The Challenge Begins!

I can't remember how I found the link, but a few weeks ago I found out about DietBet.  It's a website where you bet money against yourself that you can lose a certain percentage of your body weight in a certain time.  Other people enter, too, and then everyone who achieves the weight loss goal splits whatever money is in the pot.

I showed it to Allen, who was jazzed about it.  He'd been feeling down for a few weeks about being heavier than he wanted to be but felt like he was lacking motivation to make the needed changes.  Betting money and hoping to win back his investment plus some?  Just the motivation he was looking for!

He chose the DietBet 4, which is a challenge to lose 4% of your bodyweight in 4 weeks.  For him that means losing 8 pounds.  He's already down 4 pounds and he only started a week ago, and that is just from changing what he was eating and how much (he already has a physically active job).  I predict that he will definitely succeed by the time his challenge is up.

Go, hubby, go!
I, on the other hand, have more than 4% body weight that I'd like to lose.  After Ruby was born I had over a year to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight (and then some), but I never lost all of the "baby weight" from Max before getting pregnant with Ben and while I've lost quite a bit of the postpartum weight from Ben, I'm still nowhere near where I'd like to be.

Fortunately, there was a 10% challenge on DietBet…lose 10% of your body weight over 6 months, with a monthly check in and monthly prize drawings!  I'm feeling pretty good about it, because I've had a few weeks of getting back to clean eating (thank you God, because it does not come naturally for me at all!) and I've already lost some weight.  But I'd really like to lose inches as well, so there's more to go.  If I lose 10% from where I am now, I'll be at 153 pounds, which translates to a healthy BMI for me (currently my BMI indicates that I'm overweight, which is a no duh!)

This is not trick photography and I am only 5'6"…our kitchen really is that small.
I'm starting at 170 pounds, squeezing into size 12 pants (my 14s fit better), and with B/W/H measurements of 38"/34.5"/45.75".  There's the honest truth, readers, and one that I would never, EVER have made public 10 or 15 years ago.  I would never have allowed a picture like the one above to go public, either.  I used to be so ashamed of my appearance and weight, obsessed with getting to a weight of 140 pounds (don't ask me why that number, I have no idea.  It just seemed like the right number…and one I haven't been since middle school.)

But the more I obsessed, the more my efforts at losing the weight seemed to fail.  And even when I did manage to lose weight--even enough that other people noticed and praised me for it--it felt like an empty success.  I still didn't like myself and I still was only valuing myself based on whether or not my newly (and stressfully acquired) whittled waist and hipline were attracting my crush's attention.  (Plot spoiler: It didn't work.)

I'm not going to tell the whole story here and now, but suffice it to say that I've had a fundamental change of heart since then in the way I've learned to view myself and view food.  I've regressed at times but I'm back on the right track and couldn't be more grateful to God, because I'll say again that I do not naturally possess a normal relationship to food and apart from grace I can't maintain a proper perspective on it.  It's all grace.  

Although in the past I have released weight slowly and naturally simply from changing my eating habits, I'd like to make sure that this time around I'm also gaining strength and muscle tone by exercising.  I used to be active in college and enjoyed playing basketball, soccer, and rowing crew.  (And by the way, I also learned that you don't have to be good at something to enjoy it, but that's another story for another time!)

Sadly, since college, I haven't had much time or opportunity for exercise and haven't found any that I've enjoyed, which makes it even more difficult to want to pursue it.  But I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that I've found a solution.  We live near a community center which offers--don't laugh too hard--Jazzercise.  

What?? That 80s synth rock muzak and leotard love fest?  Well, I don't think you have to wear spandex tights and leotards any more and it seems that they've modernized the music too.  But I do love dancing so I think dancing-based aerobics are probably a good match for me.  I've had Zumba recommended to me many times but there aren't many good options near by.

PLUS the Jazzercize class offers childcare at $1 per child.  Um, yes.  That is what I'm talking about!  I need to know that my kids are safely and happily entertained while Mommy's sweating to the oldies (or Top 40, as the case may be).  And it's only about five minutes away from my house. This seems like a win, people!

Anyway, I'm waiting for tax refund money to come through to get started, but I'm anticipating good things.  Mostly I'm feeling optimistic because I'm not doing all of this as an attempt to win anyone's approval, not even my own.  My husband, God bless him, fell in love with me when I was tipping the scales at close to 200 pounds. He's loved me when I was a trim 155, and everywhere in between.  My kids don't notice or care: they just love me because I'm Mommy.  I know that I'm a loved child of God regardless of my weight and shape, but I also know that I want to be healthy in the body that He's given me and to take good care of it for maximum usage.  

So here goes the big experiment to let go of those extra pounds gained through horrible eating habits and lack of physical activity.  Wish me luck! I'll check in every so often on here about my progress to stay accountable.  And who knows, maybe I'll even make some moolah doing it!



  1. I loved this inspiring in how your body image has changed. I wanted to say that since I've met you, I never once thought for a split second that you were any kinds of overweight, even though, as you've elaborated, your weight loss efforts don't have anything to do with how others view you. I will be cheering you on! Good for you. As for me, I am a little bit chomping at the bit to get started on exercise/eating better, but being only 4 weeks postpartum and breastfeeding, I know I need to wait. I started this pregnancy about 20 pounds over my ideal weight, and so it makes me a bit antsy. It's just plain hard to be postpartum and remember that you grew a baby, and that it will take time. Anyway, yay for jazzercise! lol that's awesome. (by the way, this is Lauren, but I can't seem to make my google sign reference me as anything besides "unknown" in a comment....any ideas?? :)

    1. Hmm, I'll have to look into why it's not letting you identify yourself. Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. Oooh, also, I have come across a really interesting physical therapy place in WA. I wouldn't normally spend the extra moolah on something like this, but I am wanting to do this the right way, and I know my abs are not in their ideal condition for doing just plan crunches and situps. And thankfully they take my insurance, and whatdyaknow, I've already met my deductible for this year. :) Anyway just thought I would pass along...they have online education as well. - Lauren (again)

  3. How exciting, Jenny. Prayers and best of luck!


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