Last Sunday, when I was getting ready for church, I tried on several outfits and realized that they were too snug to even feel comfortable. It was a hot day, and I quickly became agitated realizing that amongst my entire wardrobe I could NOT find a single outfit that fit comfortably.
I was so frustrated that I had a teenage temper-tantrum. By the time that was over, I was too late to attend church. I know. Pathetic.
It’s been four months of Clean Eating and feeling a significant improvement with my fatigue symptoms. But, I realized that I was not shedding the 10-15 pounds that I’ve put on since I started taking medications for my thyroid, Endometriosis, PMDD, and CFS two summers ago.
I am often tempted to stop taking medications and actually be able to fit into my clothes AND move in them, but I know better than to ignore my doctors’ suggestions. (Please make sure to talk to your doctor before changing diets or medications, as well.)
In my recent post, “Guess Who Loves My Body”, I make peace about being a different size than I used to be. But if you recall, I also mention how it’s important to be strong and healthy. And, clean eating is only part of the equation.
On Monday of last week, I resolved that it was time to lose about ten pounds by incorporating portion control into my diet. I started using MyFitnessPal. I tried this handy-dandy app before. In fact, when I opened it up on my phone, I saw the news feed from 18 months ago, when I last gave portion control a shot. I saw several automated posts that included comments (intended to be helpful) such as…
“Rachel Maria has not logged in for one week.”
“Rachel Maria has not logged in for one month.”
“Rachel Maria may need some encouragement.”
Oh, dear. I suppose I can use some encouragement!
The nice thing about MyFitnessPal is that it is free and very accessible. You can download the app on your smartphone or iPad. It has a humungous database with over 3 million foods. So, it’s relatively easy and convenient to find something you are eating and enter it into your daily diary. The app also includes an exercise database so you can track the calories you burn each day. For example, 40 minutes on the treadmill can add over 400 calories to your plate. When I create my own recipe or exercise routine, I just use the internet to help me figure out the calories, and the app saves these entries in the database, for me.
Overall, it takes me about 5 minutes a day to record my food and exercise.
Before I started, I entered my current weight and desired weight, as the app can calculate a 5-week goal. The app also takes your lifestyle and activity into account . Since I am more sedentary than I have ever been, my daily goal came out to be only 1200 calories. That’s a lot less than I typically consume. In order for me to lose 10 pounds, I can not exceed 1200 calories (more if I exercise) each day.
I find myself monitoring my eating and exercising, and for those of us who are prone to getting a little too comfortable with liberal eating, I really needed this kind of intervention.
This is what my daily diary looked like on Friday. You can’t see the whole page in this pic. I had a few healthy snacks, and I recorded my cardiovascular exercise (jogging for 40 minutes). I went over the 1200 goal, but only by 25 calories. This is not rocket science, so you can’t take it too seriously.
At the end of each daily entry, MyFitnessPal will give you an idea of what you will weigh in a certain time frame.
No, this was NOT taken from my phone.
So far, it’s been a little over a week. On Saturday, Scott and I had a dinner party that I KNEW would exceed a few hundred calories. Not to mention, I baked this delicious carrot cake to bring for dessert. I did go over my goal by a few hundred calories. However, had it not been for MyFitnessPal, I wouldn’t have tracked anything and most assuredly eaten DOUBLE!
Sorry. I had to include a picture of this.
I will keep you posted on my progress with MyFitnessPal. I’m sure this app may not work for everyone, but for someone super nerdy when it comes to lists, goals, and diary-tracking, this may be exactly what I needed. Only time will tell…