May 24, 2021

DietBet

Yesterday, I was scrolling through Instagram and I saw someone's post about a DietBet. I'm not sure why it caught my eye--usually I scroll right past the DietBet invites--but I started thinking about possibly joining one. I did it once before as a way to get back on track (I believe it was in fall of 2015) and it definitely helped with accountability.

(If you're not familiar with DietBet, it's a site where various people host a challenge: you place a bet on yourself--the amount is set by the the host--and then you have to lose 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks. After 4 weeks, the pot is split among all the players that reached their 4% goal. (DietBet has asked me to host before, but I have mixed feelings about the whole DietBet thing--especially because they take 20% of the pot before dividing it up!)

I haven't been successful trying to lose this weight on my own lately, so I decided to give it a go. I joined a challenge that is $100 and it starts tomorrow.

To keep the weigh-ins fair, you have to submit a couple of photos (privately) of your weigh-in. One of the photos has to be of your feet on the scale with a codeword written on a piece of paper (a new codeword is generated each day and  you won't know what it is until you're ready to weigh in--proof that the weigh-in is current). The other photo has to be a full-body shot while standing on the scale (a mirror selfie works).

It's not perfect--people could load up on water for their first weigh in to make it look like they lost more at the end, for example--but I think that most people do it for the weight loss accountability. If you're doing it for the money, well, there are much better ways to make money (I think on the one I did before I made less than a dollar at the end--you are guaranteed to get your full bet back if you hit the 4% goal, however. You just might make a few pennies on top of it.)

Anyway, my purpose for doing this is because I want the accountability and a specific goal with consequences if I don't complete it (losing $100 isn't insignificant!). I did my initial weigh-in today (they suggest doing it up to 48 hours before the start of the challenge just in case your photos don't meet the requirements).

You're supposed to dress in lightweight clothing; I wore some running capris and a t-shirt. When I stepped on the scale, I was sure it had to be wrong. I had moved it from the corner of my bathroom to a spot in front of the mirror, so I thought maybe moving it had messed with the calibration. After adjusting positions and everything else I could think of, I kept getting the same goddamn number.


I'm not going to post the number because it was horrifying enough just seeing it. Maybe at the end of the challenge I'll post it, but right now it's still sinking in!

I immediately decided that I was going to start TODAY and not wait until the official start tomorrow. I had asked my friend Caitlin if she wanted to do it with me, so she signed up, too. I texted her about my weigh-in and she said she was unhappy with hers, too.

I figured today would be a good time to start the Couch to 5K plan (again). I'm not injured and taking time off of all activity didn't help my chronic pain, so I am just going to do it. I was already in my running clothes from the weigh-in, so I just grabbed my Garmin and put Joey on a leash, and went out the door.

As far as a diet plan, I'm going to do what has always worked best for me--count calories. I opened the Fat Secret app today and saw all of my recipes in there--I'd already done all the tedious work of entering my recipes and ingredients, so now it's just a matter of planning.

I do still believe in intermittent fasting for health reasons and I'd like to get back to that habit. But I'm going to work on it gradually. At first, I might keep my eating window at 12 hours, and then I'll cut back a little here and there until I'm comfortable with a short window again.

So, we'll see how this goes. I'll update on it periodically (probably on Wednesdays, which is when I used to do my "Wednesday Weigh-In"). I hope this is the kick in the ass I need to finally drop this extra weight I picked up, oh, three and a half years ago!

(Here is a link to the challenge I joined--you can join for up to a couple of weeks after it starts, I think. I'm not trying to recruit people, and I don't get anything for recruiting people--at least I don't think I do--I just figured someone might ask which challenge it is that I joined.)

Speaking of challenges, some people have asked me about doing a Cookies Summer Challenge this year. Yes! I plan on it. It's sneaking up so fast on me. Last year, I made it too complicated with three different challenges, so this year I'm going to keep it simple--a checklist of runs/walks to complete throughout the summer. I hope to get that posted this week!

7 comments:

  1. Katie - good luck on your journey. It might be beneficial to see a dietitian since you have struggled. Some insurances cover visits or for a co-pay. Also, there is mixed research on how much fasting is a good time, I have seen some well respected studies on 12-14 hour fasting being enough for physical and mental health. All the best to you. Thank you for sharing your (honest) journey.

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  2. I'm supportive of anything that is sustainable as far as getting comfortable in your body and feeling able to participate in everything you want to. The diet bet sounds a fun way to get started in combination with sensible eating and a return to some activity.

    Just a word of caution re IF - it can play havoc with some womens hormones (not all) and cause weight gain in the long term. I've also experienced a friend spiralling into an eating disorder by starting it. She had mental health issues and she ended up in a really bad place. Since witnessing that I hate hearing about anyone with underlying issues starting IF. Please feel free to not post this comment, I just wanted to pass on my concern and I hope it doesn't come across as negative.

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    Replies
    1. I want to second the comment about IF and hormones. There's an episode of Nuuness with Dr Stacy Sims where she talks about IF (and Keto) and why they're not good for female athletes and/or women increasing their physical load with exercise. Since you're thinking about doing Couch25k again it might be worth checking out. She also wrote an article recently for Live Feisty that's worth a read!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDeECJuhl2I
      https://www.womensperformance.com/blog/the-science-behind-why-female-athletes-should-not-practice-intermittent-fasting

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  3. I decided to join you on the DietBet. I checked what would be 4% of my weight to make sure that I wasn't signing up to inevitably lose, and the amount isn't too high or unrealistic. I'm not a fan of quick weight loss. Like you, I've put on some weight (about 15 lbs) that I haven't been motivated to lose. I'm hoping this will be a kickstart for us! I look forward to watching your journey.

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  4. Good luck, Katie. Anything that helps move the dial is good. Fingers crossed you win some cash too!

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  5. AnonymousMay 25, 2021

    I have this uncanny ability to know exactly how much I weigh - even if I haven't weighed myself in months and even if the number is SUPER high. It's a totally useless talent but I always get a chuckle when I hop on the scale and it's exactly what I knew it was in my head. It reminds me of waking up in the middle of the night and knowing exactly what time it is before checking the clock. Does that happen to anyone else?

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  6. Dearest Katie, you are always real and honest with your struggles, and that is one of the most inspiring things about you (though there are many).

    I'm also at that point where I'm feeling horrified by my weight gain. I ran a marathon last fall, but suffered a severe knee injury shortly thereafter. I had already been struggling to keep my weight under control, even with all the running I was doing, but once I had to stop, my weight just shot up and up and up. (I was actually a part of your Cookies Fall Challenge on FB until my injury, and then I was just too ashamed of myself and sort of dropped off the map after that.🤦🏻‍♀️)

    Anyway, I, too, had an "oh, sh*t" moment on the scale a few days ago, and I signed up for Weight Watchers. But I'm going to do the DietBet with you, as well. Just signed up now!

    Sorry this is long; really just wanted to add my voice to those telling you you're not alone! It's gotta be tough with the joint pain you're dealing with, and all the injuries that conspired to try to derail you in recent months, but you haven't let any of that stop you from moving forward. You have done so much right, and, as always, I so appreciate your determination to keep trying and keep troubleshooting. We've done this weight loss thing before, and we can and will do it again!

    Looking forward to crushing this DietBet with you!

    Much love from Ohio,

    Stephanie

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