March 2, 2015

Biggest Loser


At my old job, my coworkers and I used to participate in an office wide competition of Biggest Loser (yes, just like the show). The activity team would put together goals and rules and at the very end would present prizes to the winning individual and team. With nearly 300 employees, we had serious competition and smack talk and even though I never really expected to win, I put on a good show. I would harass and psyche-out my peers as they sauntered innocently up to my teller station to cash their paychecks:

"What'd YOU have for lunch today? Me, I had water and a hearty helping of air."
"I saw you running this morning. You looked like a moose on acid."
"I know I you can't tell, but I've already lost 15 pounds. Yes, I know it's only the second day."
"You want some ice cream? I'll go get it for you."

I'm kind of a jerk.

I thought that this principle of playing a game for the benefit of our health was something I could bring to my new job and so last year, I joined the Wellness Team. We had about 20 contestants participate (which is half of our staff) and the winner was the person who had the highest percent of weight loss. It was evident by about three quarters through the competition that folks had lost interest. Motivation was no where to be found. They had stopped weighing in. They stopped participating in weekly worksheets and group meals. Getting the group together to present the prize was the easier part in those last weeks, but the prize was hardly cause for excitement. Although we had a winner who definitely earned it, the competitive spirit had absolutely crumbled. 

The difficulty in maintaining motivation here is that we are confined by the rules of a government agency. We cannot give cash as a prize, which is certainly something I would work hard for. At my old job, the buy-in was $20 per person and the winning individual (or team) got half the pot. Here, we have very, very limited funds for activities and they are completely based on employee contributions and even those are limited by the man

Frankly, I am out of ideas.

So Internet, help me out. My coworkers want me to host another round of Biggest Loser, but I don't know how to keep it interesting. Any suggestions? Ever participate in a Biggest Loser competition? What were the rules? How did you stay motivated? Why did you lose your drive? What can I do to make it great? Let's hear it!

1 comment:

  1. This is such a fun idea, I love this! I have never had a biggest loser at work (I work from home or worked for a tiny company) but I love the idea of getting together for healthier goals! I will have to brainstorm some ideas to see if I can give any suggestions! Ill be back!

    ReplyDelete

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