Tuesday, April 28, 2015

one year on MyFitnessPal

Today marks one total year using the MyFitnessPal app - logging food and exercise every day.
Or almost every day.
I took a week off from food logging while we vacationed in Colorado and when Jared and I went to Mexico last month. I also took off a handful of other days when it would have been almost impossible to correctly log my food - the 4th of July, a couple of birthday parties, etc. But I still checked in and logged exercise even if I wasn't logging food entries. 

Personally, I love MyFitnessPal (MFP). I tried a few other times in the past to lose weight - usually just working out more often, but I never incorporated actual calorie counting. I think that is why MFP has worked so well for me. Anyone who knows me - or knows Jared or my sisters or my freaking entire family - knows that I love to eat. 
That whole "Don't live to eat, eat to live" thing... 
Uhhh... yeah, not a firm believer in the truth to that yet...

The biggest piece of knowledge I have gained over the past year is portion size. I know it sounds simple, but it was eye-opening. I was consuming double what I thought I was. It took a good two or three weeks of logging and eating normal portions for my stomach to adjust. So basically for a couple weeks I thought I was starving - because I was finally eating a normal amount of food. But after that initial adjustment, it hasn't been that hard.
Do I sometimes eat double portions? 
Hell yes. 
But it's because I am making the choice to, not because I don't know any better and am deluding myself. 

MyFitnessPal is great for the fact that I eat what I want and see how it fits into my day so I can still meet my goals. I never went into this believing I would only eat "clean" foods. I wanted to find a balance so I could be healthier and still enjoy the foods I like. And I have achieved that. If I want pizza I better work out so I can "afford" the calories. It's about balance and learning a way to live after all the pounds are shed.

And speaking of -
so far I have lost 32.5 pounds
The first 30 came off in the first 7 months.
Face-to-Face:  One year difference

Since Christmas time I have had to shift my focus from weight loss to other fitness goals. After a while the scale stops changing as quickly as before, and it became important to find other things to work on. I've switched up my workout routine a few times, and believe me, I am grateful that spring arrived so I could get a break from the workout videos!

The weight loss has been great, but I try to focus on the other things that I've accomplished or am working toward.
Non-scale victories if you will.

* I lost 3 pant sizes
I went from a size 16 (ugh, I hate to even type that out...) to a size 9/10 in jeans. And those 9/10's are even getting a bit loose now. I also now wear medium-sized shirts.

* Smaller ring size. 
I had to resize my wedding ring down 1 1/2 sizes because it was literally sliding off my finger multiple times a day.

* Increased confidence
Let's get real here, I avoided the bathroom mirror frequently. And if I were to catch a glimpse when I was getting in the shower? Terrible. I don't feel that way anymore. I've worked hard. And while I still have more work to do, I am proud of the changes. 

* A better role model
Kids are little sponges. And as much as you can tell them to do something, they seem to learn by example best. Our kids eat more nutritiously because we are eating more nutritiously. They are more active because we're more active. They see mom putting in the effort to take care of her health, and that is a message I think is important to send to our kids.

* Improved health
So other than all the benefits we all already know of, I was surprised by one. I went to the doctor for my recent hand probs and was stunned to learn my pulse (which for my whole adult life has been in the mid-80s) was 58 bpm at two separate appointments. Clearly all this exercise is not only helping my waistline, but also strengthening my heart.

* Better sleep
This one has been a bit less obvious, but before I started working out, I would go to bed exhausted and fall asleep for a half-hour or so and then startle awake. And I couldn't go back to sleep. I don't have that problem anymore. (Now if I can just convince my kids that sleep is something we shouldn't fight...)

* Challenging myself
Lastly, I'm proud that I've stepped out of my comfort zone. Not only in just starting to use MFP or exercising in general, but that I have looked at something, thought it was hard, and decided to try anyway. Whether it was a 50 minute HASfit video that looked difficult or starting running, I've tackled some things that a year ago I wouldn't have dreamed I'd be doing.

I've learned a lot in a year.
I've learned you have to want it badly enough to put in the work. 
If it were easy, everybody would be running marathons and rocking their 6-pack abs around town. It didn't work before because I didn't put in the work. As simple as that.

I've learned that it is about me. 
I'm doing this for me. There are times when other people don't notice changes or encourage and support you like you wish they would, but you're not doing it for them - you're doing it for you. Keep on doing what works for you.

I've learned to be flexible. 
As in all areas of life, rigidity can make things a lot harder. I prefer to work out in the late morning or early afternoon. But that doesn't always jive with a husband that works night shift, so I've had to adapt. I was in the groove doing my cardio-plus-weights videos and then I broke my hand. Had to adapt. Sometimes what was working before stops producing results and you have to shake things up. Being flexible just makes the whole process easier.

I've learned how important goals are. 
At first the goal is usually losing weight, but when that's accomplished - now what? I've set new goals for working out and most recently a goal to run a 5k this spring/summer. That's something I never thought I would do. It really is amazing what you are capable of when you put your mind to it.


  1. Girl, you KNOOOW I'm proud of you -- SOOO proud!

    Not sure you emphasized enough that it is hard work -- it is! It takes diligence, perseverance, dedication, knowledge and awareness. ALL those things you have and you put into practice.

    I love that you feel amazing which only leads to LOOKING amazing!
    And if you doubt it for a second, or you get "use" to seeing yourself how you look now -- that's what old pics are for hahaha. Not to feel "bad" ... but to see all your hard work!

  2. You are awesome and I am inspired by your strength--physical and mental!!


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