Year 2, Week 39 Weigh-In

Chomp, Chomp, Chomp!  That’s how I had planned on starting this blog entry for my 39th weigh in of the year because I was eating everything in site and running as little as possible.  I had expected a much higher weight as opposed to a new all time low but, I have one theory as to why my weight dropped again instead of going up.

2015 Wallpaper 02 - 2015

My thinking is that I removed a lot of physical stress.   Ever since the Navy/AirForce half marathon a couple weeks ago I’ve mainly been running the single miles needed to maintain my run streak and by eating whatever I wanted there was also no need for my body to fear any impending famine so there was zero starvation mode stress as well.  I can only guess corticosteroid levels would be minimized with this type of behavior.  It is kind of bizarre though and a little counterintuitive but, I’ll happily accept it 🙂

Today was also the official ending for the last of three 10% diet bets I had placed at the beginning of this year.  I had bets which started in Jan, Feb and April and each lasted for 6 months.  I have two more 10% bets I recently placed which both end in February of 2016 with an ending weight of 222.

I am curious and wondering if I could pull off a 4 week, 4% diet bet starting at this verified weight of 232.6.  That would require me to get down to 223.3 in four weeks.  A 6 month 10% diet bet would require me to get down to about 209 pounds.

209…that kind of plays games with my head a bit – something I’m not used to seeing.  My HealthyWage bet which comes due July 5th of 2016 is for 212 pounds.

…..OK – I’m committed!  I just signed up for three different 4 week, 4% weight loss diet bets that all started today and will end on Wednesday, 4/28.   The final weigh-in will be Thursday, 4/29 to midnight on Friday 4/30.  Thursdays are my weekly weigh-in day for this blog so I’ll shoot for a Thursday morning weigh-in and it must be 223.3 or less.

I have never lost a diet bet or monthly weigh-in and this will be the biggest challenge yet.  All I know about weight in the low 220s is when I was ranked in PowerLifting USA magazine I had a 515 bench at a 222 lb body weight and that was back around 2001 so, I’ll be pushing the clock back well over a decade if I can pull this off.

Stay tuned!  🙂

2015 Week 13 Weigh In

Today I weighed in at 260.2 which is exactly what I need to weigh this Saturday to win my next DietBet Challenge.  Pretty cool 🙂  I’ve actually dipped down into the upper 250s so, I’m well on my way to hitting my previously set goal for this year of being down into the low 240s.

2015 Wallpaper 02 half - 2015

 

It’s kind of crazy, from the first weigh in of the month when I went up a bit and hit 272.8 I ended up dropping 14 pounds over the next 18 days.

The one month DietBets where we’re supposed to lose 4% of our body weight have been interesting because the one “big money” game where we bet $100 only paid off a total of $108 but the smaller games that cost only $30 ended up paying off about $45 each – easy money.

Next week, I’m going to sign up for a third 6-month transformation DietBet where the goal is to lose 10% of your bodyweight in 6 months.  The breakdown of what we have to lose each month is really cool.  In order, the weight loss goals are 3%, 3%, 2%, 1%, 1%, 0% and as long as you hit your goals each month, you with money.

These 6 month challenges require a wager of $150 but, if you pay it all at once you can get in for only $125.  If you choose to pay monthly then you have the option of quitting at anytime and not paying any more money.  Half of the money bet goes towards the final jackpot while the other half is split evenly among the preceding 5 months or rounds.  Since I put in $125, half of that or $62.50 goes towards the final jackpot month while the rest is split up and $12.50 (1/5th of the remaining half) goes towards the first 5 months or rounds.

I’ve got one 6 month game, which is generally referred to as DB10 for DietBet 10%, that has completed two rounds so far.  In the first round I won $15.67 and there were 296 winners who each got that amount.  Just a tad over $3 profit on that round since I had $12.50 at stake.  Round 2, however, paid out $24.85 with 180 winners so I about doubled my money in that round.  Nothing huge but it sure is fun 🙂

weigh in progress

The Dashboard section of each game shows you exactly where you’re at and what you need to weigh at each checkpoint.  There’s also a neat graph which shows every time you weighed in.  I’ve never seen my weight on a graph before but, here it is for one game

weight chart

As things stand now, I’ve already touched on the weight I need to be at for next months jackpot – that round ends in 25 more days.

