You want me to do how many sit ups? A 30 before 30 update

I'm no stranger to being active and working out. I played rugby in high school. Biked every where in University. Played Roller derby. I've actually used the gym memberships I've had. Hell I even ran a 5 km race once. Oh I so did. See.

Number 10 on my 30 before 30 list is to look fabulous by 30. Now I know I'm already pretty fabulous inside but the glorious vehicle that my brain rides around is needs a little work. Just some touch up work really. Since moving here I've battled the writers body (the exact opposite of a swimmers body) and the unending access to chocolate and cheese by trying to keep active. Sometimes I'm successful and sometimes I'm not. What matters is that I'm trying.

I've been a fan of blogilates for a while. Even if I only have 3 minutes she has something that will get me off my butt and moving. And 3 minutes later I'm a sweaty mess convinced she's is trying to kill me or that she hates me. At the end of June she announced she was going to be hosting a dietbet. Awesome!

Basically the idea is you bet $25 that you can lose 4% of your body weight in 30 days. If you make your goal the pot is split between the winners. Yup you reap the benefits of someones failure. That's basically my kind of thing. What can I say, I'm a bit of a jerk. So I was in. I figured this would be a great way to build a healthy routine and kick off this whole "looking fabulous" thing on my 30 before 30 list. So I paid my $25 and convinced my friend Mariana to join me in this little fitness adventure. I weighed in and found out I had 6ish pounds to lose.

That seemed like no big deal. A challenge but no big deal. Plus the pot grew to about $149,700.00 so I figured my odds were pretty okay and the paid day would be pretty decent if I succeeded. Plus there was a big community of people doing this at the same time.

I've been debating how to present my dietbet experience because it wasn't all good but it wasn't all bad either. So when in doubt be brutally honest.

It wasn't for me. I'm competitive but this went from being competitive to obsessively weighing myself and worrying about a damn number way to quickly for my liking.

The eating healthy end of things isn't a big deal to me. I've been eating healthy and "clean" since we moved here. Or as the Swiss call it, eating. Yeah "clean" eating, 100 mile diet blah blah blah isn't a thing here. It's just what's done. No buzz words no "lifestyle" it's just how you eat here and it's the cheapest way to eat as well. You eat seasonally and locally if you want to save cash. How wonderful is that?! So the eating thing was already figured out before this even started. I know my triggers for emotional eating and I'm also mindful. Sure I'll have some twizzlers but I've finally gotten to a place now where I'll only have some not all. Dieting has never been my thing being mindful has been.

The working out thing though wasn't figured out. It's still being figured out actually. I tried. I worked out before breakfast. I worked out after breakfast. I worked out before I opened my email. I worked out in the afternoon after I had done my run to the grocery store. I'm still figuring out what works best for me.

Now here's the part where I tell you all the reasons it wasn't for me. I hated the fact that it made me feel chained to my scale. I've never actually ever cared to much what the number on my scale said. Never. I've never cared about my BMI either. Mostly because it's an outdated science but also an incredibly poor way to determine health. But it's never been a big deal to me. I've always just been mindful. See it's the word again. Being mindful. This whole dietbet experience stripped me of being mindful and turned me into someone who was chained to their scale and became militant about achieving a specific number. Not awesome. Despite all the positiveness that was coming out of the community I was feeling down right depressed about the whole thing. It was taking the fun out of eating. It was making working out a chore. It was making me angry that I wasn't achieving specific goals when really I should have been happy I was losing weight period. I weighed myself 3 times in one morning. I was that worried about losing the game not losing the weight. That's just not right.

I'm not the only one who felt like this either. My friend Mariana who I roped into this whole experience felt very much the same way. You can read her experience on her blog.

I managed to lose 3.8 pounds with pretty decent effort but it wasn't enough and I became one of those failure other people benefited from. And rather than celebrating those 3.8 pounds I beat myself up about the 3 I didn't lose. So not me and so not right.

So the dietbet thing wasn't for me (or for my friend for that matter.) There are a lot of people it did work for it seems and I'm happy for them. As for me I'm just relieved I don't have to worry about a number any more and I can just go back to figuring out what works best for me.


