February 1-29: It’s DietBet Time!

You guys know I love using technology for tracking my health and fitness. I use MyFitnessPal to log my meals, RunKeeper to track my mileage, Jawbone Up to track my steps, and multiple Paleo apps to search for recipes and ingredients list for new dishes. So, it’s only natural that I would start using Instagram for health and wellness, too!

Now, I try to keep my account on Instagram pretty loose, in then sense that I do not want my profile associated with any one topic. So, instead of using my account to talk about my weight loss or workouts, I tend to post pictures of my puppy, funny gym shirts, and whatever delicious food I’m about to scarf down. However, I absolutely LOVE following people who are dedicated to their journeys, and that’s how I came across @AmyDown100!

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She’s this super cool chick who has managed to shed 100 lbs through healthy diet, exercise, and positive thought. She’s very real: she talks about the good days and the bad, just like I try to do on here. She recently underwent surgery for excess skin removal and, since the recovery period severely limited her exercise, she admits she gained a few pounds back. It’s human, and I love the fact that instead of getting upset or depressed about it, she’s taking charge. How?

With DietBet!

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DietBet is basically the real-life version of putting your money where you mouth is. You pay in $30 to join a pool of other dieters. Ultimately, the goal is to lose 4% (or more) of your body weight in four weeks.

Here’s the best part: it’s not like a tournament where only the top losers win (sounds oxymoronic, but you know what I mean). ANYONE who loses at least 4% of their money back is guaranteed to get back their initial investment ($30), and then they split the “winnings” — aka, the $30 investments of everyone who didn’t lose 4% — with their teammates!

I’ve seen people making $20-30 per DietBet they join — the investment keeps them motivated ($30 is a nice dinner out), and so they follow through with their exercise and healthy eating plans. You’re not limited to being in one DietBet at a time, either. You can join dozens, if you want to, as long as your willing to pay the $30 to get started per bet and you’re committed to working your butt off to ensure you don’t miss your 4% weight loss goal, since you’ll lose the investment for all bets simultaneously!

Amy’s trying to get herself refocused and shed those couple extra pounds that creeped up over the holidays and after her surgery, so she’s hosting her own DietBet challenge, starting February 1st through the 29th!

If you’re already struggling on your resolutions or just need a little extra umph to get you going through the cold months, I strongly suggest you join us on DietBet!

So… what are you waiting for? Let’s lose this winter weight together, and make money while doing it!

Bon appetit!

Tori

“Savages, Savages, barely even human!”

I did it! I finally did it!

I managed to convince my husband to run in the Fall Savage Race with me in Florida! Wahoo!

I’ve done it two out of the last three years (missed 2013 due to work commitments) and it has been one of my favorite events: a true test of strength, perseverance, and willingness to get filthy.

In 2012, I ran it just to say I did it:

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I don’t remember what my final time was, but considering it was 25 insane obstacles and over 6.5 miles (and I wasn’t in peak shape), my guess is that I was over two hours.

When I did it again in 2014, I had dropped about 15 lbs and trained significantly more. As a result, I did the race in about 1 hour, 38 minutes – and completed all but two of the grueling obstacles!

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This year my weight is a bit up (about 8 lbs more than last year’s weight), but I’ve also been doing significantly more strength training and I’m finally working to shed the “sugar weight” I gained from my 9+ months of working two jobs and not sleeping. I didn’t gain it overnight, so I can’t expect to lose it overnight. I’m hoping to be back around 125-127 by the time October rolls around and it’s time to compete.

Fortunately, regardless of my weight, this time I’ll have MY HUBBY to support me on the course! I’m so excited and we’ve committed to train together, so we’re going to finish and finish strong. Will this be the year I beat 1:30? We shall see!

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

Purchased an UP!

I’ve been wanting to get a fitness tracker for a long time. I’m a tech-addict, and I currently use about 10 different apps on my iPhone for tracking my diet, my exercise, and my overall well-being.

