How to make the most of your DietBet

DietBet’s claim to fame is “social dieting” – motivating yourself and others through positive peer pressure online, and of course, the desire to win back the bet you made on yourself!

Put down the mandatory bet (roughly $25 USD or more, depending on the game) for a one-month DietBet, and the only goal set by the game is to lose 4% of your body weight.  Sounds simple, right?  I came out of two games a winner, but it was close!

Here are my top five tips for getting the most out of a DietBet experience:

  1. Choose your bet wisely.  I’ve completed two DietBets.  One was hosted by some folks I’d met on Facebook (85 participants) and the other by a fitness celebrity (8718 participants).  The hosts can keep the message board moving with mini games, prizes, fitness tips, encouraging words…or NOT.  You could hear the crickets on my smaller DietBet game, while the larger one was always hopping with players updating statuses, asking for advice, posting accomplishments, etc.  In the end, the bigger game worked for me. I felt fat and alone on the smaller board. Make sure your hosts are committed to you and the game, not just wanting you to sign up so they can play for free.
  2. Get verified.  Your weigh-ins are done in the comfort of your own home, but before you do any rash diet changes or exercise, wait for the DietBet judges to confirm back to you that your initial weigh-in was accepted.  On my first DietBet the judges couldn’t read the scale’s digital screen, so they asked me to resubmit.  I dilly-dallied around for a day or so, and by the time I stepped back up on the scale, I’d already gone down 2.5 pounds. They accepted the later weight as my official weigh-in, so in reality, I needed to lose a little more than 4% and really move it to accomplish my goal!
  3. Invite your friends, or at least TELL your friends.  Get your own friends to join Dietbet so that you can encourage and motivate one another.  Even they don’t join, you can talk up your progress on Facebook and Twitter. According to DietBet stats, those who share their goals on social media are more inclined to success!!
  4. Have a plan.  Yes – this is about dropping pounds!  How ARE you going to lose your 4%?  Maybe you’ll sign up for Weight Watchers, or a Beachbody workout program. Perhaps you’ll Zumba your 4% off.  Whatever it is, plan it out for four weeks and stick to it.  Results will be forthcoming!  My strategy was clean eating, Shakeology, and my trail run training.
  5. Participate.  Show your face on those message boards daily.  Share your weight every few days, even if it goes up.  Talk about or post photos of what you’re doing and eating. Encourage other players. Your activity on the game also builds a profile of who you are and how you’re working to achieve your goal.  The quieter you are – especially those with infrequent weight posts – are more likely to be questioned when it comes to the final weigh in.
  6. Be strategic with your final weigh in.  Coming in to my final weigh-in, I was more than a couple of pounds off the mark and I was freaking out.  Weeks 1 & 2 had been steady, and in Week 3 I ground to a halt and then gained weight!  In Week 4, I knew I had to blitz it.I stuck to loads of fresh veggies and salads, lean proteins, consumed minimal carbs and avoided all dairy.  I drank two to three litres of water per day. I worked out at least once a day and made an effort to walk and take stairs as much as possible.  In the last day before the weigh in, I worked out in the morning and the evening, and limited my water intake from the late afternoon onwards. On the morning of the weigh-in, I went to the gym and ran three miles (remember – no water! sweat it out!); then came home for my final weigh in.  This strategy worked for me.  I hit my goals!
  7. All about the money.  When you do win, you’ll get paid for losing weight!  Woot!  Going back to the idea of selecting your DietBet games carefully…my small game paid out $28.46 USD (which was my $25 back plus $3.46) while my big game paid out $52.93 (a $35 investment return and $17.93 in winnings).  All money aside, you will lose weight. That’s the real win.

Good luck, have fun, and may the odds be ever in your favour.

May weigh-in

May weigh in!

May weigh in!

Weigh-in day is an exciting one this month, because I LOST weight and WON two DietBets!

Totally chuffed about this month’s progress, as it means I’m down 27 lbs total since January 2014:

Jan 01 – 235 lbs
Feb 01 – 225.2 lbs
Mar 01 – 227.2 lbs
Apr 01 – 220.0 lbs
May 01 – 208.0 lbs

The DietBets had an impact on my totals this month – without a doubt. Jury’s still out on the pros/cons.

The one game challenged me to finish at 211 lbs (doable), and the other at 208 lbs (scary). There was some strategy behind getting from 211 to 208 in one day, all very Biggest Loser “last chance workout,” don’t-drink-water-the-night-before-the-weigh-in stuff.

After I weighed in and was verified a winner by DietBet, I sat down and licked a huge gob of peanut butter off a spoon and drank a Fresca I’d bought for the occasion. I also ate a bunch of mint chocolates my boss had brought back from the UK for the whole office to share.  Sounds like some sort of withdrawal, no?

Either way, I’m very pleased to have April wrapped up and am now focusing on the last three weeks of half-marathon training for the Blackfoot Baby Ultra on May 24th. My May weight loss goal is 8lbs.

