Have you heard about myfitnesspal? I was turned onto it a few weeks ago by a friend, and I’ve become an avid member. Basically, it’s a free website to track calories, track exercise and set weight loss goals. I’m sure there is much more to it, but I’m only using those three features.
I mentioned it to Jeremy, who told me he was already a member from over a year ago when he downloaded the app to his phone. He just hasn’t used it at all. So I encouraged him to map a plan for himself, and together we’re trying to lose weight and learn about healthy eating. We have decided that this is not a diet. This is a way to learn about the foods we have been eating and try to make smarter choices. We certainly have exceeded our calorie goals on heavy-eating days, but we’re still in our learning phase. For instance, we were traveling this past weekend, which meant a lot of eating out. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts on our way out of town, and while we tried to make better choices there by getting a low-fat blueberry muffin and munchkins for the kids, we learned that even what you think is a better choice is still not great for you. Granted, we knew that eating donuts was not good for us. We’re not naive. But the kick-in-the-butt moment comes when you enter food in to your calorie tracker to find out that one of your old stand-by meals easily takes up half, if not all, of our daily caloric allotment!
One of my favorite features is when you complete your entries for the day, it will tell you what you could weigh in five weeks if every day were like that day. So if I had a particularly bad day of eating, it would tell me how much weight I would gain in 5 weeks if I kept that pattern up. On the positive side, it confirms my good days by telling me how much weight I could lose in 5 weeks. It’s definitely a motivation booster!
I’m learning a lot, and I know Jeremy is too. It’s something we’re enjoying doing together, and I’m proud of the progress we’ve already made. We have a goal in mind – losing a certain amount of weight before the Warrior Dash we’re doing in May. The race will definitely NOT be a reward, although it will be fun. So we need to set another reward as an incentive. Granted just learning to eat healthy is a reward. And being able to pass that knowledge on to Mason and Cooper will be great too. But it’s hard to stay diligent and on track, especially with our busy lives when the unhealthy foods are so much easier and more enjoyable on bad days. Having another reward will help, though. I’m thinking an active vacation to Colorado this summer. (Andy and Cory – keep the pressure on so we can make it a reality!) Don’t you need to be all healthy and stuff to go hiking in the high altitude?
Anyway… myfitnesspal.com is a great FREE site. If you join, invite me to be your friend so we can encourage each other along. It’s a great learning tool and a great tracking tool. We’re gaining new insight every day into what we eat – Lessons Learned!