Tag Archives: diet

The Little Lie

I do my best to remain truthful in all aspects of my life, including avoiding “white lies.” My non-essential memory bank tends to resemble room temperature Swiss cheese: little holes where things can just slip through and the rest is kinda gummy that holds on tightly to things that land on it. Phone numbers for elementary-school friends are in the gummy section, lies easily fall through the holes. Aside from the generic “Okay” response to the person in the elevator that asks how I’m doing, I try to remain honest.

But there’s this little lie I’ve been telling people I don’t know well, mostly people in my office building. I’ve been telling this little lie for a few months and I’ve told it twice today.

Twice today two people who don’t know each other told me at different times of the day that my pants are looking like they’re going to fall off. I replied, as I do anytime someone says something like that, with, “Oh, thank you,” kinda blushed a little and tried to avoid their eyes… because I knew what they were going to say next and I knew I was going to tell them a lie.

“How are you losing weight?” or “What’s your secret?”

Because people in my office don’t need to know the intimate details of my mind or emotions, because people in my office don’t know anything about me aside from my typing speed, because I know my voice will catch and my eyes will start to water, because I know the truth hurts me more than the lie hurts them… I lie.

“Oh, just paying closer attention to what I eat.”

Because people in my office don’t need to know that break-up depression is affecting my appetite. Because people in my office don’t need to know that I’ll be hungry, start to cook something, and then remember how he liked it or how he’d put red pepper flakes all over it or that he didn’t like it, and suddenly my heart is in my throat making it hard to swallow, my stomach is churning and threatening nausea, my mind is rapidly running down guilt-trip lane and I can’t think about food anymore.

Because people in my office don’t need to know that break-up depression is the most effective diet I’ve been on in years.

Because people in my office don’t need to know this, I tell a little lie.

I decided to use my picture from 4-15 because it's closer to what I weighed when I started this game.

DietBet – Week 5, Day 1

 I knew it was coming. I knew I was going to lose my own DietBet challenge. And yet, I’m still very disappointed in myself. There’s not been one weekend where I didn’t gain weight, either due to water retention or poor food choices. But this weekend was worse. I actually gained inches back! I have until tomorrow night to submit my final weight to end the game, but I know I won’t be one of the winners. I’m still in three other games, so I need to keep pushing forward, but defeat is not easily overcome – at least not for me.


 Current weight: 170.2 lbs
Time spent exercising: 1045 minutes 


DietBet 1

DietBet 2

DietBet 3

DietBet 4

Weigh-in weight





% gained or lost













-1.5 inches

-2.25 inches

-1 inch

-1 inch

-0.6 inches

-0.2 inches

-0.5 inches


Though I’m seeing inches lost in my measurements and I can see some changes in my pictures, I’m still not seeing it in the mirror or in the fit of my clothes. I struggled this weekend with what to wear to the Renaissance Faire because I knew it would be hot but none of my tank tops fit properly yet. I hate looking like this.

I decided to use my picture from 4-15 because it's closer to what I weighed when I started this game.

I decided to use my picture from 4-15 because it’s closer to what I looked like and weighed when I started this game.


The scary part? I weighed 3 pounds more 24 hours after taking this picture!

The scary part? I weighed 3 pounds more 24 hours after taking this picture!

 I’d adjusted my caloric intake numbers last week, but I’m struggling to actually hit that number without going over. During the week I’m so strict about what I eat at work so I have enough left for dinner that I frequently don’t get enough calories in before bed. But on days when I do eat enough at work, I seem to be even more hungry at dinnertime and go over what I’m supposed to consume. I know that being under one day and over the next is okay, that it’s pretty much the average that counts, but I’m not seeing a loss like I should. My weekly TDEE was calculated to be 18237 last week and I ate 12284 – nearly 6000 calories below – so I should have seen a loss of at least a pound, if not 1.5 pounds. Instead, I stayed the same weight and gained 2 inches all around!! I’m not going to change my TDEE – 20% just yet; I’ll give it a few more weeks. But it is very frustrating to see reverse results when I feel like I’ve been working really hard the last 4 weeks. 


Not at all happy with my gain in inches.

Not at all happy with my gain in inches.


My stomach looks just as round as day 1.

My stomach looks just as round as day 1.


So I lose. I’ve got 3 more games to complete, so I can’t give up just yet. But it’s going to take some serious digging to find the motivation to continue. Because we all know what the definition of insanity is…

04-02 and 05-07 front comparison

DietBet – Week 4, Day 3

“You have 5 days to lose 6 pounds.”


Those are some sad words. Right at the top of my DietBet page is a reminder of how much weight I need to lose. To do that would be impossible, 1.2 pounds per day.

So I lose. At least, I’ll lose my challenge. But I joined yet another challenge this week. I don’t want to give up after 4 weeks of my challenge, I want to keep my motivation going. And if placing a bet helps, then so be it. The goal is to lose 4% of my weigh-in weight by the end of 4 weeks. At least one of my challenges is on track.  


Current weight: 169.4 lbs
Time spent exercising: 904 minutes 

 DietBet 1DietBet 2DietBet 3DietBet 4
Weigh-in weight168.8170.2172.4168.6
% gained or lost+0.36%-0.47%-1.74%+0.47%


-2 inches-2.75 inches-1.9 inches-1.2 inches-0.4 inches-0.1 inches-0.5 inches


 This week I learned about TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) and discovered something: I’ve been eating too little! I’d been basing my calorie deficit on my BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) – how many calories it takes to sustain my body at the bare minimum (essentially if I were bed-ridden) – and was aiming for 300 calories less than that. But the problem with that calculation is that I’m more active than that. Even if I don’t exercise purposefully, I burn more calories. TDEE calculations estimate day-to-day burn and most experts suggest a 20% deficit to lose weight.

So I did the math. That 80% remainder is nearly 600 calories more than I’ve been eating! Some claim that “starvation mode” kicks in when you eat too few calories, but knowing people who’ve had lap-band or gastric bypass surgery I can see that “starvation mode” doesn’t happen that fast – the body still uses fat stores for energy when you deprive it of calories.

So I’m increasing my caloric intake by 600 calories. In the last 2 days I’ve lost almost 1 pound. I’m sure that’s not due to two days of increased calories, but rather a combination of things. Regardless, it’s giving me hope that I can do this.

I am finally seeing some real change in my body when I look at pictures. I can only assume that the increase in weight is from muscle gain/water retention, since I’ve clearly lost fat around my stomach.


04-02 and 05-07 front comparison04-02 and 05-07 side comparison









More and more I’m thinking I’m going to cut Zumba from my weekly exercises and just focus on strength training. With the weather warming up, I can walk during my breaks/lunch at work and make that my only cardio.

So, I’ve created another DietBet challenge of my own and the weigh-in days are this Saturday and Sunday, with the challenge officially starting on Monday. If you’d like to join this challenge, you can follow this link: http://bit.ly/104UjSA

*Edit from the author: I’d originally reported I’d be eating 300 calories more than I had been. However, I realized I’d done my TDEE calculations with the multiplier for exercise 3x/week, not 5x/week. I used the correct multiplier and have now increased my TDEE -20% intake.