On Dieting and Questionable Motivation

I lost some weight last month - a little more than 4% of my total body weight. I did it in a very healthy way - eating more healthy food and less unhealthy food, and exercising more. I kept myself accountable with MyFitnessPal. There were a lot of reasons I wanted to lose this weight. I want my pants to fit, I want to be strong and healthy, and if I'm going to be completely honest, I also want to be reasonably pleased with my reflection in the mirror.

But I've had these motivations before and not actually succeeded in getting any fitter. The difference this time? I wagered $30 on the website Diet Bet, and darnit I was not going to lose that money. Since I lost the 4% in the allotted time (about a month), I not only got my $30 back; I also won an additional $16 and some change from the people who didn't lose their 4%.

I'm pleased, but also a little eeked out. I'm always curious and careful about motivations. I think there are good motivations and less-than-good motivations. Like, I'm okay with the fact that I would prefer to look fly, but I would be super not okay with that being my primary goal. I'd be right back where I was at nineteen years old, popping ephedra pills even though they made me feel like I was going to have a heart attack.

I guess the biblical warnings about money are bumping around in my head. Just as I don't want to be controlled by superficial considerations, neither do I wish to make money my master. And I find it a little odd that a little bit of cash was such an effective carrot for me, when really, lowering my cholesterol and even fitting into my pants are far better motivations than a payout of $46.

But the diet bet worked. And now I'm wondering if I should go in for another round, because I'm still about 4% from my favorite jeans.

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