My Fitness Pal is a jerk

fitness palThere’s a popular app I use called “My Fitness Pal.” You input your current weight, your goal weight, your approximate energy level for your job and it calculates the amount of calories you should eat in order to get to that goal weight.

You can also input your exercises so it can account for that in your calorie goals. Then, throughout your day, you input the foods you’re eating to keep track of it. You can even scan barcodes and it uses a massive system of other people who use the app to help you with your nutritional needs.

It’s a great app.

But it’s a jerk.

I’m not great at keeping up with it. It tells me a very low number of calories I’m allowed any given day. Lately, I’ve been focusing on lifting more. So the actual calories burned during my exercise aren’t easy to calculate. But when I do enter my lifting into the app, it doesn’t calculate them at all. Sure, it could just more effective maybe to still go with the smaller number and just pretend like I didn’t exercise. But when I really go hard at the gym, I know my body is craving more calories for muscle building than My Fitness Pal wants me to intake. So I have to guesstimate the difference.

And guess what happens? I always over-estimate. I assume I can eat more than it wants me to eat. So then I just give up tracking the calories because I assume the number is all off anyway. Then I get frustrated if I’m not losing weight, know I should probably use something like My Fitness Buddy to help me keep tabs on my calorie intake. So the whole cycle starts up again.

I dunno what to do about it. So I blame that jerk, My Fitness Pal. It’s definitely the app’s fault.

I think I need a real fitness pal, rather than an app. But that would require talking to a real-life human, and we all know that’s too scary.

So I’ll stick with my computers and my virtual reality. In my SIMS world, I weight 118 lbs of pure, healthy muscle. Hooray for computer programming!

Instagram Fitness

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 7.32.24 PMI started following some fitness people on Instagram. My friend showed me a good fitness motivation (@motivationforsquats) and I decided to follow them. I can use some fitness motivation. I’m a sucker for a good quote and inspiring picture. So I figured, “Why not?”

It’s a little much for me. I’m used to using Instagram just to follow a few friends and people who post cute pictures of dogs. I’m still adjusting to the fact that when I check my feed at 10 am, I’m going to see tons of pictures muscly people wearing very little clothing.

It’s too early to say whether or not it’s helping or hurting. Maybe it’ll make me feel bad and get my butt to the gym to kill it like those guys. Maybe it’ll make me want to eat more food so I don’t turn into the level of crazy those fitness people are. I don’t know yet.

They do a lot of promotion within their own world for other people and accounts to follow. So if you’re easily annoyed by long descriptions and repetition (verdict is still out for me on this one), maybe it’s not for you. But if you don’t mind and just like the pictures and inspiration, then maybe it is.

I do know that a couple days after I started following some of these accounts, I definitely felt more motivated and killed it at the gym. I also know the next day I slept in and ate a large brownie. Then again, maybe that’s just my personality. Who knows.

I’ll keep you updated.

Bye bye sugah

sugarIt’s time for me to say goodbye to a dear friend of mine. You probably know her. Her name is Sugar, and she’s everywhere.

I’m a pretty goal-oriented person. I set year-long goals and quarterly goals. I regularly check in with my goals and see how it’s going. I’ve had one goal that has just consistently taken a backseat. And as I was looking at the reasoning why, it’s because of that sneaky little mistress of mine… sugar.

I need to tone up and slim down. I need to for my own sake- just to prove that I can. And I need to because there are a few roles and opportunities I need to tone up for (please read my previous post on being fit in all sizes).

So I’ve decided to just make it a specific goal. No sugar for this quarter. April 1-June 30. No excess sugar.

I’m going to be reasonable. If there’s sugar in fruit, fine. I’m not yet giving up my precious alcohol (which I drink very rarely anyway). I’m not going to freak out if I find out there’s some extra sugar in a product I already ate.

I’m just going to go cold turkey on eating foods I know have excess sugar. And if you know me… and how I feel about sweets, you’ll know this is enough of a challenge in itself.

So wish me luck. And any tips you may have on how to get through this dark time, I would very much appreciate.

“You look like you’ve lost weight”

I’m a person who others remember as fatter than they actually are. I’ve been around the same weight for years. I was a little bigger in college, but after college I’ve pretty much plateaued in a certain range.

But it never fails that I see someone I haven’t seen in a while and they always say, “You look like you’ve lost weight.” And I’m not gonna be the asshole that pretends I don’t like hearing that- who wouldn’t? The problem is, I’ve heard it so many times in my life, often in times when I haven’t made any physical changes at all, it’s lost some of its impact.

Years ago, I came to term with the fact that people remember me as fatter than I actually am. And that’s just how it is.

So unfortunately, I’m difficult to compliment in this realm because I’ve heard it so many times that when I actually do feel like I’ve made positive physical changes in my body, they’re so subtle nobody except me would notice. They consist of fitting into certain pants better than usual or noticing more muscle and less fat on a certain part of my body.

Truth be told, I’m actually noticing some of those changes in my body right now after lifting so much. My arms look a little more cut and my abs are getting strong. But they are small, almost unnoticeable changes. And my weight hasn’t really changed for it’s usual spot at all. So as much as I appreciate hearing “You look like you’ve lost weight,” I really haven’t yet, folks. You just remember me fatter.

But when I do see major changes, I’ll post before and after pics. That’s a promise (if it ever happens…)