Tuesday, April 30, 2013

DietBet Day 1: 2 down, 5.3 to go

Today is the day the My Fitspiration 2 DietBet officially starts. People can still join the game late, but most of the players already got their start weights over the weekend. All weigh-ins from now until the end are unofficial (they don't require photo verification) and some of the losses are pretty incredible. At least one player is already at 100% of goal. But, as DietBet says:
The game has begun! You should unofficially weigh in as much as you like during the game. Doing so will help keep you accountable. But, don't get distracted by players who appear to have super fast weight loss. DietBet verifies each players' weight at the beginning and end. Only official weigh ins, reviewed by our Referees, determine who wins. Ultimately, DietBet is about you versus the scale. If you meet your 4% goal, you win! Good luck!
I expect that many players who have lost big overindulged a bit the day before the first weigh-in, as I did. The weight loss from here on out is going to be harder, but I only need to average a 0.2 loss per day.  I think it's doable, and the prize is definitely worth a little extra effort.

Some explanation for those confused by the numbers on my various screenshots: I didn't record my initial DietBet weigh-in in LoseIt -- I record my weight on Mondays there and anytime I get a good weigh-in, so my graph there ignores a lot of temporary upswings. FatWatch is where I record every weigh-in, no matter what it says (red (total) and blue (fat) graphs below show that progress). My weigh-in outfit weighs 1.2 pounds, which accounts for the difference between the two weights.

It's kind of gratifying that even weighing in with clothes, I am still below that 180 number, which was such a struggle to reach. Now I have my sights (and my game) set on breaking through 175.  Little by little, I am going to get to my goal. I'm determined.

I find it interesting that this time, DietBet is showing more stats for players' progress.  It shows pacing for women weighing less than 181 pounds and more than that number, leading me to think 181 must be the average weight for women in the game. For men, it's 217 pounds. I don't know if that's an average for all players in this game or all players in all DietBet games. There are also stats for those sharing on Facebook, those sharing on Twitter, and those playing for charity. This time, I'm going to pledge 50% of my winnings to CARE, which is currently promoting the Live Below the Line challenge. I found out last year that I can't think or work when trying to live below the line, so I'll try to lose some weight and win money for them instead.

Good luck to all the other players!


Monday, April 29, 2013

My Fitspiration DietBet 2: Big News! Big Prize!

I am going to save my weigh-in post for tomorrow because that's when the new game officially starts.  Instead, I want to share some news about the My Fitspiration 2 DietBet game -- the prize has been announced!
Just in case you are wondering, I have no connection to DietBet or Hannah or Olivia or The Biggest Loser Resort, or BodyMedia. I'm just a fan. I do get the chance to be the MVP of the DietBet if a lot of people join through my link, and maybe win some chips to play in another game.

I am saying this because I was right! Even Olivia says so:

The winner of this game gets to go, with a guest, to The Biggest Loser Resort in Chicago to meet Hannah and Olivia in person.  The trip even includes airfare.  (Chicago is sooo close to Toledo, DietBet, you should definitely add me to the guest list. I'd even get myself there).  Players in the DietBet game will get $250 off a stay that week.  There are also other prizes from BodyMedia, maker of the armbands worn by contestants on The Biggest Loser.

So, the important thing is to win the DietBet first. To do so, I have to lose as much in the next 4 weeks as I have all year. The great thing is that I have two chances to win the grand prize, because my husband is playing. So if I win, he wins, and vice-versa.

I'm hoping the trip is not in June! I am already going to Pelee Island, Ontario; Pacific Grove, California; and Portland, Oregon in June.  If everything works out I also plan to do a sprint triathlon in Chelsea, Michigan the one weekend I am not currently traveling. Now that I know you're reading my blog, Hannah and Olivia, doesn't July sound like a great time for a trip?

There's still time to get in on this game.  If you decide to join, please let me know in the comments.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

It's on: My Fitspiration 2 DietBet

 The weigh-in for the My Fitspiration TWO! DietBet started this morning. There is still time to enter if you are interested. If you do, please let me know so I can friend you (assuming you want to be my friend). DietBet is giving people in this game $15 in DietBet credits if they sign up three friends.  If you use the link above, you will count as one of my recruits, but even if you sign up on your own, I'd like to cheer you on.

