The following story comes from Frank Caron (@frankycaron), which inspired us thanks to this Polygon blog post. Here is how he managed to loose 100 pounds.
I’ll never forget the first day I saw a downward trend on the Withings online portal. That was the day that changed everything, and it was the singular moment which helped me lose 100 lbs in just about a year. I was something of a classic example of an “overweight gamer nerd”. Sure, I did well in both school and work, but I spent infinitely more time snacking on treats and levelling up online than I ever did cooking meals or exercising.
I was the quintessential “Mum? More Hot Pockets!” gamer
But after a bad break-up and a lot of introspection, the time came when I finally felt the need to make a change. I would never be able to give up the gaming pastime that I loved, so I had to find a way to turn losing weight into a game.
To do that, I needed a way to quantify my body, and the Withings Wi-Fi scale presented that capability; I could effectively “quantify” my body just my standing on the scale in the morning.
And, sure enough, the scale and software actually had a dramatic impact. I know that sounds like a corny infomercial, but it’s really true. Being able to see, day over day, the progress of my efforts to exercise more and eat better was the exact kind of “level up” portrait which made it easy to stay motivated.
That seem feeling of “playing one more round” or “getting one more level” was suddenly applicable to my lifestyle change. I never did give up gaming, and yet, by keeping an eye on my progress and weighing in regularly, I was motivated to continue my progression.
After nine months of treating my weight loss like a game, using the Withings portal along with MyFitnessPal as my “stats”, I stood at 2/3 of my original weight, healthy, happy, and still as gamer as I’d ever been.
I ended up writing a blog post about my exploits on my personal blog, and slowly the word got out. Earlier this year, Polygon caught wind of it and ultimately had me re-tell it for its gaming audience, as well.
And so now, I continue to play the games that I love, but I have a new, never-ending one that I play too which provides the endless challenge and fun of levelling up a character: my real-life avatar.