Sunday, March 31, 2013


Happy Easter!

I'm just going to skip over any Easter talk because I've been MEANING to talk about this THING that's almost over.

About three weeks ago (19 days to be specific) I started this diet bet.  I had been feeling great and energetic about working out, but still had a ton of bad eating habits that I wanted motivation to clean up.  I had heard about the diet bet from a nutrition podcast as being a pretty effective and fun way to lose weight, and I thought I'd give it a try.

At the outset, I paid $25 to place a bet that I would lose four percent of my weight in 28 days.  (That's 5.2 pounds, if you're curious.)  Everyone places the same bet -- it's always four percent, always 28 days.  Then I weighed in and submitted a starting photo, it was vetted (more on specifics for how they catch cheating here), and I had 28 days to get going.

If I successfully lose all four percent of my weight, then I win, and I split the pot of money with everyone else who also wins.  According to the podcast, about one third of people usually lose their four percent, so if I'm in that third then I'll probably take home about $50.  If I don't win, no big deal: I just paid $25 for 28 days worth of motivation.  Win-win!

From left: Week 0, Week 2, Week 3

One of the critical aspects of "social media dieting" is that you have other people to hold you accountable.  I can -- and do -- post status updates about what I'm eating, whether I just worked out or skipped dessert, etc. and I always get at least a few comments saying things like, "Way to go!"

It does feel nice, I have to admit, but I can't say that I feel motivated by complete strangers.  They are nice-to-haves, but at the end of the day my real accountability lies in the two friends I roped into this project with me.  It has been SO fun to text them pictures of food, or tell them what I want to order at happy hour but the good choice I'm making instead.  I'm doing this with one friend who is getting ready for her wedding in New York, and the daily communication has really reconnected us.

So!  It's been 19 days, and I have .8 pounds to go.  It hasn't been hard and I've been able to do things like drink wine and eat out, though I have been much more conscious about portion controlling, mindless eating and consumption of empty calories.  I enjoy everything I eat so much now.

For the final week, I want to do something my yoga teacher has been recommending for months: a three-day fruit cleanse.  She gives these cleanses credit for really flushing out your digestive system, especially if you pair them up with lots of yoga and spinal twists, which I plan to do.  She also always says, with a sly smile, "Avocado is a fruit, too..."

I figure the last three days of Diet Bet will be the perfect time.  And while I'm at it, I am going to start the week off by eating only whole foods.  Weekly menu to come!  

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