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My gym's 'diet challenge' can fuck off!

(69 Posts)
womblesofwestminster Fri 27-Jun-14 17:41:19

7 weeks ago I signed up to my (women-only) gym's 'Diet Challenge'. It's a tenner to enter and you get recipe ideas. Each week everyone gets weighed and their weight gets displayed on the wall. After 2 months, the person who has lost the most weight wins a facial, a blow dry and their nails done. Not too shabby.

30 of us signed up.

I worked my arse off. I attended the gym 5 x per week and was the strictest with food I've ever been in my life. I'm 5ft1. My start weight was 9st6. 7 weeks later, my weight is now 8st4. I have the highest percentage weight loss from the 30 entries. Some of the other entries began the challenge at 19 stone and did very well but have a lower percentage weight loss.

Now, because I haven't lost the most weight overall (one of the 19 stone entries lost more weight than I did - in sheer number), I win bollock all.

AIBU to think this is an unhealthy way for them to judge weight loss? I would have to have become anorexic to have any chance of winning over the 19 stone entries.

fuzzpig Fri 27-Jun-14 17:57:19

I agree percentage would've been better but I would've asked to clarify that at the start of the competition or when signing up I think.

MarshaBrady Fri 27-Jun-14 17:57:22

Maybe they should have categories.

MrsLettuce Fri 27-Jun-14 17:59:34

You could argue that the % weight loss would be unfair to larger people because they would have to loose so much more weight than you to win... 5% of 9 stone is a lot less than 5% of 19 stone.

One could also argue that % loss would be unfair to lose with lower starting weights - someone of 20 stone could lose 50% of their body weight(although hopfully not in such a short period), someone of 10 stone simply couldn't match that percentage without becoming really rather ill.

CoffeeTea103 Fri 27-Jun-14 17:59:50

Each week when the weight is calculated in terms of stone and not percentage why didn't you question it then? Surely they have not mislead you if every week it's calculated the same way.

HawthornLantern Fri 27-Jun-14 18:02:22

I take your point OP and don't think you're being entirely unreasonable but the more I think about it from the gym's point of view I don't think they are either.

For sake of argument, say one person was 10 stone and one was 20 stone. In 7 weeks, it is feasible to shed 1 stone and that's 10% of 10 stone. But the 20 stone person would have to lose 2 stones in 7 weeks to match a 10% loss of body weight and even if that's possible it might not be a safe rate of loss.

So, no, I doubt the gym stopped to think that some of their competitors would have ended up losing a dangerous amount of weight if they won the "most weight lost in absolute terms" but they, perhaps subconsciously, thought the challenge of losing X or Y pounds was probably as equivalent a challenge as it could be given that everyone would have had a different starting point (and different limits etc).

Our work gym used to run an annual competition for teams of people to get fit and lose Christmas weight. The odd team would gain weight but most people seemed to find it fun and maybe having 4 person teams (self chosen admittedly) might have helped even things out - though one of my friends confessed that her last team was never going to do all that well as they had 2 super fit people with almost nothing to lose.

Maybe there need to be two categories and two potential winners.

WorraLiberty Fri 27-Jun-14 18:03:59

I sort of think that, like Slimming World etc, they should only let people on that sort of programme if they are overweight to begin with - which it doesn't sound like you were.

Of course she was. She has said so, unless you think you know better confused

NoArmaniNoPunani Fri 27-Jun-14 18:05:52

You can still win, get your arm amputated

MarshaBrady Fri 27-Jun-14 18:06:26

What's your percentage and how many stone is that for the 19 stone person to win?

ShakeYourTailFeathers Fri 27-Jun-14 18:06:48

YANBU - we have a weight loss comp at work at the mo, and we do it by % of bodyweight lost. Much fairer IMHO.

GertrudeBell Fri 27-Jun-14 18:12:32

OP did you really go to the gym 5x per week and restrict your food intake to win a facial?

Or did you do it to lose weight?

If it's the latter, congratulations on achieving your goal. If it's the former ... hmm confused <lost for words>

curiousuze Fri 27-Jun-14 18:14:28

Yep you've been robbed, not fair! You really must have gone for it - impressive whether you won or not OP.

GertrudeBell Fri 27-Jun-14 18:14:40

Oh and it seems perfectly obvious to me that "person who lost the most weight" means "person who lost the most weight".


