DAY 038: The proclivity for negativity

DietBet Kickstarts 1 and 2 (out of 3) have ended, and I’m a two-time winner!  I have just a bit more to go before I meet the goal for my third one that weighs out this time next week, and I have every intention of winning it.  Anyone in a DietBet has every intention of winning, though, right?  Or they wouldn’t be betting in the first place.  The money is a huge motivator… but it shouldn’t be the focus.

Unfortunately, I’m seeing a new trend in the DietBet community that I’ve never seen before in almost three years on the site:  whiny, complain-y, negative comments about the modest winnings.  Both of my recently-ended Kickstarters heavily showcased these gripes.  In most cases, they came from people with misguided expectations about how much money they would come away with if they hit their goals — these folks pretty clearly didn’t bother to read or understand the rules before joining the game, or before shooting their mouths off at the end of it.  I know it’s disappointing to “only” win six bucks after working your tail off for a month, but imagine how much worse it must be to come within a pound of your goal after working your tail off for a month, and losing your entire buy-in on top of that!  (By the way, those people are the ones who financed your six-buck win, complainers.  And then you bitched about it.  Double ouch for them, huh?)

Many people have been quick to point out to the ranters that DietBet is a place for support, motivation, and accountability; it is NOT a get-rick-quick scheme.  It’s why I’ve come to DietBet every time I’ve felt myself slipping and needing to get back on track, and as long as I stay focused, it works for me.  Not because of the money, but because of the support.  I once hosted a DietBet, albeit a small one, with a $10 buy-in that only had about a dozen people in it.  We were VERY active as a group with posting and interacting, and we had a blast losing weight together.  At the end of the bet, none of us profited a single penny because we ALL met our 4% goal.  That wasn’t a fluke coincidence; that was because we were in it together.  The fact that we only got back our initial investment was beyond worth it because it meant that nobody lost the game and everybody had lost weight.  We were really there for each other.  It was the best DB game I’ve ever played.

The wonderful thing about January is it does flip a switch in people to make changes in their lives where they feel unhappy, and weight is probably the number one thing people resolve to change about themselves at the first of the year.  It’s fantastic when people make strides towards health and self-improvement, and even more fantastic when they succeed.  Unfortunately, it means many newcomers flood gyms and websites with the most earnest of intentions, but without a real plan.  They haven’t done the research, and then it’s everyone else’s problem — sometimes fault? — that they aren’t having their sugar-free cake and eating it, too.  If you’re pissy because you didn’t rake in a windfall on a community weight-loss site, honestly, shame on you for having that expectation in the first place.  There is nothing anywhere in the rules or FAQs that should have led you to formulate such an idea.  Congratulate the people who busted their asses to win, just like you did, and get back to work.   **steps off soap box**

Ironically, all the negativity in the air on DB right now has triggered some positive thinking for me.  I’ve been kind of skittish lately about the eventuality of my foot surgery, which is likely to happen next month.  I know that as long as I plan, I can avoid regaining, and can even continue to make progress on my weight loss.  Even still, it’s hard not to feel kind of nervous about being essentially immobilized for such a long period.  That’s a slippery slope to negative self-talk.  What the pouters on DB have inadvertently reminded me with all their negative talk is that it’s incredibly unappealing and counter-productive.  I’m not on my mission for any other reason than that I want to be.  And you know what?  I can do it.  I just have to decide to.  Multiple times a day, every day.  The only way to do that is by staying positive.

In the meantime, I really hope this influx of downers is not the start of a new trend on DietBet.  It really crushes what has always been a positive atmosphere for most players.  No one is here for that.

DAY 031: Ya lose some, ya win some

It’s official!  The results of Kickstarter 1 of 3 are in, and I’m a winner!  It was a little closer than I would have preferred, but a win is a win and a loss is a loss, and I can’t complain about that.

I have two more Kickstarters ending soon, and round 1 of the million-dollar Transformer weighs out starting tomorrow.  The Transformer is in the bag, and I’m close on the other two.  It’s nice to not dread looking at the scale.  I forgot that was a possibility!