All of these apps are currently on my dock:

  • MyFitnessPal
  • GymPact
  • RunKeeper
  • FastPaleo
  • WebMD
  • Paleo 101

Now that I work 18-20 hours per day, I’m positive that my metabolism has changed. I’m constantly hungry and have seen my cravings/body changing (not necessarily for the good) the past six weeks. I decided that the UP by Jawbone would be perfect for me to get a better understanding of what my body goes through every day so I can aim to properly fuel it.

With the announcement of the iWatch in production, I noticed that the Fitbit and UP by Jawbone both started to go down in price. I’ve been watching them for weeks, and – out of the blue – the UP went down from $80 (compared to the UP24, the newer model, that’s around $139) to just $50!!

Seriously, $50? I couldn’t say no. The mobile app looks super easy to use and synch to my other apps, so I’m pumped that this new accessory might simplify my mobile-life and finally give me a better understanding of what my body needs and wants on this new schedule.

It should be here next week, so definitely look for some posts in the new future either raving or complaining about it! 🙂

On that note, bon appetit my friends!

~ Tori

Join Me on MyFitnessPal!

Instead of trying, with difficulty, to take several pictures of my good diary and exercise log to post on here, I wanted to encourage my fellow Yo-Yos to join me on MyFitnessPal (www.myfitnesspal.com).

I am 100% honest with my food and exercise log, and I publish everything so that it’s fully transparent to my friends.

Doing this keeps me accountable, as I’m far less likely to eat an entire bag of cookies if I know my family, friends, and coworkers are going to see it! The more people who join and add me as a friend, the more accountable I feel.

Here’s my handle – look me up!

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As a note, I do not gain ANYTHING for mentioning these apps/sites; they’ve just been a huge personal help on my health/fitness journey so I’m a big fan. Feel free to skip if you have a system that works better for you; or, even better, share it with me in the comments!

On that note, bon appetit!

Tori

Making Money, Getting Fit!

OK, I know I’ve bragged about the GymPact App in the past, but I must tell you:

This thing is the BEST!

Why do I say that?

Because not only is it helping me stay on track with my diet, my workouts, and my fruit/veggie consumption, but I’m making REAL CASH from it.

Don’t believe me? Take a look below:

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By committing to a set number of workouts, food diaries, and veggies/fruits per week, I’m earning money for following through on my obligations. I’m basically “betting” the millions of other users of the app that I WILL workout and eat right, and I’m putting my money where my mouth is.

If I fail to meet any element of my pact, I’m responsible to pay out.

Here’s my usual weekly wager:

$50/day for my Food Log, for which I commit to all seven days of the week.

  • I do this because I am RELIGIOUS about my food log (I haven’t missed a day in almost a full year), so this is something I trust myself to do, even on the busiest of days.
  • I use MyFitnessPal for a food log, which autosyncs to my GymPact, making it simple to keep everything in one place and not doubling my work.

$10/day for my Workouts, for which I commit to five days of the week.

  • I’m pretty consistent with hitting the gym 6-7 days per week, but I commit to 5 days to account for sick days, fatigue, and “just not feeling it” moments.
  • GymPact works with RunKeeper, TrackMyRun, and many other GPS-apps, so you’re not limited to working out in a gym. I use RunKeeper all the time for my walks/runs, so it autosyncs back to GymPact.
  • You must log at least 30 minutes – either in a gym or moving outdoors – to get credit.

$10/item for my Veggie Pact, for which I commit to seven fruits/veggies per week.

  • I actually just joined this pact, as I was hesitant that it would require me to eat dozens of fruits/veggies per day. Come to find out, it’s much simpler than that.
  • You can log up to FIVE individual fruits/veggies per day. You have to take a picture of it that PROVES you’re eating it (or about to eat it). Think a bowl of chopped fruit with a fork in it versus a picture of the produce stand at Publix. It needs to be obvious that you’re going to consume it.
  • The “community” – AKA, the other users of the app – verify you picture with a Thumbs UP or a Thumbs DOWN: was it really a fruit or veggie? Did it look like you were going to eat it? Taking a picture of Starbursts made with “real fruit flavor” won’t cut it, bub!
An example of the type of thing you load to meet your "Veggie Pact."

