Alright y’all… Several people have asked me what the Game On Diet that I have used to play my way to being 40 lbs lighter than I was 9 months ago is all about, so I figured a blog post was in order.
When a friend sent a group email about the game to me in June last year, it sounded intriguing but I didn’t think much of it until that still small voice within spoke up about a week later and said,
“Maybe you should give that Game On thing a try!?”
I am so glad that I listened to that voice and not the more reluctant part that thought it would be too hard or that it wouldn’t work for me!
Clearly all programs like this are not for everyone, but for me personally this game has been like a golden ticket as far as a FUN and EASY way of experiencing a body, mind, and spirit connection and losing a boatload of weight in the process! Needless to say I’m a huge fan and even started administering my own Game On group about six months ago.
The Game On Diet (as I have been doing it) is an online team sport. Each player puts in $25 toward the prize and is responsible for keeping track of the number of points they earn each day for a variety of healthy activities (see below).
Everyone turns their scores in at the end of each week and as then the administrator calculates overall team averages and keeps track of them throughout the course of the game. The highest scoring team wins the prize money in the end (as does the highest scoring individual not on the winning team)! The cool thing is that everyone else wins too because they dared to take on a 4-week challenge to make their health more of a priority in their lives…and the benefits of that are undeniable!
Most of my games last for four weeks, including the new one I will be starting on April 15th! (Hint, hint…Would love to have you join us if this sounds like something that might work for you!)
Here’s a quick peek at the rules of the Game On Diet…
You have a potential of earning 100 points per day. You count your points for the following, which will be added up and divided by # teammates each week:
DRINK at least 3 liters of water a day. = 10 points
EXERCISE at least 20 minutes 6 days a week. = 20 points
SLEEP at least 7 hours, 6 nights a week = 15 points
Pick a new GOOD HABIT to do every day for the month = 10 points per day. You must pick something very specific and do-able like 3 sun salutations in the morning (vs. saying do yoga once a day). Habits run the gamut as far as what players pick!
Pick a BAD HABIT to stop for the month = 10 points per day if you don’t do it each day.
COMMUNICATE with at least one member of your own team and one member of the opposing team. = 5 points. Each game has a Google Group that sends emails to all players so this is relatively easy to do !
EAT five healthy meals a day = 6 points each for a total of 30 points – Meals must be spaced 2 to 4 hours apart, and include a lean protein the size of your palm; a healthy carb the size of your fist (fruit/veggies/whole grains); a healthy fat the size of your thumb; and you must have veggies with at least two of your meals each day.
There is a list of foods you are allowed to eat called FYT (Flatten Your Tummy) foods which include whole grains; beans; oatmeal; baked potatos; brown/wild rice; low/no fat dairy; egg whites; plain greek yogurt; fish/seafood; lean meat; vegetarian; avocado; nut butters; nuts (5-10 each as fat); seeds; veggie oils; etc.
There also is a list of FLABB foods in the book that are not allowed w/ out penalty. This list includes artificial sweeteners; fried food; sugars; butter; cream; fruit juice; most desserts; sodas; and processed meats. However, you are allowed 100 free calories a day that can be anything (besides alcohol and soda). Also, cucumbers, jicama, and/or celery snacks between meals are OK but if you eat anything else between your 5-allowed meals it will cost you a 10 point snacking penalty.
You are allowed one meal off per week where you can eat whatever you want and one day off from all of the rules. Alcohol is only allowed on the meal off (one portion) or the day off (unlimited but not to excess!) Otherwise you pay a 25 point penalty per drink!
PENALITIES: Snacking between meals [-10 each], Collusion [-20]; Alchohol [-25 per portion]
1) Meeting a 1% weight loss goal each week = a 20% bonus
2) Submit your score sheet to the scorekeeper by Mon at noon = 10 point bonus
Obviously, integrity is the name of the game here! It’s the HONOR SYSTEM – so it is important to be true & honest for yourself and your teammates! After all if you cheat, you really only cheat yourself. Each player is giving an excel spreadsheet to make keeping track of their points easy.
And that’s it! While the idea of it being a game might make it seem competitive, it really isn’t about that. It is not always about following the plan perfectly..it is about doing your best and being accountable and forgiven when you aren’t able to follow the rules for whatever reason.
It really is true that every single person who plays ends up winning in the end even if they only do 1/2 of the stuff they are supposed to do in a given week! Daring to play makes a powerful statement to the Universe about our intention of taking a stand for good health…and I for one believe that only good can ultimately come from that.
