Paying to lose - DietBet

After some quick and rewarding weight loss a couple of months ago, I once again fell off the wagon and pretty much gained it all back (all but 2 pounds.)  

But then summer weather came to Pittsburgh, and I started pulling my summer clothes out of the bins from the attic, and oh my god, they were all too tight.  How embarrassing.  EH is nearly two years old - can I keep blaming my weight on him when he's 8? 15? 30?  Probably not. 

So I had to think about what my main motivators are.  First and foremost - at this point, at least - the greatest motivator is fitting into the majority of my summer clothes that are currently snug. But I'm also motivated by money, and so I decided to try something new. 

Enter DietBet - a social networking website where you join "games," put up money up front, and then try to lose 4% of your current weight in 4 weeks.  It's basically online gambling for weight loss.  

I am not one to usually like gambling, but the odds are completely within my control, and that I do like.  I started with a low-stakes game requiring only $20 to join, and with only 66 other "players."  The pot is $1,320.  As long as I lose my 4%, I am considered a "winner" and I will get my $20 back.  If everyone else also "wins" then getting my money back is all I get.  But it's unlikely that everyone will win, and those who "lose" don't get any money back.  Basically, the pot of $1320 is split between all of the winners. From what I can tell, an average of 50% of the people win.  If I am a winner in this bet, and the 50% average occurs, then I'll get $40 back instead of my original $20.  The possibility of doubling my profits - albeit small profits - is an exciting motivator for me! 

There are a couple of things working against me.  

First, 4% is actually a LOT of weight - 6.5 pounds for me!  That's 1.6 pounds per weeks!  My goal has me on track to lose 1.3 pounds per week, assuming that I am 100% committed to eating at or under 1500 calories PLUS exercise 7 days a week.  I am certainly not there.  But I know from the past that I sometimes lose more weight than what they say I will, especially early on, so we'll see how that goes. 

The second thing working against me is that because I joined the game at the last minute (once I decided to do this, I wanted to start immediately - I might as well start the game at my highest weight!) I weighed in at 8 p.m. in the evening.  As most people know, nighttime is not the best time to weigh yourself. My morning weight is usually pretty predictable and reliable, but since I have never really weighed myself much in the evenings, I'm not sure that the predictability will stand.  On top of that, my weight will largely depend on how much I ate or drank that day, which can be scary.  BUT, it was necessary.  I wanted to start immediately AND I know that I will never have enough time in the morning to put on my "weigh in" outfit, set up my full length mirror in a location with good lighting, get my code word for my scale picture, AND upload the pictures within an hour of taking.  I can barely get the out the door on time as it is, and I wake up between 5 and 5:30 a.m. each day. (Today I "slept in" until 5:40 and it felt amazing!)

The third, and final, thing that I have going against me is that DH is going to start renovating our kitchen soon. This means that we won't have an oven, or a kitchen sink for pretty much the entire duration of my four week dietbet period.  Our meals will be limited to things we can cook on the grill or in the slow cooker, or eating out, which of course is not a good option when one is on a diet.  Eating healthy during all of this is going to be my greatest challenge by far. 

An official weigh in includes two pictures, and you have to follow these rules: 
Photo #1
Shorts and a t-shirt or tank top (and you must wear the same outfit for your weigh-in and weigh-out photo)
Entire body must be in the photo, including your face
You must be standing on the scale that you're going to use for photo #2

Photo #2
Your feet on the scale
Showing your weight
A piece of paper displaying your "secret word" must in the frame

Your secret word is a random word that they give you at the time of your registration.  I suppose that's how they ensure you're real.  Your random word expires if you don't upload your picture shortly after registering, so you can't use the same photo for multiple weigh-ins. 

So, today is the first day of my Diet Bet and we'll see how it goes! (Probably not well, today at least, since I am off work today, currently sipping a cappuccino as I read this with thoughts of going to Chipotle for lunch in my mind.) BUT I plan to exercise and if I have a moderate dinner I should be good to go for tomorrow without gaining, at the very least!  I'll let you know how it goes!


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