Healthy Wage Initial Weigh-In and My Weight Loss Plan

My initial weigh-in for Healthy Wage came in at 218 pounds. That is higher than I was expecting. I usually weigh myself first thing in the morning wearing just my skivvies. I underestimated how much weighing later in the day and wearing more clothes would add to my weight. It didn’t make any difference on the amount of my wager. I still need to lose 29 pounds or more in the next six months. Losing 29 pounds would put me at 189 which would be my lowest weight since 2006. If you would like to lose weight with Healthy Wage please consider using my referral link. Using the link will add $40 to your prize and add money to my prize too.

I haven’t come up with a specific plan to lose the weight yet. I’m starting a section hike on the Appalachian Trail tomorrow. Hiking 10-15 miles a day with about 25 pounds on my back and having limited food options will cause me to lose weight so I won’t worry too much about my food choices while hiking.

When I get back from the hike I will need to be more careful with what I eat. My friend Jon at MyFrugalMiser has had great success with the Keto Diet. I’m not sure I would be able to stick with that diet. Perhaps I could stick with Dirty Lazy Keto. If I don’t decide to do Keto, I will come up with another plan to improve my diet and reduce how much I eat. I have had readers offer weight-loss tips in the past and I’d be happy to hear more suggestions.

Losing Weight with Healthy Wage Again

healthy wage lose weight

Long-time readers might remember that I was able to sucessfully lose 30 pounds back in 2014 with the help of being motivated by a $3000 bet with Healthy Wage. I was able to go from 226 pounds to 196 pounds. Unfortunately, after the wager was over I started gaining back the weight. I ended up setting a new highest ever weight of 232 pounds back in 2018. I’ve lost some weight since then and currently weight about 217 pounds. I haven’t been able to lose weight consistently though and I’ve never gotten close to getting to a healthy weight.

I’ve wanted to do another HealthyWager but I thought I wasn’t eligible since I was above my final weight at the end of winning wager. I recently learned that they now have a Yo-Yo rule that allows you to make another wager even if you weigh more than you did at the end of your previous winning wager. You can only make one wager using the Yo-Yo rule and they apply a downward profit adjustment for wagers made under this rule. Even with the smaller potential profit I think this will provide the motivation I need to lose a significant amount of weight. Of course, this time I need to keep losing weight even after the wager has ended.

For this wager I’m betting $1200 that I will lose 29 pounds over 6 months. If I win, I’ll get back my $1200 plus $185 profit. The $185 profit includes a $50 boost that was added for signing up through a specific link. If you would like to try Healthy Wage by signing up through my referral link you can have a $40 boost added to your wager and I’ll get a boost added to my wager as well. If you haven’t made a previous Healthy Wage you should get a better profit on your bet than I’m getting.

Betting $1200 to get a profit of $185 might not seem like much of a return. Compared to how much I’d earn in interest on that money though it is a great return. Plus I was able to pay the wager with a 2% cash back credit card to get a little more return on my money. This is somewhat risky, but I know from past experience that I’m able to lose weight when motivated and I actually do the things I need to do (like eat health and exercise) to lose weight. And if a few people sign up to do a HealthyWager using my referral link the return can get a lot better.

I haven’t weighed in for this wager yet. I’ll provide an update with my official starting weight and my goal weight later this week. I’ll also provide updates on my progress and what I’m doing to lose weight at least once a month. Have any of you tried HealthyWage?

2020 Review and 2021 Preview

2020 was a terrible year for most people and the world in general. For me, it was an okay year.

The year didn’t go as planned due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I had an around the world trip planned. I was going to spend a week or so in Japan. Then take a business class trip from Japan to Singapore to Thailand. I was going to stay in Thailand for three months and then take an economy flight to Hong Kong for a short visit and take a premium economy flight from Hong Kong to London. I hadn’t yet decided how I was going to get from London to the US when it became clear I wasn’t going to be making any of these trips. I was able to cancel all my flights and I have a bunch of miles to use when I’m able to travel again.

My plan B was to hike the Appalachian Trail since I couldn’t travel to Asia. I figured that hiking in the woods would be pretty safe. The ATC and many state and local governments asked people to not hike the AT so I abandoned plan B also.

I ended up staying in Missouri and buying a house with my Mom. My job went remote which allowed me to work from home in my small town rather than the office in Kansas City. That was a nice benefit from the pandemic. The drawback was that the pandemic also resulted in there being much less work available and I spent more time unemployed than working.

I only set two goals during 2020. The first was to save $10,000 during the first quarter of 2020. I did manage to do that and it was nice having that cushion once my employment became sporadic. My second goal was to lose 10% of my body weight. I did manage to lose about 15 pounds. That is good, but well short of my 10% goal.

Despite being sporadically employed my net worth increased dramatically during the year. The value of my retirement accounts went from being in the $50K range when the stock market crashed to just over $100k at the end of the year. I did keep adding money to my retirement accounts when the market crashed and that worked out well.

At the end of the year I spent 1 month in Cancun so I didn’t get completely shut out from being able to travel internationally.

So 2020 was a mixed bag, but overall it was a decent year for me.

Looking ahead to this year, I have three big things I’d like to do. I want to hike the Camino de Santiago in Spain, complete my section hike of the AT, and spend three months in Thailand. I’m unlikely to do all three, but I think doing two of those is possible.

Whether travel restrictions to Europe and Thailand are lifted and how soon they are lifted will affect whether I’m able to do the international trips. I’ll post in more detail about the travel plans once it is more certain I’ll actually be able to do them.

