It's a bird! It's a plane! It's--
Actually it's the launch of my new blog redesign! So if you're reading this in a feed or email, I suggest you click on over to see the full blog (and, hopefully, get the Superman reference). Even my Twitter and Facebook page match the new look. The timing was entirely coincidental, but once I realized that the launch day I wanted would also be my 200th post it seemed downright serendipitous.
Over the years of having various online outlets I've always done my own layout and design and I like to think I did a fairly decent job. This time, though, I had a vision I knew I couldn't do on my own so I reached out to others for assistance. After picking a color scheme (oh the irony, considering this is a healthy living blog), I did the header and sidebar graphics and my good friend Mama Marchand did the HTML, my cousin volunteered her photography skills for a new profile and "after" picture, but the biggest and most exciting part was hiring illustrator Meghan Murphy to design a blog mascot. I told her I wanted a nerdy fitness superhero and good goddess did she deliver.
I love that Meghan added the phoenix onto her shirt. Made her a full-fledged superhero instead of just a girl in a cape.
The Be Your Own Hero concept goes back to my two year healthy living anniversary post and as soon as I typed those words I knew it would make the perfect tagline for this redesign. I also knew it would make the perfect theme for my DietBet challenge, which starts March 1st.
Have you guys heard of DietBet? It's essentially an online weight loss competition where you pay a small fee to play, essentially betting that you'll lose the require amount to win, which is 4% of your starting weight and you have four weeks to do it. (DietBet verifies your starting weight with pictures you send to them and if you are one of the winners they verify it at the end the same way.) Once your starting weight is verified you can update it as often you'd like on the website. Some people do it daily, though I opt for once a week. The in-progress weigh-ins are unverified, so at first it was a little startling to see people at their goal within, like, five days, but that's the beauty of DietBet: unlike those Biggest Loser type contests I've done at work, this isn't winner take all. As long as you lose your 4%, you split the pot with the other winners. So it doesn't really matter when the other people reach the goal, my only real competition is myself. There's also a social aspect to the game where you can post what you've eaten, exercises you've done, if you have questions, etc. It's a fun way to meet new people and get support.
I signed up for my first DietBet challenge at the beginning of January and soon after signed up for another one, so when DietBet contacted me about hosting my own challenge I jumped at the chance. I set the bet amount at $20 and the more players that sign up, the bigger the pot that gets split among the winners! (Full blogger disclosure: As host of the game, I get 10% of the pot.)
Like I said, DietBet isn't a challenge between you and the other players, it's about a challenge between you and yourself. It's about stepping up and being your own hero. And even if you don't hit your 4% in 4 weeks goal (I didn't for the first challenge I joined), it doesn't really matter because if nothing else you spent four weeks making healthy changes to your lifestyle that, hopefully, will continue after the game is over.
So go sign up and remember that the more players, the bigger the pot so encourage your friends and family members to sign up, too!
Love from the ashes,