The start to my lifestyle journey in a very small nutshell-
The year was 2011 and I was chunky, self-conscious and unhappy with not only my appearance but my life as well. I don’t honestly recall what the deciding factor was, but I made the decision I was going to try a new lifestyle. NOT DIET! I did minimal research and decided to give it a go. I started out by counting calories and limiting my portion sizes. I used the App “My Fitness Pal” and logged every single little minuet molecule that went into my mouth. Liquid by ounces, food by cups, condiments by teaspoons; everything was logged and accounted for. As the changes were slow at first, I could feel the transformation before I witnessed changes physically. I did minimal workouts because I was still feeling a bit lazy, yet I still continued to change physically, mentally and deliberately.
Once the pounds started shedding, my clothes began to become looser fitting. Do you know what that feels like? It’s like running your first mile without stopping. It’s an irrevocable giant leap towards your happy ending, only if you want it bad enough. Trust me, I wanted it bad enough. I wanted something permanent, hence the lifestyle change, not DIET! I was in it for the long haul.
Was it easy? Is wrestling a 200 pound volatile wild hog with piercing tusks easy? No. It’s one of the toughest things I’ve ever decided to stick with. But I am here to tell you, it does get easier as time goes on. Once you get to know the foods you eat, what the proper portion size looks like and what are the right foods for you are, you begin to feel more confident in portion sizes and your food knowledge. I religiously used the app for about 6 months. When we would go to out to eat, my husband would be so annoyed (at first) with the time it took me to research, look up and calculate what exactly I could have to eat. The app allowed the decision making to be easier. If I went to Texas Roadhouse, I would type in the food I wanted along with the restaurant name and BAM! There was the food I was looking for with all the nutritional values listed. Once I figured out what the healthy choices were and how the app worked, it made the dining out experience much more enjoyable.
I have to also rave on the app because it is so easy to use. When you begin to use the app, you create your log-in and profile. You enter in information like, how much you weigh presently, what your goal weight is, and your activity level. You also choose a weight goal. For instance, do you want to lose 1 pound a week or 2 pounds? Once you’ve achieved your goal weight, change your goal to maintain goal weight and the app will adjust your caloric intake amount. Not only does it allow you to count your calories, it keeps track of ALL nutritional values. Sugar, fat, carbs, protein, fiber intake, etc. It calculates it all and keeps a running record for your entire day. Every little detail that is vital to a lifestyle change. Once you’ve put in your foods, the diary keeps your favorites on top so you don’t have to search a food you regularly eat. Another perk to inputting your foods is that they also have a barcode scanner. You choose that option, a camera screen comes up. You shoot that baby and up loads the nutritional values. Easy as pushing a button. Who doesn’t like easy? This gal does.
Just to clarify, you start your day out by logging breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks. I know there is an app for just about anything but if you feel more comfortable they also have the website option. Which I have included the link here—–> MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal is gracious enough to give you a remaining balance, so-to-say, so that you know what you have left to eat. NEVER skip a meal! Starving yourself doesn’t help you to lose weight. Maybe for immediate results but the aftermath of meal skipping for days only puts on more poundage later. Not something I wanted to do after working hard to lose it in the first place. It does your body more harm than good. Remember this.
Did I already mention that you can log your exercises and once you start burning calories, you get to eat more? For those of you that feel like you’ll starve if you eat what is set for you, then get up off the couch and try something new. Go for a walk if you can’t run. Do couch squats if you can’t squat it out in the middle of the floor. What’s a couch squat? Stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down, etc. Do this without using your hands to help yourself up or down. Once you log your exercises, it puts calories back onto your daily intake accordingly. I like to eat. Correction, I LOVE to eat so I exercise regularly to be able to eat more. It’s a win win for me.
5 years since I’ve had more than a bite of pasta (I loved pasta con broccoli!). 5 years since I’ve had something from a drive-thru (greasy, salty French fries dipped in cheese with a fried chicken sandwich with bacon, cheese and mayo, and a large soda to wash it down…). 5 years since I’ve had cheese in excess like I used to (I thought cheese was a staple to every meal). 5 years since I’ve had bread at every setting (cheesy, buttery garlic bread with my pasta con broccoli). 5 years since I’ve had a whole entire candy bar in one sitting (one candy bar can last me a month now). 5 years without stomach problems, skin break-outs, lethargic episodes more than once a day, sluggish unmotivated behavior. Sorry guys, I’ll take the road I’m on now. It’s worth the pain and (now) very occasional cravings. I’ve trained my mind and body to make healthier decisions. If you want someone to walk with you, I’ll walk beside you. You can do anything you set your mind to. Be free from daily temptation but give in once in a while so that you don’t break. One “treat” (let’s say treat instead of cheat, it sounds much nicer) meal isn’t going to set you back miles. More than one every day is what will get you in to trouble.
You can use the app/site to find friends. Invite them through your contacts, Facebook, or an email. When you have someone to encourage and in return you get a partner through your journeys, it makes it a lighter load.
This app/site is all the above and more. It brought awareness to what I was putting into my body and feeding my body with. This education and milestone lead me on to more. You have to be willing to take the first step towards a healthier lifestyle. If you need assistance, awareness and education, this is the route for you. Give it a try and explore it’s abilities to help you along your journey.
(Sidenote: Since August, I have lost motivation to work out weekly. With school, work and bringing an 18 month old into our home, I have been less than accountable for working out weekly. My food intake is still the same, as it is extremely important for me to feel good. Therefore, clean eating is important for my health- physically, emotional and literally. This fitness app is amazing as it was a first and giant step towards cleaning up and holding me accountable for food that was nourishing my body! If you are looking for a starting point to change the way you are eating and an accountability partner, MyFitnessPal is a great start. I’m using this blog to hold me accountable to exercise. I will be hopefully leading my husband along on this journey. We’ll see if I can tug him along. 🙂 )