After these wins, though, it’s likely going to be time for a break from Kickstarters.

The ongoing saga that is my heel spur has reached a point where it’s interfering with my daily life and my ability to exercise.  I want to train for a 5K, but when I spend a lot of time on my feet, my heel swells and it feels like I’m walking on a water balloon.  Last weekend, I cooked for hours on end, and by the end of the day, I could only walk by erring to the outside of my foot because my heel was so swollen.  When it’s not flaring up, it’s a persistent nagging feeling in there that I’m always aware of.  I’m just done with it.

I saw my podiatrist today, and he talked through my options with me.  We’ve tried a number of things in the past 2+ years, and clearly, none of those has yielded any results.  Option 1:  cortisol shot right in the heel to alleviate some of the inflammation and pressure; may or may not have long-term results.  Option 2:  surgically stretch out the plantar ligament and saw away the bone spur; long-term solution with long recovery period that includes no working out for 2 months.

I have some travel coming up within the next month, so I couldn’t do the surgery now, anyway.  I got the injection in my heel before leaving the doctor’s office and I’ll have a follow-up with him when I get back from my trip.  At that time, if I’ve had some relief, we’ll do nothing and hope the problem is solved.  If there’s no discernible change, I’ll be going under the knife, foot-first.

It’ll make it kind of hard to lose weight without the ability to do any vigorous exercise, so I don’t want to set myself up for failure (and losing money) by signing up for more DietBets during recovery.  Of course, I may get lucky and have success with this shot, but I doubt it can eliminate the problem at all, let alone permanently.  I’m willing to try, though.  We’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, I’ll keep moving.  Any weight I can get rid of will only help my foot.  I’ve got a lot of losing and winning to do!

DAY 021: A woman’s right to chews

The recent days have been a blend of several non-scale victories and several non-scale fails.  A quick recap:

NSV:  I made it the full week between scheduled weigh-ins without sneaking a peak at the scale, which made seeing the loss today highly satisfying.

NSF:  I caved.  I had coffee this morning.  My sleep may or may not suffer, but I honestly can’t even say I’m that upset about the coffee.  This presents an interesting experiment opportunity at zero caloric expense.

NSV:  I chose moderately healthy options for my meal out on Thursday, last night, and this morning, and succeeded at staying within my calorie limit every day this week.

NSF:  My moderately healthy brunch choice this morning, it turns out, was actually not that healthy.  Nutrition calculators are wonderful and terrible at the same time — if only I had looked in the moment instead of after the fact!  It blew up more than half of my daily limit!

NSV:  I still stayed within limit today by severely adjusting my meal plan for the rest of the day.  Lunch was a banana, my PM snack was carrots, and my dinner was steamed broccoli.  It sounds extreme, especially on a day when I got a good cardio workout in, but you know what?  I’m not hungry!  This isht is working, y’all.

NSF:  I didn’t get to the gym all the days I should have this week.  I could have done more good if I had.

NSV:  I still hit my step goals every day this week, and I did still make it to the gym a few times.

NSF:  No more data — which means NSVs outnumber NSFs!

NSV:  I managed to fully prepare and portion out my meals for this week in spite of having company staying with me — a LOT of work and sore feet, but also highly satisfying!
The lesson for me here is that we have a right to choose what we chew, and we can even allow a few calorie-dense selections into the fray.  My Thursday and Saturday meals were both dinners this week, meaning I could budget my intake throughout the day and go into the meal knowing exactly how many nutritional points I had to play with once I had the menu in my hand.  That worked well.  Today, since my meal out was in the morning and of higher caloric value than either of my other meals out this week, it was more painstaking to stay under my limit because there was so much time left in the day.  But not only did I make it work without feeling deprived, I also felt more motivation to work out as a result.  I will keep my right to what chews I make because I know how to operate within the rules.

And my body knows it.  It shed 4.6 pounds this week.

That means I’m gonna crush those 4 new DietBets.  Ahhhh, this is more like it!

Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 7.25.39 PM

It also means I’m at -7.8 pounds so far for the month, and solidly within reach of losing the 12 pounds I wanted to lose in January.  It’s going to take some hard work, but my 3 weeks of habit forming are now officially in the books.

Let’s rock.


DAY 014: All bets are off. And on.

For those keeping score, I am currently playing in five different DietBets.  (And that’s more than enough.  Cut me off, please.)  Tonight was weigh-in night for the newest of the bunch, and the first time I’ve weighed myself since last Sunday.  I didn’t expect to have a HUGE drop this week, but I did expect to have A drop.  After all, I stuck to my meal plan all week (except one planned lunch out on Thursday), and hit my steps goal every gosh darn day.  So, it was not my happiest moment when I stepped on the scale tonight to see… no change whatsoever.

And yet…

I wasn’t mad.  (I mean, did say I’d try to remember that the fatty gods were kind to me not so long ago.)

Weight loss is a wild ride, man.  Some weeks, your body gives up 5 pounds for no apparent reason when you’ve done nothing atypical; some weeks, things go more or less as expected; and some weeks, you bust your ass and get bupkis.  Now, in no way did I bust my ass this week; the bupkis isn’t entirely undeserved, especially given the notorious “week 2 curse” of new health routines.  Was I a little frustrated and disappointed at seeing no difference on the scale this week?  Well, yeah.  But it immediately passed thanks to all the DietBetting I’ve been doing.  I hopped off the scale, swallowed my dinner, and took myself out into the 17-degree (Fahrenheit) air for a 33-minute walk.

Like hell this event is gonna repeat itself.

Where I fell short on the scale this week, I succeeded in non-scale victories.  I stayed within calories on Thursday in spite of the meal out.  I got my steps every day.  I brought my lunch to a last-minute lunch meeting with a colleague on Friday instead of getting food where we went.  I smuggled lunch into the fancy movie theater I went to today instead of ordering off their fancy, delicious menu.  I’m still off coffee and going strong.  I’ve had THREE boxes of chocolates in my office for a full week, and instead of having a single one myself, I’ve plied my colleagues with them instead.  And I finally made it to the gym.

My commitment hasn’t wavered.  It’s growing.  And even though the scale hasn’t shown me the changes, I can feel them.

Go time.

DAY 012: Don’t hate, motivate!

DietBet check!


Motivating!  That’s what it is!  January could turn out to be a very lucrative month for me!

I had a very long day yesterday, and I racked up 15,366 steps as a result.  According to Jiminy, exactly 22 consecutive minutes of that was power walking from point A to point B outside (it hit 60°F!) — and I apparently did it so hard, it registered as jogging.  OK, then!

I admit a bit sheepishly that I still haven’t mustered up enough… energy? courage? patience?… to go to the gym and really work out, but I do know I need to, and I finally am feeling like I want to.  It’s a three-day weekend coming up, so my excuses will be thin.  In spite of that, I’m feeling on track.  It felt great to get a 15,000-step day in for the first time in several months.  That, combined with the effects of decaffeinating my system (today is day 4 without coffee!), produced the best sleep I’ve had in a long time:  8 total hours, 3 hours and 56 minutes of which were deep sleep.  I can’t remember the last time I had more than 2 hours of deep sleep.  After a week of feeling draggy, I’m starting to get some perk back.  AND I only had one day with a caffeine-withdrawal headache!  Things are lookin’ up.

Happy Friday!

DAY 007: Shaken, not stirred

Spoiler alert:  This has nothing to do with how I take my martinis.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to express how the last few months have been for me that led me to the point in my weight-loss mission where I find myself today.  In particular, the last 6 weeks of that have turned me into a raw, exposed nerve at times.  When I saw that today was #007 in my numbering scheme, a bit of an opportunity presented itself.  It’ll be a bit of a stretch, but hey, that’s been true for my pants of late; why should my writing be any different? 😉  So, let’s say I’ve been feeling existentially shaken, but somehow not stirred to action.  (It’s tortured, but whatever.  I’m sure I’ve done worse.)

