Are you looking for a way to realize that everything you’ve been putting into your body is grossly above the recommended daily intake for a healthy human being and leaves you wondering why you haven’t had a heart attack or ballooned up to the size of a sumo wrestler?
Well lucky for you, there’s an app for that.
I know, because I downloaded yesterday. And it’s taken over my life.
You all know that I don’t care much for exercise. I know, it’s good for you, but it also sucks and it’s boring and I hate it. Any time I work out I always think of at least 37 other things that I could be doing. But a few weeks ago when the iOS 6 update popped up on my iPhone, I took the opportunity to check out some new apps. I hadn't downloaded any in forever and who knows what life changing little button was just waiting for me?
Not too life changing though, because I only download the free ones. 99 cents is just too much to pay for convenience.
It was there I discovered the myfitnesspal app. I had heard of such maniacal things, as a few weeks ago my sister-in-law decided to start a cleanse and proceeded to eat her way through every leafy vegetable when we went out to dinner as I polished off an entire plate of pasta and a glass of "adult" pink lemonade. Every time she consumed something, she would immediately add it to her calorie counter. In the end she practically ended up asleep at the table because she only had 860 calories that day.
I thought nothing of this little deviant of technology until I found the app and figured what the heck. Was I going on a diet? No, not exactly, but I had recently discovered because I finally went to an actual doctor that some pounds that weren't there before had crept up on me. This tends to happen when you don't exercise, don't own a scale, and enjoyed shredded mozzarella cheese on occasion as a snack. I informed Steve that I was thinking about losing "some pounds," because I wasn't ready to commit to an actual number.
I hear things about calories, but I'm still confused about what they are and whether they are good or bad and I certainly have no idea how many of them I'm actually eating on a daily basis.
So yesterday I gave it a whirl. Upon signing on, I was asked to create a username and to upload a photo. This is fun, I thought. It's like Facebook for food! Then they wanted to know my current weight and goal weight. I made up a number that I'm convinced a 5'3 woman is supposed to be, but what the hell do I know. Then I was asked for my activity level. I was shocked to find that my particular lifestyle was not even mentioned, as these were my options:
I mean, there was no mention of a doll hair stylist. What gives?
Next, I had to determine my exercise goals:
Uh... is this a serious question? I feel like it's too early in our relationship to start lying to myfitnesspal. I mean, after all, we are pals now. I chose twice a week because "once a month or on random days where I all of a sudden feel fat" was not one of the options.
And finally, I had to determine a weight loss goal. This was a load of crap, because the highest amount you could select was two pounds per week. Two pounds?! If there's anything I've learned from watching The Biggest Loser, it's that a person can lose like 27 pounds a week when Jillian Michaels is screaming in their face. I chose one just because it seemed like the normal healthy choice for someone not on a weight loss competition reality show. So according to myfitnesspal, I should reach my goal by... November. Well that's useless, because by then I'll be chilling out in bulky sweaters.
Just for the sake of my health, I decided to take the calorie count into consideration. For me to reach my made up goal, I should only have 1230 a day. I didn't know if that was high or low; I mean, it sounds like way less than what I heard Phelps eats but like, more than Jennifer Aniston. So I figured I'd be fine.
WRONG. I was so wrong. By 5:00 pm yesterday, I had consumed all of my calories for that day. ALL OF THEM. And by all, I mean I actually ate 193 more calories than I was supposed to.
Determined to keep up with something for once in my life, I didn't consume anything else that night. Well except for like five candy corn pumpkins, but I don't think there's even an option for that on the counter because everything is in "serving sizes." Finally, at 12:09, I gave in and had an English muffin. I justified this because it was technically the next day.
So I began today at like a 165 calorie deficit for the muffin. What a way to start the day, right?
But the weirdest thing happened. When I woke up, I actually felt like... I wanted to go the gym.
Yes. Voluntarily. Steve wasn't even here to make me feel guilty about it. I just woke up and felt the urge to go to the gym. I don't know what came over me. I guess this is what exercise guilt feels like.
I actually ended my day today with 200 calories to spare. So I got to have wine. Victory.
In conclusion... myfitnesspal actually works. Because seeing those extra calories on your body apparently isn't as frightening as seeing them recorded in app form.
Download this immediately. You will lose weight but also gain shame. You're welcome.