Tuesday, September 3, 2013

DietBet Wrap Up: Winning!

As I mentioned in one of my first posts, part of the reason I started this blog was to keep myself accountable during my DietBet. So, how did it turn out? Well, if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you probably know that I won!

To win, I had to lose 4% of my body weight, or 5.5 pounds. When I started, this sounded like a crazy goal to me. So, how did I make it?


I have been using MyFitnessPal to count calories for almost 6 months. I have a love-hate relationship with calorie-counting. I find it really annoying and time consuming, but it's the only thing that has ever helped me actually lose weight.

For the DietBet, I didn't follow any specific diet plan but just kept counting calories. I did lower my daily net calorie goal (calories eaten minus calories burned during exercise) to 1300.

Workout Consistency

I followed the Blogilates July workout calendar (see my review here) and was really good about sticking to it. That meant I was working out at least 6 days a week for about an hour a day, with a good mix of cardio and strength workouts. I also added in some of The Betty Rocker 30 day challenge workouts,  a run or two on the weekends, and played in doubles volleyball tournaments.

No Cheating

I think the biggest success factor for me was not having any "cheat days" during the DietBet. This didn't mean I never had days where I ate something deliciously diet-unfriendly or had drinks out with friends (check out my Instagram for photographic evidence). But it did mean that I didn't have any days where I didn't worry about my net calorie goal. So if I knew I had a happy hour with friends, I would put in some time on the treadmill in the morning so I could still meet my goal. I also did try to make smarter choices, like drinking vodka tonics and light beers instead of margaritas and mojitos, which was not fun.

Wrap Up 

So, what did I think of the whole experience? From a financial standpoint, I ended up winning $24 and change. So not a very large monetary reward. For me, the threat of losing $50 was a strong enough motivator on its own, but I definitely wouldn't join a DietBet for the cash. 

Money aside, I did find setting and publicly declaring a goal, making a plan to reach that goal, sticking with it and succeeding rewarding in itself. It was a really great feeling to know that I could achieve what seemed to me like a really difficult and ambitious goal.

However, in terms of fitness and weight loss, doing the DietBet definitely didn't have a significant long term impact. One of the reasons I waited so long to write this post was that I'm lazy I wanted to see what happened to my body after the bet ended. I weighed in at 138.2 pounds and weighed out under 132, which is probably the lightest I've ever been in my adult life. However, with the pressure off, I put half of the weight back on almost immediately. My pants don't feel any tighter, and all my new skinny clothes still fit so I'm not too upset, but it does feel like all that effort was a little bit wasted.

(Image Source)
So, was it worth it? I think so. Would I do it again? Probably not. I didn't like having to think about weight loss ALL the time, and also really don't like being that focused on the scale. Just like with my August Workout Calendar, I've also tried to find a little more balance with my diet and focusing on things beyond the number on the scale like my strength and fitness level. And no matter how it turns out, I'll let you know how it goes :)

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