Wednesday, June 8, 2016

What I Learned By Completing a "Diet Bet"

     I decided to invest in myself and complete a diet bet! I will walk you through my thought process, the feelings attached to weight gain and loss, how alcohol can sabotage your results, and the rewards when you finish what you set out to accomplish!

     The premise of Diet Bet is simple- you select a game, pay to play, lose the weight, and split the pot. Sounds easy right????

     I'll let you know why my first game came as a struggle, but why I decided to roll right into the next game!

Deciding to Start-
       Let me just say, that the conversation with my neighbor started like this. We are at the kitchen table, both on our phones scrolling through Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. We are sipping wine and from time to time, we'll show each other a funny picture or start talking about a healthy recipe we want to try. "I really want to lose weight," she says. "Me too. Me too," I say. We start throwing around ideas....."Maybe I should: join a another workout healthier.....drink more on portion some of those home direct meals....." So we share some recipes and the idea of a diet bet comes up. "I'm in if you're in" and so it begins. We paid our $30 and then we had to lose 4% in 4 weeks. For me, that was a little over 6 pounds.

        The day of weigh in and I'm the heaviest I've been in a long time. I was 160 pounds when I delivered my daughter----that was 8 years ago. I had climbed to 158.6 and that was WAY TOO close to 160! (Before you freak out and say it's not that much- keep in mind I'm only 5'2....ok, ok, I'm 5'1 and 3/4 of an I round up)- The point is, my BMI was 29.8. I was overweight.....I honestly hadn't been on the scale in a while, and I can see why. I wasn't happy with that number and it was easier to avoid the scale than to do something about it. I was sporadically logging my meals into My Fitness Pal, but every day I was going over my recommended calories, so I just stopped logging. I didn't like seeing the message telling me, "If every day was like today, in 4 weeks you would weigh 'xyz'."  I was even more sporadic with my workouts. I "work" as an independent beachbody coach but I had no desire to reach out to others because I myself was struggling. (I say "work" because I was not actively "working" just enjoying the discount on the products that were sitting on my shelf collecting dust).... I had given up. I thought to myself, "If I can't do this, how on Earth am I going to get others to join me and trust me with their results?"  Truth is, it wasn't the programs or the apps or the nutrition that were  failing me...."I" was failing "me" by not being consistent. I had all of the tools necessary to win this thing but I just wasn't sure if I was strong enough to believe I could do it.  I got on the scale that morning on 5/8/2016 and weighed in at 158.6 and I decided I would never see that number again....ever! But I wasn't going to starve; I wasn't going to hurt myself with a crazy workout regime; honestly, I wasn't sure if I would make my goal. I wasn't even sure if I cared enough about the money...I mean it's only $30 right? But the diet bet was more than just the was the thought of "winning".....not just the competition but the idea that I was a "winner" instead of a big, fat, loser.

For the actual weigh in, you are given a "code" word to prevent cheating. My "code word was "lily" and since I started at 158.6, I needed to weigh in at 152.3 in order to "win". That gave me 4 weeks to lose 4%.

The Process-
      At first, I decided to record my weight just so that I could see how much it fluctuated from day to day, and literally from night to day! What I learned was, some mornings I weighed more than the night before! This was usually when I ate right before bed, but still...I never thought I would gain weight in my sleep!!! When I logged my meals daily into My Fitness Pal, I wasn't surprised at what I saw. I logged everything, and I mean everything....that little scoop of ice cream....logged....that shake of PB2 in my shakeology....logged. That 10 minute bicycle ride....logged. At first, I though this was going to be easy, especially when I hit the threshold between losing and winning after day 7. I just have to maintain.....I can do this I thought. But after 4 days, my weight went up a little....not too much, but anything over 152.3 meant I even 152.4 deemed me a "loser". I felt a little pressure- stress I put on my self.
  • "What if I fail?"
  • "What if I lose the money?"
  • "This is just great...I put it on my credit I have to pay even more....with interest"
  • "I should have never even started this"
    • were all thoughts going through my head.
I noticed that when my weight was down (around the winning number) I felt energized; I felt great; I felt like I could do this! When my weight went up (and it did- especially when I was stressed- it was the end of the school year by the way and I was busy, busy, busy!), I felt worse; I left like I should just pour another glass of wine; I felt anxiety about failing; I felt depressed for not wanting to do more; I felt like it might just be out of my control. If you look at My Fitness Pal, the days I drank- whether it was wine or beer, I consumed more calories- sometimes over 1,000 more than recommended (my calorie range is around 1,300- and no one is recommended to dip below 1,200 calories despite how much weight you are trying to lose- no starving and no dropping too much weight too fast too soon only to gain it back and more!!!!) With these added calories from alcohol, I was eating more and feeling more and more depressed. Believe me, I love a glass of wine or a cold beer on a hot day, but drinking was doing more harm than good, especially in my problem area- my belly! I noticed that even one drink was causing me to bloat up and the weight would stay up for at least a day or two- sometimes 4 or 5 days! I decided that last week, no more drinking....I could earn one after the last weigh in (and I did indulge....and feel the bloat... and the number on the scale went up!)  But, I made it.....I "won".

