When I was in college, I gained the freshman 15. Then I lost it. And more. In fact, at one point I was a size 0. I’m 5′ 6″ so a size 0 really shouldn’t be the goal.
I would forgo food all day so I could drink beer at a fraternity party. When I did eat, it was basically lettuce with Mayonnaise. Gross. I know.
I once had an anxiety attack at the mere mention of Cinnabon. And another time, many years later, my then in-laws had an intervention about my eating. I am the opposite of a lot people. I don’t eat when I am stressed.
All of this was years ago and I’ve been fine forever. In 2005, when I ran my first marathon, I stopped worrying about what I eat for the first time since seventh grade, and something like 50+ marathons and ultras since, I haven’t worried since.
So four months ago when the love of my life told me he was going to count calories using an app called My Fitness Pal, I told him to keep it away from me. We’ve basically retired from ultras so thinking about calories at the same time as cutting mileage felt dangerous to me.
Well, four and half months since and I gotta say, My Fitness Pal is actually pretty great.
Scott has been using it since October 13th and he has lost 21.4 lbs. and 4.4% body fat. He has gained 2% muscles. He is the healthiest person I know and all muscle to begin with but he decided to make some changes in what he ate and how much (mainly because we stopped running ultras and he didn’t want to gain weight). Used this application + an app that works with his scale to track body composition. He is down to 193 lbs. from 215 lbs!!
My Fitness Pal gives you all the information you need about calories and nutrition. Breaks down what you are putting into your body by food, meal, day, week. You just scan the bar code from your food or if you have to enter it manually it takes like 30 seconds.
I started using it about two weeks ago because I gave up sugar for Lent (still not sure what sugar has to do with Jesus, but ok) and it has helped me get much smarter about food. In just the little time I have been using it, I have decided to cut out certain foods that I thought were really healthy and increase other foods that give me way more bang for my nutritional buck. It also makes me feel fine about eating. The opposite of what I thought. On long run days, like today, I have a zillion calories to consume. In fact, more than I ever could. On shorter mileage days, I am smart about my choices.
It’s a great app. Simple to use. Extremely informative. I highly recommend.
I think maybe because I am older and wiser and 43 years into this body that I’ve learned knowledge is power. Understanding what you put in your body and how to make it work for you is smart, not a recipe for disaster.