Brooke and Mat Everhart are living the dream — they got paid to lose weight. Using their winnings, they funded a second honeymoon to the U.S. Virgin Islands, where they proudly showcased their new beach-ready bods.
It all started with an app. The program, called HealthyWage, has users bet on their weight loss. The app’s creators believe that financial motivation will help people to stick it out through the healthy meals and gym sessions.
“My wife found the app when one of her coworkers did a small bet and was able to meet her goal,” Mat told The Daily Meal. “It was fun! It was nice to have a common goal, where we were working toward something together.”
In the end, they’d won over $4,000 and lost more than 122 pounds.
Mat explained that cooking brought the couple together, where they could bond over preparing healthy meals.
“We have different fitness paths,” he said, “but cooking is something that we regularly do together. Our Wednesday and Sunday meal prep!”
“HealthyWage is not going to help you lose weight, you have to do that,” Mat proclaimed. “But HealthyWage will keep you motivated the entire time you choose to do it.”
He described the process as like “betting on yourself.” Every time you think you might give up, you remember that HealthyWage is going to keep its end of the bargain. Whether you lose the weight or not, it will withdraw from your account.
“It’s the accountability aspect,” Mat said. “None of the typical ‘I’ll start my diet Monday,’ crap.”
Mat also noted that the app made finding a weight-loss community easy.
“HealthyWage has a chatroom as part of their app,” he told us, “where people who are actively engaged in bets can chat. It’s a neat thing because everyone else is in the exact situation you’re in. There are no trolls, literally everyone is cheering for you to win and asking for your thoughts.”
Now that they’re no longer betting, the chatrooms aren’t a part of their journey any longer. But Brooke explained that her primary motivation is her family. As a working mother, Brooke has struggled in the past to make time for herself and to set a healthy example for their 6-year-old daughter.
“It is challenging to find the time and motivation after working all day and taking care of a kid to do something for yourself like working out,” Brooke said. “But just knowing you’re doing it as much for your children as you are for yourself makes it worth it.”
Brooke takes her daughter along with her to the gym after picking her up from school, where her daughter plays in the gym’s childcare area.
“There is some mom-guilt associated with that,” Brooke said, “But the way I look at it, I’m really setting an example for her that I hope will last with her through adulthood. And I value our time for quality over quantity.”
By taking the extra time to go to the gym, Brooke finds she’s able to be more present and relaxed when she does spend time with her family.
“I never thought I’d be the type of person who would genuinely love working out. But just the mental stress relief I get from hitting it out at the gym really puts a buffer between my workday and my family time at night,” Brooke explained. “I’ve grown to really love it.”
HealthyWage helped them to kick start their weight loss by holding them accountable — but now, they both know that exercise is something that anyone can learn to enjoy.