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A Twist on Motivation: Sponsorship to Lose Weight for Charity
Sonia is on a mission to attain and maintain a healthy weight for the long term. Here she shares her journey and motivation.
So, You Plan to Lose Weight and Have Others Give Money to Your Favourite Charity ...
... as your motivation to start dieting, stay on track and attain that, so far, elusive target weight.
Of course that's fine and very commendable, but do you ever feel somewhat of a nuisance or worried that (for the time being at least), you’ve exhausted the goodwill or pockets of everyone you know during previous sponsored endeavours. Or is it that you were thinking of asking so-and-so but found out that one or more others got to that person ahead of you with their own earnest sponsorship requests?
And on top of that, maybe in the past you have secretly felt it a tad draining to be approached by person after person asking you to sponsor them to do this or that for their chosen charity. It may well be a very worthy cause but if you’re financially challenged, it’s a request you may privately feel a little awkward about because you actually want to give any money you can spare to a particular cause that is closer to your heart.
So what can you do if you can relate all too well to the above, but still need the motivation that sponsorship can bring to help you stay on course and lose those stubborn superfluous pounds? If only there was an alternative way to incentivise yourself without your friends having to put their hands in their pockets at all?
When You're Too Embarrassed to "Bother" Others to Sponsor You Yet Again!
Well There is Another Way!
Indeed, you can get that all important backing, support and, dare I say, a little admiration from others by actually putting your own money where your mouth is. That is, instead of asking your friends to sponsor you and dig deep (risking sponsor fatigue) you inform them that you are sponsoring yourself to lose weight for charity and that what you would like from them is a generous sprinkling of motivation, feedback and encouragement to help you to achieve your charitable fundraising and weight loss targets. In this article, we'll refer to this method as self sponsorship.
And, it goes without saying that you must follow through in giving over your money to charity (see below for how you might arrive at what amount to donate).
So tell your friends that you earnestly need their help in holding you accountable for the money you (not they) are promising to donate to your own favourite cause. Yes - when you pointedly reiterate that they are not being asked for money as you are sponsoring yourself this time around - guess what - they'll be tickled pink!
Whilst you're at it, get specific and give them permission to hold you accountable by way of gritty but constructive criticism and reprimands as well as praise and encouragement as your progress dictates. If you fail to meet the mark, shirk or go off course without a concrete reason and don’t lose any weight (or worse gain weight) tell them to please be in your corner and help you turn things around, spurring you along all the way.
Now whether or not you feel confident and bold enough to approach others to sponsor you from their own funds, it’s a distinct possibility that some of your friends or acquaintances will feel relieved that they don’t have to feel guilty about ignoring or pretending not to see yet another request for sponsorship - especially if it's a difficult time for them financially.
Those who are guiltily experiencing some degree of sponsorship fatigue may positively welcome the opportunity of giving you moral or emotional support to achieve your weight loss aims through self sponsorship. As such they will likely gladly receive and respond to you updating them, say every week or two, to report on how things are going knowing that you are not demanding or begging for any monetary contribution from them whatsoever, perhaps freeing them to support their own chosen charity that bit more.
We all understand that by making plans to lose weight public, and by linking it to raising funds for a good cause, there is much more incentive and, lets face it, pressure to keep on track so as not to disappoint yourself, your friends or the charity in question.
Notwithstanding the above, you may have misjudged your friends in terms of sponsor fatigue and when they know of your self sponsorship endeavours, they may indeed voluntarily elect to sponsor you financially to some extent or other, and of course that means more money for your charity - wonderful!
The Why and How of Motivational Self Sponsored Weight Loss For Charity?
Why? - Just think about it. You could get all the incentive and support you would have got (maybe even more) had you "twisted arms" to get sponsorship for losing weight in the more conventional way. And surely, motivation wise it beats going it alone in circumstances where you are too uncomfortable to ask others for money.
- To begin with, do your research and decide on a sensible weight loss plan.
- Set yourself a realistic and healthy amount of weight to lose, based on what is officially considered a healthy weight according to you age, gender, height etc.