Most of the year was pretty decent, just extra busy.  When things weren’t busy, I didn’t use my time the right way.  If I could go back to the summer and kick myself in the ass, let’s just say I would.  I did have an ankle sprain in there, but even still… I leaned hard into excuses that allowed me to stray from my healthy eating and abandon exercise altogether.

Zooming in on one cross-section of time, I take you to the period of late November through late December 2017, AKA the holiday season.  Call me over-analytical (and be correct), but a highly symbolic thing happened out of precisely nowhere.  The week leading up to Thanksgiving, the piercing I got to mark the halfway point in my mission got irritated.  It was slightly warm to the touch, and I could feel there was some sort of ball of nastiness between my earring and the hole in my ear.  I the area as best I could without taking the earring out, but after a few days of those attempts, there was no change.  I finally decided to do the obvious thing my body wanted me to do and remove the earring to give the hole a thorough cleaning.  The second the post left my ear, the nastiness ball got even larger and warmer, and the hole was imperceptible.  For the ensuing 2 weeks, it became a one-to-three-day cycle of cleancleanclean, scab slowly forms over site, scab falls off, repeat.  I haven’t been able to figure out what could have caused the sudden flare-up, but it was a week before I dared try getting an earring back in.  When I did, it was my sharp piercing stud from when I got my lobes pierced at age 11 — ohhhh, yeah, I still have those little pink studs in all their juvenile glory — and it hurt more than the original cartilage piercing did.  I’m pretty sure I partially re-pierced it.

That long-winded account is to say, I don’t view it as a coincidence that this happened at a moment in time where I’d solidly backtracked to the pre-halfway mark.  My piercing might as well have said, “You no longer have the right to this.  Come back when you’re serious.”

This saga is persisting even now, albeit to a lesser extent; but I am mostly leaving the earring out, periodically re-piercing the hole to drain it of blood (there’s a blood bubble that’s shrinking, but still present) and cleaning it.  I am not about to let that sucker permanently close.  At one point, I tried to insert the earring I got that hole pierced with, but my ear swelled up around it immediately and I had to take it right back out.  It was several days before I could do anything with it again.  I don’t know if I’ve developed a sudden allergy to sterling silver — is that a thing that can even happen?! — but it was wild.  I guess I’ll have to keep watching it.

Right after Thanksgiving, I had a minor car incident when a friend’s mom hit my car in her driveway.  No one was hurt, but it was enough that my car needed significant repairs, and I was without it, out of state, for over two weeks.  This meant a huge inconvenience at home; hours on the phone with insurance adjusters, rental car agents, and the auto body shop; and an unplanned trip back to my hometown that cost me 8 hours on the road and personal time off work to pick up my car when it was finally fixed.  It was an unwelcome bout of stress and annoyance.

Then, just before Christmas, my grandfather died.  I don’t think I need to expound on that.  Suffice it to say, I loved him very much and everything about letting him go was awful and painful, sometimes physically.

When I finally got back to my place after the unexpected, prolonged time at my parents’, I was drained.  I couldn’t get out of the terrible mental spiral of, What will they say about me when I die?  I need to quit my job and do something that matters.  Life’s too short.  I’m so unhappy.  Like a broken record, over and over again.  And I came damn close to doing something rash.  When I would re-pierce my ear during that period, I liked the pain.  I admit to doing it more than usual because I liked the pain.  The psychology attributed to cutters suddenly made sense to me:  giving myself this physical pain was a type of release valve for the internal pain I was feeling but didn’t know how to express, let alone work on solving.

I needed to get myself back into some semblance of control over the situation I was downward-spiraling myself further into.  That’s why I decided to do a fast to end the year.

After devouring breakfast on New Year’s Day, I signed up and weighed in for a new DietBet.  The pot is currently at $195,870 with 6,532 players.

This past week, I signed up for two additional DietBet games:  a Kickstarter that currently has 13,355 players and a pot of $400,650, and a Transformer that currently has a DietBet record (!) of 7,022 players and a pot of $932,400.  (Both are still open to new players — join me!)  These three new bets are in addition to the Transformer I joined in November that’s still in progress — and that I have lost both rounds of so far, but that I will come back and win!

