Tag Archives: motivation

Diet Bet

Have you heard of Diet Bet or Diet Better rather? It is a part of the newest (or new to me) online phenomena called, Social Dieting. My sister-in-law turned me onto it about 10 weeks ago. I played a “round” that lasted 4-weeks and the bet was $25. Anyone making their goal won some cash by splitting the pot.  I took home a whopping $43 and change which I could either receive in a Paypal payout or put back down for another round.

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There are two games you can play and games start all of the time almost daily in some cases. Diet4 is about losing 4% of your body weight in 4 weeks. That’s the one I played and won a chunk of the pot with maybe 20+ players. Then there is Diet10 nicknamed “The Transformer.” As you probably guessed it is about losing 10% of your body weight and the time period is 6 months.  5 months to lose it plus an additional maintenance month to show you can keep it off. There are milestones along the way that you must hit in order to stay in the game. Each round the pot grows as people stay in it to win it. The nice thing is that everyone I have come into contact with is very motivating and you get a sense that everyone wants everyone else to succeed. That is surprising considering that less who succeed through Round 6  get a larger percentage of about $70,000+ and that’s no chump change! As the site explains, “There’s no extra credit for finishing first or for losing the most weight. Everyone who wins splits the pot equally.”

However, I must say that I don’t think that the possibility of just one person winning it all is very likely with 528 total players. In fact, even if 25% of the players don’t hit their goal then the take home pot for the remaining players will be around $175. Not bad, but really even if I don’t make it all the way through if I include the single round from earlier I will have lost  approximately 7% of my body weight since Super Bowl Sunday. Not bad and much cheaper than a personal trainer! When you get down to it the site is about goals, motivation and accountability.  For me, it’s working as I know I have that weekly weigh-in.  In this regard it is a lot like weight watchers, except I can win cash and I don’t eat a lot of processed weight watcher products that I will eventually stop buying.

Currently, I’m closing in on the end of Round 1 of “The Transformer” and I am doing well. In Round 1 a player needs to lose 3% and I’m 93% to my goal for this round meaning I have a little less than half a pound to lose in the next 10 days.

Each round’s loss goal are as follows:

  • Round 1 – 3% (I’m at 93% of this 3%)
  • Round 2 – 6% cumulative
  • Round 3 – 8% cumulative
  • Round 4 – 9% cumulative
  • Round 5 – 10% cumulative
  • Round 6– Maintain 10% cumulative

A Few More Details:

On the Diet Better site you have a profile which you can make as private or open as you wish including if someone can see your weight. For official weigh-ins you submit 2 photos each week (suggested) or you can not weigh-in and just do one official weigh-in for each round approximately every 4 weeks.

If you do weigh-in each week then you are entered into drawings for prizes like gift cards, cookware and fitness equipment. I’ve weighed-in each week to keep myself moving toward the target goal of a total of 10% overall. Your photos and weight are reviewed by a third party of the site and you get a confirmation email that your photos and weight have been approved.  Photos are in “airport security attire” meaning that you are wearing shorts and a t-shirt sans shoes. One photo is full body and the other is of the digital scale (digital required) with a password the site gives you for each weigh-in. At each submittal you check a box stating that you understand that you may be audited at any time for submittals. I would surmise that someone who magically loses a large percentage of their weight in a short amount of time would be audited. The game is set up to be fair and reward steady progress toward your goal.

Overall I like it! Plus, assuming I hit my goal I will be at or near my performance weight for my ultra marathon come June! My Fitbit feeds into the site so I can share activities  and even weigh-ins from Fitbit if I so choose. Other fitness social media as well as standard social media can be attached to feed into or out of the Diet Better site as well so it’s obvious that some thought and planning was put into this site. The combination of Diet Bet and Fitbit are really helping me stay on track day by day and hour by hour.  All the data I need is available and I can check where I am at any moment of any day and make healthy choices accordingly.

Give it a try if you want a new and different way to get motivated about dropping a few pounds! Just be realistic and help yourself by helping others stay motivated! I’m sure I will keep you all updated as I progress through the  6 month challenge.

Happy Training!


Mou Ichido

When I was 19 years old I started taking martial arts lessons. I eventually earned my black belt in an Okinawan style of karate called Shorei Goju Ryu. Throughout the years I trained in karate there were several key lessons that have stuck with me to this day.

The most memorable stems from what my sensei jokingly called, “The Great Okinawan Lie.”  The “lie” was a Japanese phrase he used on the mat almost daily. He would tell us repeatedly, mou ichido (pronounced Mo-EE-Chi-Doh). In Japanese, mou ichido translates to “one more time” and conveys a sense of one’s repetition of something as part of a process.

There’s a lot to be said about repetition and muscle memory; how it can help us perform without thinking whether that is the way we do our job or how some runners can seemingly on instinct run a specific pace and come in within a few seconds of their target goal each time regardless of the distance of the race. The conscious effort to continue or to do another repetition leads to a habit or muscle memory that becomes over time, second nature to how we perform. We begin to perform on autopilot. However, we must consciously push mou ichido and strengthen that muscle memory and our very resolve to continue when otherwise we don’t feel like it or are just unmotivated.