OrangeMochaFrappucino Fri 27-Jun-14 18:25:47

worra, I thought 9st6 at 5ft1 wasn't quite into the overweight category, but even if it is I think this kind of competition doesn't necessarily promote healthy weight loss but potentially crash dieting which may be damaging and unsustainable. I think a steady weight loss is better and more likely to be long lasting.

PurplePidjin Fri 27-Jun-14 18:27:13

Why did they take my money and let me sign up if they knew I had no chance of winning anyway?

Because they're a business trying to make money?

HermioneWeasley Fri 27-Jun-14 18:33:34

Agree with Gertrude - I don't see anything ambiguous about their wording.

How could they know there wasn't a chance you woukd win? How could they know what sort of discipline and commitment the entrants would all have?

steff13 Fri 27-Jun-14 18:34:50

Because they're a business trying to make money?

I would have thought the money collected would have gone to fund the prizes, not profit for the gym.

I think regardless how they calculated the loss, it would have been unfair to some people. # of lbs. lost seems unfair to the OP, but a % of weight lost may have been unfair to a heavier person. The most fair thing, IMO, would have been to have two winners, one who lost the largest number of lbs., and one who lost the largest % of weight.

That said, it was just a contest for fun and motivation, I wouldn't be too upset about it.

NoArmaniNoPunani Fri 27-Jun-14 18:36:47

A facial, blow dry and manicure won't cost £300. I bet the gym keep the change

Darkesteyes Fri 27-Jun-14 18:43:10

I go to a Slimming World group and this week they mentioned "healthy competition"

This is why I don't always stay to class and I only go once a fortnight. Its taken me ten months to lose 2 stone 4 and I started off at 16 stone 8 so you don't always lose it faster just cos you are bigger (ive done sw before and lost 10 stone but that was starting off at 21 stone) I don't like all this competition bollocks. Its a breeding ground for eating disorders IMO.

And over the whole of last December I only put on 3 pounds and lost 4 in the first week of Jan then my weight loss slowed down again Same with my recent birthday ... I only put on a pound and I had Domonos cake and biscuits before going back on plan.

Because the slower the weight comes off the less easily it goes back on.....I will settle for that deal

jessiemummy28 Fri 27-Jun-14 19:22:32

% weight loss is definitely the most sensible way to judge a competition like that! DH and I went on a diet last year, he was overweight, I just wanted to trim down and tone up. He found it quite easy to lose weight whereas I didn't have much to lose it was much tougher. Judging on lbs lost seems pretty ridiculous to me!

steff13 Fri 27-Jun-14 19:30:18

Men generally lose weight more easily than women.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 27-Jun-14 19:37:13

worra assuming the figures the OP gave are correct, she started of with a BMI of just less than 25, so she wasn't overweight at the start of the competition.

OrangeMochaFrappucino Sat 28-Jun-14 07:33:55

That's what I thought, Rafal and I do think it's irresponsible of the gym to have the competition set up like this. The OP says she has done intense daily workouts and severely restricted her food which sounds like a punishing and unsustainable regime. I don't believe that's a good idea for the gym to be encouraging - sensible and steady weight loss is a better idea and exercise which is manageable and enjoyably challenging.

Cabrinha Sat 28-Jun-14 07:50:31

She didn't say she restricted food, she said she was strict with it.
You can't judge whether her weight is OK or not, only she can. I'm 2" taller and at 9st 6 I would have a big belly overhang, a roll of fat under my armpits / bra and a wobbly spotty arse! At 8st 4 I'd be super trim and really any more loss is be bony. In terms of actual health, 9st 6 might not be affecting my organs, but I'd be unhappy with the wobbling bits!
Her actual weight is her business.

But as for the competition... YABU. Rules were stated. They took your money because they're a business. You got the weight you wanted. They didn't force you to have an eating disorder. So...your issue is what exactly?!!

Montybojangles Sat 28-Jun-14 07:59:43

Seriously? You are nicely thin, and clearly very fit now. The people starting at 19 stone still have a long way to go to get to where you are.

It's hard to stick at it consistently when you have such a ways to go. Why would you want to take this away from them? They lost the most actual weight, and as you yourself say, every week it was the weights that got displayed on the wall.

It wasn't an even playing field to use % as a measure. At 19 stone to lose the same percentage weight as yourself they would have to have lost well over 2 stones. Totally unhealthy in 7 weeks and not sustainable or fair.


ForalltheSaints Sat 28-Jun-14 11:31:14

I think that the Duckworth-Lewis method should be used to judge the winner.

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