So as you may be able to tell from my outrageous number of posts on the variety of different meal and work-out plans I have embarked on but not completed, I’m a bit obsessed with first, the idea of being fit, and second, new and shiny things / promises.
I have only stuck out a challenge once – back in February of this year, when I stuck to a hectic high protein / no carb meal plan. While the results weren’t mind-boggling, I did lose 2% body fat, and stuck with it for the full four weeks. My face thinned out, my hair was shiny, my eyes were bright, my skin was clear, I felt comfortable in my clothes. And then the four weeks ended, and I was back on a block of Cadbury on the weekends.
It was depressing.
After returning from the United States in July, I’d once again overdone the treat yo’self mentality, and pushed up to my heaviest weight in quite a while. I began eating healthy and making salads to get a grip, since summer is creeping its way back into my peripherals, and I’m realising that this bod is not bikini ready. It’s barely muu-muu ready.
And then I downloaded My Fitness Pal, and realised just how badly I’d been kidding myself. All these ‘healthy options’ and good choices were being blown out of the water by the sheer amount I was eating, and the absolutely insane weekend binges. I could inhale a Dominoes pizza in about 5 minutes, and roll around on the floor drinking Coke and regretting my choices, only to do it over and over again. It was awful. I hate to think what My Fitness Pal would tell me about those weekends. Probably nothing kind.
In any case, I’m in my second week of logging meals, and it has just been like holding up a very honest mirror to my face that tells me you just can’t out-exercise bad foods, and that you cannot eat enough vegetables. They’re basically free nutrient stomach filling bombs, with almost zero kilojoules (yes, I’m using kilojoules as my stats because it results in a higher looking allowable number per day, which tricks me in to thinking I’m eating a whole tonne of food). I compulsively log my meals, and I’ve synced my various other fitness apps (Garmin, FitBit, Sweat with Kayla…okay I seriously have a problem) to get a picture of what I’m consuming and outputting, and recognising just how long a game it is to get rid of these damn winter wobbles.
Once you’ve finished logging your foods and meals for the day, it also kindly tells you, if you lived every day exactly as you did this one, what you’d weigh in 5 weeks. This is some serious reality check time, since you realise how much your food affects your body and (on a good day) how well your body responds to being fuelled properly or (on a bad day) how much that tequila affects your ass.
Obviously the app is far from perfect – to a large degree you’re estimating many foods. I did pre-prep my lunches and dinners for the week and perfectly weighed everything (I made 5 of the exact same lunches and dinners to simplify this process!) to get a good insight into how I’d be going.
In the last 10 days I’m down 2.2kg – including two hectic nights out with a lot of booze and extraneous calories. I’m not kidding myself that this is a perfect reflection of how I’ll continue to progress, since it can definitely take more than calories in / calories out to change your weight and body. But I just cannot overemphasise how much of a reality check it is to actually use it.
I’m feeling particularly inspired by a woman who has logged in her food for 400 days straight that I saw on instagram (I wish I could remember who she is!). I’m not even going to begin to pretend that is something I’m capable of – the longest I’ve stuck something out like that is my 118 day Duolingo streak (which has now transformed into a 118-day not using Duolingo streak). However, with summer, a weekend trip away, a big work event and a wedding coming up over the next two months, every little bit of accountability and motivation helps to get me focussed.
Thanks for being my pal, My Fitness Pal.