So what is #bglsr all about?

In a 140 characters or less:
#Bglsr is weight-loss for charity; a community initiative; a buddy system where sponsors donate $ for every kilo shed.

It all started like this … &  here’s our handy-dandy FAQ:

How did the bigloser initiative come about and when did it start?

The BigLoser initiative started when b50, as we know him on twitter, tweeted his speculations about whether weight loss for charity would be motivation enough for people to lose weight. Dozens of people tweeted back with positive responses, and the whole idea of BigLoser began that very day.

Why was the emphasis on fitness and why an online platform to kick it off?
Healthy weight loss and fitness are constant topics of concern with working/urban folks. We constantly discuss meals, workouts, weight gain issues, weight loss issues, and how work-life imbalances affect general health through daily conversations on twitter, facebook, blogs, etc. Sharing helps us stay motivated and connected, therefore it’s not surprising that BigLoser found such a ready audience on twitter.

Can you explain in detail on how it works?
This is how BigLoser works:
Step 1: People who want to participate tweet asking for sponsors, with the hashtag #Bglsr. People willing to sponsor pick their participants – Each sponsor picks a number of people to sponsor. For example: Sponsor A decides to sponsor 5 people. These 5 people are the participants. You can be a sponsor and a participant.
Step 2: Participants lose weight and sponsors pay – For each kilo that each of these participants loses, the sponsor will donate Rs. 10 to a charity that the #BgLsr collective chooses.
Step 3: The sponsor’s donation is directly proportionate to number of kilos lost by participants – Therefore, if each of my five participants loses one kilo, then I pay 10 * 5 = Rs. 50 to the chosen charity. If my participants lose more, I donate that much more. So if my five lose 15 kilos each, I donate 10 * (15 * 5) = Rs. 750. The deadline is Feb 2012.

How does one arrange for a sponsor?

Whoever wants to get a sponsor simply has to tweet with the #BgLsr hashtag. We promote this tweet through the BigLoser team’s individual twitter accounts, as well as the BigLoser twitter account – @bglsr.

How much money is donated to charity and which are the charities to benefit? Can one choose a charity they want to support?
We’re in the process of selecting charities for BigLoser to support. Since this is early days for BigLoser participants, it’ll be at least another month or two before there are any healthy weight loss results. Our tech support is currently building a transparent system of tracking money collected and donated for charity. The final amount will be donated by BigLoser on 2nd Feb, 2012 – the day when it’s first year comes to an end.

What is the Big Loser of the Week/#BLOTW?

Every week, with the help of a complicated algorithm that takes into account interactions, optimism, enthusiasm, tweet frequency, and weight loss, we select a participant to win a bouquet of prizes from our sponsors. We reward both participants who have lost weight in a healthy way, or sponsors who have managed to motivate and inspire their participants.

What are the BigLoser hashtags?
On twitter, you can tag #bglsr in every tweet about weight loss and fitness.
You can also directly address the BigLoser team by adding @bglsr to a tweet.
The BigLoser of the Week is #BLOTW

Do you help out with advice and community support?
The BigLoser community is very supportive and each weight loss related conversation attracts a lot of attention. Sonologue, Chhavi’s audio content and production house, produces a BigLoser India podcast every week. Each podcast includes a roundup on #bglsr news from @b50, along with participant and sponsor interaction, with a spotlight on one winner, as well as fitness and nutrition tips from healthylivingindia.org.

Are there stages involved in losing weight?
Yes, since BigLoser is about healthy weight loss, we look at the different stages related to weight loss. For instance, our 50 Tips for BigLoser speak of stages like evaluating what you eat, starting a fitness routine, introducing healthy meal timings and nutrition, etc – each stage is about adopting healthy lifestyle habits that aid long term weight management. BigLoser is not about crash dieting or dropping a food group.

Are there experts and articles online to help out and ensure that those who take on the challenge actually complete it?
BigLoser is a people’s initiative and focuses on user experiences. Our blog features posts by each week’s #BLOTW winner. Each guest writer writes about how he/she lost weight. And if you read these posts, you’ll see that every weight loss discussion talks about sustainable and healthy weight loss – something that can only come from personal, first-hand experience, which is what BigLoser is about. Additionally, we have posts about healthy recipes and food tips as well as tips on working out and exercise. From time to time, we have guest bloggers who are experts in their domains and we have a network of qualified people who can answer questions.

How many people have participated and how much money has been donated to charity?
We have about 100 participants, and 40 sponsors at the moment. These numbers are growing fast! Since 2nd Feb 2012 is the date this BigLoser episode finishes, we will tabulate the money donated as per our website’s transparent system, and donate it to a charity at that point.

Who are the people behind the venture?
@b50, @SashG, and @Chhavi

Lastly, can anyone join in and be a part of it and till when will it be on?

Anyone can join BigLoser whenever they feel like it. All they have to do is tweet with the #BgLsr hashtag, and start participating or sponsoring. Year 1 of BigLoser ends on 2nd Feb 2012.

Ok, what do I do next?
If you’re ready to get started, visit http://bigloserindia.com/getting-started and then go sign up 🙂


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