They have not announced the bonus stakes yet, which is probably why the pot is smaller this time. The trip to NYC inspired a lot of people who might never have tried DietBet (including me) to sign up.  I am still hoping for a trip for two to the Biggest Loser Resort.

I recruited my husband to play this time. I thought that the weigh-in word was the same for everyone, so we took our photos only to find out that he had used the wrong word. He has to redo his.  My full-body photo is bad. I am just posting the picture here of my beautiful feet, bunions and all, on the scale.

I was a little annoyed to see people posting about bingeing before their weigh-ins (what's the point?) but I must admit I was a little less careful about my food yesterday, knowing that I would be clamping down on my calories. Consequently, my weight is up from yesterday, spoiling my beautiful trend line on my weight graph. I need to lose 7.3 to win the bet, which would bring me under 175.  I want to see that number even more than I want a chance to win whatever undisclosed prize they are handing out this time in the DietBet.

I have a bit of a book hangover this morning after reading Jen Larsen's entire weight-loss surgery memoir Stranger Here on my iPad in one frantic session (link takes you to a book excerpt). I will be reviewing the book here soon, to keep this from being a blog all about my weight and pictures of my feet and little graphs.  Don't wait, though, just go buy it and support a fellow blogger. She used to write as Anne on Elastic Waist (RIP). Her voice is fresh and funny. I've missed it. The story is raw and honest and painful to read. Get it.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bending the curve

I'm getting close to an important landmark: The day that my moving average trendline in FatWatch will finally get pulled below 180. The diamonds on the chart below are the actual weigh-ins, but my average is still being pulled up by a few high readings. I don't know the details of how FatWatch computes its moving average -- how many weigh-ins it uses, whether it drops old weigh-ins or just gives them less weight.  The basic idea, though, is that a moving average is designed to smooth out fluctuations and show trends. The first chart shows weight trends over the past month.

It is even more obvious from my quarterly chart that I have been making a lot of progress over the last month. I have been on a downward trend since the beginning of the year but the last few weeks have definitely bent the curve toward more dramatic weight losses. In this case, "dramatic" is still less than a pound per week. If you looked at the spreadsheet from Monday's post, you'll know that I still have not done much dramatic calorie-cutting, I just have gradually worked on bringing that number lower. I joined the new DietBet to inspire me to push myself a little harder, starting next week. I will weigh-in over the weekend for that one.

When I look at trends for the last year, I can see that things are definitely moving in the right direction. This graph looks like the stock market in the 20s. It is a little discouraging, though, if I think about how far I still have to go to my ultimate weight goal, which isn't even on this chart.

When I look at my all-time weight history (last chart), I still have some work to do just to get back where I was in 2011, and even more to best my 2010 lows.  It looks to me, though there isn't enough detail to be sure, that my weight goes down a little each summer and then climbs again during the school year.  This year has been the exception, thankfully, as I have lost weight during spring semester. This gives me some hope that I could reach my weight goals this summer if I push. Then the important thing is not to let school stress be an excuse to let my exercise goals and calorie counting go out the window.

That, or find a way to become rich and famous through blogging so I can quit my day job.

[crickets chirping]

Okay, then, stress management it is.

Apologies for the super-geeky post. I will have more exciting things to blog about soon, I promise. For example: 10 DAYS TILL JILLIAN.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weigh-in April 22 and new DietBet

This week's weigh-in was nothing special -- I need to move the Monday weight under that 180-pound line.  I was 0.6 under last Monday's weigh-in, but up a little from yesterday.

Being the geek that I am, I have a spreadsheet where I track weight, calorie data, calories burned, average calories, percentage lost, etc.  My average calories are up a bit from last week but I burned more. The goal would be to edge the calories burned number up and get the calories consumed down.

