What, you may ask, does that mean? Well, today is day one of the Game On! Diet challenge that I've embarked upon with some of my coworkers. Now, I couldn't decide whether or not this was something I should post here since it's not technically book club related, but it is book related, and it is about me (the "girl" in Book Club Girl), so hope you'll indulge me. These posts won't take over the blog but this is a big deal for me, and it would seem really odd for me to be posting every day and not mention it occasionally.
The Game On! Diet is the brainchild of Krista Vernoff, head writer and executive producer of tv's Grey's Anatomy and Az Ferguson, winner of the Body-for-Life Challenge. When Krista returned to work after having her baby, she called on Az to help her lose the baby weight. He made her a workout regimen and eating plan that she, well, didn't follow at all. So Az went back to the drawing board. Knowing that Krista had a VERY competitive nature, he decided to present her with a healthy lifestyle plan in the form of a game, that she could play with a team, and that she could play to win. This appealed to her very much. Rather than the focus being on losing weight, the focus is on winning points, a far more tantalizing prospect. So how do you earn points? You can earn a maximum of 100 points a day for doing the following:
1) Eating 5 balanced meals a day, every 2-4 hours -- 6 points per meal
2) Exercising for at least 20 minutes a day -- 20 points
3) Sleeping for a minimum of 7 hours per night -- 15 points
4) Drinking 3 liters of water a day -- 10 points
5) Adopting a healthy new habit that you practice every day -- 10 points
6) Dropping one unhealthy habit -- 10 points
7) Communicating with your team members every day -- 5 points
You earn penalties (points lost!) for:
1) stepping on the scale more than once a day
2) unsanctioned snacking (you can have as much celery and cucumber as you want throughout the day, plus 100 free calories of whatever once a day, no other snacking)
3) Colluding with the opposing team to get them to break a rule
4) Drinking alcohol (see exception below)
5) changing the healthy or unhealthy habit during the course of the game (you have to pick those and stick to them).
It's not about total deprivation as you get:
1) One day off a week, when you don't have to follow any of the rules
2) One meal off a week when you can eat what you want and have one unit of alcohol
3) each day you can have 100 calories of anything as a bonus treat
If you don't lose at least 1% of your weight each week, you lose your alcohol privilege for the duration of the game. The game runs for 4 weeks. Because the book is written by a tv writer, it's funny and extremely approachable, not all diet scary. (no clues as to the fate of George and Izzie on Grey's however ;()
Our points are handed in once a week and tallied with our teammates. The winning team will get to do something to the losing team that we have yet to determine. I am so excited to play this, and having teammates who I'm beholden to will help to keep me honest.
As for my new habits (and they made habits a part of the game because studies have shown that true weight loss happens when there is a lifestyle change, rather than just a diet and exercise change). The unhealthy habit that I'm going to break is being on my blackberry or the computer in the evening hours from the time I get home until the kids are in bed. So from about 6:30-9:30 every night, my husband (who's also playing the game) and I are going to be focused on our family and not distracted by work (it's a tad embarassing that this is something we're not already doing). The healthy habit I'm adopting: three times a day I pump milk at work for my baby. Usually I do this while emailing, talking on the phone, working like a maniac. My healthy habit is going to be that during one of those times I will not be on email or the phone, and will sit at my desk and read, probably starting with short stories, for that 15-minute time period, making it a relaxing and enriching time, rather than a hectic, multitasking time. It's interesting that both of my habits involve turning off technology. I guess there will be a little less tweeting and blogging!
So how am I doing so far? Well, this morning I stepped on the scale and recorded my starting weight. I also measured my waist as even more than losing weight, I want to regain my pre-baby shape. I had a great breakfast of egg whites, spinach, onions and feta cheese with wheat toast and my next meal of the day will be two cheese sticks, 6 almonds, a plum and an apple. For lunch I brought a huge salad with grilled chicken. Check out the picture of all the food I brought to work, it seems like A LOT! You can learn more about the food portion of the game here, and basically, it's all about portions and balancing your protein with your carbs, and including healthy fat in each meal. I plan to do this Twenty & Plenty 20-minute workout in my office around midday. I've already talked with my teammate this am, after she power walked to work so I've earned my communication points for the day!
The days off and meals off make me feel like I really can do this -- I've already planned out a couple of the days off (my daughter's christening next week, the other's graduation the following week). And the meal off gives us even more flexibility if we end up out at a restaurant or just need a break (or, ahem, a drink). To prepare for the food part of the game, I planned out my menus for the week, shopped for it all on Friday at Costco, and made a lot of things yesterday so I don't get tripped up by preparations during the week.
I'll report back in about a week as to my progress. If you're interested in finding out more, you can listen to the great call we had with the authors last Thursday night here. About 30 of my husband's boot campers (he runs an exercise boot camp) are participating in our town, so we all spoke to the authors to get our various questions answered.
That is all, thanks for reading, wish me luck, and game on!