I first started using MyFitnessPal back in fall of 2012. It was cool, to a point. In the end it became too much work to continue add every food in I found because their database didn’t have it. Especially if you wanted to track more nutritional stats than just calories.

I also wanted to get healthy, “naturally.” I have being constantly connected to the world. I am already shackled to it during my workday. I didn’t want to be so integrated to technology when I was on my own time. I also hated being in gyms.

I want to be away from electrical, noise, and graphical pollution of the over-saturated advertised world which has become synonymous with the Western business culture.

So, I dropped MyFitnessPal. Sadly, the weight didn’t drop with.

When the 2014 holidays came around I realized I wasn’t going to be able to get healthy on my own. My estimation of what I was eating was chronically off. I didn’t have time to think about properly eating healthy calorie counting. I hadn’t been lower than 240 lbs since Spring 2011, when I was working out every day in Ft. Myers and eating healthy.

I decided I hated the way I felt more than I hated being shackled to technology.

At the rate I was going, I was never going to be healthy enough to have the energy to deal with both our career goals and the prospects of children when they come into the world.

I picked the lesser of two things I hated.

The morning after Christmas, Katie and I picked up our bags, packed the car, scooped up the dogs, made coffee, and hit the road for her mama’s house on the Oregon Coast. Still feeling the jet lag of the previous night’s cross-country flight mixed with the lethargy from my mama’s awesome homemade sugar cookies, I told Katie I was going to try and get through the drive without drinking pop and snacking like a sonofabitch. She smiled and agreed. She could do the challenge with ease. I was going to have the shakes. To help curb the snacks, we also filled up a Ball mason jar with water and ice before we left.

I made the trip without fries, pop, fried potato chips, and high-calorie snacks

Not only that, but the food we were getting that day tasted better. It was like my senses stopped being on overload and could process what I was consuming: Subway 6”, water, coffee, Burger King Tendergrill (no mayo, no sauce, no cheese) and basic hamburger (no cheese, no mayo). Even the flavor in the Doublemint gum lasted longer.

I don’t even know when I re-loaded MyFitnessPal to my iPhone 5S.


 

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I believe we were already at her mama’s, talking about the calories we consumed. I downloaded it to start confirming our estimations. I found the barcode scanner and tested it on the groceries I consumed at the house. The app picked up everything her mother had purchased at Fred Meyer. It had all the info on Tillamook cheese. The local market’s fruit and the area wine selections were in there as well. It caught everything but the handmade sausage from the butcher shop down the street.

Given that we were in a iconic rustic harbor town of under 800 people, I let that lack of stats for the local butcher shop slide.

From there, MyFitnessPal turned my health into a video game, a puzzle to solve. I won’t be able to put it down ‘til I solve it

Here’s a list of thing things I’ve liked since I’ve come back to MyFitnessPal

The food database is nearly complete

The MyFitnessPal food database is this thorough: last week Katie and I were at the Double Barrel Wine Bar in Livermore, listening to this incredible piano player named Graham. The bartender suggested a pinot grigio from this little village in Europe. Before he went to pour into my glass, I grabbed the bottle, flipped it around to the back, pulled out the phone, turned on the app, and scanned the barcode on the bottle to see if the MyFitnessPal database had it. Sure enough, that data flowed as he poured. And I kept under calorie count for the night. Barely, by close counts.

The MyFitnessPal database has come a long ways since I first used it in ‘12.

I’m learning about how much shit was in what I was eating

“Really? There’s that many calories in a serving of raisins? Raisins!” And many other things I keep shouting as I realize some of the shit I’ve been eating that I thought was healthy was actually kicking my ass. That’s not even including the fact I almost vomited when I realized the bag of Frito’s Honey BBQ Flavor Twists I got from the gas station and downed while coming back from The Oregon Coast during our Labor Day weekend visit was more than what my daily intake should be.

MyFitnessPal has sure given me a re-education into my daily diet.

It’s keeping me honest, and feels like a puzzle game to solve

I’ve already had less of an urge to play video games and read sports online because of this new game, MyFitnessPal. It’s literally a challenge of a lifetime.

There are a few friends there who are encouraging me as I encourage them

I see about 5 friends who are committed to the app. A couple of them have lost over 40 lbs. A couple others have logged in for over 200 days straight. Me and a friend are both on day 30 streak of logins. We chat a little and support each other. We give encouragement. It’s truly been helpful. It’s like our own little club of those who are truly dedicated to getting healthier. We aren’t having to navigate the pollution of Facebook feeds to track each other’s progress. It’s been encouraging.

I’ve got a couple other friends who keep falling off the wagon. Truth told, they’re health is much worse than mine. I keep pushing them. They need to know they’re not alone and that they only have to succeed once to get it right.