Anyway, on April 1st I’m going to join my 3rd DB10 game which runs from Apr 01 – Sept 30 and I want to weigh in at exactly 260 lbs so, i might have to eat up to that weigh a bit but I want 260 because that will give me a final weight in 6 months of exactly 234 lbs 🙂 and I like how those numbers all go in order …. 2 – 3 – 4 🙂  I’m funny that way.  😀

234lbs is also exactly about 10 lbs under the low 240s goal.  I’m comfy in the low 240s.  I have plenty of clothes to wear and don’t mind taking my shirt off to go swimming and stuff like that.  240 might seem like a heavier weight to some but, I still have a fair amount of muscle mass – I’m good with it.

The one thing that is pushing me is the running.  I really want to get better.  I want to be faster.  I want sub 10 minute per mile training times to be the norm again.  As a football lineman in high school I ran a 6:04 mile – we needed 6 or better to get an extra sticker on our helmet but, the goal of wanting to get under 6 minutes has never left my head.  I still believe it’s possible.  When I was a few weeks away from my first full marathon, I was able to maintain a pace better than 15 mph for a bit over 2/10ths of a mile.  I wanted to see what a Roger Bannister speed felt like.  If there’s anyone reading this who isn’t aware – Roger Bannister was the first person to ever run a sub 4 minute mile.

May 6, 1954 Roger Bannister Breaks the 4 minute barrier with a time of 3:59.4

May 6, 1954 Roger Bannister Breaks the 4 minute barrier with a time of 3:59.4

15 mph is the pace you need to run a 4 minute mile.  1 minute per quarter mile.  I remember conversations with friends about that quarter mile and the 60 second mark.  Sub 60 seconds would be super cool to hit.

This Saturday is the middle of a 5 week stretch of runs I have every weekend.  It’s an interesting mixture of runs I have going.  Two weeks ago was the 5 Mile St Patrick’s run in St Louis, last weekend was a 5K at a local University, this Saturday is the inaugural Bridge & Dam 10K at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri then I’ll have back to back 1/2 marathons to cap off the 5 weeks.

Then there’s going to be a weekend break while I’m out of town on business but after that I’m very curious about a local Duathlon which consist of a 1.5 mile run, a 10 mile bike ride then another 1.5 mile run.  It’s perfect for beginners 🙂

The following week is another local 5K which is one of a three part series of local events.  The other two events are the local Tour de Belleville which I do almost every year anyway and the final event is a Gingerbread 5k sometime in December but, completing all three events qualifies people for a 2015 Belleville Triple Crown Athlete Medal – sounds kinda cool.

Right now, my current weight is below my average 2014 weight.  In April, I’m looking for my average weight for that month to be in the 250s and, probably by May, my average weight for this year will be below what I was at last year.  So, three little metrics to ponder and help keep the game fun & winning.

Exactly 1 year ago on 3/26/14 is when I kicked off my running for 2014 so I’ve been able to put in 61.5 miles of running so far this year which puts me well ahead of last year.  With this weekends 10K plus a simple 5k I’ll break 50 miles for the month.  I only had 4 months last year when I hit or exceeded 50 miles.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what the rest of this year brings in the running aspect of my life 🙂

Almost forgot to advertise!  🙂  The other bets I was talking about in this blog are from DietBet.com but, i also have a big money kinda bet going on a site called Healthywage.com.  Below is what I can win from a $756 bet.  If you want to partake and add an extra $20 to my final prize to boot then just click on the picture below and a new window will pop open to let you place your own bet.  You pick what you want to weigh anywhere from 6 to 18 months in the future and can wager as little as $10 per month or more to reap some serious cash 😀

Click on the Banner to get your share!

Click on the Banner to get your share!

2015 Week 10 Weigh-In

It looks like the status quo of weight loss is being maintained and, after 5 consecutive weeks of drops we have a gain to this morning’s weigh-in of 272.8lbs.

2015 Wallpaper 02 half - 2015

Why do I say status quo?  I say it because in three previous 12 week contest with over 1,000 other competitors, I’ve ended up placing 1st, 3rd and 4th so, I did about as well as a person could do and often better than most and in each one of those contest there were 3 times my weight would go up in each 12 week period of time.

To be honest, I’d forgotten this was Thursday and time to weigh in again.  I got an email this morning from DietBet stating that Round 1 of one of the 6 month bets was over and I had 48 hours to weigh myself, take pictures then submit all that good stuff to dietbet.  The email said the weight goal I needed was 272.8 lbs and it just so happened I hit it right on the button so I took the pics needed, submitted, got the weight verified and now …I’m one of the official winners of this Round 1.