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Muscle memory comes after 1000s of repetitions, but you have to choose to practice, train and do it, mou ichido.

To this day I still find myself repeating the mou ichido mantra during training sessions. One more time, one more repetition, one more rep, one more set, one more lap, one more mile and sometimes, one more step.

Happy Training


You can follow me on Facebook at Running Down a Dream 23!

Back on Track to being Motivated

It’s been tough getting motivated to train over the last few weeks. My heart has just not been in it and with the holidays there is plenty to keep me doing other things than hitting the gym on a regular basis. One thing that motivated me two weekends ago was a fellow Daily Mile member who had asked for anyone who could run to go out for a mile or two since he was injured and “on the bench.” That day I managed to go outside and run an easy 5K.  Last weekend I managed a nice 10+ mile run at the gym. The miles were easy as I watched ESPN on the treadmill. This was a confidence booster as I hadn’t ran over 5 miles in several weeks. The next day I felt great with zero soreness giving testament to my enduring fitness level even though I had been taking it easy with only 1-2 workouts a week. Goes to show you that fitness does go away, but it doesn’t go away overnight.

This also reinforces that it’s okay to take some time off and cut back as long as it doesn’t turn into six months of doing nothing. I was hitting the gym 1-2 times per week getting a lot of extra sleep and recouping physically, mentally, and motivationally. Now it’s go time as I have a full marathon at Walt Disney World in 45 days!

Last Sunday I did my 10 miler. Monday I hit the elliptical and some light weight lifting. Tuesday I did some speed work on the treadmill with twelve 400m repeats. Today I duplicated Monday’s workout.

So I feel like I’m back on track, but with that being said I’d like to lend some advice on getting back on track to finding your motivation again when it gets lost in the woods.

Ways to Find your Motivation

  1. Start Small
    1. Just like when you first started being more active if you’ve been away for two weeks or two months don’t try to pick back up exactly where you left off. Go for a walk, a short run, ride a bike in front of the TV, play a sport you love, or walk your dog, but just get active again!
  2. Follow others to find motivation
    1. Someone you know likes to run, bike, swim, lift weights or play badminton. If you don’t have someone personally close to you then go out to Facebook, the daily mile, or the plethora of other websites and just watch those people go!  Many are willing to send you an “atta-boy OR atta-girl” for being active.
  3. Don’t think
    1. You can be your own worst enemy so quit thinking and start doing. Don’t sit there and talk to yourself about how busy you are for next 10 minutes. Instead use that 10 minutes to be active! A 10 minute walk is activity!
  4. Tell everyone about it
    1. Find some motivation by posting what you did on a website or start your own blog. If not then just tell the first person you see who asks, “How are you today?”  The response, “I’m good! I hit the gym this morning.” If you have a specific goal tell them about that too. Nothing motivates you more than knowing that everyone knows, you know?
  5. Find a goal
    1. Find something far enough in the future that you can train for it, but close enough that you need to start now.  Looking forward to a half marathon a year from now means you could slack for six months and still do it.  Registering for a 10K six weeks from now means you need to get going now!
  6. Daily reminders
    1. Put it on your calendar at work to remind you daily about your goal. Add an update to your mobile phone. Write a note and put it on the fridge!
  7. Find a buddy
    1. You don’t have to do the same workout, but just being accountable to someone else that you’ll show up at the gym does wonders.  You can’t let ’em down!
  8. Do your homework
    1. Subscribe to Men’s Health, Runner’s World, or some other fitness oriented magazine. Reading about exercise will keep it on your mind and perhaps motivate you to try new things.  You can also go to Amazon.com and find some great books on running or just about any other sport or form of exercise. Go for those inspiring stories that make you want to run out the door at 3am for a 10K run! No extra cash to buy these things?  No problem. Follow a few more fitness bloggers for free or “Like” a magazine on Facebook. Those sites put up free content all of the time!
  9. Get on a plan
    1. If you are returning and have a goal then write down a training plan even if it’s a simple one. Even if it’s a one week plan that you are going to repeat for the next four weeks that’s okay. Just get it down on paper.  And remember, write it in pencil.  Who knows, you may run an extra couple miles and need to edit!
  10. Talk yourself up
    1. I’ve written before about negative self talk or what I call the Voices of Doubt and I’m sure you’ve heard that voice in your head saying, “It’s too early just go back to bed.” or “Who cares about your run tomorrow when you can watch the American Idol finale now?” or worst of all “You’re not good enough. You can’t do this. You should give up.”
    2. When you hear those voices you should instantly say something positive. “I’m awake so I’m getting up.” or “I’m going to DVR American Idol, problem solved.” or “I am amazing!”  Positive self talk is a method used by both amateur and professional athletes so why not use it yourself.  Telling yourself, “I can do this!” is a great way to prove yourself right!

That’s it! 10 ways to stay motivated or get re-motivated. If you are state side I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. If you see me at Disney in January be sure to say, Hi!

Happy Training!


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