With all the controversy surrounding those knuckleheads in Charlottesville, VA it reminds me of a strange, but interesting book. The book is called The Blackmail Diet by John Bear. The subtitle of the book is Lose Weight Or Else!

Pretty catchy title right there.

The premise of the book surrounds the author has been overweight for most of his life and finally has had enough. So he decides that extreme measures need to be taken. Did he go on a crash diet? Join the Army and go to boot camp? Workout like a madman? He did something a little different…

He put $5,000 in a trust to be paid to the Nazi Party unless he could lose 70 pounds in one year.

He did not have much money and this was in 1983, so $5,000 was a pretty hefty sum. Add that to the fact that he despised the Nazi Party and things got serious real quick.

One March 1, 1983 he weighed in at 255 pounds. On March 1, 1984 he weighed in at 179 pounds. For those of you without a calculator, that is a loss of 76 pounds.

The author decided that since focusing on food had never worked for him, he needed to focus on the psychology of human behavior instead. Specifically there are two main factors:

A: Everyone who is committed and excited on day one of the new diet that is going to change their life. 98% fail because the enthusiasm wears off quick.

B: There are certain times in life where once you decide to start something, there is no going back. You are committed until the bitter end. Think signing up for the military, once you step out of an airplane to skydive, or once the roller coaster starts. In all those scenarios, you are going to HAVE to finish what you started.

The Blackmail Diet combines both of those factors. It keeps you motivated every day and you have to reach your goal because there is no going back once that money goes into the trust.

The “blackmail” does not have to involve money. You just have to find something that you REALLY don’t want to happen as your motivation. You could write an e-mail to your boss that would get you fired, save it, only to be sent if you didn’t lose the weight. You could volunteer to serve on that board on church that you have been trying to avoid for years if you were unsuccessful. Get creative and think of things that are absolute no-gos for you and that would light a fire under you.

Now clearly this method is not for everyone. This is an extreme example of what one person did, but it does offer some interesting tips. When was the last time you went all in on an exercise program or a nutrition plan? Where failure was NOT an option.

If you are fed up and ready to make a change, don’t make quitting an option. You don’t have to pledge $5,000 towards the Nazis, but write out a contract to yourself that you will follow through with your plan. No quit and no surrender, anything is possible with the right motivation.