- Set your start and end dates with interim targets as necessary
- Weight yourself and keep a note of it
- Even better, write your weight down and display the dates, your plan etc somewhere at home and/or work where you will see it on a daily basis so you don’t “forget” about your challenge. Additionally you might opt to share your targets and progress on social media for all to see.
- As is always advised, and rightly so no doubt, do check with a doctor or physician who knows your background and health issues before you get started on changing your food intake.
- Choose a local, national or international charity that you feel passionate about and set yourself a target for how much money you want to donate – obviously if you want to give £20.00 and your target is to lose 20 lbs in weight, they you would sponsor yourself to give £1.00 for every pound lost.
- Make a list of those you want to approach and briefly but clearly explain what you are doing and why, emphasising that what you need for this particular challenge is not money but backup and support. Let them know your target, your time frame and importantly the frequency of updates you will be sending. Don't just say you'll let them know at the end!
Don't we all know it can become a little testing to keep receiving requests to sponsor others when you have limited funds or have already allocated all available funds to a charity which is of particular or personal relevance to you.
More on Putting Your Own Money Where Your Mouth Is
In selecting an amount to donate, you can simple choose an arbitrary amount but better still how about pointedly assessing your income, planned essential and incidental expenditure and come up with as realistic and generous a figure as you can adhere to. Try and make it as substantial an amount as you can reasonably afford during the time-frame in question. Another option would be to give, say, 10% of your income for the duration of your weight loss plan.
Deliberately and carefully contemplating how much you can give to the charity of your choice is another way of making yourself more accountable in this quest to self-sponsor your diet.
Motivation wise, arguably the best part is ...
if your friends are aware that you are stretching yourself (sensibly and not recklessly) to give as substantial an amount as you possibly can, they in turn will be more motivated to offer up constructive, consistent , heartfelt support and encouragement to spur you on in your quest to get lighter, healthier and hotter!
Self Sponsorship to Lose Weight – What’s in it for you?
- Supporting a charity to continue their good works - the feel good factor comes into play because you know there are people and causes out there that desperately need the help and you are playing a part to assist in making things happen or change.
- Motivation from others without insisting they give money on this occasion
- Less risk of possibly being somewhat of a nuisance to others who may have been approached on a number of occasions within a short space of time
- Helps divert you from self sabotage or abandoning your diet prematurely because you don't to let anybody, or yourself down
- Having to be accountable and report back to others can be just the boost you need to keep going (NB: you might also write to the charity and tell them about your plans if you feel this could help)
- Satisfaction and pride on meeting goals and giving yourself a pat on the back in the process
What’s in it For Others
For your friends and acquaintances, they get to support your charity without any financial outlay on their part. This way they can feel good about supporting you and perhaps also give more to their own chosen charities than would have been the case if they felt morally bound to support you and others like you, but had limited funds available.
For the Charity, no doubt, every penny counts and they get to continue their good works.
Don’t we all love a win/win all round!
Although It's For a Good Cause
Have You Ever Felt Uncomfortable About Asking Others for Money for Charity?
Motivation and Self Sponsorship for Weight Loss
Others can breathe a sigh of relief that they are not obliged to put their hands in their pockets this time around.
All That Said, Let’s Get This Straight
It's important to stress that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking others to sponsor you financially to do something for charity, and supporting others in this way is likewise absolutely the right thing to do whenever you can. If you’re comfortable to ask others that’s fantastic as no doubt there’s potential to raise much more money if you have a sizeable group of people sponsoring you than just you sponsoring yourself (assuming you haven’t just yet won the lottery!) So, please do go ahead if you comfortable with a group fundraising method.
This page simply gives you an alternative which might come in handy at times.
And listen - if you do go the self sponsorship route suggested here, you don’t have to restrict yourself to just self sponsorship. You can have the best of both worlds as it’s entirely up to you if you want to singularly sponsor yourself or ask your acquaintances to support you at the same time as you sponsor yourself. It's your call.
Other Stuff to Consider
You might elect to take before and after photos – or take a shot of yourself standing on your weighing scales with your current weight clearly visible on the scales (like a shot of your feet and the scale reading) and send this to your friends and family with each weekly/bi-weekly update.
