So I started looking for ways to lose the weight. I started tracking what I ate with a smartphone app called LoseIt and running again. LoseIt was incredible and the running (jogging at 11 min/mile) really helped my mental state. Over the next 5 months I lost over 25 lbs (photos below) and was starting to feel like I could really start running again (I was too heavy to really run so I will call my summer "a summer of jogging"). I did not diet; I just tracked what I ate. I also got a FitBit so I could track my activity level and set a goal of 15,000 steps a day. So I am proof that exercise and tracking food really does work to lose weight.
A friend suggested that I join and start using MyFitnessPal. This is an online community dedicated to helping you lose weight and gain fitness. FitBit has a similar feature where you can "friend" people and compete with them for steps. Jackson actually has a FitBit too and he loves it when he beats me in steps. I have roughly 30 "friends" on FitBit that I compete with but social interaction is very limited on their site. So that brings me to MyFitnessPal.
I am a little leary about letting a lot of people that I do not know into my life but since I have sort of done it with FitBit, I am willing to try. From what I can tell, MyFitnessPal is like a Facebook for people who want to lose weight. You begin with accepting "friend requests" and then cheer each other on and ask about their workouts. They do the same for you. You can also search for other users with similar goals or interests and send them friend requests. In just my first day on MyFitnessPal, I already can see the benefit of having a social network behind and supporting you. Yes, I get this support at home but just from one person - Heather supports my running and I do get encouragement from her to eat well. However, it is easy for to blow off a run or workout after I get home from work and double fist beers. If I don't run before work or at lunch, I just do not do it.
MyFitnessPal also has a food tracking app with a very extensive list of foods in their database. In addition, it has the ability to use a barcode scanner to automatically record nutritional information from foods. LoseIt has this as well but I think I need a change to the new program to get motivated. Plus MyFitnessPal can sync with my FitBit automatically adjusting the number of calories I can consume each day based on my activity level. I run, I get to eat more. I don't run, I have to starve. :)
So - I am now a part of the MyFitnessPal community. I will use the strength in numbers approach to keeping myself accountable to working out and eating heathly. Random strangers from around the world will check in with me daily to make sure I am sticking to my plans and goals. I will in return be a voyuer and offer encouragement to the lives, goals, and progress of random strangers around the world. If you see me out eating lunch or dinner somewhere, you will likely see me on my phone entering in what I ate. If you call and I do not answer, leave me a message as I am probably running.
I will reach my goal of "peak fitness" for a 40 year old this year. I have 361 days until my birthday cake has 40 candles on it so watch out world, here I come.
If you are a member of MyFitnessPal or become one - look me up. I am cayrip.