Well, the Game On Diet game I’ve been writing about for this month is over! The DingDongs took home first prize — followed closely by the Twinkies (my team) and the HoHos. To see the great prizes — and our fearless Twinkie Leader Dawn in her coronation outfit as the Dairy Queen, go here!
The thing is — we all won. Everyone reports feeling better and noticing positive changes in their body and sense of well-being. That is the beauty of this game — you win even if you lose.
For me personally, I FINALLY got the coveted weight-loss bonus points this week for the first time and turned in my highest score ever. But better than that, the other day at a clothing store, I tried on a pair of size 10 pants — and they fit! They fit quite nicely, thank you very much! At the start of the game, I was a definite size 12 (and sometimes even a 14 depending on the clothes). But I’m a size 10 now! Size 10! (Yes … I know that is “fat” by Hollywood standards, but they are a bunch of twiggy size 0 freaks and I am a real-life woman and for me, a size 10 is a big improvement.) I felt fantastic! So even though I didn’t lose as much weight as some of the others on the game, my body is definitely showing some much needed improvements.
And even more than that, my husband — the Great Doubter and Curmudgeon — actually said “I will admit … you were a lot less bitchy while you were playing this game.” High praise indeed! (The sad thing, he is right. I really do need to get a full night’s sleep every night — it shows in my behavior when I don’t.)
Plus I made $128.36 in pure profit from selling stuff on eBay during the Great Closet Cleanout Project, which was my good habit for the game. I will use this money to fund my book giveaways on this blog (which is currently running in the red. HAHA!)
Anyway, as I think you can tell, the Game On Diet was a positive and eye-opening experience. I learned a lot from it, and it truly helped me to feel better and start changing the way I eat, drink, sleep and exercise. I still have a lot of work to do in these areas, and I plan on playing the game again as I know I’m not set for life in these habits. (Ask me if I’ve exercised since the game ended. The answer: A big fat NO!) But I plan to incorporate many of the lessons I’ve learned, and I promise to post an update on how trying to do this with some tweaks works for me.
Thanks to all of you who were so supportive throughout the game — especially my fellow Snack Cakes! Your words of encouragement meant the world to me.
I thought I would wrap-up my official review of this book with some advice for anyone who decides to try this game themselves.
- Read the book at least one month before the game begins and plan out meals for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinners. The key to success in the food portion of this game is planning, planning, planning. All of us started out behind because we got the books about two days before starting the game (and some of us didn’t get the book until 3 or 4 days in.) I would suggest reading the food chapter closely and taking the month before the game starts to plan out a list of approved meals that will work for you, use the F.Y.T. foods and fit into the game rules. If you can get a plan for each week’s meals ahead of time, you will have a much easier time during the game.
- Invest in a watch that allows you to set an alarm. Then program it so the watch alerts you two hours after every meal. This will help remind you that it is time to eat and give you enough time to obtain and get your meal. (If you program it for two hours after you eat, you’ll have a two hour window of time in which finish your approved mini meal.) When I was pregnant, I had gestational diabetes and had to follow a fairly strict diet that required me to eat at certain times and test my blood. I got a programmable watch at that time, and it was darn handy during this game.
- Purchase at least two reusable water bottles and a filter for your home faucet if you don’t have these already. You will be drinking more water than you are used to (don’t worry — your body will get used to it within a week or so), and your best bet (as well as the environmentally sound choice) is to use reusable water bottles and to get the water from your home faucet (if possible). I have a PUR water filter on my kitchen sink, and it works quite nicely and lasts quite a while before needing to be replaced. I also have two water bottles (I would suggest either aluminum or BPA-free). I HAVE to have cold water to drink so I’d fill them up at night before bed. I would drink one before noon, and then fill it up again so it could get cold. I would then drink the other bottle by midafternoon and then have my last bottle finished no later than 6:30 pm. If you work outside the home, you can have one bottle for home and one for work.
- Keep your water bottle with you as much as possible and drink from it steadily throughout the day. The first few days, I felt daunted by the sheer amount of water I had to drink. But once I started just sipping from it constantly throughout the day, the water started disappearing easily. You’ll be surprised how much you can polish off if you just take a swig from it every few minutes. Or, if you have a bad Internet habit, drink every time you leave a comment, update Twitter, or open a new web site.
- Pick habits that have nothing to do with food, exercise or water. You will get plenty of focus on these areas just doing the Game On Diet so I think it is best to pick a habit that is not related to these areas at all. And because so much of your time will be wrapped up in the other aspects of the game, make sure one of your habits is not time-consuming so you can have at least one easy victory each day!
- Enlist the help of your family and friends. It is very hard to do this when no one else around you is playing the game so try to explain to those around you what you are doing and how they can help. My husband had no interest in playing the game, but he would always remind me “Five minutes before your bedtime. Wrap up what you are doing and go to bed.” He also stopped me from incurring snacking penalties a few times, and didn’t complain when I tweaked some of our family meals to meet my needs. And don’t forget to use your teammates for help when you are having problems! That is why they are there!
- Just do the best you can. Although you should strive to get as many points as you can each day, realize that getting a perfect score isn’t easy. I never got one throughout the whole game — although some of my Snack Cake team members did (I type jealously and admiringly). If you were like me, this is a whole new way of life and it is going to be challenging to pull it all off at the same time. So keep trying every day and be happy with the points you do get. For me, I knew sleeping would be “easy” so I made sure never to lose points there. However, you will probably mess up sometimes and you shouldn’t be hard on yourself if you do.
If you want more advice, check out RhapsodyinBook’s Weblog fantastic guide about how to resist emotional eating. Although some of the advice is very amusing, there is a lot of good information there that will help you out tremendously.
And if you want to get started playing the game right now but don’t have anyone to play with, check out this site here where new games are starting up on a regular basis. (Thanks to Cindy who told me about this site last week on my update post.)
Finally, the Game On Diet web site is up and running and full of great tools, hints and advice.