, but would you miss weight? Let's talk about it again on Wednesday to have a couple days to think about it and agree on which idea we like the most then".
On Wednesday, shockingly, everyone went with the financial penalty. As a group, we also instituted the following rules:
- Each participant had to pick a final goal weight to be at after 4 months.
- Monday weigh-ins. Why? Because the majority of people stated that they overate on the weekends with family, parties or at social events.
- Weigh-ins at the pool before practice with the entire team present. Why? Pressure cooker and to keep everyone honest.
- Each participant picked their own goal for that week. The reason for this was that we weren't on the biggest loser and each of us was already fit. How many biggest losers could swim 3-5k meters on day one?
- Weight loss had to be in whole lb increments until goal weight was achieved. Participants could not pick 2.5 lbs, but either 2 or 3lbs.
- Financial loss: if a participant did not make weight and was not at goal weight: a $5.00 penalty was to be paid to each participant in the group. If the participant had already reached goal weight and missed weight (meaning the participant has to maintain their goal weight), the penalty was 10.00 per person. This was done to curb rebounding when participants made goal weight.
So Jonny Rando, how did you guys end up and what the hell is this all about? That's a story for another day….