Monday, April 7, 2014

PACT and Paydays

Happy Monday! 
Back to the routine after the weekend.

I thought I'd share my personal experience with PACT today. Programs like this (get paid for healthy habits, pay out if you commit but don't deliver) can be very motivating ... those DietBets run along the same lines. (I have yet to try one of those. I can absolutely say I'll exercise and record my food, but I can't promise I'll lose weight.)

Gym Pact was one of the original reward sites out there. As I got involved with all the others reward programs (Reaping the Rewards), I looked at Gym Pact, but decided it wasn't for me. I didn't workout in a gym, but in my basement. Even when they introduced a motion tracker, I was afraid I'd forget to start/stop it, and the majority of my workouts are just 20 minutes ... Gym Pact required 30 minutes. Instead of simply working toward a reward, you were actually forced to put money on the line, $5 per missed workout.  I decided to pass on Gym Pact.

In January, MFP announced that they were partnering up with PACT (GymPact had shifted its focus away from only gym commitments, thus the change in the name). Now, there was also a food pact (logging three meals each day, at least 1200 calories) and veggie pact (although it should be called produce pact, as it's for fruits and vegetables). In addition to this change, Pact was also syncing with Fitbit, and 10,000 steps in a day would count as a "workout".

10,000 steps in a day.
Do you know me?
THAT is not a problem!

Logging my meals? At least 1200 calories?
That is not a problem!
(As long as I'm not penalized for going over).

Fruits and veggies every day?
Ok ... I'm NOT gonna comment or commit there.

I went ahead and signed up. I reluctantly input my credit card number ... I wasn't crazy about that part. I committed to six days a week for both exercise and food logging. I'm really doing it every single day, but I figured I'd give myself a bit of leeway, just in case. 

For me? It's been a breeze. My Fitbit steps have always synced without a problem. Not long after I reach 10,000 I receive a notification that my steps have been counted. My MFP meals connect and count without issue too.  The week runs from Mon-Sunday, and by Tues/Wed I receive notification that my pact is complete and I've been paid.  It isn't a lot, but it adds up. I hit my first $10 mid-February and I went ahead and withdrew it ... just to make sure I could. No problems. Just last week, I transferred another $21.54 to my Paypal account.

Now ... I suppose if I ever lost my Fitbit or my iPhone, I might have a problem fulfilling my PACT. You can contact customer service and put your PACT on hold, or even receive an pardon for sick days (like back in December when I was hit with the flu, I would have needed to do that as I wasn't stepping or eating). Reports of having to deal with customer service are a little hit and miss, some people say their issues are taken care of quickly, others say it's a horrible experience. My first three months have been issue free.

The veggie-pact ... it's actually the highest paying pact (per activity, and you can have more entries overall, up to five a day, 30 a week). You take pictures of the fruits/veggies before/as you eat them, post them to the PACT community, and then they get voted up or down. It sounds like a lot more trouble than it's worth to me ... that and I'm not good at getting in my fruits and veggies. There are a lot of complaints of "cheaters" ... posting multiple pictures, or pictures of pictures. People get frustrated when their foods are voted down. I have not participated in this pact.

Payments each week vary. They are based on the monies collect from those who failed to meet their pact commitments. What you choose to commit to is your choice. Do you want to commit to seven days a week, or only two? You can even commit to pay $10 for a missed workout, meal log or veggie, but the double the risk does NOT double your payout. I guess it's just more of an incentive for you not to miss.

After MY personal experience with PACT ... I do give it a thumbs up. At least when connected to Fitbit and MFP. I can't say it really motivates ME much though. There had been some days I took it easy and didn't get in my 10k steps. Since joining Pact, I have achieved 10k every single day (even though I give myself that one day leeway) so I guess there has been some motivation there. But for the most part, this is stuff I was doing, and would be doing regardless of my participation with PACT. I do know that a program like this can be very motivating to others ... maybe the risk of having to pay out, being more of a motivation than getting the small reward. What do you think?