Finally, I have to share some DietBet news. Hannah and Olivia are running another DietBet starting April 30. If you have emailed me recently, I may have sent you an invitation.  I was hoping that if I invited people and they decided to join, we would be DietBet "friends" (a new feature) and could support each other. If you would like to be invited, my email is toledolefty (just like my old blog name) at Gmail dot com. I hope that no one was annoyed by the invites.  I don't typically spam my readers but my DietBet posts were popular and people seemed interested in the game.

I already joined because that game lit a fire under me like nothing else has.  There is also going to be a special prize that is supposed to be BIGGER than the New York City trip.  Hannah and Olivia did a Google Hangout to announce the winner of the last trip and launched a new game. This was the biggest DietBet so far, I think, and DietBet is providing a new, shiny prize to entice more people to the service.  I am hoping maybe it will be a trip to the Biggest Loser Resort with Hannah and Olivia, or a trip to the Biggest Loser finale.

Also, I'm pasting an image of my geeky diet spreadsheet below. If you want a copy of my spreadsheet to use (if you are a geek like me and know how to customize formulas) email me at the address above and I'll send you the file.

Have a good week!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What I did this week, April 15-21

This marks another week where I have been able to stick with my exercise schedule, for which I am very grateful. I weighed in this morning at 179.6 after a night out with my husband -- it feels good to be able to indulge a little here and there and still be moving the scale number. Summer is coming and I want to feel good in summer clothes this year.

The weather is like my scale readings -- all over the place but trending better.  We have been able to get out for evening walks more often, which is nice.  Our spring here has been a wet and a weird one. We had snow on the ground when I woke up yesterday.

Workouts for this week:

Monday: Yoga, short walk in the evening.
Tuesday: Swam for 40 minutes:

  • 4 x 100: 75 free/25 stroke
  • 4 x 100 kick
  • 2 x 150 pull
  • 2 x 100 IM
  • 2 x 12.5 underwater kick/12.5 perfect swim
  • 4 x 25 on :40
  • 100 easy 

Wednesday: Butts & Guts class
Thursday: Spin class
Friday: 20 minute run and 10 minutes walking in chilly, damp weather (see photos)
Saturday: Pilates Circuit class
Sunday: Will swim with my Masters' group

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Being more playful

Laura just posted on a subject that has been very much on my mind lately, getting -- and mostly looking -- older. Looking older, especially, is a bummer. People tell me I don't look my age, which is great, but I definitely look older to myself than I did just a few years ago.

When I was a teenager, I remember my older relatives telling me how lucky I was to be young, and "If I were your age I'd..." It used to confuse me, because they had already been my age and hadn't done those things. Now I understand. There are two delusions older people have about being young. First, they forget all the pain and uncertainty they felt when they were younger and the fact that being young doesn't always equal being attractive, given acne, weight gain, braces, etc. Second, they forget that part of being young is necessarily not having the wisdom and perspective being older brings.

I'm never going to be younger again, so I figure I should make the most of my life now. That has been one of the reasons for the added focus on getting to my weight goals -- I know, when I'm honest with myself, that I would be a lot happier if I could just put on anything I own and feel great in it. It's worth a little sacrifice now to make that happen.

I have been experimenting more with color since my makeover a few weeks ago. I don't want to spend my whole paycheck at Sephora, so I have been exploring sites like Nouveau Cheap for reviews on drugstore finds. Because I already own OPI base and topcoats, for example, a $1.99 Sinful Colors manicure can look just as good as an OPI one. Especially for trendy colors, like mint green, I don't want to spend a lot on a polish I might only wear a few times. I'm pretty good at painting my own nails, I just am not great at waiting for it to dry.  I have found that if I paint my nails while watching TV, they are dry by the end of the show -- and I can't snack.

I even sprung for a cute new pair of glasses. My allergies have been acting up a little more often and making it harder to wear my contact lenses all day, every day. I have to wear glasses sometimes, and I wanted a pair that I could feel cute in for a special occasion. I already have a couple of basic pairs.  It feels like a lot of money to spend, but my prescription doesn't change that often and I keep my glasses for years.  These purple frames with crystals are fun and playful. I'm hoping to get some fun new clothes, too, once I get closer to my weight goals.

