The DietBet has ended. Photos have been submitted. Weights are being verified. Over the course of this competition, I went from 191.5 lbs. to a verified 182 lbs. (actually 181–the camera added about a pound).

 

Here’s a little recap of what I changed to help win the competition (and start my healthier lifestyle).

Be Active!

I started cycling almost every day. The only days I didn’t go for a ride were when my bike was broken down and I couldn’t, so I walked instead. I made an effort to walk more, never take the easy way, and always get in as many little workouts as I could during the day. By turning every moment into a potential workout, I helped burn tons of small amounts of calories that added up in the end.

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Unplug!

I spend a lot of time on the computer. As the marketing coordinator for Buffalo County Community Partners, I do a lot of writing, video and photo editing, and web and graphic design. 90% of my job requires a computer. On top of that, I’m a big TV and film nerd (a goal of mine is to work in the entertainment industry), so I spend a lot of time sitting around watching stuff. I read a lot, too, either on paper or on a tablet, and while reading is an awesome hobby for your mind, it doesn’t do much for your body.

 

So, I made a tremendous effort to limit myself and spend more time outdoors, being active. I still watch movies and read, just not all the time. Cycling has become a huge hobby of mine, so it’s not like I have to pry myself away from the screen to get on my bike, though. Now, I just have to find ways to divide my time between all the things I want to do in a day. By picking an exercise that I love, I’ve made exercising way easier.

no laptop

ReThink Your Drink!

Cutting sugary drinks out was step one for me. I don’t drink a ton of them in the first place, usually an energy drink here or there when I’m not feeling like a morning person, but all that added sugar, even in just a few drinks, adds up really quickly. It takes 2.5 miles of jogging to burn off a 20 oz. pop. And drinking only six 20 oz. pops a month adds up to 5 lbs. of fat in one year. Only six a month? Most pop drinkers drink at least one a day.

Lighten Up!

I’ve started tracking my calories with MyFitnessPal and trying to stay vigilant. I’m not a huge sweets guy, so dropping those wasn’t hard (though I do enjoy gummies when I’m watching a movie). I eats tons of vegetables already, and have only been eating whole wheat and grains for about two years. My big problems are usually pizza and hamburgers and fries, which are fine in moderation, but after following my calories, I was shocked to see how much fat and how many calories were in a simple hamburger.

my plate, fruits and vegetables

In case you didn’t notice, the tools I used to win the DietBet, were all the messages we promote. Even if you take small steps to make changes like these in your life, the results will amaze you. Overall, I think the main thing I’ve learned is that you have to make it work for you. Everyone’s different, with different strengths and weaknesses, different wants and needs, different physiologies. In college, I tried getting in shape by jogging and lifting weights. Guess what, it didn’t work, because I wasn’t interested in jogging and lifting weights. Once I hopped on a bike, though, that was my ticket to fitness. Find what works for you, and stick with it. You’ll feel better and live longer.