Let’s Try This Again…

Hello and happy 2014!  I’ve missed you all.

Unfortunately, my plan to re-start my health journey in early November didn’t work out so well…as evidenced by my disappearance.  I was just feeling so discouraged and unmotivated after my shortcomings in September that I couldn’t find the energy or the desire to make real changes. Even creating a routine didn’t help. All of these things, coupled with a string of trips and the holidays, and my health journey just took a back seat.

But I am happy to report that I am back and better than ever! I am feeling more motivated and in control than ever before for several reasons:

1. I’ve stopped using Weight Watchers and started using MyFitnessPal and a Fitbit Flex. I’ve been paying for Weight Watchers all this time, because I didn’t want to officially “quit,” even though I had, if we’re being honest. My accountability partner (see below) recommended that I try MyFitnessPal instead, because if I add her as a friend, she can see everything that I am eating as long as I faithfully log it all. I started logging last Thursday, February 20, and I haven’t looked back.

Even better, the Fitbit will sync with MyFitnessPal and provide real time updates with how many calories I’ve burned for the day, based on my activity, and how many I can still consume while leaving room for a 500 calorie per day deficit (in order to lose one pound per week). The more I move, the more I can eat! I wear my Fitbit everywhere, including to bed and in the shower.

I think Weight Watchers is a great program and teaches so many principles about food and health that everyone, especially overweight people, can benefit from. However, I felt like I personally had to learn a different “language” with the PointsPlus system. MyFitnessPal keeps track of all of the major nutrition information available for a particular food, but the emphasis is on calorie consumption. While I applaud Weight Watchers for basing their PointsPlus system on a food’s macronutrients and not solely upon calories, it is so much easier to walk into the grocery store or a restaurant and know how much a food is going to “cost” me, instead of attempting to convert it into Points.  In the end, a calorie is a calorie, whether I am eating a donut or a banana.  That said, I am seriously attempting to eat whole, clean foods, because those are the best for me and are also usually the fewest calories.

Between MyFitnessPal and my Fitbit, I feel like I am getting a complete and accurate picture of how much I am consuming and how many calories I am burning in a day. And I already have proof that it’s working: I started at about 177 pounds, and this morning I weighed in at 173.2!

Created by MyFitnessPal – Free Calorie Counter

(If anyone wants to add me as a friend on MyFitnessPal, please let me know!  The more accountability, the better!)

2. I’ve enlisted an accountability partner. I need more accountability than a Weight Watchers leader that I don’t personally know. I need someone who knows me and my struggle and who can offer real, personal advice and constructive criticism. I’ve asked a friend who has successfully completed a weight loss journey herself, and is now on the other side completely dedicated to healthy living, to help me out. Knowing that she has access to my personal MyFitnessPal diary makes me want to do my best! She’s also very serious about hard work and wants me to take it seriously as well.

3. I’ve been doing some soul-searching. I think a huge reason that I gained so much weight in the first place was self-indulgence. When it comes to food (and often spending), I want what I want, with little regard for limits. I needed to recognize this, repent of it, and institute some boundaries with myself. Consistent monitoring through MyFitnessPal is helping with those boundaries. Also, a sense of entitlement isn’t going to get me anywhere. I can keep saying until I’m blue in the face that I want to lose weight, but until I put in some real effort, I’m not going to see results.  This is going to take serious work–as my accountability partner told me, I need to work at this like it’s my second job.

I feel like I’m in a great place right now, and the amount of weight I’ve lost in one week is a huge motivator! I do need to get a specific exercise plan in place, however, and finalize the routine that I’ve been putting together since the fall.

I look forward to really putting my heart and soul into this journey now, not looking back, and having you all along for the ride.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

— Philippians 4:13