As I posted a few days ago, we are also working on paying down debts and just started putting away a little more for retirement.  This stuff isn't sexy but it will allow us to have more freedom as we get older. I also don't want to be tied to a job because of debt -- especially with the way things at my school have been going lately.

This summer, I also want to start back up with my art classes and work on some writing projects. I think that I need outlets for my creativity. It has just been hard to fit everything in.  Why can't time be unlimited?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

By request: DietBet update

Debbi rightly pointed out that I never did a final update on my DietBet. I thought maybe my reports on this had started to seem obsessive and/or monotonous. Obviously, if I had made my goal, I would not have cared if it got boring, I would be shouting to the hilltops.

I accidentally clicked the wrong button and set my DietBet final weigh-in to the last time I weighed in. I tried to fix it but was not able to do so. I figured it wasn't that important because I didn't win. Actually, my final weigh-out with the clothes was 181.0. That means I was 4 pounds shy of my goal.

I was up a little on my first day of DietBet so the "official" weight loss numbers are a bit inflated. Still, I lost 3.8 pounds between the first Monday and weigh-out day on Tuesday, just shy of one pound per week. Before that, I had lost only 2.8 pounds for all of 2013 so far, a rate of less than 1/4 pounds per week. So it seems that this competition did light a bit of a fire under me and help me to develop habits that should lead to a quicker but sustainable pace of weight loss for the rest of the year.

One thing that this experience has confirmed for me is that reducing my calories is the only way to drop pounds.  Sadly, I'm not going to be able to exercise my way to a low scale number, it makes a difference in the way my body looks and feels.

Obviously, quick weight loss is not my forte. I never was one of those people who could regularly log multiple-pound losses each week.  I was only tempted to even try this bet to have a chance to win the trip to meet Hannah and Olivia. I don't know if I'd do a DietBet again unless I had a similarly-good reason to try it or if I really just needed some extra motivation. It would be fun to organize a game with a smaller group of bloggers and other people I know -- I didn't tend to look at the DietBet posts much because there were so many people posting. It was a very successful group of losers too -- about half the people made their goal, which is much better than a typical game, though not as good for the winners. Out of the $63,000 pot, it looks like each winner is going to get a little less than $45, including their original $25 investment.

Doing something instead of waiting to do the perfect thing

I haven't been saving for retirement for the last three or so years. My husband had heard somewhere that if you had credit card debt, you should make paying that off a priority instead of saving for retirement, so we agreed to put our money into paying down balances. We made some bad decisions when we were younger that we are still paying for, quite literally. I also have some student loans that won't be paid off for several more years.

Lately, though, I have been reconsidering. It may take us a while to pay the balances down. There may never be a time where it feels easy to save for the future. And meanwhile, we are getting older. I remember attending a seminar on retirement planning, and the speaker said that a mistake women commonly make is feeling overwhelmed by the options and waiting to do anything until they can research further, which usually means they do nothing. And even though I attended that seminar years ago, guess what I have been doing since? At the same seminar they talked about financial planners, and wills, and all that stuff. I didn't want to deal with all of that, so I did nothing.

We aren't totally irresponsible. My husband works for a state employer that puts away part of his paycheck pretax into a retirement fund. I used to contribute to that fund for a while myself, and if I ever work for the state again, I could probably buy my years at my current employer.  I contributed to 403(b)s on and off early in my career, and have that money in a rollover account. Since I work for a private university now instead of a public one, I'm paying into Social Security again, and because I started working part-time jobs when I was 16, I have quite a few years of credits there too. But I think we should be doing something more. I want us to have money not just for the essentials, but a little left over to travel and enjoy ourselves.

I got a statement from one of my 403(b)s and called the company and talked with an agent. I talked it over with my husband and we decided on an amount to start with.  I got the forms about a week ago, and today I finally filled them out. Instead of agonizing over all the options, I checked the box for a one-step account that adjusts itself over time for a given retirement date. I picked the year that I will turn 65: 2035.  It may not be genius investing, but it's something. I can always make changes later. I am going to get them in the mail today, before I have any more time to think about it. As I learned in graduate school, "Sometimes done is good enough."

