Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Wager

One of the guys I work with, whom I will call "Q", because that's his nickname, has been trying to lose weight for the last year since he started working with us.  Q has tried different incentives - "I need to buy a new suit, but I'm not going to get one until I lose weight", or "I'm not going to shave my beard until I lose weight" - but each time has failed; in fact his weight has continued to creep upwards.

Although he's really not that big of a guy, in my office once you make a declaration like "I'm going to lose some weight" you have pretty much set yourself up for daily ribbing on your progress or lack thereof.  One guy made the mistake of not only admitting to not having heard of "The Princess Bride",  (what is that, a movie?) but having watched "Brother from Another Planet". If you guessed that's a low budget sci-fi movie about an alien who happens to be a black guy, you would be correct.  We still find excuses to call his judgment into question based on his movie choices.  But back to Q.  I finally decided to step in and provide some much needed assistance to help him actually achieve his goal.  It was either that or buy him a Santa suit for his growing belly and beard.

One day as Q was talking about relaxing with a beer on the weekend, I started telling him how he needed to stop drinking alcohol if he wanted to lose weight, which he attempted to rebut by pointing out how few calories he consumes in alcohol and how, were he to lose just one pound per week over the course of a year, he could still lose 49 pounds, as the alcohol would only add 3 pounds worth of calories.  Needless to say, this quickly led to a bet as to whether he could actually lose a pound a week for a year.

Seeing an opportunity to give my buddy what he really needed (an actual driving motivation - he's very competitive), we hashed out the rules and put down the bet.  He has to lose 52 pounds in a year, with quarterly weigh-ins.  Each quarter if he is on track, I will buy him lunch.  If he falls short, he buys me lunch.  At the final weigh-in, the loser has to buy the winner and his wife a dinner at Chama Gaucha, a steakhouse that from what I have heard is totally awesome (and about 60 bucks a plate).  I figure it's a win-win for me.  I either get an awesome dinner for free, or for a little over 100 bucks I get to help my friend meet his weight loss goal, and of course it gives me an excuse for lots of good natured ribbing in the meantime.  Based on his progress so far (down 11 pounds in 2 weeks), I have a feeling my wallet's going to be taking a hit.  But hey, what are friends for?