So if you are interested in possibly joining a game some time send me an email and I can let you know as new ones start, etc. And if you’d like to start on 4/15, please email me to let me know by 4/10 at the latest…and order your book asap!
I was recently invited by a very cool video production company called Storytellers for Good to be a part of their annual fundraising event where 5 organizations do a short talks about their work for a chance to win a pro bono video.
The organization’s founder Cara Jones said that “the skipping lady she had read about a few years before” just popped into her consciousness when she was putting together the roster for this year’s event so she contacted me through Facebook to see what I was up to.
We scheduled a phone call where I filled her in on the highs and lows of my 14-year (!!!??) skipping adventure…… and she ultimately invited me to be a part of it even though I explained in advance that I haven’t been organizing group skips, etc. like I used to in the early skipping movement days.
She said that my mission should I choose to accept it was to distill the skipping movement story down into 3 minutes that I would share with the audience who would pick the winner of the free video out of the 5 presenters.
The crowd was super warm and charged with good vibes…There were 5 presenters – 4 nonprofit organizations and me… and as I expected my story was a lot different than the rest. They all are relatively new organizations that are doing really practical and tangible good works in the world….while my story was more of a 30-year panoramic view of the history of the skipping movement…and probably the least likely to really benefit from a pro bono video.
The nonprofit that won the video is called Dancin’ Power and they go into hospitals and teach kids w/ terminal illness to dance! How amazing is that?! There was also the Mini Mermaid Running Club for Girls, A spoken word organization for teens called Youth Speaks, and the Inspiration Campaign which is a guy that crowd sources the funding for billboards that have a positive message like “You are amazing.”
I am so honored to have been invited to have been a part of such a cool event and to connect with so many people who are doing really good work in this world! I’ve been skipping on air ever since.
Here’s a video that my friend took of the talk…although be warned that you can’t see the slide show which was a key part of the presentation…and the lighting/angle is kind of strange….
The video of 1980s skipper Bill Martinelli continues to skip its way around the Internet and a Slate Magazine writer recently published this article that tells more of Bill’s story, although so far it seems no one has been able to locate him for comment now.
I continue to be amazed by the ways his path and the one I have been skipping the past 13-years mirror each other!
We both became so passionate about the benefits of skipping that we took our message to the streets literally and figuratively. Him in the 1980s and me twenty years later in the early 2000s.
We both got significant press for our efforts. He was on the Today Show. I was in People. Time, and Newsweek Magazines.
He almost skipped with Richard Simmons. I skipped with Donny Osmond.
Him writing a screenplay after his skipping billboard business failed. Me skipping myself into financial ruin when I realized the manuscript I was writing about the skipping experience (that I had quit my day job to write) didn’t cut the mustard editorially.
Both of our passions for skipping have cooled drastically over the years, with him skipping out of the public eye to the point that I have not been able to find his name or anything, despite multiple people telling me the story of this skipper who had lived in Newport, RI that had gotten a lot of publicity in the 80s.
I even visited Newport once and asked everyone I knew if they had met him or remembered him. One evening in a bar, an African American fellow told me that he had been the Newport skipper and made up a whole story that I bought hook line and sinker… That is until I wrote about it in the “As the World Skips” newsletter I was doing at the time and someone from Rhode Island wrote to tell me that I had been had because the REAL Newport skipper had been white and that I’d been had. Doh!
I find it sad that the homophobia thing is likely what caused Bill to stop his skipping campaign. It is a sad but true reality that much of our culture can’t seem to deal with the idea of male skippers today… So I can’t imagine what it would have been like in the 80s! All you have to do is read the chain of juvenile comments under his YouTube video to see how far we still have to go as a culture before skipping joyfully down the street isn’t loaded with negative connotations!
The resurgence of the story of Bill’s mission has inspired me to skip a lot more than usual the past couple of days. I feel like the skipping movement has just discovered it has a long lost relative that it never new existed until now… and it makes me want to honor his early efforts by skipping as much as possible.
I would love to be able to interview Bill Martinelli about his story or at least to compare notes since we are living such parallel lives. I am going to continue to see if I can find him! If you have any tips that might point me in the right direction, please email me and let me know!
As I watched the gorgeous full moon rise on my drive home from work tonight I thought to myself, “It’s a marvelous night for a moon skip!”
Then as usual when I got home the familiar refrain of all of the reasons it would be a lot easier to skip the skipping started to chime in. “It’s too dark.” “It’s too cold.” “I’ll go for a skip tomorrow instead.” “I need to chill for a while after work first” Etc. etc. etc.