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weigh-in April 15: One more day

 How can I weigh in more than 5 pounds lighter than last Monday and be disappointed? Well, I was really hoping against hope to win this DietBet thing today.

I have until midnight tomorrow night, and as my Monday weight is almost always higher than my Tuesday weight, I have a small chance of winning, but even I would put it at about 1% now. I am not going to do anything ridiculous to get there.

As I said before, this will still have been a worthwhile experience even if I don't win, but winning is better than losing.

Still, in the long run, it's all about pushing those red and blue lines down on my graphs. And no matter how tomorrow's weigh-in goes, I can continue to do that.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

What I did this week

I am adding back exercise little by little to bring me back to training level. I have two more classes to use up at my Pilates studio. I decided to drop Xtend Barre on Monday and substitute it with yoga for two reasons. Most importantly, it hurts my knees. It also can cause some muscle soreness, and with my DietBet final weigh-in coming up, I can't afford that. Yoga will feel good -- I haven't done it in a while.  Ideally I would have that in my schedule at least once a week.

I finally got back in the pool tonight. It was not as bad as I was afraid it would be. I even did a little bit of butterfly today and was complimented on it by one of my fellow swimmers and my coach.

The picture above gives you an idea, but here's how my workouts broke down day-by-day:

Monday: Xtend Barre (a.k.a. Knee Crunching Class), 45 minutes with some stretching at the end. Walked 30 minutes.
Tuesday: 40 minutes of running, 15 minutes of walking.
Wednesday: Guts & Butts class, 45 minutes of mostly kettlebells and ab work with some stretching.
Thursday: Off. It was a busy day and my knees were killing me.
Friday: 20 minutes running and 10 minutes of walking.
Saturday: Pilates Circuit class.
Sunday: One hour of swimming. Took it a little easy today.

DietBet home stretch

I still have a couple of pounds to lose to win my DietBet -- the deadline to weigh in at or below my goal weight is Tuesday just before midnight. This is the homestretch.

I'm not going to do anything nutty like putting on a rubber suit and running through the neighborhood like the main character in Vision Quest, but I am going to do what I can sanely to make sure I'm not retaining fluid. I bought the cup you see in the photo (with bonus view of my living room) today at the grocery store along with the supplies for the Flat Belly Diet Sassy Water recipe, so that I can make sure to stay hydrated.  I'm going to keep my food as light as possible, and cut down on carbs for the next couple of days. I switched the strength training class I was supposed to take on Monday for a yoga class instead.

And if I don't make it, I don't. I just want to give it my best shot. If I lose $25 in this thing, it's less than I would have paid for one month of Weight Watchers, and I have already lost 4.6 pounds, more than I did in most months when I was in Weight Watchers.

Most importantly, I figured out that I can do 1600 calories a day most days. If I just did that on weekdays and allowed myself a little more leeway on weekends, I could continue to lose, not as at as sharp a rate as in the last month, but at a rate that might get me to my goal in this lifetime. I learned that it's okay to push myself a little. The chart below says it all.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Back in the 170s

Now I just have to lose another 3.4 by Sunday.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Getting back to normal

I was writing a description of my blog yesterday for FitBloggin' and I said that my blog had evolved from its Yet Another Weight Watcher days to be less obsessively focused on the scale.  It would be hard for someone landing here in the last few days to agree. This post will, hopefully, be the last one that discusses the six-pound gain I experienced last week.

I was just talking with my runner husband and we figured out that I inadvertently carbo-loaded this last week -- I ate lower than normal calories (and carbs) for four days, then more than normal for three. In the last two days, I have lost two pounds of water each day.  Because my body fat is still reading below normal on the scale, I suspect there is still more stored water to dump, it just appears that two pounds a day is what my body can process. I did not eat higher than normal calories last week -- actually, my daily average was lower than the week before. Because I had such good results with 1600 calories per day, I am making that my goal for this week.  Monday I was a little over, but yesterday was right on target.