You need to put this in your own diary and maybe ask them to put it in their diary too so that if they don’t hear from you one week they can get in touch to say hey what’s happening/why no update/keep going/give words of encouragement/gently or vehemently chastise you. Whatever you want them to do to encourage you when the going gets tough, you can let them know at the outset.
And Here's Another Twist (perhaps as a thank you)
Albeit this is a great opportunity to support a charity of your own choosing, another thing you might consider is asking a friend or relative for the name of their favourite charityand split your self sponsorship money between their cause and yours.
You might explain to the friend that this is being done in appreciation for all their past help in whatever area they have may have assisted you or indeed others. This might make things more relevant for your friend, and for you it could motivate and drive you that bit more because you won’t want to let your friend or their cause down.
So have a good think about this twist as your friend will probably be quite delighted and uplifted that you think enough of them to put yourself out a bit to give a half (or even all) of your self sponsorship funds to their favourite cause.
Speaking of Alternatives - Twisting the Twist!
Now what if you want to go it alone with sponsoring yourself and not involve those closest to you. Some people need a private challenge. Maybe they have asked for support in the past and that support has not been forthcoming for some reason, or maybe they just want to surprise friends at the end of the challenge but still need "anonymous" motivation along the way.
If that’s your position right now, or something similar, feel free to post a comment on this page at regular intervals and the writer, and hopefully others who visit this page, will respond and give you encouragement in your personal self sponsorship charitable weight loss challenge.
If you choose to try this route, as a guide, your first comment might include some of the following info
- Your name/nickname, how much weight you want to lose, the weight loss time-frame, how much you want to raise. You could include the name of the charity and/or anything else you deem relevant.
- Feel free to briefly give info on any particular challenges/obstacles you are striving to overcome in your weight loss battle as this can help others to target their advice and encouragement. It’s optional if you want to include your actual weight or just state how your weight differs from your first or previous post.
- Last but not least, as you post your initial comment and subsequent updates, do have a scan through other comments and see if you can give some encouragement or tips to keep on track. It's all good.
Knowing Your Weight Loss Sponsorship and Motivation Options
To recap and to be very, very clear, this page is definitely not about knocking the tried and tested models for charity runs and the like as these are fantastic ways to support worthy causes and interact with like minded others. This page is about options for those who for any reason are unable, uncomfortable or not wanting to participate in this way, but still want motivation and support from friends or others to get healthier through reducing their weight at the same time as giving financial support to a worthy cause.
So, are you now ready to do yourself, your charity and your friends a favour? Then do use the two sets of bullet points above to guide you on getting on board with the objectives and twists outlined.
And yes, I am putting a chunk of my own money where my mouth is too (see the comments section below) and may we all enjoy our charitable fundraising weight loss challenge.
July 2019 Update
Well folks - the 12 weeks are up and £18 has been donated to Medecins Sans Frontieres and likewise £18 to WaterAid the two charities chosen for sponsorship (the images relate). Of the 16 lb intended weightloss, 11.5 lbs was lost, so good and not so good new there.
However, the challenge will continue and fingers crossed that pretty soon there be another donation to each of the chosen charities, as per the original aspirations.
Overall, a very worthwhile exercise in self sponsorship as it's the most weight the writer has lost in such a timeframe which is very encouraging. See the comments section below for how things progressed from the outset to the end of the original timeframe.
Watch this space. More weight-loss and funds to charity will follow.
Post Challenge Update - September 2019
Yippee - I reached my target weight. :-D
I feel fitter and more energetic. Clothes which were tight and uncomfortable now glide over my hips and look so much better - even if I do say so myself. I'm chuffed and proud that I continued with my eating plan even though I didn't reach the target weight right on time - more exercise would have helped but I did do some.
This method of motivation certainly works for me - I've learned from it (and am thinking about how I can apply it to other challenges too).
Video: I PROMISE YOU I WILL BE OK, I WILL NEVER STOP DOING WHAT I LOVE
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