Monday, October 13, 2014

winning at losing -- the friendly weight-loss competition

If you've been following me on Facebook you know that I just wrapped up Week 3 of an 8-week weight-loss competition* I have going with 10 mom friends. And {drum roll}-- for the second week in a row-- I am in the lead, based upon % of weight lost.

So what's working?

First and foremost, for me, it's my fitbit.

Far from deprivation, my eating has been some combination of what I learned during the 10-day detox {though I no longer need to follow it to a "t"}, Bittman's VB6 {though I didn't realize I was eating this way until a friend mentioned it… more veggies = always a good goal} and Eating Rules' October Unprocessed Challenge. Food-wise, I took the pressure off myself to be perfect. Instead, I make an effort to crowd out the bad with good. I allow myself treats, and have enjoyed several meals out {with delicious beverages}... but I also log everything I eat-- both the good and the bad-- into the food journal on my fitbit dashboard. It is powerful for me to understand where I stand, and what exercise would have to happen to balance out that next glass of wine, or dessert, so I can make choices.

While I am by no means perfect, generally speaking, I feed my family well. But for me, exercise was the piece that was apparently missing. I always assumed that whatever walk I took, tennis I played, or time I spent on the elliptical was enough. But I had no way of really knowing how much I was doing. Did it matter?

Plus, I felt like the last thing I needed was another reason to be online. But then I trusted a few friends who swore their fitbits were helping them get where they wanted to be.

Worth a shot.

So, I strapped a fitbit on, committed to taking at least 10,000 steps/day, and from Week 1 it had me swooning {and losing weight}. I began to understand-- in concrete terms-- how much I needed to move if I was going to eat x, y, or z. I'm never going to give up on real, delicious food. I enjoy eating, and I have a family that needs to be nourished each day. But now that I better understand the role movement plays, I am encouraged and empowered to move more. It's simple math, not rocket science.

And I am surrounded by friends doing the same. We see the steps each other is taking and challenge each other to garner more.

My kids know that badgering me to use the iPad will now, more often than not, be met with an idea to get outside and go someplace on foot.

I still love a good book by the fire, a lunch date within a friend, and the laundry isn't going to fold itself… but these days, all that happens after I meet my daily Fitbit goal. I'm hooked.

*Since many of you have asked, here are the details on our friendly weight-loss competition:
  • We have 11 moms participating, all friends and friends of friends;
  • We each put $100 into the pot, making our 1st place prize $600 and our 2nd place prize $500;
  • Since everyone came into the competition with a different amount they'd like to lose, you win based upon your % of weight-lost compared to your starting weight {vs absolute lbs, inches, etc};
  • We chose to do the competition for 8 weeks in hopes that real, lasting change could occur;
  • On day 1, we all went to one participant's house and got on her scale, which became each person's starting weight;
  • Each Monday, participants weigh themselves at home {using their own scales} and email their weight to the spreadsheet keeper before 10am. Once all weights are tallied, the spreadsheet keeper emails current rankings out to the group {just %, weights are kept private} so everyone has an idea of how they're doing relative to the group;
  • After 8 weeks, we'll regroup live at the original scale we used, and there will undoubtedly be a lot of hooting and hollering as the winners are announced!!!

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