The key isn't to win. Sure, winning would be nice, but the important objective is to get ourselves moving, so that we regularly do 10,000 steps per day. If you're doing ~10,000 steps a day, you're considered to have an active lifestyle - 5,000 is considered sedentary. 12,500 is considered highly active. I can't speak for the other participants, but I have found that if I don't go for a lunchtime walk (3,500 - 4,500 steps), my steps don't get above sedentary. In fact, they barely move off "pushing up daisies". Even with my lunchtime walk I have do other activities to get above the 10,000 target. No wonder my pants have been getting tight again!
A (my) typical office lifestyle is hopeless for fitness - the longest walk I take is to go to the loo - all of of 168 steps as a round trip. So I get fatter, get depressed, do less and eat more because I'm unhappy, get fatter [repeat until new pants required]
The challenge helps me get motivated, and gives me a goal to achieve, and team mates who I don't want to disappoint. As a big plus, I lose a little weight, get happier, eat a little less, exercise more, lose weight [repeat until I think I can relax, get fatter, get depressed, buy new pants]
Hopefully this time I won't stop at the "well, I've lost a little weight" stage!
The scales shock I received on the weekend might help - I thought it was safe to get on the scales again because I could see that I'd lost a little weight. Instead, I was horrified! I really don't want to know what I was weighing a month ago. You'll be able to tell if I succeed, because I'll update. If I fail... we'll never talk about this again.