Finishing Up-
      I had pretty much decided that this was going to be a one-time thing. I set out to accomplish what I said I would do, and I pretty much went on an emotional roller-coaster- I put myself in a place I didn't really want to be. The game was supposed to be fun, but I turned it into more than just a was a mission. Some missions are good, but some are bad. The fact that I was weighing myself every day and night was not healthy, and the feelings I attached as my weight fluctuated were down right emotionally destructive. I finished my diet bet under my goal- I had lost 8.8 pounds and weighted in at 149.8. I should be happy now, right? No, I'm not...because that's not where I want to be.....but its' a start and I'll take it! :) I thought long and hard about sharing my journey and my struggles- it's not easy. But, I know I'm not alone.....I know there are people out there
that are unhappy with their weight....they attach their feelings to the scale, and they get down when the scale number is up- I know I'm not alone. But, by putting myself out there, I can share in this journey and mission to becoming #InshapeForever with others. I never said it would be easy....I never said you weren't going to have to work.....but your health is worth are worth it!

     It took me getting out of my comfort zone and trying something new to learn about myself. I now know how my body responds to what I put into it. I wouldn't recommend recording your weight every day like I did- but I did learn that I put way too much pressure on myself and that I put way too much emphasis on what I weigh and how I look. But I know that it's up to me to do something about it and to be a positive role model and lead my daughter into achieving goals in a healthy way....that means physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I decided to do another diet bet, but this one is going to be different- not only because it's only $10 instead of  $30, but because I'm going in with a completely different mindset. I'm recording my weight (for observation and blogging purposes only) and I'm removing my negative feelings. I'm more than I number on the scale.....I am a teacher, a mother, a friend, a coach, and if I can reach my goals....then you can trust me to help you reach yours!

The author, Julie Freeze is a high school teacher, independent team beachbody coach and a certified PiYo instructor. In addition to her degree in education, Julie has completed a program in personal nutrition, sports nutrition, and child nutrition as well as personal weight loss.

You can contact her at

If you would like to follow her on Instagram, she is @:in.shape.forever

You can also follow on FB: In Shape Forever- with Julie Freeze at

While she is in no way shape or form promoting for or against Diet Bet, and makes no money off of their diet bets, if you want to join in a game, message her and she may play. If you hit her up at the right time (and the right amount of wine,) she'll definitely be in :) She is currently doing Summer Slimdown which runs until July 3rd. All bets are off July 4th as Julie will be celebrating the wonderful USA in many ways :) She plans to start a healthy round of 21 day fix on June 13th which will end on July 3rd, and she will start up a round of ultimate reset July 11- July 31st. Look for those blog posts to follow after completion of the programs or join in with her! It's never too late to start!

Want a better look at what Julie has been eating?
Send her a request at My Fitness Pal: FreezeFrame34.

Cheers to starting a new diet bet right where the first one left off!!!!

P.S. Many people want to know how much money I won through the diet bet-The pot was $304,410, and there were 10,146 players. Remember you have to lose 4% in 4 weeks to "win" the pot. The company takes 25% to pay their referees, other employees, and adminstrative costs. But if everyone wins, the will eat their costs and you will earn your money back. So if you "win", you'll never lose money. My payout was $48. Since I paid $30 to play, I won $18 and I lost 8 pounds! But, remember, it's not about the money...or the's about being a winner, learning about yourself, and becoming a better version of you. (But a little extra money is ok too!) 

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