An example of the type of thing you load to meet your “Veggie Pact.”

On average, I make between $2-2.50 per week.

So, where does this money come from?

The users that didn’t follow through on their pact!

Yes – if you commit to 5/week for the Gym and bet $10 per day, you’ll get charged $20 if you only make it to the gym three times. It’s a real pact, guys! You put your money where you mouth is, so you’ll risk losing it if you’re not consistent.

The app connects to either a Credit Card (you provide) or PayPal, so you have to be serious about your health and you commitment to using the app before you dive in. It’s helped me a ton with accountability and progress – and, to date, I’ve made over $150 from using the app for 9 months. Yeah, that’s serious money, folks.

I’ve told a lot of friends about this app and many have started using it. Some make money, some lose money (once or twice) and then get SERIOUSLY motivated… or delete the app. It’s not for the faint of heart, so only sign up if you’re prepared to follow through with your PACT!

Bon appetit, my friends (and don’t forget to put it in your FoodLog)!

Tori

 

Saturday Accountability Report

Man, this has been a weekend of ALCOHOL!

I’ve been getting a hefty chunk of calories every day from my drinking – almost 700 alone today! Yikes. Definitely need to tone that down a bit.

Here’s today’s report:

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Way over my calorie allowance, but the workout helped to ease the deficit.

I hope everyone had a stellar Saturday! Hoping for more self-control on Sunday!

Bon appetit,

Tori

Saturday Accountability Report

Whoops!

I totally crashed last night and forgot to post my nutrition/fitness journal for the day. Ha!

Here’s how I did:

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I indulged (a lot), but I didn’t really feel that guilty. I’m kind of in a slump with my diet/nutrition, as I’ve been working out hard and not seeing results. I’m hoping that a few weeks of not caring will jump start my metabolism a bit and motivate me to get started strong on Monday.

I didn’t add this to my calorie counter (I had no idea what it contained), but it was delicious:

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Let’s pretend it was low-carb, low-calorie, and sin-free, mkay? 🙂

Bon appetit, my friends, and enjoy your Sunday!

Tori

A Boost When I Needed It

I’ve been a bit melancholy the last week or so, as I’ve found myself back in the pattern of weekend gorging and sullen Mondays of recommitment to a diet I don’t feel like being married to anymore.

My weight has plateaued at 136, a frustrating turn of events from the solid 133-134 I was holding just a few days back.

I’ve been cheating daily on the Paleo diet with Chobani yogurts (which really shouldn’t be called a “cheat,” as it’s nonfat and packed with protein) and I have a feeling this is a primary cause of my stalled progress in the weight department.

Amazingly, I’ve kept moderate control and haven’t thrown my hands up, severely binged, and then committed the unforgivable purge that I’m quick to resort to at emotional lows. I’m crestfallen, but not beaten. I can break through this slump. Right?

Today, I was given a boost that I think may be the positive encouragement I needed to crush this funk; and no, it wasn’t a compliment on my size.

Today, I attended an interdepartmental meeting featuring colleagues and leadership I only see a few times per year. Given my own weight loss successes of the last year (I’m down about 20 lbs from the same date in 2012), several people approached me to compliment me or poke fun that I’m “wasting away” and should eat some of the cupcakes I’m notorious for baking.

After niceties were exchanged and the meeting (of over 150 people) commenced, I set to focus on taking notes and absorbing information. And boy, it was a lot of information. My head’s still hurting.

During a break, a Director from another Department, whom I’m on first-name terms with but I still consider an authority figure, approached me. I couldn’t help but notice that he had lost weight (20, 30 pounds?) and that he looked great.

I was just about to open my mouth to compliment him when he leaned down and asked, “Tori, may I share a quick story with you?”

“Of course, Tim,” I offered, “please do.”

He knelt down next to me and my brain quickly ran through possible scenarios of things I might have done wrong (or right) that could have impacted his Department. Needless to say, I was both a little confused… and curious.