Now we get to have some fun!  There’s finally a challenge!  Besides those two Six-Month bets I have going on, I added a single 4 week challenge that ends on the 28th of this month.  I’ve got $100 riding on this bet and will need to be at 260.2 lbs by Saturday, March 28th – a full 12.6 lbs less then I weigh today in only 23 days 🙂

Thus far, I am undefeated on DietBetter.com – 5 for 5 which includes three 1 month challenges where I was to drop 4% of my bodyweight as well as Round 1 (the first month) of two 6 month challenges.  Let’s make it 6 for 6 come the 28th of this month 🙂

4 Diet Bets Placed & First Run of 2015

In this blog:

  • DietBetter.com – 4 Bets Placed!
  • Charitable Contributions – ALS
  • Race With Reason & First Virtual Run 🙂
  • HealthyWage.com –
  • First “Run” of 2015

 

DietBetter.com – 4 Bets Placed!

In addition to HealthyWage.com I’ve been keeping an eye on another weight loss betting site called DietBet found at dietbetter.com.  DietBet has two different types of weight loss games that can be played.  One game is called The Kickstarter for losing 4% of your bodyweight in 4 weeks and the other game is called The Transformer and consist of losing 10% in 6 months.

There are many different games of each type to choose from and participants may join up to three of each type of game.  Earlier tonight, I signed up for 3 different Kickstarter games and one upcoming Transformer game.

The most common bet for the 4% game is $25 or $30.  I signed up for two of the $30 games then found a third one for $100.  The initial verification weigh ins consist of two pictures.  One is a full length body pic and a second pic of the scale with a keyword written on an index card next to the scale.  My keyword was “LIME”.

The FAQ for DietBet mentioned payouts of 1.5-2x the amount initially wagered.  I’ll find out in a month if this whole thing is for real and how much I’ve won.  I’d like to turn that $160 into $200 which would beat the heck out of my savings account.  I’ve also learned that in any 12 week period I’ve dropped weight in the past that there’s always about 3 weeks where my weight is stagnant or goes up so I’m thinking those would be good points to enter into new Kickstarter games in the future.

DietBet Profile

Above is a screenshot of the upper right corner of everyone’s profile page on DietBet.  So far, the site is really pretty cool and a lot of fun.  Each contest has it’s own page and a posting wall kind of like Facebook where people can update their status and post pictures.  There’s also a phone app for the site I was able to download on my phone.  We’ll learn more in the weeks to come 🙂

The 10% six month Transformation game I’m in starts this Thursday.  For either type game we have 48 hours before the game starts and up to 14 days after the game starts to submit our beginning weight.  This game is a $25 per month game for a total of $150 wagered but participants are given an option of paying for 5 months up front and getting the sixth month for free.  If a person chooses the monthly option they get a choice of dropping out of the game anywhere along the line.  Paying up front doesn’t give the option but does save you some money.

Another interesting part of the game is that you can be disqualified if you lose too much weight.  If you lose more than triple your goal, say 12% of your bodyweight in a 4% contest then you get the boot.  The 10% Transformation contest has 6 different monthly rounds and i believe there is a payout at the end of each round.  The target loss for round 1 is 3% and if you lose more than 12% you get disqualified.  Likewise in round 2 the target is 6% and disqualification is at 18%.


 

Charitable Contributions – ALS

One more interesting thing with DietBet is you can allocate a portion of your winnings to the charity of your choice.  I chose to donate 10% of my winnings to ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.  I’m not sure if the DietBet site will be able to do that automatically but, if not I found a couple sites that take contributions.  alifestoryfoundation.org and alsa.org.  Another new site I learned about tonight was Charity Navigator (http://www.charitynavigator.org) which ranks over 8,000 of America’s largest charities in terms of accountability, financial health and transparency.  The ALS Association (alsa.org) was cited with 4/4 stars.


 

Race With Reason & First Virtual Run 🙂

#RaceWithReason is a regular hashtag I used on my Instagram running post.  (@drdukowitz)  I’m not exactly sure how it works but I signed up with the site for an Around the World (location) Virtual Run called Race With Reason 2015.

rwr titles

Apparently, I’ll be getting a Race With Reason t-shirt in a month and at the end of the year I’ll get a medal based on the number of miles ran for the entire year.  Since I got 391 miles last year, I think going for the 500 mile Fighter medal seems appropriate.


First Run of 2015

Looking back over 2014 I had 8 months of running – March through October with zero running the first two months of the year in Jan & Feb and no running in Nov & December.  With a 391 mile total, I averaged just shy of 49 miles per month in the 8 months I did run.