Thankfully, I decided not to heed those voices and put my workout clothes, sneakers, and ipod on within minutes of getting home and hit the street. I’m so glad I did! I was so inspired when I got back that I created this video log too! Hooray for finally saying yes to the inner nudges I’ve been feeling to skip, write, and give video logging a try:
Here’s a list of the fun skipping techniques I experimented with tonight that reminded me why skipping is my absolute favorite way to exercise!
1. Walk with a Side of Skipping – The simplest way to incorporate skipping fun into your life when you first start is to simply go for a walk around the block or down your street and decide how many steps you are going to skip on your outing before you start….This can be as few or as many as you want. Ten steps is a great place to start, especially if you are feeling self-conscious about skipping in public!
2. Landmark Skipping – Since I’m out of skipping shape at the moment, I started my skip where the sidewalk by my house meets the road and I went as far as I could without becoming too winded. I made it to a lamp post 50 yards from where I started and mental note of how far I’d gone so next time I can try to make it to another landmark. Note that the best way to skip as an adult is to stay as low to the ground as possible when you first start. Otherwise you’ll use too much energy too fast!
3.Walk 4, Skip 4 - This is a great way to keep skipping without getting overly tired. You simply walk four steps and then skip four steps. Walk four steps skip four steps. Or you can play with mixing it up however you’d like. Walk 5 and skip 2. Walk 10 and skip 10, etc. etc. It’s much easier to go for long distances when you blend in some walking rather then trying to skip the whole way.
4 Skipping circles – Tonight I skipped to a small parking area near my house where no one was around. While there, I skipped around in a circle, did some figure 8s, etc. while listening to one of my favorite songs on my ipod. There seems to be something especially fun about skipping when you have no place to go. For this reason, I tend to prefer skipping in circles – whether in an empty group exercise room at the gym or in an open space like I did tonight – over simply skipping in a straight line down the street.
6. Wizard of Oz Skip - I also had a lot of fun mixing galloping in with my skipping. Galloping is basically the same as skipping but you don’t alternate legs. While the Wizard of Oz skip is a little more fancy, you can get a similar result by galloping for two steps with the left leg in front and then switching to galloping with the right leg in front and repeating over and over. It’s fun and silly and makes me laugh every time I do it.
7. Skip around your living room -When I got home from my outdoor skip, a particularly fun song was on my ipod so I took off my shoes and skipped around my living room! I also danced and bounced and generally had a great time being silly and letting the exhilaration of my outdoor skipping adventure continue in the privacy of my own home.
8. Long Distance Skipping – Of course, you also can skip for long distances…I’ve gone for 2 or 3 miles at a time when I was in prime skipping shape and some skippers go longer! Ashrita Furman even skipped an entire marathon! I look forward to being back at a place where I get lost in a skipping zone and skip for a really long way…but for now I am not quite there yet.
As you can see there are a wide variety of ways to get your skip on! The most important part to remember is that it is supposed to be enjoyable! Skipping is all about fun and frivolity and it just isn’t the same if you take those two ingredients out of the mix! So why not go out and give it a try! You won’t be sorry!
There are two things my inner wisdom knows bring me great joy: writing and skipping. Yet, over the course of the last decade or so…since the manuscript(s) I’ve written were turned down by publishers because they weren’t quite ready for showtime and since my initial vision of where my skipping path was taking me ended up looking so much different than I thought, I have been doing a minimal amount of both. It feels like the time has come for that to change.
Of course, I still skip…. Zumba and Nia classes have been my preferred outlet of late…and when I’m hurrying to get through a cross walk, the bounce seems to naturally come into my step..Not to mention other spontaneous moments when my skipping self springs to life. But when it comes to going out with the sole intention of skipping for fun and fitness, I’ve pretty much been skipping it all together and, as a result, the updating of this skipping blog has fallen to the wayside too.
I am welcoming Rocky energy into my life! I’m ready to reclaim my skipping mojo. I’m ready to write about and document that process here. My goal for this coming week is to go for at least one skip and to reclaim my writing voice too by posting about my experience here.
I understand why part of me has been scared to open herself up in this way again. Really I do….It’s been a long, strange skip that hasn’t always been easy! But at the same time, another part of me feels ready to break new ground and to fully experience the many benefits of skipping again! So this intention setting blog entry is my first step in skipping to it!
Want to join me? What things that bring you joy would you like to do more of?
