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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.

Darkesteyes Sat 28-Jun-14 15:19:18

Do drug and alcohol counsellors hold competitions to see which client can stay clean or sober the longest. No? Then why is it ok to do it to overweight people.

Why is it done AT ALL!

busyboysmum Sat 28-Jun-14 15:13:06

busyboysmum Sat 28-Jun-14 15:10:43

Yanbu. The Biggest Loser programme started measuring weight loss like this in the first series. Then it was pointed out that it was a ridiculous way to find a winner as clearly those who started off the heaviest would always win. So they changed it to percentage of body weight lost which is clearly the better way to do it. Sounds like they haven't thought it throughpproperly at your gym.

Darkesteyes Sat 28-Jun-14 15:05:03

Birds the diet industry badly needs regulating.

Scousadelic Sat 28-Jun-14 14:51:41

As someone who has been 19sone in the past I think YABU. Do you have any idea how much courage it takes to even go into a gym at that size? Have you any clue how hard it is to exercise when you are carrying all that extra weight? So it is not necessarily easy for them.

The terms of the competition were very clearly set out, you didn't win and are now being a bad sport

itsbetterthanabox Sat 28-Jun-14 14:45:41

Your annoyed that you didn't win a weight loss competition. I assume the point is to become a healthy weight. Which you already were... So you just wanted to look thinner whereas other people were actually aiming on becoming healthier. I don't think giving you a prize for becoming thinner would be a good thing tbh.

Birdsgottafly Sat 28-Jun-14 14:38:49

I would wonder about the reasoning behind this type of competition, tbh.

I hated this when I went to WW, whilst breast feeding and after being on steroids.

But, WW reps aren't qualified in what is healthy etc, gym instructors supposedly are.

I would question if they knew anything about effective weight loss and they wouldn't be someone who I would want dietary advice from.

That isn't something I'd want from a gym I am paying for.

carabos Sat 28-Jun-14 14:22:31

My gym did the same thing during a 12 week boot camp. They explained by saying that their main goal for boot camp was to attract and motivate people who needed to lose weight - give them an initial boost which would carry them through a longer programme. Other people with little or no weight to lose were welcome, but knew they were unlikely to win a prize.

Two main differences - the competition was included in the price of the boot camp, and the prizes were things like T shirts and water bottles - tokens and a bit of recognition rather than making it all about the prize. They wanted the main reward to be the successful weightloss and sense of achievement.

WorraLiberty Sat 28-Jun-14 14:12:43

Hahaha! grin

I'm talking about my adult size 8/10 clothes. I'm not in the habit of wearing kid's clothes...

When they start to get tight because I'm gaining weight, I reign in the not so healthy food and start exercising more.

My point is, when I start to get fatter around my stomach (mostly) my BMI doesn't reflect the fact I need to lose some weight.

differentnameforthis Sat 28-Jun-14 14:11:35


sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sat 28-Jun-14 13:50:50

Just because your clothes get tight doesn't still make you fat Worra. If you were wearing a child's size they would get tight doesn't meant you are fat

NoodleOodle Sat 28-Jun-14 13:47:31

Take it as a bit of fun and be thankful that it worked as a good incentive for you. Give yourself a prize of facial, nails, hair. There's nothing else you can do really as they've followed the rules as they stated them so to complain WBU.

In future, suggest categories and % loss,, if they can find enough people to sign up.

differentnameforthis Sat 28-Jun-14 13:41:56

The winner was the person who lost the most weight. Not %. Actual weight.

You are trying to find a loophole that doesn't exist.

But urgh at the price. Does everyone think that all women want are facial, blow dries & pretty nails?

WorraLiberty Sat 28-Jun-14 13:35:49

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.

Oh I see. I forget that most people tend to judge by their BMI nowadays.

I never go by that as I prefer to 'eyeball' it if you see what I mean?

There are fat people around whose BMI doesn't necessarily reflect their 'figure' and at 5ft 1" weighing 9st 6lb, the OP could well have felt she was one of those people.

I'm 5ft 3" and as soon as my weight hits around 8st 7lb, that's when I know I need to cut back because my zips and buttons start to get tight.

Trillions Sat 28-Jun-14 13:27:55


bragmatic Sat 28-Jun-14 13:10:44

I completely agree. It's a ridiculous way to measure results.

MyFairyKing Sat 28-Jun-14 13:09:32

"You can still win, get your arm amputated."

I sniggered. grin

fascicle Sat 28-Jun-14 13:06:46

Implied acceptance. You signed up for this, parted with the cash, attended the weigh-ins and presumably checked on the figures on the wall as the competition progressed. I think you would only have grounds for complaint if there was ambiguity - e.g. if weightloss as a percentage of body weight was also included in the weekly stats.

You have got a point, but the time to raise this was before the challenge started.

As the competition was set up, it doesn't matter which way the winner was calculated, it was always going to be unfair to one group or the other.

It's like running an art competition or a running race or a spelling bee for children aged up to 16 - the older kids have a far better chance of winning than the younger ones - which is why competitions like this are split up into groups, so the competitions are fair - or as fair as can be.

In the same way, wombles' gym could have split the competition up so that people like her, with only a small amount to lose, weren't competing against the 19 stone people, who would find it easier to lose more, numerically speaking. Perhaps they could have two or three 'classes' in the competition, if they hold it again?

It might be worth suggesting this to them - I think they are more likely to listen if you have a sensible suggestion, than if you just look like you are suffering from sour grapes (it could appear that way - I am not saying that is what I think). It might also be worth pointing out that people with only a little weight to lose could be put off from entering the next competition/diet challenge, if this last one is perceived to have been unfair to that group.

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

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

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.


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?!!

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.

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.

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

Men generally lose weight more easily than women.

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