“Over 30 years ago, my father died at the age of 56. While he had other health issues, the cause of his death was pretty much attributed to his weight,” he started.

I sat and listened, unsure of where this was going. Was I about to be lectured on losing too much weight by a Department Head? That I was still too big and needed to be more strict?! Hmmmm. My brain rolled it over but I stayed quiet.

“He had a paunch, a bad diet, and wasn’t as healthy as he could be,” he continued. “I realized, turning 56 this year, that I was heading in the same direction. It was right about that time that I saw your article.”

Uh oh. Does this Director follow THIS blog? Crap, he thinks I’m a psychopath.

“I saw the article you posted for the (school name) blog about staying healthy as a full-time student and the blurb you wrote about the MyFitnessPal app.”

He pulled out his iPhone and loaded the application.

He had logged in for 255 straight days. The exact number of days since my article had been published.

“Your article got me thinking that I really had no idea what I was eating. I was going down the same path as my father and I was likely to experience the same health problems, and probably an early death, as he had. I had no accountability or cognizance of what I was putting into my body.”

I’m pretty sure my jaw was on the floor at this point.

He pat my shoulder. “I’ve lost almost 30 pounds (ha! I was right!) and it’s thanks to your article. I just thought you should know: you’ve changed my life.”

He gave me a hug and we joked a bit about the unhealthy snacks they had for us at the meeting, but I was mostly stunned into awed silence.

When he returned to his seat and the meeting continued, it took me a few minutes to get back into focus.

This man, a major leader and creative figure in my company, had been influenced to change his life by my words. My journey, my experience, and my time-tested tools have helped him to improve his health and rebel against a genetic predisposition.

I’m humbled.

Perhaps, though a rough journey some days, I’m in this yo-yo for a reason. Maybe, just maybe, my struggles are for a cause greater than my own.

If I can influence one person to improve their life, then I’ll endure every sweaty, muscle-burning workout. I will walk away from every slice of chocolate cake, no matter how fudgy and delicious it looks, if it helps someone else sustain their will power. I will keep fighting, forever, if I know that it’s helping just one other person throw a punch themselves.

God bless Tim. God bless his journey. God bless everyone committed to improving themselves and loving their flawed little bodies along the way.

On that note…

Bon appetit, my friends, and keep fighting.

-Tori

New Diet Monday!

You guessed it. It’s Monday! Thus starts the commitment to a new diet.

In this case, it’s an old diet. I’m recommitting to the Paleo Diet [I’ve been cheating a LOT lately, thank you EASTER CANDY!] but I’m combining it with calorie counting, as I’ve been over indulging in the “good foods” so much that they’ve turned into bad ones.

For example:

One handful of raw almonds = good.

One BAG of raw almonds = bad.

With that in mind, I’ve dusted off the ol’ login information for http://www.myfitnesspal.com and set a calorie goal of 1,300 per day to keep me on track.

I forgot how quickly 1,300 calories can be used up! Especially if you enjoy raw nuts as a snack throughout the day. This is going to be a balancing act, to say the least.

It is nice, however, to be tracking my exercise again. I’m less likely to skip the gym if I plug my workouts in at the start of the day. Once it’s in writing, it feels too permanent – too absolute – to delete. So I go.

If I plug in 90 mins of cardio, I do 90 mins of cardio.

If I plug in a kickboxing class, I take the evening kickboxing class.

Plug in wrestling a gorilla? Dang it, I’ll find a gorilla and wrestle that jerk. [I’m assuming he’s a jerk but he’s probably a nice gorilla just trying to hug me.]

Funny how keeping a diary – especially a public one, like My Fitness Pal – makes you more accountable. Knowing that several of my friends and coworkers can see my food journal, my exercise journal, and even my public body stats [currently posted: weight, waist, and hips] makes me feel that much more committed to sticking with a plan.

And right now, I need the commitment, because my will power has been slacking.

On that note, I think it’s time for a snack! 🙂

~ Tori