Do you participate in PACT
Would something like this motivate you?

Join with the Motivation Monday team.
The link-up is below.

Just a quick weekend re-cap as well... I actually hit goal on Friday. I don't usually do that. But hubby was busy packing, so I had a little extra time to get an extra workout or two in. I didn't do my weights ... but I got them in on Saturday after the boys got off for their trip. No church meetings on Sunday, so I got in a couple extra workouts then too. The boys were traipsing all around New York City. Both boys forgot to wear their Fitbits (#1 thinks he lost his at airport security) but they were with my sister-in-law, and she had hers on. She sent me her stats ... I thought it would be fun to compare my day with theirs ...

... so they beat me in steps yesterday! And in flights of stairs. I know they were at the top of Rockefeller Center, but I'm wondering if they climbed stairs or took an elevator, and if the Fitbit could tell the difference! But it's Monday ... hopefully I'll beat them today! I've got Zumba Tues/Wed and Thursday, so I should beat them those days! It's nice to have them give me a little competition!

I'm linking up with Move it Monday, MIMM, and MotivationMonday.
and of course, MY  Motivation Monday Team.
Join in and link up!

JenB/Brandi/Jen/Gwen /Theresa


  1. Very interesting. I've never done any Pacts.

  2. I've never done any pacts, but it sounds interesting. I wouldn't have any problem with any of those, unless I can't make it to the gym. That would certainly inspire me to get my time in at home though. Thanks for the review!

  3. PACT sounds so cool, I definitly need to try it out!

  4. Pact definitely sounds interesting. I may have to ponder this one! :-)

  5. I tried Dietbet once but that didn't work so great. This one sounds interesting, glad you've had success with it!

    1. I have never tried a diet bet either. I just know I can fulfill a PACT commitment, I can absolutely workout and log ... but it doesn't always equal weight loss, even if all the numbers line up. I maybe could have been successful in a diet bet right when I first started (I lost 15 pounds pretty quick and easy at the beginning) but since then it's been SO slow, even though I've been trying. I KNOW it's the eating and I need to eat better, I just don't know if a "diet bet" would motivate me enough . I like reward without the risk. PACT has a little risk, but at least I feel it's much more within my control.

  6. I have been using Pact for a while. I had horrible issues when I first signed up, like the app not finding my gym, kicking off and saying I didn't work out, telling me to enter a new gym when I already had, and I nearly deleted the damn thing. It was very frustrating. Once the bugs got worked out for me, it was very motivating. Who wants to pay $5 for a skipped workout? I work out at home and use an Android phone, so there's no option to use my home workouts yet, so I only have a pact for 3 days at the gym. I get maybe a dollar a week, but it beats nothing a week, and the $5 penalty for not going keeps me consistent.

    1. Yes, the original reviews when I went and looked at the app did have a lot of negative experiences. It made me wary. If it weren't for the Fitbit sync and having it all happen automatically, I wouldn't do it (although many people do fulfill their pacts in other ways). I rarely even think about Pact, I'm just doing what I normally do, and then I get paid a little each week :)

  7. That sounds really cool--thanks for the review!

  8. I've been using PACT for a few weeks. The payouts are small, but the motivation is great. I do veggie pact and gym pact. I've never had a problem with the gym diconnecting, and I also have it synced to Runkeeper and Fitbit, so my steps and runs are logged as well. The veggie photo is pretty easy - snap a photo and then vote on a few. I've never had a photo rejected - and I put one of those outshine apple and green bars up as an experiment to see if it would get rejected. It didn't - it did get voted down by a few people though. I personally vote down french fries and potatoes any time I see them.

    1. I've really debated trying the veggie pact. The gym and food pact don't really "motivate" me ... I'm doing those regardless. But the veggie pact, that would be a definite challenge for me! I've just heard a lot of horror stories about the veggie pact... although because you can do more (that seven a week) it can add up to more. It isn't a big payout, but it adds up :)


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