1

Control

This quote is frustratingly accurate:

“When we try to control, we become controlled; when we release, we become free.” – Bryant McGill

I have control issues. It has been helpful to me in some ways, but I’m trying to let go of some control and that’s tough. I have been keeping tabs of everything I have eaten for about 2 years now. I diligently pick up my smartphone, open the MyFitnessPal app, look up then log every single bit of food. That truly helped – I’m not trying to knock the practice of self awareness and monitoring calorie intake. That being said, I have come to the realization over the last few months that I don’t really need to do that anymore. To say that my habits are sticking is an understatement; in fact I think the word habit is inadequate. I’ve adjusted my whole lifestyle.

Then why am I still counting every single calorie? Why am I wasting that time obsessing over it? I am controlled by my own need to control. I’m sick of it. I feel burdened by it, and I’m the one who has made the choice to do it. I have decided it’s time to let that go (cut to Frozen…)

I’m not cutting every fitness app. I like to know how much I am doing. I love my Fitbit, I get to compete with my friends and family and it motivates me to keep moving. I also like knowing details such as speed and distance when I go running or biking, or how far my husband and I wander on adventure hikes, so I will keep using Runtastic as well. But I am done logging calories eaten. I am so happy I found MyFitnessPal when I began trying to get healthy. It absolutely made me change my behaviors with food and helped to shine a light on what kind of choices I could make in my diet to lose weight. And I plan to keep the app so if I am curious about calorie content I can still use it for the food database. (It also cleanly synchronizes my exercises up to Fitbit from other apps. It’s easier to just keep it for that purpose than to reconfigure it all – I tried and failed.)

I logged my food yesterday. That was it, I told myself as I entered the food, the last day I’m recording it. To be perfectly honest, I feel weird about not using it today. I have to train my brain that I’m done with that task. I’ve only been awake a few hours and it already feels like I’m forgetting something I need to do.

I know that I won’t backslide. And god forbid I do, I clearly know how to log calories and go back to those behaviors. I just don’t see that happening. I love exercising, eating healthy, and the way my body feels now compared to the old me. I believe I can maintain and have a little more freedom away from that nagging side of my brain as well.

*deep breath*

2

I love apps

I have found what works for me. And that is IN MY FACE accountability. I use apps to help me with my success. The number one app I use every single goddamn day is MyFitnessPal. I input everything I eat and drink as well as keep track of calories I burn while exercising. In a way it’s like a game for me, and calories are points. I “win” when I come in under budget. I love it, and the best part of that app is the database is huge! Almost every food can be found in there, you can even scan barcodes and create frequent meals/recipes.

I also use Runtastic (along with it’s sister product Road Bike) to track my bike rides and hiking/walking. They are perfect because they synchronize with MyFitnessPal. All I have to do is turn on Runtastic (or Road Bike) when I’m doing an activity, then when I’m done it uploads the calories burned automatically for me.

I have realized I need something that’s easy for me to keep up with. Like I said with the ‘in my face’ bit — I’m always screwing around on my phone. It’s really easy for me to log into the MFP all throughout the day to tally what I’ve eaten. I’m constantly reminded to do so because it’s right on my iPhone’s homescreen. I don’t even have to try to remember to do it anymore, it’s a habit.

MyFitnessPal does something else for me that’s brilliant – it speedily helps me to make smart choices. Before ordering a cocktail or food, I look it up and see whether it’s cool or not. It’s kind of gross when I realized some foods I used to order and think were healthy (like some salads) are over 1000 calories for a single serving. Unnecessary!  It leads to wiser choices and thinking twice before having one more beer… that is just empty calories.