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App for incentivizing fat loss by blocking buying new clothes

Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio (pexels.com)

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MS
Miloš Stanković Oct 29, 2021
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I was thinking of ways to incentivize myself to keep the weight down and I've played into my vanity a bit so I forbade myself from buying new clothes until I reach the desired weight target. As the easiest way of accepting weight gain is to go out and shop for clothes that fit the new, fatter you.
So I thought of an app or app extension that would block paying with cards in clothing stores or online until a weight goal is reached. Hence, you would have the incentive of your old clothes fitting you badly with the extra weight so socially it would bring a negative emotion of shame to spring you into action towards weight loss. Plus, old clothes tend to rip when you're too fat for them. So this is a "burn the boats" approach to weight loss.
The way I envisioned is that you would type in how many kilograms/pounds you want to have ideally and until you reach that weight your cards would be blocked in clothing stores. In a way that Dating apps have a system for verifying the user's identity, the app could require the user to send a video of them measuring themselves on a scale to unblock their money.
It can be a peer to peer system too where random people check on each other as in the form of alcoholic anonymous sponsors.
On the flip side, the app could be used for people who want to gain muscle mass. For instance, it could be used to block purchasing clothes until your biceps or glutes reach a certain circumference.
If intervening with the process of payment is an impossible task from a coding perspective independently, the project could be launched via a bank or MasterCard or Visa as a community PR action. They might be hard to convince to block their users from spending but an alternative like discounts for gyms memberships (recurring payments) could be made to even out the numbers.
Of course, there's the question of cash payment but I thought that through the Location feature on phones we could battle that too. Let's say that if GPS notes you spent more than two-three minutes in a clothing shop an embarrassing alarm would go off loudly on your phone. Without being able to stop it anyway besides moving far away from the store.
This time activation is necessary because you don't want to activate the alarm every time you pass a clothing store on accident, and it's hard to buy something in less than three minutes.
Of course, some people simply don't care about clothes, so the app could be turned to target a person's favourite hobbies and prevent them from buying board games or whatnot. Or why not even block purchasing at fast-food chains to stop the problem at the root.
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Creative contributions

Opt-in jokes at your expense

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Oct 30, 2021
At the end of the day, this is a game that people have to want to play, otherwise, it's just too easy to cheat. You could have a friend buy you clothes that you point out.
In which case, it might be beneficial to let the person buy the desired clothes but only in their default size. Don't allow them to go over their optimal sizes. That way they have extra motivation to slim down into what all their clothes are.
This would be a feature that shops can universally adopt. If you opt-in to such a program, where ever you buy, they would crack jokes at your expense.
Online:
When buying anything that doesn't fit your default dimensions you would get a big red notification "This is not your default size. Are you buying for someone else or are you pregnant?" (for men)
Offline:
Stores usually ask for membership cards (that gets you discounts). Your default dimensions would be added into the system. When buying something that doesn't fit, the system would indicate it to the clerk. They would say something along the lines:
"Sorry, but it says here I have to read you this message. <insert borderline offensive joke>"
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MS
Miloš Stankovića month ago
As for avoiding going around the blockade, the app could be expanded so that it blocks clothing brands' sites or apps so that you can't even browse them. Hence you couldn't send your friends the links of the items you want. As far as in-person help, well that's where the location-alarm comes into play.
Also, friends would probably ask why are they doing their shopping for you and would most likely support you in your weight loss desire that you yourself signed up for. Not help you navigate around it. Turning off the location on your phone is the problem, but I'm guessing there could be a way around that too, by making it mandatory.
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Not a ban, just a limiting factor

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Povilas S
Povilas S Oct 30, 2021
I like the idea of blocking the cards, it seems simple and elegant enough to be realized. All the other workarounds would stay - buying in cash, asking a friend, there would also be options to buy in second-hand stores, street markets, etc. But come one, the person chose this him/herself, let's not write them off as hopeless addicts who will do everything to get a "dose". Your card(s) blocked in certain stores would be a (de)motivating factor, it wouldn't be a ban it would be a reminder and that's, perhaps, good enough.
Also, if you were a common customer in a certain store/chain of stores the staff there would remember you and if you tried to buy clothes in cash there while your card was blocked similar effect to the one described in Darko Savic's contribution would take place, even if the staff would keep silent and not even wing at you smilingly, shame just from going there, seeing the staff and knowing that they know very well what you're doing might do the job.
People who care about clothes and especially those who spend on them a lot tend to shop in specific favorite stores and not just anywhere. Because of all this, I think the idea is feasible - some major cloth stores might accept this initiative cause it would benefit them as well by improving their image as a chain supporting healthy lifestyle campaign and at the same time it wouldn't be too harsh to heavily limit their sales. Cash payments are also becoming less and less common everywhere, some places don't even accept cash anymore. Maybe it could start as an initiative in certain cloth stores that don't accept cash.
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