So, here we are at the end of my second full week of active participation in the Healthy Lifestyle program.
I’ve met with all three legs of my “stool” (unfortunate pun not intended).
I have been weighed, and measured ten ways from Sunday by each of them. (Which sort of makes me wonder if they are working together here, but I’ll reserve judgment on that ‘til later.)
I should have a good idea of exactly what “BEFORE” actually means now. Trouble is, I don’t actually HAVE any of that data. What I do have though, is a pretty clear message from each of them, and that message is
In order to get a clear idea of how I got to where I am, I need to keep track of how I eat now. This means tracking what I eat, when I eat it, how much I eat, why I eat, and how I feel afterwards. Ridiculous? Yep, that’s what I thought. Until I tried it. Without changing too much of what I normally do, I’ve already lost three pounds! Solely because of the choices I’m making about what I shove down my gullet, how much, and when.
So if keeping a web log is blogging, then keeping a food log must be FLOGGING, right? It’s sounds piratical, so I'm going to go with it! There’s something about looking at what you’ve eaten for the past week, alongside those jeering calorie numbers and mocking quantities that makes you want to do better… that, or cheat. Which I tried for a couple of days. But then I thought, who am I kidding?
But keeping track of every single thing you eat is tedious. (Didn’t I promise there would be whining?) If you remember to write it down, then you’ve got all these little scraps of paper, and napkins, and things scribbled on your palm at the end of the day. If you don’t remember to write it down, then you forget the muffin at 10:30, or the bag of chips at 3:30. Then there’s the quantities, and the calorie count. Waaaay to much to figure out. What’s a Flogger to do?
Well, if you have a smart phone – there are some pretty cool answers in the form of apps! A couple of the more popular options are available for free through Spark People, and Livestrong. Everyone has to use what works best for them, and both of those work very well, but for me, are just not that easy to use. Their food listings aren’t very extensive, and there are too many places you need to enter things. The app I’m using now is called My Fitness Pal, available for free online, and for iPhones.
What I really like is that you can chose a goal weight, and a time frame. It will give you a target number of calories for the day based on that goal. And each day starts fresh - which is a great mindset.
It's as easy as clicking on the meal or snack you've just consumed and entering what it was. You can even start with a brand name such as Smart Ones, or Campbell's Soup, or even a restaurant, like Taco Bell, and chose your food from the list. Very easy!
The only smarmy bit, is that once you've completed flogging for the day, it totals up what you've consumed, subtracts any physical activity you've entered, then gives you a variation on this...
All in all, Flogging is becoming a habit for me, and I've read that people who do it religiously lose more weight than people who don't. I figure I'm checking my Facebook, and Twitter friends anyway, I might as well check in with my Fitness Pal!