Even after all the turbulence of the fall, I remained in a sort of helpless stupor where I knew what I needed to do, but I just couldn’t get myself there.  I’ve had to force myself back into meal prep and ratcheting up my give-a-shittitude, and the mental effort of babysitting myself has been tedious and exhausting.  It’s starting to take hold, though.  I’ve gone from being emotionally shaken to having finally shaken myself out of that rut.  I’ve gone from being emotionally not stirred to having finally stirred myself into taking charge.

I’ve already made some progress in spite of that, dropping 3.2 pounds since Monday night.  I’m definitely a long way from being all in, and I have yet to get a proper workout under my belt this time around, but it’s coming.  I’m going to get myself there.  There’s no alternative option.

Life’s too short for regret.




DAY 004: Wii did kinda start the fire

The snow bomb cyclone of terror and doom is upon us.

My area only got a light dusting of snow, but it’s FRIGID outside.  Like, wearing-three-pairs-of-pants frigid.  And windy AF.  Like, wearing-three-pairs-of-pants-and-still-getting-wind-burn-on-your-legs windfy AF.

Those factors + resolutioners overrunning my gym = interest in working out, tanked.  Unfortunately, that makes it pretty hard to reach my daily steps goal if I’m going to reach the 250,000 steps I want to hit this month.

Soooo, today, I had a brilliant idea:  work out at home with the ol’ Wii!  And I do mean old.  That piece is about to celebrate its 9th birthday.

This turned out to be quite the production.

I turned the console on with no problem.  When I finally found a remote control, I tried to use it, only to find it was unresponsive.  I opened the battery compartment to find… batteries that had oozed everywhere, who knows how long ago.  I pried them out of their slots, cleaned out the hardened residue, and replaced them with new ones.  I reset the control with the console, and SUCCESS!

Then, after I literally dusted cobwebs off of my Wii Fit board, I flipped it over to immediately check the batteries for the same issue as I had discovered in the remote — and there it was.  I removed the leaked, dead batteries and cleaned out the compartment, but I had no more extra batteries of the right size at home, so I had to trudge out into the bitter cold to buy some.  (Oh, I was serious about making this happen!)  Unfortunately, I had kind of mis-sequenced this whole venture; I should have checked for full Wii functionality before changing into my new Under Armour work-out pants that only cover me to mid-calf and removing my top entirely, leaving on only a bra.  But I didn’t.  And I didn’t feel like changing before dashing out to CVS, so I threw my winter coat on over my bare torso and subjected my bare legs to the biting temperatures.  I mean, I only walked to and from my car between my building and the CVS I drove to, but it was enough to feel the effects of my laziness.  Shit, I had to go when I was still revved up enough, or it would never happen!  Aaaaaanyway, I returned triumphantly with the batteries — great way to spend my Extra Bucks! — that I immediately inserted into the board, and… NOTHING.

I tried and tried to get the thing to work, but nothing I did made any difference.  RIP Wii Fit Board.  (And then I impulsively went on Amazon and ordered a replacement.  **shrugs**  YOLO.)

When my Wii was on and I had optimistically opened the Wii Fit menu, it greeted me with this:


Yowza!!!  That’s 2.76 years.  Do better, self.

Oh wellsies.  At least I know I have a working console and a working remote, so when the new board arrives, I’ll be ready to go!  And I WILL use the crap out of my Wii if this polar spell keeps up the way it’s supposed to.

In the meantime, all that running around from room to room and from car to CVS got me to within 500 steps of my daily goal, which I know I will hit tonight by just walking around in circles if I have to.  Wii may not have helped me get a burn on tonight, but it did help re-light my fire and get those needed steps.

I weigh in for my second Kickstarter tomorrow.  I’m looking forward to seeing if I have had any changes since I weighed in for my first Kickstarter on Monday.  That momentum would really help me keep this little flame lit!