Thursday, February 9, 2012

A New Addiction

Am I addicted to food? I have thought so more than once. I love food. Not all food is created equal and I do not love all food BUT I do love good food. The best job in the world would seem to be a restaurant critic. How cool but to eat, get paid and just go to new places! The TV shows I watch the most...Food Network shows! A great place for me to relax and veg out is strolling the isles of the grocery store (without kids and without a time limit) checking out all the new products just wondering what they taste like. Okay. So it appears I may be addicted to food.

Lookout food! I have a new addition! It's an addiction that feeds into my control freakiness. It's called "My Fitness Pal." This is an application to my phone. It was free, which was a big "selling point." I downloaded it a few months ago but did not get past a half day of food tracking before I got bored. Last week a co-worker told me she was using it and I decided to give it another shot. I played around with the various things it could do and I quickly found this was a very easy way to track what I eat, how much I exercise, when I reach my calorie limit for my weight loss goal, and it even tells me how I measure up to eating the right amount of vitamins, carbs, fat, cholesterol and sugars as recommended for my size and gender. It has changed me.

My Fitness Pal allows my complete control of how what I eat will impact my weight. And health. It's nice to know that I have gone over on my protein but need a little more calcium and I only have 58 calories until I reach my daily limit and I have plenty of sodium to work with and I only had a quarter of my fat for the day. I can even add my exercise for the day and it recalculates my calorie limit to provide for the physical activity. I could go on and on. And when I am done for the day, I "complete" the day on the program and it tells me what I would weigh if I ate like that for the next 5 weeks. So cool. I am excited to weigh myself come Monday morning and enter my new weight into the program. Then I can see a decline on a graph the program has. Now here's the best part...after I reach my goal weight, I can fix my profile to "maintain" weight and follow the program that way! I am very excited about this because maintaining weight has been my problem. And now I have a plan for post diet fitness.

My Fitness Pal had added a lot of ease to this process. Another helpful tool I am considering is a weight loss challenge at work. There are about 20 female coworkers of mine who plan to play this challenge. We all put in $25 and weigh in every week to another co-worker NOT partaking in the challenge who is sworn to weight secrecy. The three people who lose the most percent of weight split the pot of money accordingly. This is an eight week challenge. I am already very invested into fitness and weight loss, I don't think I need the motivation like some others. I have also already lost 11 pounds (yes eleven! Read it again, 11) and I do fear a big plateau coming up. So I am not 100% committed. On the other hand, I am committed. I know I will be losing more weight. I already got my metabolism working well. The first weigh in (and money due date) is next Wednesday. I need to decide by then.

One other thought on the issue of sustainability. Even though I have this new plan with the My Fitness Pal to maintain weight, I still need to remind myself that's it's okay to let go now and then and not be slave to the calorie counter. Yesterday I was invited to lunch with some friends. I have not been out to lunch for WEEKS. Probably since the first week in January when I went to Red Robin for that birthday lunch I mentioned a few posts ago. Yesterdays invitation was to a Thai restaurant. Oh yum. I have not had Thai food in forever and I love it. I accepted thinking I could just have some low calorie salad for dinner and forgo the after dinner snack. I slightly indulged on a Thai soup, a spring roll (which I was disappointed to see it came fried, not steamed), some steamed rice and half an order of KAPOW! You should know that KAPOW is pretty spicy. I should have taken a clue in the name or in the three chilies on the menu that followed the name. But it was the only option not stir fried and without coconut oil. It was a spurge that left me with a whopping 120 calories left for the day (even considering I worked out in the morning).

By the time I got home, I was pretty hungry. I considered the salad with some chicken. But not for long. I really wanted something warm and tasty. And as I was digging through the pantry for some light soup and the freezer for a small diet frozen meal, I felt crummy. It really felt like I was on a strict diet and I could not have what I wanted. So I said "fudge it." Sorta. And I went for my lunch left overs. And it was good. I was satisfied. Well nearly. I also had two of those WhoNu chocolate chip cookies and a valentine chocolate. And at that point, it did not feel like a diet. (Duh. Chocolate does that.)

Eating well all week and having a couple hours of controlled off track eating is sustainable. Much more sustainable than depriving myself. And even though My Fitness Pal has me in the red for my caloric intake for the day, I also lost 2.8 pounds this week. So put that in your pipe My Fitness Pal!

Onto another week! And a good one! Tug and I have a special three day trip planned. I am anxious to see if I can find a way of enjoying food and drink with my man while indulging in the beauty of Estes Park and the fun of SNOW SHOEING (and not gain weight).

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