Powered by Blogger.

About Me

My photo
Happy wife and lover of doggie named Walle.

The Latest

When done correctly, a weight-loss contest can be an fun, encouraging way to lose a few pounds. What makes for a good contest? Read 10 tips below.

1. Decide who will participate.

Your contest can involve anywhere from two people to a million, and it’s really up to you. Of course there are advantages and disadvantages to both ends of the spectrum. A smaller group can mean more individualized attention and a tighter community for all involved. If the participants are coworkers or already part of some type of a group, it will likely be easier to coordinate the actual weigh-ins (being at the same place on a regular basis is a definite plus). A larger group can still foster a sense of community, but community will likely occur in smaller cell groups. A larger group can also mean more resources for prizes and more people to help run the contest.

2. Set the rules upfront.

To a large degree, the success of the contest will greatly depend on your ability to make sure that everyone knows all of the parameters of the contest before signing up to participate. The last thing you want is for people to murmur and complain about how the contest wasn’t fair because of x,y, and z.


3. Base the contest off of weight-loss percentages.

Never run a contest where the objective is to simply lose the most weight. It disqualifies people who only have a couple of pounds to lose and can develop unhealthy weight loss goals. By basing the contest off of weight-loss percentages, it helps even the

4. Make a calendar.

Weigh-ins need to be routine and people need to know the timeline upfront. Your calendar can be really basic. For the contests that I have done, people usually have the option to weigh-in at any point during a two-week time period, but the calendar marks the deadlines. This allows for flexibility of schedules.

5. Require an entry fee.

The entry fee does not necessarily have to be money. It can be gift cards, a promise on an exchange of goods or services, or anything else that you can think-up. Whatever it is, it really needs to be something. The truth is that requiring participants to give something up in order to join is a way of helping them commit to the contest. For many of us, myself included, we are more serious about things when we have put something on the line. Requiring participants to put something in also provides a resource for prizes. It’s your decision whether or not you try to make a profit. Running a contest can be a lot of work, but I have never accepted any type of a payment.

6. Offer to do before & after photos.

Who doesn’t love a good before and after photo? It’s the reason that many of us flock to movies like The Princess Diaries, Pretty Woman, Grease, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and Miss Congeniality. Before and after pictures are fun for everyone and make for great recaps after everything is said and done.

7. Provide multiple, confidential weigh-in’s throughout the contest.

Many people are sensitive to their weight and as such, do not want to have their personal info out there for everyone. The best practice is to assign each participant with a user identification. The ID can be used to track information, as well as send mass updates and info about weigh-ins. Only have a few people designated to do weigh-ins. Keeping this group smaller allows participants to weigh-in with one of the same two or three people each weigh-in.


8. Send updates.

While people may choose to only do the initial and the final weigh-ins, the strength of your group will really rely on its consistency. By sending regular updates, you can really set the tone of keeping the contest moving, and keeping participants engaged.

9. Prizes!

Prizes are an absolute must. The simplest way to get prizes is to use the entry pieces as the prizes, but prizes can come from anywhere. Perhaps there is someone who will donate to your group. Traditionally, weight-loss contests at least include a grand prize for the winner. I recommend having a first, second, and third place, and separate awards for men and women. In addition to grand prizes, prizes throughout the competition can be a fun way to spur people on.

Here’s an idea: Provide a raffle ticket at each weigh-in to people who have lost weight. At the end of the quarter, collect all of the raffle tickets and raffle off a prize. This keeps participants moving in the right direction, and combats discouragement that can occur for not being in first place.

If possible, don’t stop the prizes when the contest is over! Give the winners a chance to maintain or lose more weight. If they can keep the weight off for the next three months, they get another prize!

10. Build a community.

Whether it is a Facebook group, Fitbit group, Instagram account, or a running club, there are so many ways to get connected. Above all, make sure that your community encourages fitness and health above weight-loss. Allow people to go ahead and report meeting their weight-loss goals, but make sure that the encouragement is centered around developing healthy habits, not just losing weight. Things like “What I ate today” and “How many miles I ran” are fun and encouraging for all involved. The stronger your community is, the better your contest will be.

Final Thoughts...

If you have any tips, please share them below!

Not interested in hosting a contest, but interested in joining one? I am thinking about hosting one, if you are interested in joining it, let me know by emailing me or commenting below.
So… this happened. My former boss contacted me about auditioning with a group that she put together for a new show called Dance Battle, produced by Samantha Hanks and set to premier tonight after Dancing with the Stars. The show is really the brain child of Julianne Hough and Maria Menounos. My team didn’t make it, but we were among the final groups being considered and got paid to work with professional choreographers for a few days. It was a tremendous experience.

After working with our choreographers Kristen and Tony for a couple of days, it was obvious that they were the real deal. You would never guess, but Kristen has 4-month old twins. Each choreographer joins the show with a long list of impressive work experience, including television shows and international tours, but what makes them great is their extreme talent and skill in their craft as dancers and teachers. Though my favorite dancer will forever be my sister-in-law, they were so fun to work with!