Anyway, I really wanted to put something down other than a zero for this first month so, with less than 2 hours left in the month of Jan I headed out my front door to knock out a couple miles.

daily run

 

 

 

Betting to Lose & Week 5 Weigh-In

In this blog:

  • HealthyWage.com
  • A VLOG?
  • Week 5 Weigh-in
  • Drop 70+ lbs in 12 Weeks

 

I kind of messed up my last blog by not completing it, forgetting about it, then not publishing until 4 or 5 days later and then forgetting I didn’t finish it until after I clicked that publish button 🙂  sometimes I get easily distracted.

HealthyWage.com

HealthyWage.com is a website where you can bet to drop an amount of weight of your choosing, in a time frame of your choosing.  I have learned a bit about the specific algorithm the website uses.  For my particular case and set of personal statistics, I’ve learned that any total bet at or above $760 yields the same payout results of $16 per pound loss.  So, that’s a profit of $160 per 10 lbs lost or $1,440 for 90 pounds lost.

It doesn’t matter if I take 6, 8 or 10 months to lose the weight, the payout is the same.  It also doesn’t matter if I bet more – bets of $1,000, $2,000 or even $3,000 yield the same profit of $1,440.

There are two aspects to starting the program.  One is to get a verified beginning weight and the other aspect is to choose your bet.  There are two ways to get a verified weight.  One way is to make a short video of yourself getting weighed.  The other way is to print out a verification form that you would take to your doctor and have them sign and date the form with a weight obtained at their office.

I did both – and my doc was kind enough to take a quick 53 second video of me as well as signing my verification form.  I took a picture of the form and spliced it into the ending part of my video so everything is about as legitimate as I could make it.  In the video it is recommended to wear minimal clothing so I had on shorts and a t-shirt, no shoes.  The video composition is simply of me stepping on the scale, then a close up shot of my weight (which was 292.0) then me stepping off the scale, pulling out my pockets to show nothing is in them, turning in a circle,  then stepping back on a second time with a second reading (which was the same).  Pretty easy and that follows the sample video HealthyWage gives on their website.

I’ve got my video uploaded and now have up to two weeks to decide on a bet.  I’m pretty certain I’ll max out my potential profit with a total bet of $760 but am uncertain as to the total amount of weight to lose or the time frame in which to lose it.

One caveat with that site is that you only can make a bet once.  I have a years worth of statistical data regarding my weight as well as data buried in my computer somewhere from two other times I did the 12 week Lose to Win contest.

One thing I learned from the contest was that each time I did that contest I kept starting out at a higher weight which is a reason I was happy that I maintained my weight within that 260 +/- 3% range last year and from my monthly averages I can see I maintained that range through the end of November.

Overall, I think maintaining any given weight is kind of a farce – at least for me.  I can see maintaining an amplitude range around a given weight and maybe even working to minimize that amplitude range so, if I was 205 then my range might be from 200 to 210 and based on my data from last year, I’d probably be a little rotund during the Christmas holidays but more svelte & sexy towards the end of Summer 😉  🙂

A VLOG?   (Video Blog)

When I was trying to verify the legitimacy of HealthyWage.com I came across a forum where someone suggested looking at YouTube to find people who had shared their experience with HealthyWage.  I didn’t find a lot of personal testimony (none actually) but there were plenty of news stations that had featured HealthyWage.com  Below is a screenshot from one of the videos (you can click on the picture to see the entire video)

2014 HealthyWage Press Release YouTube

I wish I could gain $2,000 for losing 29 pounds.  When you first sign up at HealthyWage there is a small form to fill out and one of the questions ask what kind of a better/person you are – ie, casual or looking to be competitive or one choice is “I’m here to make money (lose 15% or more)” and I chose the most aggressive option of being there to make money so, that might have tagged me as a ringer or something which is why my winning is limited to that $1,440 or $16/lb prize.  That’s still not bad and a $760 bet would still put my total prize over $2,000.

I’ve had an idea of putting up a VLOG before during my previous contest but never pulled the trigger on that idea.  I have received some encouragement on this idea.  I think my student loan may be pushing to make it a reality.  Not including any previous college, just the DC program debt is now made up of 13 different students loans which have topped $270,000.00 and in my mind, if I do nothing with everything I’ve learned then that money spent is truly a waste and can really only have any value if other people are helped in some way.  Even if it’s just one other person, if their life can be made better then we can start to ascribe some value to the educational investment.

idk – I do have many thoughts and ideas regarding a VLOG and maybe I’ll hash them out a little more in future blogs.  If I go that direction I may add another tab on this blog called YouTube.  I only have about 1/2 dozen videos posted and only about three of those are any good but I still get comments on a very regular basis.  My primary audience consist of 1st year med students.  If nothing else, putting up a VLOG could help me get back into completing other anatomical videos that I’ve thought about for a long time.