I’m on that downward slope to ONEderland. I never want to be over 200lbs again….ever.

Unless I’m taking up Sumo wrestling or something.

Naked on the Internet

If you’d told me a year ago that I’d be happily uploading half-naked, grainy iPod photos of my morbidly obese self onto the World Wide Web, I would’ve laughed in your face.

Well, I did just that on April 1st (no joke!) and on April 2nd.

It’s all part of the weight verification process for the DietBets I’ve joined.  Oh yes, plural. TWO DietBets.

Fellow runners Nikki and Solana started a DietBet for April where participants are challenged to lose 4% of their body weight by the end of the month.  All damn cocky, I’m like, let’s hit two birds with one stone!  And I signed up for a second DietBet, pretty confident that the weight will just, you know, MELT AWAY.

At the beginning of each DietBet, you are asked to verify your weight through one full length photo in “airport attire” (ie tank top & shorts) and then another of your feet on the scale showing the weigh-in number, along with your password written on an index card next to the scale. The photos are visible to only you and DietBet.

I’ve never been a master selfie taker, so I quickly snapped the photos in my dimly-lit bedroom wearing a rather ill-fitting tank top and stretchy shorts, uploaded the photos, noted 220 lbs as my starting weight and went to bed.

In the morning, the DietBet adjudicators had sent me an email: my entry was NOT ACCEPTED. They needed a re-submission on the second DietBet.  They couldn’t see the scale, the pix were bad, etc.

So, in a panic of being potentially kicked from the game, and wearing my not-matching and rather sketchy underwear, I leapt onto the scale and re-shot it all in the revealing daylight, and was horrified that the scale now read 217.5. I submitted it.  This entry, of course, was accepted.

Normally, I’d be happy – hey I lost a couple of pounds overnight! – but now I’ve got one DietBet where I have to lose 8.8 lbs before the end of the month, and another where I have to lose 11.2 lbs.  DOH. So – my new April weight loss goal is no longer 10 lbs, but 11.2….minimum!  Eeeek.

Worst of all, I sent in a question to the info people, and it was promptly and helpfully answered by Dean G.  But  “DEAN G.” suddenly puts a face onto the whole anonymous, nobody-but-me-will-ever-see-these-photos concept.  Dean G.’s title is “Official DietBetter Referee.” I bet Dean G. can see EVERYTHING.

Can you imagine, day in and day out reviewing photographs of scantily clad overweight people to make sure they’re telling the truth about their weight?  That could be a dream job for some, I suppose… I bet Dean G. could tell some pretty awesome stories.

And of course, since it’s all about numbers, I’ve checked my weight 80 times in the past three days, which is just silly.  I need to forget about it and just carry on as usual.

And that’s my naked on the Internet story to tell the grandchildren one day.

April weigh in

April weigh in!

April weigh in!

How quickly a month goes by!

March saw a more concerted effort to stay clean with the eating and stick to the training plan for the half marathon. Life balance still factored in with a Guinness-filled St. Paddy’s Day and a stress-eating fest of Crave cupcakes nearing fiscal year end.

In all, down 15 lbs since the beginning of the year, and down 7.2 since last month. I didn’t quite make my 10 lb goal for March, but at least the scale is headed in the right direction this time.  I tell you, there was a lot of sweat and spinach involved in that 7.2 lb weight loss.

Jan 01 – 235 lbs
Feb 01 – 225.2 lbs
Mar 01 – 227.2 lbs
Apr 01 – 220.0 lbs

For inches around the waist, I’ve gone down a smidge as well:

Jan 01 – 50 inches
Feb 01 – 47.5 inches
Mar 01 – too pissed off to measure
Apr 01 – 44 inches

What does April hold??  Well, it would be splendid to lose a bit more weight before the big race. Seriously – all vanity aside – I can only assume my feet and knees will thank me if they aren’t hauling that morbidly obese label around.

I’m sticking with the 10 lb weight loss goal for the month of April. Gonna blitz it!  And to making super healthy choices in meal planning.  Breakfast and lunches are covered, but dinner is always a crapshoot… Will look into some teenage-boy-and-husband friendly foods that won’t kill ’em in the long run.

For a little bit of monetary motivation, I joined up on Solana’s DietBet, which starts tomorrow.

This is my first DietBet, and although I thought the concept was cheesy at first, I found some sole sistahs who think it’s a great kick in the pants to the race season. So, I signed up.  This one is $25 and players have one month to lose 4% of their body weight.  Do so, and you get your money back and then some.  If you don’t make your goal, you lose your little investment.

Why the hell not… here’s to a rockin’ awesome healthy April!  Wooot!  And to baseline 4 mile runs! Woooot!

PS: My new Sauconys … make my left foot go numb.  I’m soooo sad. BUT that was only one day out in them, walking. Hopefully this will just go away, otherwise I now have a nice pair of shoes that can only be worn for like, 15 minutes at a time.