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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*

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Breaking away from the machines

Typically I have done all of my exercise at the gym and on my bike. Since the weather in Arizona has cooled off recently I’ve added hiking into the mix more often as well. I decided I was ready for another big hurdle in my world: RUNNING OUTSIDE.

This has always seemed an impossible task. Now, I have no idea why this has been such a struggle for me. I’ve always just sucked at running. Even when I was a petite little school kid I struggled to run a mile in one go. There’s been a few times in my life I’ve attempted jogging outdoors with limited success, but even then I never could do more than a mile or a mile and a half before I felt like I was going to fall over. To be fair — I was a smoker during those later attempts, so I can only imagine my lung capacity was garbage.

I thought since I have had so much success with the long distance running on the treadmill and elliptical at the gym I was ready to take it outdoors. I started my first attempt a few weeks ago. I went to a high school near my home and did laps on the track to see how it felt. I did about a mile and a half before I quit. Not bad. The next week I did the same, another mile and a half, but this time lapping around a park by my house. I mentioned the lap running to a friend who basically told me that sounded boring. I had to agree – I might as well stay on the treadmill, there is no adventure in a circle. Last week I walked to the same canal path I ride my bike on and decided to go for it. Granted, this was no marathon run, but I ran down the path and back and loved it. I went about 3 and a quarter miles total that day, so technically I ran my first 5k… without stopping. This was a big victory for me. It helped me to once again prove to myself that I really can do a lot. I shouldn’t assume I can’t do things – it just might be that I can’t do them yet.

*** I used Runtastic (synchronized with MyFitnessPal and Fitbit Flex) for these outdoor runs to help measure both distance, steps taken, and calories spent.

 

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Fitbit Flex

I upped my application/tool game for weight loss.  My husband and I splurged and each bought a Fitbit Flex! I totally dig it. It counts my steps, it integrates with my beloved MyFitnessPal (which has the best food database, so THANKFULLY those play really nice together), and it’s fun to use. It makes the calorie counting even more of a game. If you have friends who use it, it ranks you against them based on number of steps so you can “win” that. I’ve mentioned this before – I like feeling like I’m winning something.

I also like the way it looks. I checked out a lot of fitness bands; some of them are kinda cool and slim, some are really bulky. This one definitely falls into the slim and understated category. See?

fitbitflex

Basically it counts steps, measures activity levels, compares those with your calorie intake and whether you hit the goal range, plus it tracks when you sleep and how well you are sleeping. I am not sure how, my best guess is it runs on witchcraft or magic. Ha.

If you want more in-your-face accountability, I thoroughly recommend this. (And hey, if you are already using it, feel free to friend me!)