Week 5 Weigh In 

I better get this part in before my mind goes too tangential and I don’t finish like last time.

2015 Wallpaper 01 January - 01-23-2015

I can update my Running Log tab and put down an average weight of 278 for the month.  It’s actually 277.6 but, I’m trying to keep that data clean and easy to look at.

And Voila!  My odometer/weight table is updated and I’m 15 lbs lighter than I was last year at this time 🙂  Next month I’ll need to average lighter than 269.  And, if I can get my butt outside for almost any amount of time then I’ll be able to enter something other than a zero for my monthly mileage which would beat last years total.

Now, I did have an official verified weigh in of 292 this past Monday so, it may look like I’ve dropped 13.4 lbs in the past 4 days but, I was already pushing 280 the week before and was probably well above 280 the morning of my weigh in.  It just so happened that I could only get to the doctors office at the end of the day so bodyweight is usually higher at the end of the day.  But, the weight measurements have to be pretty legitimate so, for the record, all i had to eat the day of the weigh in was a pizza and the day before it was my traditional pre-contest meal consisting of 4 cheeseburgers from McDonalds.  I don’t eat fast food very often but, it was a good reminder of how miserable one can feel when eating that crap – mainly because of an extraordinary amount of sodium in the food.

For the most part, I do my best to make my weekly weigh ins on Thursday mornings, right after I wake up, as was the case this morning.

……………………….

Drop 70+ lbs in 12 Weeks

That would probably make a pretty catchy blog title but, since I’m already pondering it, we’ll tack it on at the end here.

In my previous 3 successful Lose to Win contest I did drop over 70 lbs each time in a 12 week period but, this contest is different.  12 weeks was never long enough to actually get lean or even down to a decent percentage of bodyfat.  BMI scales don’t really apply to me because I still have a fair amount of residual muscle from benching over 500 pounds and scarcely anybody ever builds up that amount of strength & muscle so, those norm BMI scales are for more average individuals.  Funny – it wasn’t until just now with this blog entry that I considered again basing an overall weight objective with body fat percentage.  anything below 20% – something in the teens – even high teens would be good for me.  Especially since I’m probably around double that 20% mark currently.

I’ve mentioned previously an initial weight objective in the lower 240s for this year and I am quite happy with that weight.  I can wear a lot of clothes I own at that weight and don’t mind jumping in the pool ..etc

But, there are personal goals such as qualifying again for the Pikes Peak ascent and finishing that run in under 6 hours or, running a sub 2:30 half marathon which, is what’s needed to qualify for Pikes Peak.

and this HealthyWage competition can be any time frame I choose – anywhere from 6 to 18 months….  so, …. less than 240 is where we start getting into uncharted territories which on one hand can make things intimidating and on the other hand can make things exciting.

A final weight of 200-205 is about all my mind can deal with.  So, if i choose to lose 88 lbs that would put me at 204, just under the top end of what my mind can see.  Considering other weight loss objectives of 78 or 68 pounds would yield a final weight of 214 or 224 and, naturally either one of those would be fine as well.

The money is not a tremendous motivator for me and, in many ways would serve the same function of this blog in terms of helping me pay attention to this situation as opposed to ignoring and forgetting about it.  Competition with other people DOES motivate me and helps to bring out my best efforts.  With over 1,000 other people in previous contest – most are average joes but, there are some spectacular people in terms of effort and determination.  During one contest I walked just shy of 100 miles in the first two weeks.  I took 3rd or 4th place in that contest.  They guy that won did some outrageous number of spin classes – something like 124 during the 12 week period and there’s only 84 days in 12 weeks so I talked to him after the competition and he admitted to doing double spin classes on many of the days.  He would spin for an hour before work and again for an hour after work – just amazing effort and focus to keep that up for so long.

People tend to become a part of what they’re around so, in my competitions I would know there are people like that out there and would align myself with those people.  Knowing there are people busting their butt as much as I was or even more.

As far as competing against myself, I have my run mileage and weight data from last year which is nice but not nearly as exciting.

So, do I push myself to shoot for a 204 weight or make things easy on myself and go for a much easier win with say, a 244 weight?

I’m not sure at this point but my inclination is probably summed up by a quote from Thomas Carlyle, “Make no small plans, for they haven’t the capacity to stir men’s souls”