Woman bets she’ll lose big — and Wins |CNN
Sara Lugger was skeptical as she placed her first $5 bet. But she realized that all she had to lose was weight — and a few bucks if the money didn’t motivate her to get in shape.
A friend’s success had inspired Lugger to join?DietBet, a website that hosts private and public games where people can bet on their own weight loss. Each game sets a goal, such as losing 4% of your body weight, and users who reach that goal split the pot.
Lugger was 34 and weighed 342 pounds.
She had struggled with obesity most of her life. In the ninth grade, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, and doctors put her on prednisone. The steroid made it difficult for her to maintain a normal weight.
But in 2004, Lugger had surgery to fix the colitis. “From there on out, I couldn’t blame anything but my poor habits.”
Shortly after her birthday in February?2013, Lugger decided that reaching 350 pounds would be “unacceptable.” The Oxford, Michigan, resident realized that her
weight was holding her back from doing the things she wanted to do.
She had been the heaviest person in her college classes, where she studied to become a physical therapist. And although family and friends never said anything outright, she noticed they didn’t exactly try to set her up on dates.
She avoided social situations and outdoor activities that might call attention to her size, and she worried about traveling because fitting in an airplane seat was difficult.
“For weeks before I flew, that would be on my mind,” she said.
After signing up for DietBet, Lugger made a plan. She threw out all the junk food in her house. She decided she would wake up 30 minutes early every morning to work out on her elliptical machine. Then, at lunch, she would use the physical therapy equipment at her office to strength train. That way, if she wanted to go out with friends in the evening, she wouldn’t miss a workout.