I did it. I went for my first skip of the season and I’m actually blogging about it. Wow. Could my long skipping drought finally be over? Only time will tell.
Truth be told, despite the fact that I have been iskip’s Chief Skipping Officer for over a decade now, I haven’t been doing all that much skipping lately. Sure, I skip every now and then….while out on a hike with friends, up the hallway at work or through a parking lot when I’m feeling particularly happy, and in the Zumba and Nia classes I’ve come to love. But my days of skipping for miles at a time have been a distant memory for quite a while.
In fact, the fitness benefits have honestly never been the aspect of skipping I am most passionate about. Its the feeling of freedom I get while skipping. It is the momentary escape out of my mind and into my joy that skipping provides that I love the most.
Of course, the fitness benefits of skipping ARE undeniable…and I know that if I can just muster the inspiration to get back into a regular skipping routine, that I’d be thrilled that I did. But, unfortunately, I’ve been dealing with quite a bit of internal resistance to getting out there and actually doing it for several years now. As a result, I pretty much stopped writing and blogging as well.
As we spring forward, I’m setting the intention of getting back into the habit of skipping on a more regular basis and for longer stretches of both time and distance. On today’s skip, I went for a walk in a nature preserve near my house and skipped several long stretches. I also spent some time skipping in figure eights and circles around some trees and thought about how much more fun skipping is when there isn’t a specific goal/destination in mind. Then I walked the rest of the way home while inserting a skip or step here and there. It was just strenuous enough to make me feel like I got my heart rate up. I came home feeling energized instead of exhausted.
Tonight’s skip has me feeling hopeful that there will be a spring in my step more often in the coming weeks, but only time will tell if I’m truly ready to follow through, or if I’ll decide to just skip it for a while longer instead.
To be continued…
There’s an Oslo Skipping Klubb on Facebook! Here’s a translation of its description, which was originally written in Norweigan…
This is a group for those of you who are sick of walking, taking the bus, taxi, tram or bike, when getting from a to b. Skipping is not only a great way to get in shape, it is easy and fun too. You can skip alone or together with others. UK Comedian Michael Mcintyre says it well: even if skipping (until now) has been socially unacceptable for all people older than 6 years, it is actually a strangely easy way to get places. Everyone has thought about it, It hardly takes any effort to skip. Running/jogging is hard as hell, while skipping is fantastic!
We recommend everyone to share photographs, films, tip, and any advice when it comes to skipping. It does not cost anything to join as a member today! But if the response is great, we will print up T-shirts, headbands etc.
A little tip: If you plan on skipping far, you should think about what shoes you choose to wear. What are you waiting for…skip loud and skip proud!
We caught up with Kristian Lorentzen, the President of the Norwegian Skipping Movement to see what inspired him to start the Oslo Skipping Klubb and here’s what he had to say…
What inspired you to create your fan page for the Oslo Skipping club on Facebook? Well, it all started with this guy. He is a funny man and it looked funny (everybody has tried it as a child) but now I felt it was the right time to skip as an adult.
When was the first time you skipped as an adult? Can you describe the experience? Hmmmm, I think it was the same night as I found the above video on YouTube. Me and my Swedish friend Douglas Wilson was drinking John Lee (Whisky) and Coke and when we left my apartment we just started skipping. We often take a bus down to the city of Oslo but this night we felt electric so we skipped from bar to bar and made many people smile on our way. I think we inspired many people to come put of the skipping-closet that night. And when you make a girl smile at first sight…well, that`s a pretty good start.
What do you love about skipping? I love that it`s impossible not to smile, I love it because it`s so easy and you can get from a-b much faster then if you walk and you always arrive in a good mood.
What do you make of the “Skipping Movement” that is bubbling up all over the world?I`m just glad to be a skipping person! I think it tells much about a person.
What advice do you have for someone that would like to skip but is feeling too inhibited to give it a try? Hmmm well, I guess I`m not the best person to give this advice since I had to drink whisky before skipping for the first time. But c`mon….the life is to short to be shy and inhibited.
Would you date an American girl and how can they get in contact with you? Well, thanks for asking! Yes, I would love to date an American girl! They can contact me via email and make sure that they check out my Skipping band!
Madonna & Gwenyth Paltrow’s personal trainer Tracy Anderson was recently on The Early Show singing the praises of skipping on the treadmill. Here’s the video:
She’s right! It’s a lot of fun! Best speed when you are first starting out is 4.0 – 4.4! Skip on!