MapMyFitness & iPhone integration has been great


 

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A couple friends got me to start paying more attention to steps. My neighbor, Adam, got me into MapMyFitness. I’ve been using it to track the dog walking and my outdoor exercises. It’s amazing the length difference of taking paths when walking the dog. Especially Lily, who likes to go backwards more than she does going forward. The MapMyFitness app uses the GPS and accelerometer in the iPhone to measure. It even gets the elevation and shows an elevation / workout intensity graph in the free account.

When you’re done, MapMyFitness syndicates the feed to MyFitnessPal, so the calorie and workout counters don’t duplicate.

Though, I admit, I sometimes wonder about TrackMyFitness’ accuracy. Just now it told me I made a mile while I was sitting at our table. Somehow I moved and made the .05 I was short after we walked to the grocery store and back.

By the way, the step data goes back at least 7 days in your phone

It was freaky: when I first integrated the step tracking on MyFitnessPal and TrackMyFitness, I already had 7 days worth of data in it. So much for privacy. 🙂

Here’s a few things I wish MyFitnessPal would improve on

The water counter sucks

There’s a feature that tracks your water consumption. It tracks water by cups and really doesn’t integrate it into overall health and calorie count. The problem is that most fitness nuts drink water by the bottle. 32 oz, 20 oz, 16.9 oz. It’s a pain in the ass to get the math right, especially when drinking amounts that aren’t so easily divisible by 8. I might just start tracking it in the food.

It’s an image-oriented world yet we can’t post images…anywhere

This is probably a security feature to keep all the BeachBody coaches, affiliate spammers, and former-social-media-experts-turned-overnight-fitness-gurus from blasting the feeds with advertising pics, but the app won’t let any user post a picture. Not a selfie from the top of the hill showing you made it. Not a high-end photo of the cuisine for the recipe you just made. There’s not even a way to post a picture of a food and ask if anyone is using it. Users can’t post on their blogs, recipes, apps, or updates. It really discourages me from interacting more. Especially when I have my own blog. Hell, I’d pick Tumblr over it and just post a link to it. It really doesn’t make sense to me.

UPDATE: I did see that you can post pictures in communities. Join a community and one can post from there. I joined one for those who have 50+ lbs. to lose.

I’m not “obese,” am I?

This one isn’t their fault, but I’m blaming them irrationally: they have BMI and BMR calculators to let you know whether or not you’re body mass is too much. I’m still at Obese. Grrr.


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The results after 30 days

I started at 255 lbs. – 258 lbs. if the water weight from cheese is included. After 30 days, I’m at 244-245 – but we ate really late last night and I was 246 lbs. before I started the 3-day cheese detox and I’ve been really good with exercise & calories in that span. I expect to be about 242-243 in the morning. Not a bad month.

NOTE: When I started using MyFitnessPal back in 2012, I weight 251 lbs. When I came back to use it again on the 26/27th of December, I weight 255 lbs. The app doesn’t let me start tracking weight loss again at 255 lbs. It only lets me track when I first started the app, which was back in 2012. So, if the widget says I lost 4 lbs. less than I claimed, I’m referring to when I started back up again.


 

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More importantly, I’m feeling better. It really feels like I woke up recovered from a bad 9-year head cold. There’s less shit in my system every day. It’s improved my energy and stabilized my appetite. I’m starting to know when I’m hungry and when I’m full. I couldn’t trust my instincts when I started because I didn’t know the difference between being full and addicted to the calorie rush.

I’ve gotten #hangry a couple times. I find myself quickly realizing why I was upset with Katie or the dogs. It’s an old issue that I’ve written about on here before dating back to the Boat days: I’d be angry as Hell, go to dinner, then come back happy. It took two years before a co-worker, I think DJ, pointed it out to me. I have to keep consistent with my meals so I don’t continue to do that.

The next 30 days

I hope to be in the lower end of the 230s by the next 30 days. I want to be around 230 or so by the time the OldOld Man has his 90th birthday – March 22nd. If I get close to that I hope to be in good shape by the time of the wedding – which, by the way – is June 20th.

At least under 230.5, which MyFitnessPal says is the borderline “obese” and “overweight” line for people who are 6’ 1 1/2”. I’d point out my broad shoulders, athletic build & history, genetics, and muscle weight but I couldn’t type it with a straight face.

On MFP (MyFitnessPal)? Come find me

Fair warning: I don’t want your body wraps or your latest workout. I don’t care about your leveraged diet that focuses more on one food group over another, but I do want to know how you’re doing. This is a race where everyone comes in first place, together. If you think I’m worth sharing with, by all means, find me:



Time to finish my daily MFP diary…

photos credit: myfitnesspal.com & mapmyfitness.com – and their iPhone apps

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