Monday, December 15, 2008

Homeschool Biggest Loser

The Biggest Loser is a show on NBC where overweight people compete to lose weight over a course of three months of diet and exercise. Each week they weigh in and compare their weight loss as a percentage of their total weight. There are benefits to winning the “weigh in” each week, and then the winner at the end gets a large sum of money. All over the country, groups of friends, co-workers, and neighbors form their own “Biggest Loser” groups, combining public accountability with friendly competition to motivate them to lose weight.

I am organizing a group like this, locally, for homeschooling moms/dads/grandmas/whatever and you are invited to join us.

Are you happy with your jeans size, your resting pulse, and your energy level? Then I salute you. If you’re not, then you and I have something in common. We’re not as skinny as we’d like, as healthy as we’d like, as active as we’d like, but basically we’re happy with life and it’s not that much of a priority to get fit. I’d like to lose forty pounds, but my weight isn’t an urgent issue for me. Most of my clothes fit, I manage to struggle around, and my husband likes me alright. I suffer from a lack of motivation, but as soon as competition is introduced, I am suddenly motivated.

We start January 1 and go for 12 weeks. So, the first official week ends on January 8 and the last ends on March 26. This is for locals in Hampton Roads only - sorry!

You weigh in each week on the same day with at least one other person. The aspect of public accountability is key to the “Biggest Loser” concept. You can sign up with a buddy or you can have a designated weigh-in person. That person reports your weight to our super secret data collector (Shez, who is not participating) and it gets put into the tabulation device (an Excel spreadsheet) and at the end of every Thursday, she will announce who lost the biggest percent of their total weight. If you’re switching the day you weigh, or if you don’t weigh in with someone else in a given week, you forego your chance to win that week’s prize but from then on you’re back in the contest. You could theoretically report one weight at the beginning and another one at the end and still win, if you have lost the biggest percentage of your starting weight.

The “buy-in” is two ten dollar bills which you put in the communal “pot” when you sign up. Each week the winner for that week gets one ten dollar bill. At the end of the 12 weeks the overall winner gets the $120 that’s left in the pot. This is assuming we get 12 people. If we get more, there will be more left in the pot. Or we may up the weekly winning, depending on what everybody wants once we get rolling. Shez will be operating the "pot" also, so you'll need to get your two tens to her at some point before January 1.

Everyone has to continue to love each other dearly.

Did I leave anything out? Do you have any questions? It’s late, and I’ve been formulating my plan to lose weight. It involves the Wii fit, a required number of tomatoes per day, and dog-walking.

If this contest sounds awful to you, I totally understand. Maybe it’s completely backward and wrong to combine money and competition with health and wellness. However, if this sounds like something that might be fun, might get you into an exercise routine or a healthier diet, then you are welcome to join us.

What do you think? Any takers? We have 7 members so far, and we have just launched a community on Ning where we can share photos, reports of celery consumption, whines about exercise, and keep track of weekly winners and fun events. You can see that here:


  1. Anonymous5:49 PM

    OK. I'll do it. I'm going to try the lard diet. The way it works, you can eat as much as you want as often as you please as long as you only eat lard.

  2. Anonymous9:41 PM

    I'd like to join! I have 110 pounds to lose. :-O

  3. Anonymous12:29 PM


    Look at your LibraryThing account. You have a private message from me dated 12/17/08.


  4. Anonymous10:16 PM

    Not on topic at all, but...I SAW you today! I was at the Chesapeake Square Mall watching one of my wee friends perform, and I saw you guys. We had to jet out of there before I could come say hello, but may I just say that your son and daughter did enormously well.

    I was cracking up Benny's performance as the Elvis character. And of course, his dancing was wonderful. And your daughter is too cute for words. They look so much alike!

    Congrats!!! Hope to meet you for real sometime soon. :)