At some point I will make some 2021 goals. One of them will be to lose weight which is seemingly always one of my goals. The other goals will be related to alternative ways of making money.

I plan to quit working my doc review job. Once I finish my current project I most likely won’t accept new projects from my current company. I have already told my previous doc review company I’d work on an upcoming project for them. I’ll do that project if they hire me. After that I plan to make money from various side hustles. I don’t need much money to pay my bills.

There is one caveat. I might buy a new car this year. If I do that, then I’ll work a bit longer at the doc review job so I can pay cash for the car without putting a big dent in my savings. There is also a chance I’ll have to do a hotel quarantine to visit Thailand. That would also require me to save a little more money.

That is all I have planned for the year at this point. How was 2020 for you? Do you have any 2021 plans?

2020 Goal Review and November Goals

Since the year is most of the way over it is a good time to see how I’m doing on my goals for the year. I’ve only set two goals for this year. The first goal was to save $10,000 in the first four months of 2020. I did achieve that goal with most of the savings going to my retirement accounts. I also added some to my cash savings accounts which turned out to be a good thing since my employment has been sporadic since my work office closed in the Spring due to the coronavirus.

My next goal was to lose weight. To help accomplish that goal I joined two Dietbet games. For the first game I needed to lose 4% of my bodyweight (about 9 pounds) in 1 month. I was able to do that fairly easily. I cut back on my junk food intake a little and started walking about 10k steps a day and the weight quickly came off.

The second game required me to lose 10% of my bodyweight (a little over 22 pounds) in 6 months. This goal has been much harder to achieve. My weight loss has been stalled out since late July and I still have almost 5 pounds to lose by 11/18. To do that I’m going to have to be more consistent getting my daily steps in and probably add some other type of exercise on top of that too. More importantly I’ll have to cut way back on my daily calories for the next week.

If I make the 10% goal I will weigh 204 pounds or less. That isn’t far from 200 pounds so I’m making that my stretch goal for the month. If I don’t make it under 200 pounds this month then I’ll make that a goal for December.

For this month, I’m setting a goal to write at least 8 blog posts. I’ve been very lazy about writing blog posts here for the last couple of years and I need to get back in the habit of writing

I’ve not gotten off to a good start on writing posts. This post was supposed to be published on the first of the month and I’m just now getting around to finishing it and posting it. . Most of the posts for the rest of the month will probably be shorter deal type posts. These should be fairly easy to write and since some/most of them will also have the potential to make me money that will provide a little more motivation to write.

I’ll let you know how I did on these goals when I publish a goals post for December.

First 2020 Goal Achieved, Next Goal – Lose Weight

In my December 2019 post about my goals for 2020 I stated that the only goal I was setting at that time was to save $10,000 in the first four months of 2020. A goal that I felt would be difficult, but achievable. I’m happy to say that I was able to achieve that goal.

I surpassed my goal of saving $10,000 and managed to save $12,384 in the first four months of 2020. The savings broke down as follows. I added $4397 of cash to my savings accounts. I added $778 to my doc review job 401k. I added $1217 to my tax job 401k. I added $4000 to my traditional IRA and $1992 to my Roth IRA.

The goal wasn’t as easy to achieve as it may look like from the results. I benefited greatly from two months out of the four months I was saving being months with five paydays. That isn’t usually the case. The $1200 stimulus check also provided a surprise boost to my savings. Without those two unexpected boosts I would have barely been able to save the $10,000. If I hadn’t set a goal of saving $10k in the first four months of the year I doubt I would have saved as much money as I did. This goal was successful in getting me to save more money.

In my previous goals post I stated that sometime in 2020 I’d set goals for losing weight and increasing my blog income. Now is the time that I’m setting my 2020 weight loss goal. The blog income goal will have to wait a little while longer since I think it is best for me to focus on one goal at a time.

Losing weight is a common goal of mine. It occurred to me the other day that I’ve been dealing with my weight for almost 25 years. In 1997 I lost 30 pounds in three months while living in Guatemala. Whenever, I’m living outside of the U.S., I find it easy to lose weight without even trying. The combination of walking more and not having access to all of the junk food and fast food I have in the U.S. leads to weight loss. After returning to the U.S. from Guatemala, I managed to keep the weight off for over six months. Then I started working as a blackjack dealer on the graveyard shift (3am to 11am) and quickly regained all the weight I lost plus some.

I’ve repeated that pattern a few times over the years. I will lose 20-30 pounds and then quickly regain the weight. Usually, when I’m losing weight it is due to special circumstances such as living in another country or hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Once I go back to my normal life I stop losing weight and start gaining weight. I’ve got to stop that cycle and learn how to lose weight and maintain my weight while living my normal life. I’m not sure how to do that yet.

To start on my weight loss goal I’ve made several bets with DietBet. Money has proven to be a motivator for me in the past. I made a Kickstarter bet which requires me to lose 4% of my bodyweight 9 (just under 9 pounds) in 30 days and a Transformer bet that requires me to lose 10% of my bodyweight (a little over 22 pounds) in 6 months.

My current plan for accomplishing these weight loss goals is simply to eat less and exercise more. I’ll refine that plan as I go. I want this change to be a permanent change so I don’t intend to use any weight loss methods that I don’t think I’ll be able to stick to in the long run. If you have any suggestions on what I should do to lose weight and keep it off, I’d be happy to hear them.