Five years ago I lost 20 pounds doing Weight Watchers. I went to weekly meetings because I liked, and knew I needed, the accountability. I was able to use the internet to track my progress, but I was still given a booklet and a hand-held points calculator. I did well with this system: pen and paper, and a calculator sitting in my kitchen, daring me to defy it.
Fast-forward into the age of apps, and the popularity of the free and easy-to-use My Fitness Pal. Dozens of people have suggested to me, and it’s sat latently in the background on at least my past three smartphones. I’ve gone through spurts of using it, and I always end up discouraged.
For one thing, it tells me I should be eating 1350 calories a day. And maybe I should, I don’t know. I could lie to tweak the app’s setting- it can’t call me out on it – but I’ve left it as it is, and each day watched myself dive into the red. 1350 calories just seems SO FEW. And the second I’m -200, my brain just goes “Screw it. You’ve already gone over for the day. Try again tomorrow.”
For another thing, it’s not asking to be completed in the same way an empty line on a log book is. I don’t have a completed product at the end of the week. And it sits neatly on my phone, obscured by Facebook notifications and the weather application. It doesn’t taunt me like a Weight Watchers calculator.
But the worst thing of all, to me, is how clear it makes it where I’m nutritionally lacking. I’ve never once met its requirements for fiber or potassium or iron, and I’ve always gone over in sugar. And I just don’t wanna know about it. Lalalala. *fingers in ears*
But for the sake of my renewed endeavors, and for the sake of this blog, I am going to track every thing I eat every single day for one week. And I’m going to turn reaching (and staying with the limits of) the nutrition guidelines a goal of mine. I’ll pretend it’s a game. Or something. There are limits to what you can trick yourself into thinking is ‘fun.’
But the app deserves a fair shot before I decide it’s not for me.
We’ll see just how good of friends My Fitness Pal and I are truly are, next Saturday.
(Oh, if it seems obvious from this post that I should just try Weight Watchers again….I might. But I’m going to attempt some free versions first)