Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Fitness Pal is kind of a bitch

I have very little willpower. Very little. And I love to eat. Like really love it. If I didn't need to do it to survive I would probably eat more than I do now. Because I've never caught myself thinking...hmmm...I guess I have to eat something today in order to continue where did I put those grape nuts? That's never happened.

Anyhoo, any time I embark on a new nutrition and exercise program, the thing that always gets me is the eating. Specifically, the eating of junk food - generally to excess - in the after dinner/pre-bedtime window. I just can't not do it. At least not sustainably. Completely denying myself doesn't work, because I fixate...and fixate...and fixate...until I bake something ludicrous, eat far too much of it and feel horrible until I do it again the next day. And trying to limit myself is like trying to pee just a little bit before an ultrasound when your bladder is filled to super capacity. Impossible.

I did Weight Watchers once, to support a friend who had quite a bit to lose, and I actually found it to be one of the best ways for someone like myself to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Someone who doesn't like to be told that there are some foods I can't eat, who likes to fill out forms and get progress updates throughout the day to help me decide what I should/shouldn't eat and how many more minutes I need to exercise to get that ice cream bar. Someone who needs a fitness pal glued to her hip at all hours, not just while we're sweating through a workout or going out for a healthy meal.

Enter...My Fitness Pal.

Cousin-in-law K introduced us. Thanks K! It's an app on my iPhone where I enter all the food I eat and exercise I do throughout the day, and it's better than anything that has come before it because 1) it has EVERY food and EVERY form of exercise you could possibly bother to think of in EVERY increment, and 2) it keeps track of EVERY nutritional variable you might be interested in, and 3) it gives you a forecast of your progress at the end of each day. Now that last one got me into trouble on the first day, so MFP and I got off to a bit of a rocky start.

I want to lose 5-7 pounds. Ideally. But really I just want to stop the jiggle and prevent the spread. Nothing a good toning wouldn't take care of, but it would be nice to see numbers go down too. So imagine my displeasure when, on our very first date, MFP informed me that, according to my performance, I would gain 4 pounds in the next 5 weeks. Bitch. I told her to come out from behind the screen and say that. After that she was oddly silent. So I closed the app and smiled smugly to myself. Take that.

The next morning I was feeling renewed optimism, so I gave MFP another chance. I swear she rolled her eyes when I entered my breakfast info. Oooooh, good for you! You managed to make it to 9am without screwing it up! All day I plugged in my stellar food choices, my admirable 90 minutes spent gardening, and my responsible water consumption. Then there was a blur, in which I'm pretty sure I skipped dinner and ate 6 oreos. It's not my fault. My husband had gone grocery shopping with me that day and Oreos are the kind of thing that happen when he's allowed into the store. But that alone wouldn't have amounted to sabotage. He took it one step further by leaving an open bag of Oreos on the ottoman, staring me in the face as I sat down to unwind after work while he bathed the kid. I mean seriously, are my husband and MFP actually teaming up against me??

Well, I got the last laugh when I refused to eat dinner after the Oreo fiasco, just so I could force her to admit that it was possible to lose 3 pounds in 5 weeks by eating 6 Oreos a day.

And yesterday I knew I had her beat, because I was going for a run. And not only did I run, I ran 10.3km, and spent another 85 minutes walking. So I ate all my meals, a few snacks, and polished the day off with a President's Choice Peanut Butter Ice Cream Bar - 340 calories. And still came in under budget. Turns out that in 5 weeks I will have reached my goal.

I think MFP and I are becoming BFFs. Can you feel the love?

1 comment:

  1. Awesome!
    I share your after-dinner challenge. It's even worse after a healthy dinner. My body KNOWS when I have not had yummy carbs and CRAVES them. I'm trying to do my best with microwave popcorn and/or stuffing myself with vegetables.
    Confession: I failed at my attempt to get back into MFP. I'm going to try again!