Following rehearsals, we were put on standby to fill in if another team ended up not being able to make the recording session, but HELLO who would miss that? So, we were invited to the recording.
For the recording, all the stars were out, Julianne Hough and her brother Derek Hough, Maria Menounos, Janice Dickenson, Samantha Hanks, hosts Alfonso Ribeiro and Jordin Sparks, and my mom. They all looked fabulous.

Working with the professionals and going into the dance studio was like a whole nother world, and if I am being honest, it was a lot of fun to be a part of it for a couple of days.

Anyway, be sure to watch the show. I’m sure it will be entertaining.

Here’s a link with more info.
Is it me you're looking for?

Tracing back, I’m not exactly sure what happened. I know that it started just like today. I was brainstorming a new blog post, only meanwhile, I was looking at my cluttered home.

I wanted to write something useful. Since my home was a mess, why not start there? After spending some time researching how to declutter my home, because research is much easier than doing the actual work, I found myself going from one thing to another. If you give a mouse a cookie, right?

My obsessive research took me from closet organization, to virtual closet apps, to style apps, to style guides, to capsule wardrobes; from home filing systems, to paper organizers, to actually taking a semester-long online class at my community college on personal financing, to stocks and interest rates, to purchasing items with cash, to tiny houses, to global poverty, and so forth, and so on…

All the while my eyes grew wider. And friends, this occurred over a period of months, until everything kind of wound down and I was left with an ever-growing interest in…



As I began taking a hard look at my life, I started really weighing my lifestyle and felt inspired to bare down and focus on what really matters.

A while back, overwhelmed by life and work, I started saying no to opportunities. I felt like I needed to say no and regain some space for myself, and quite frankly, adequate sleep. But now, I feel like I have learned to say “yes” again. And saying yes is so much more fun!

Yes to people. Yes to life. Yes to friendships. Yes to adventures. Yes to learning something new. Yes to not being perfect. Yes to forgiving. Yes to love. Yes. One-hundred times, yes.

Since these initial changes, I have been doing things that I just didn’t think that I had time for before. I have taken a couple of online classes, met up with friends on a regular basis, thrown a baby shower, freelanced for a school board campaign and even done some work in Hollywood.

In closing... I'm back. And glad to be. I hope to share some of the things that have been inspiring me.

It’s cliché, but really, life IS short, guys.

And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun. Ecclesiastes 7:10
One of my favorite things about holidays, trips, events, etc. are the days leading up to them. Minus the stress and preparation, I love the anticipation of something special on the horizon. It's really a treat, especially when you might find yourself otherwise faced with a case of the Mondays.

This week I am counting down the days to the Weekend to Remember marriage conference - and I only have to count to 5!

"Marriage conference? Oh no! Are you guys doing okay?" In truth, we are in a great place.  I feel so blessed to be married to the man that I am married to. It's unfortunate that some of us only think of marriage conferences and counseling when we are in crisis. The hard truth is that just because my marriage is smooth sailing for now, doesn't mean that we won't hit rough waters up ahead. Whenever you can learn from someone else's experience or expertise, do it! I think that a marriage conference is the perfect way. 

It's funny because you marry the person that you love, and then when things are not perfect, because really, nothing is ever perfect, you end up criticizing them and pointing the finger. And then, something kind of odd happens. You get to a point where you realize... "hmm. Maybe it's not you, it's me..?"

The bottom line is this: I really want to be an excellent wife, and I realize that, well, I can improve in some areas. I am going to this conference with an open mind, hoping to gain some helpful tools that will expand my ability to love my husband more. And THAT, friends, is going to be a fun challenge because I already love him a whole bunch!

- Visit the conference website (here) for more info on A Weekend to Remember. 
- A Weekend to Remember occurs in places all throughout the U.S. & all throughout the year.
- Use the promo code "WEEKEND" at check out for 40% off conference registration.
I'm still walking on clouds from Valentine's Day this past weekend. For us, it was sandwiched between birthday parties and due to the fact that my husband works in the hospitality/food service industry, Valentine's Day was a working day for him, but we spent the evening at the beach with some carry-out from one of our favorite restaurants, The Olive Pit. And, it was wonnnnderful...

One of the great pleasures of the day was getting 45 Reason's Matt is Awesome published to Buzzfeed, and then posting it to Facebook for everyone to see. My husband loves Buzzfeed lists and is well-known for calling everything "Awesome!" so after some brainstorming, I decided it'd be the perfect surprise gift. He didn't realize the post was up until the end of the night, which was perfect timing. And believe me, the look on his face was priceless. 

Once he discovered the post, he was laughing so hard that tears were coming down his face--He's a great sport. He did stop to ask where I had dug up some of the photos. Little does he know, I have a secret collection of embarrassing photos of him. You know, in case of an emergency. After scrolling the list, we had even more fun seeing comments made by friends and family throughout the day. 

It was a fun project because it gave me time to reflect on our time together and thank God for giving me such a faithful, fun-loving spouse. It could have have easily become 117 Reason's Matt is Awesome, but I decided to save the fact that he has a birthmark in the shape of California... and the fact that he loves to lick envelopes... for Part 2. Hah! Be sure to check out the post!

Restaurant: The Olive Pit 
My gifts from Matt: A devotional book, a notebook with a photo slide, and a romantic evening out, all of which I loved <3