In addition to getting my calories back in order, I'm also working on remembering to take my supplements.  After reading Julia's recent blog post on Up & Running on magnesium supplementation, and also reading in Unleash the Power of the Female Brain that oral contraceptives can deplete magnesium, I am trying magnesium supplementation. That means that when I take my supplements, I now take: Magnesium citrate, vitamin D, 2 fish oil capsules, one flaxseed oil capsule, a probiotic, and one women's multivitamin with iron (I also tend towards anemia). It feels like a lot to take. I haven't been able to use a pill strip as a reminder because all these supplements are too bulky to fit in one, so I'm trying to remember them with lunch. I already have a double pill strip in the bathroom because I can never remember if I have taken my Synthroid in the mornings, and I also take an allergy pill and a baby aspirin at night.  I never thought I would be such a pill popper.

I think I should be able to be wearing my contacts by this weekend -- this time the eye flare-up got really bad. I had to go back to the eye doctor because even after taking the antibiotic/steroid drop for a few days, my eye really hurt. I had tiny calcium oxalate crystal deposits in my eyes, which were scratching them.  She had to physically remove them, which freaked me out. Apparently, these can develop in people with allergies. I had to keep taking the drops for another week. Today I switch to a different eye drop, and after that, I should be back to my normal allergy drops (Patenol). After these problems, I am going to be diligent about doing them twice a day every day.

Daily checklists for the last two days:

  • Average 300 minutes of exercise, with at least 30 minutes per day: 45-minute Xtend Barre class, 30-minute walk
  • Log all food in Lose It! and stay in the "green zone" under 1600 calories: Was over, 1860
  • Take my supplements: Yes.
  • At least 3 servings of veggies and 2 fruits: Spinach, orange, apple, ratatouille (eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onions, tomatoes), Brussels sprouts, grapes
  • Get at least 35 grams of fiber: 33.
  • Average 300 minutes of exercise, with at least 30 minutes per day: 40 minutes of running, 30 minutes of walking
  • Log all food in Lose It! and stay in the "green zone" under 1600 calories: 1587
  • Take my supplements: Yes.
  • At least 3 servings of veggies and 2 fruits: Strawberries, carrot, celery, cucumbers, peppers, apple, ratatouille (eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onions, tomatoes), Brussels sprouts
  • Get at least 35 grams of fiber: 41.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Weekly weigh-in: Special Tuesday Edition

I can tell from my graphs that things are still weird, but I decided to go ahead and have an "official" weigh-in post. What's the difference between an official weigh-in and an ordinary one? Not much. I write this post. I record my weight in LoseIt and DietBet (which still gives me better than even odds to make my goal despite my weight gain).  I will continue to update as things settle down.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Giving myself a reprieve

This week I'm putting off my "official" weigh-in for a day. The graphs above suggest some of the worst water weight gains I have ever seen -- my body did not drop several pounds of fat while gaining twice as many pounds of lean mass. 

I wouldn't be surprised to see some real weight gain on the scale tomorrow, but not this much.  Things could not have been worse for healthy eating.  I had planned to bring safe food with me but I ran out of time and didn't get to the store.  Every day we had a buffet breakfast with rubber scrambled eggs, bacon, simple carbs, and some lackluster fruit.  We had a baked potato bar with a "salad" of plain lettuce for lunch one day, and a wrap with potato chips and cookies another day.  There were always cookies and other junk food for snacks. On the final day there was finally a fruit basket -- the apple I grabbed was probably the best thing I ate all weekend.  There were no real healthy restaurant options in town and I didn't have a car of my own there.

I have another conference this summer, but I don't expect it to be as bad for a couple of reasons:
  1. I actually want to attend the conference and am looking forward to it, not dreading it
  2. It is in Monterey, California, where I will have opportunities to really get outside and exercise. This conference was in a bleak, deserted downtown of one of those sad little Midwestern cities gone to seed. It didn't feel safe to be out by myself in the early mornings, the only time I had to myself.
  3. The conference facility is likely to have a nice fitness center, instead of a tiny room filled with broken equipment.
  4. The food is likely to be healthier (how could it be worse).
  5. I will be able to walk or use public transit to get to healthier food choices.
Today I am going grocery shopping and am going to plan good meals for the week.  I really did not enjoy eating all that junk -- I felt terrible.  This morning I feel sort of hung over. I am looking forward to getting back to small, cleaner meals.  Tomorrow I will see how the scale looks -- as I said, I'm expecting a gain, just probably not as much as today. 