Anne Marie said…
Eff that. You always look fabulous. Have you seen your shoe collection?!!?!?!?!?!
Tatiana said…
Well my shoe collection is pretty epic.

And thanks my dear.
Elfe said…
Well said. BTW, what kind of junk food do the Swiss have? Chocolate doesn't count.
Yeah . . . that sounds like the type of thing that can definitely be a slippery slope toward self-loathing. I know I've found that being mindful is always better for me than actually trying to -lose weight-. If I focus on feeling better and more energetic, then it's a go, but the minute I think about numbers I go to this ugly place where I start to hate my body, and then myself. Blegh.
I really think looking fabulous has much more to do with feeling fabulous--eating well and moving around (which I, too, have motivation problems with) seem to naturally put a glow into someone's skin and a smile on their face.
So, here's to the clearly fabulous lady you already are! Thanks for sharing your experience :)
(Ahem, that got a little cheesy toward the end . . . but I think you'll catch my drift.)
Tatiana said…
Totally agree! Focusing on the changes that are happening as oppose to the numbers is much more beneficial to live.

And thanks so much. I don't care if it was made me smile.
Kat said…
Question: How do the DietBet-ers know their competitors aren't lying?

I mean, YOU have principles- you're going to be honest about what you've done. But honestly, I can see a LOT of people straight up lying, especially once the pot starts to get nice and large. So maybe some of those people feasting off your loss are "losers" themselves.

ADDITIONALLY- muscle weighs more than fat. My sister-in-law weighs more than me, but she is in infinitely better shape and is healthier. Also, she looks better in clothes (and out of clothes, I suspect!) than I do. So, great, my number on the scale is smaller, but I have to wear double Spanx under form-fitting clothing, and I can't run up the stairs in my house without getting winded. I think it's pretty easy to see who is coming out ahead, and the number on the scale has nothing to do with it.
This is my first post that I'm reading of yours and I really enjoyed it (especially seeing as how I have "writer's body" as well, haha!).

So, did you have to weigh in everyday or something? Or was it just you felt like you needed to to keep on track?

Yeah, things like that can be motivating or not, depending on the person, the perspective, the timing, etc.

Like you said, you are happy being mindful about things but not super obsessed by it. That's worked for me, too. The times when I've lost the most weight, I wasn't looking to... I was just being healthier. And it was also more like a pleasant by-product of getting healthier than a need to be or look a certain way. :)

Anyway, way to be honest and just find out that it wasn't for you. You'll figure it out! :)

P.S. I just read your "About Me" and I feel like you are the upgraded, more awesome version of me. HAHA! :)
Tatiana said…
I was worried about the high possibility of lying too. While they have a weigh-in process, involving you submitting two photos, one of you on a scale in what they airport security attire (light clothing who no jewelry etc.)and another of the scale's readout with your weigh-in word that is given to you.

And according to them they have weigh-in referees for the initial and final weigh-in. Apparently they also have algorithms that detect unusual activity within a game and an auditing system where some players may be required to submit extra proof of their weight loss using: a Skype weigh-in with one of the Referees, a video weigh-in, or an in-person weigh-in at a location pre-approved by DietBet. Sure that's great but when a dietbet is as big as the one I participated in I wonder how easy it is to "police" even with a system in place.
Tatiana said…
Hi Erika! Welcome to my corner of the interweb!

You didn't have to weigh in every day but you did get little prompts saying "If you weigh yourself often you'll have a better chance of winning." Which I totally understand that you do better if you know where you're at vs where you need to be. But it motivated me in the wrong way, it became "ahhh this isn't good enough" rather than "oh okay this is where I'm at and I have X pounds to go." It was a weird head game for me.
Tatiana said…
awwww thank you! I checked out your blog and you're pretty awesome too!
Lauren said…
I was tempted to join you in this, but choose not too because I have to lose 8 pounds in one month - and that SO was not going to happen. But now that I read this, I think I would have had a similar struggle.
I'm proud of you for giving it a go! And I agree with what others have said - you're awesome and beautiful just as you are! ~ L