Today is the first day of my experiment in Full Contact, Total Immersion Book Reviewing. Rather than just read the book like a normal person, I’m teaming up with some other book bloggers to review a book by actually living the book! For the next month, I will be reviewing The Game On Diet by Krista Vernoff and Az Ferguson by actually playing the Game On Diet with some fellow book bloggers. Here are the details and what you can expect to see in the coming month.
How I Got
Tricked Into Involved In This
The wonderful and amazing Dawn over at She Is Too Fond of Books e-mailed me an invitation to participate in the Game On Diet about two weeks ago. Dawn made it sound so fun and interesting. Not only would I get a copy of the book, I would be playing with other book bloggers and I might lose some weight in the process. So after a cursory review of the material provided by Book Club Girl (who I believe started this whole thing and gave us our books), I thought “Sure! I can do this.” I accepted Dawn’s gracious invitation to play.
The Teams (Or Who To Root For In The Coming Month)
After getting 10
suckers fellow book bloggers to join in, Dawn’s 4-year-old divided us into two random teams — Team Twinkie and Team Ding Dongs (because it is always good to remind yourself of forbidden food in the middle of a diet competition!). Here are the two teams:
- Dawn at She Is Too Fond of Books
- Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here (that’s me!)
- Jenn at Jenn’s Bookshelf
- Beth at Beth Fish Reads
- Denise at M. Denise C
Team Ding Dong
There is a third team — the Ho Hos — that is also competing, but I don’t know the links to their blogs. The only one I know is Kathy at Brain Lair.
All of us will be posting about the challenge on a weekly basis and Twittering about our experiences throughout. Good-natured teasing and taunting is encouraged, and supporting your team members is part of the game itself. I will be sharing updates once a week on this blog and on my personal blog. If you want to see the Twitters related to this game, you can do a search for #gameondiet. Feel free to cheer us on and provide support — I’m sure we’ll need it! And if you should happen to visit the blogs of the Ding Dongs and leave them comments about how delicious chocolate is or “accidentally” share a great new recipe that just happens to be 1,100 calories, who am I to stop you? (Just kidding. No collusion is allowed in the game but I cannot control what you folks do. KIDDING. Of course. Wink wink.)
How The Game Works
The game runs for four weeks. Each team member has a score sheet and can earn a certain amount of points for their team each week. You earn points by following the rules outlined in the book. You can also lose points by incurring penalties and earn Bonus Points. Each week, each team member records points, penalties and bonuses and submits their score to the team’s designated scorekeeper. At the end of the four weeks, the team with the most points wins! (Prizes are determined by the teams at the beginning of the game.) The maximum number of points you can score each week is 850. Here is a basic breakdown of how to score points, lose points and earn bonus points.
Scoring Points (100 Points Is A Perfect Day)
- 30 Meal Points: Earn 6 points per meal by eating five fully sanctioned meals (as described in the book). No snacks (except cucumbers and celery) between meals.
- 20 Exercise Points: Earned by doing some form of exercise for 20 minutes per day.
- 10 Water Points: Earned by drinking 3 liters of water per day.
- 15 Sleep Points: Earned by sleeping for a minimum of 7 hours per night.
- 20 Transformation Points: Earn 10 points per day for practicing one new healthy habit and another 10 points per day for eliminating one old unhealthy habit.
- 5 Communication Points: Earned by being in contact with at least one teammate and at least on opponent each day. (Phone calls, e-mails, text messages count.)
Each week you get one day off and one meal off. Your day off includes a respite from all the rules and can be spread throughout the week (e.g., Monday can be water day off, Tuesday can be habits day off, etc.) or taken all on the same day. The meal off can be taken at any time during the week but cannot be saved or carried over.
In addition, you can consume 100 calories of whatever you want each day (with the exception of diet soda, soda or alcohol.)
- 1 Point Penalty for Using the Scale for anything other than your weekly weigh-in (to be on the morning on your day off)
- 10 Point Penalty for snacking between meals (except for cucumbers or celery)
- 20 Point Collusion Penalty, which involves suggesting a compromise of integrity between team members or opponents
- 25 Point Per Portion Alcohol Penalty. One portion of alcohol can be consumed with your meal off without penalty. Alcohol can be consumed freely on your day off.
- 50 Point Penalty for changing the habits you chose to work on at the start of the game.
Earning Bonus Points
- Add 10 points for reporting your score to your team scorekeeper on time.
- Add 20% of total points earned if you reach your weight loss goal for the week (lost 1% of your starting weight for the week).
When all is said and done, the maximum number of points scored can be 850.
Why I’m Doing This
As someone who has struggled to lose weight ever since my body betrayed me in my mid-20s and I started packing on the pounds in the midsection, I know that there is no secret to losing weight. Basically, you have to eat healthy, exercise, maintain healthy habits, and get rid of your bad habits. There is no magic pill, and extreme diets don’t work in the long-term.
For me personally, I had some success with Weight Watchers online before I had my son. I was down to 135 pounds and could wear a pair of size 8 jeans that made me look fantastic! Then I got pregnant, went off Weight Watchers and gained about 25 pounds of “baby weight” that is still here (even though my son will be 5 soon).
I’ve never gotten serious about losing weight again — even though I’ve been increasingly unhappy with how I look and feel. But a recent doctor’s appointment was a bit of wake-up call. Basically, I was told my cholesterol was high and I needed to lower it and take off the weight. And whenever I see photos of myself lately, I’m very unhappy with my appearance. I tend not to do well working to lose weight on my own. I’m not strict enough with myself, and I am the queen of making excuses not to exercise. So when I saw what this book was about — losing weight but in the form of a game and with accountability to team members — I knew this might be the approach that might work for me.
I’ve spent the past weekend revamping the food I keep in the house — basically all the foods you are NOT supposed to eat is what I usually eat. (Perhaps that has been part of my problem!) And I’ve thought about my two habits. My good habit to start doing is working on some problem areas in the house that are out-of-control for 30 minutes per day (e.g., the closet in the basement where everything goes that we don’t know what to do with). My bad habit to get rid of is to stop biting my fingernails — a disgusting, lifelong habit that embarrasses me. (My treat to myself if I am able to kick my bad habit is to treat myself to a professional manicure.)
What To Expect
Don’t worry — this book isn’t going to dominate this blog. However, I will be blogging about my progress and experiences every Friday. If you are not interested in this little project, feel free to skip these posts. No hard feelings — I know this isn’t a diet/exercise blog.
However, if this is a topic you are interested in and a diet approach that intrigues you, I encourage you to share my journey. (I’ll also write about this once per week on my personal blog and will be Twittering about it throughout the week.) You can also visit the blogs of the other participants to see how they are doing. And keep this in mind … if you find that you are interested in trying this approach to weight loss, I will be giving away a copy of the book at the end of the game — and I’ll be offering to play the game with you if you need a partner and guide (all of this assumes that I will be able to pull this off in the first place, of course.)
So thank you in advance for your support of this little experiment. Here’s wishing my fellow Twinkies good luck!
The Game Is On!
For more information on the book, you can visit here or check out BookClubGirl’s blog (link above) for more information. The book will go on sale on June 30, 2009.