Friday, April 05, 2013

Mid-week weigh-in: Finally!

Since Monday, I have lost 2.4 pounds. That's about half a pound per day.

I have stayed under the 1600-calorie mark every day, and also worked out each day.

I have had some moments of hunger, nothing terrible. I could keep this up, especially on ordinary days where I'm making all my own food.

I leave for a conference today and I'm going to have to be careful. I want to at least hold steady over the weekend.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

A day in food, just under 1600 calories

Yesterday after I weighed in, right around the time when I wrote the post, I was wobbling between "worth it" and "not worth it." As in, was it worth it to make a big push to try to win my DietBet?

I decided on "worth it." I have tried 1600 calories a day before -- it breaks down nicely into 4 meals at 400 calories each, or, as I prefer to do it, 3 meals and two snacks. Yesterday's food is pictured here, except one Hershey's Miniature that I found in my coat pocket (Easter bunny?) and ate before calculating the calories (42). It turned out that even with that, I was under 1600 for the day. I had my one-year-old nephew overnight unexpectedly, which helped keep me too busy to snack.

It isn't hard for me to do this on days like yesterday, where I'm home most of the day and very in control of my food. It's harder when I have a work lunch or a family party. My husband is on spring break this week and is helping with cooking (he made the stuffed peppers last night) and cleanup, which is a huge help. It also helps that he would also like to lose about 25 pounds. He's not as likely to suggest a night out if this is also his goal.

I will be away at a conference this weekend, which may be good or bad. I think I'm going to pack some safe food just in case. On the plus side, no big Sunday dinner to contend with. Unfortunately, I probably won't be home in time for swimming -- I have missed so many practices that I'm starting to dread going back.

I think a couple weeks of clean eating could really help me, whether or not I can still win the DietBet. But I'm really, really hoping that I can. I'm not worried about losing the $25, but I really want to have a chance to win the trip. And, even more than that, I really want to lose the weight. Getting out of the 180s will be a big relief, and getting my BMI safely away from "obese" will be too. The last time I was in NYC, I bought clothes that look impossibly small to me now, and I was at 165 (only a longtime dieter knows what weight she is at all life's events). I felt and looked great, even though I wasn't at my ultimate weight goal. Every pound lost is a pound closer to that feeling.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Weigh-in April 1: Motivation plateau

I thought about titling this post "I Lost 5 Pounds!" but figured that April Fools' joke would be a little implausible. Actually, my handy spreadsheet informs me that for 3 consecutive Mondays, my weight has been at exactly the same point. There has been a lot of midweek fluctuatION (see charts) but the Monday weigh-ins have been right on the line.

DietBet gives me a 26% chance of succeeding now. I did the Body Weight Simulator test, and I could just make it work if I cut to 1,600 calories a day, 4 meals of 400 calories each, just like the Flat Belly Diet.  It's possible, just. I would have to do some actual planning before eating something.   I just put together a 400-calorie breakfast plan.  I remember that LoseIt's premium features actually allow me to plan meals for future days, but I haven't been using this feature. I definitely have a strong resistance to the idea of making a plan and sticking to it. I remember that was the big sticking point for me with The Beck Diet.

Before I get too hard on myself, though, look at the trends for the last year.  The progress I have made is no illusion, it's just that I have gotten a little stuck in the last few weeks.  I have a steady trend of dropping weight since January 1, and the last month I struggled with colds and a sinus infection (plus an eye infection) that really derailed me.  Now that I'm mostly healthy (except the continued troubles with my eye), I expect to begin losing again. I'm just not so sure I can lose enough in 14 days to win the DietBet.  

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"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07