June 01, 2015

How to lose weight for good cause

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Written by: Aleksandar Kostic, SFS Switzerland

Exactly a year ago, Serbia and the Republic of Srpska were hit by disastrous floods, which caused a serious humanitarian disaster. As was the case with many others from the Serbian diaspora (in my case, Switzerland), I could not stand aside and watch my people suffer, either. I realized that something had to be done to help people in distress. First I helped organize fundraising by hosting a charity party, and we raised considerable funds. I did the best I could there, but again, I felt that I could do more and this time make it more personal.

At that moment, I had an idea. I remembered that I had seen on television that in the USA, some plump people (not to say fat) had raised money for a good cause. They set a specific time limit (for example, a month, three months, half a year, a year, etc.) and within that period, they try to lose as much weight as possible. Before they start the action, they make an advertisement for their friends, relatives, coworkers, acquaintances and other people they know. Each of these contacted people can fill out the form, saying how much money they are willing to pay for each kilogram the person loses (the one who is trying to lose weight). If, for example, someone says they pay 5 dollars per kilogram lost, and the person losing weight loses, say, ten kilograms, then the former is to pay 5 times 10, which is 50 dollars of donation altogether. Of course, the more kilograms lost and the more donors, the more payments and ultimately bigger sum of money which is raised for charity.

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At the time, I was really overweight and I did not feel so good. To be specific, on June 1, 2014, I weighed 124.9 kilograms. I decided that my action was to last for three months, meaning June, July and August. September 1, 2014 was the end of my advertised action, when I had to show everyone the result of my “charity diet.” I had managed to make 110 people interested in supporting me to go through with this action. They were mostly my friends and relatives from Switzerland and Serbia, but there were also others - 16 different nationalities altogether from three different continents. Some of them donated 20 Swiss Francs per kilogram, some 10, some 5, some 3, and so on. What matters is that I lost 13.7 kilograms in three months and that I weighed 111.2 afterwards. By doing that, I raised 7,500 Swiss Francs altogether (6,250 Euros at the time). The sum was split in two parts, 5,000 Francs being intended for the flooded in Serbia, and 2,500 Francs for those in the Republic of Srpska.

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I opted for the cooperation with the organization “Serbs for Serbs”, because I had been following their work for some time and supported their activities. Having finished this whole action, I personally became an active member of the organization “SfS-Switzerland.”

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Article about Aleksa’s action in Swiss media

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I hope that this story of mine can spur people to do something similar, or even to repeat the same action. This whole thing meant a lot to me and I can proudly say that I have not stopped there. I have continued losing weight, and in the meantime, I have dropped to 104.7 kilograms. This means that I have lost over 20 kilograms in a year and I have never felt better.

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Aleksandar Kostic, SFS Switzerland

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