Today I’d like to introduce you to my new best friend whose name is MyFitnessPal©. Okay, so she’s not a real person and hardly replaces the many friends I’ve cherished over the years; but since this program is acting as my friend and coach, it’s fun to think about what she’d say to me if given the chance.
The conversation might go something like this:
Jan: “Hi MFP! You know, we’ve been friends for about a month now, and I wanted to let you know that I regret not knowing you sooner. I have to tell you the truth. I heard about you a few years ago, but brushed you off.”
MFP: “Oh really? Why did it take you so long to introduce yourself?”
Jan: “I don’t know. Maybe I didn’t think I could keep up with you. You seemed like too much work, you know, keeping track of everything I eat with such detail. Really, who has that kind of time?”
MFP: “Well, you seem to be doing it now.”
Jan: “Yes, and I hate to admit how close-minded I was. Maybe I am stubborn after all. But anyway, that was then and this is now. Thanks for teaching me about the science and math of eating.”
MFP: “I’ve never thought of it that way. What do you mean science and math?”
Jan: “At first, it seemed hard to count every piece of food I put in my mouth, but now I realize that you need facts to work your magic; that’s the math part. And your technology with bar codes and all the grocery store/restaurant menu items is the science. You take care of the details for me and you even remember the foods I regularly eat—it’s a lot easier than I ever imagined.”
MFP: “Gee thanks! Glad you feel that way.”
Jan: “My pleasure. I remember when we first met; all I had to do was tell you my current weight and my goal weight, and you gave me a daily food allowance in calories, carbs, sugar, sodium and fat. I have choices within boundaries. I like that! Who knew how much ‘stuff’ was in tartar sauce or theatre pop corn? Before, I just ate it because I liked it.”
MFP: “Hey, wait a minute. You can still eat those things. I never tell you what to eat. Everybody needs a few treats.”
Jan: “Yes, that’s a part of your beauty. You’re like a puzzle, or a game. You remind me of “The Price is Right” in that I guess as close to the given number as I can without going over. I can even experiment by adding something I intend to eat, and if it puts me over my limit, I can just erase it and choose not to eat it.”
MFP: “That a smart strategy. Planning ahead.”
Jan: “Sometimes I think of you as a kind benefactor, who deposits money in my bank account every day—I don’t want to overspend. Some nights, I look at your stats and say, ‘I’m finished eating for today.’”
MFP: “It’s fun to see the look on your face when I project how much you’ll weigh in five weeks.”
Jan: “Ya, when you’re not yelling at me for not eating enough.”
MFP: “I don’t yell. But I’m not going to reward you for unhealthy eating. What kind of a friend would I be? We’ve got to do this in a healthy way in order to make it sustainable.”
Jan: “Sustainability. I like that word. You’ve helped me to see that I do have choices—and somehow that makes me feel happy. And by doing the math, I see more clearly the REAL choice I am making when I pick up something to put in my mouth. I have a whole new level of awareness.”
MFP: “You’ve been doing really well. I love the fact that you’ve downloaded the app that ties your walking into my system. That way I can give you instant credit for exercise.”
Jan: “Thanks. It’s a great motivator when you give me extra calories for the ones I burn. Your technology makes it so easy! And you also give me a place to track my water intake. I’ve been told forever to drink more water. It does not come naturally, but I know it’s good for me. Especially living in Arizona.”
MFP: “Ah, water. It’s good for you in more ways thank I can calculate! Maybe that’s one reason you’re not as hungry as before.”
Jan: “Maybe so. You know what I really like about our relationship?”
MFP: “My charm?”
Jan: “Well, not really. What I was going to say is that even if I have a bad day, say I forget my water, or load up on sugar, fat, and sodium…”
MFP: “Yes, I remember a couple of days like that.”
Jan: “So anyway, I can have a bad day and the next day when I get up, ta-da, it’s a new day and I can try again—same calorie goals, same chance to make better choices.”
MFP: “I’m happy to do that for you.”
Jan: “I like you a lot. Let the game continue!”
So there you have it. I’m very happy about my secret pal and feel hope in using science and math with regards to my physical body.
I laugh at myself when I think of the first lines of a poem I wrote a couple of years ago: “If only I could learn to count.” Those words rolled around in my head for twenty years or more. Then one day, I began to write a poem and the whole thing came pouring out. It’s interesting that I’m still learning the full meaning of those words. I’m sure LIFE will continue to teach me other ways to count.
I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that my “Decade Changer” women from the blog series (especially Tinisha-40, Linda-60, and Iva-100, see below) have inspired me to pay closer attention to my body and my weight. It’s a perfect example of the influence we have in the world when we share our stories. I’m grateful to them.
Right now, no one can see the differences my pal is making in my life, but I can feel it. More than clothes fitting better, I feel a renewed sense of hope permeating my spirit! Check out MyFitnessPal© for yourself. This may be just the relationship you’ve been looking for!
May Hope build your confidence,
Here are the three blog posts I mentioned:
40-Tinisha: “My greatest successes are those that I did not think that I could achieve. There is something extra rewarding in turning your ‘I cant’s’ into ‘I cans.’”
60-Linda “Taking a holistic approach to life has made this transition into a new decade much easier. It has been a time of reflection. It has been a journey of self-actualization.” http://whalenvoices.com/2016/08/04/celebrate-turning-60-with-linda/)
100-Iva: “So when I went to college I realized I just respected the human body. I just thought, Why destroy it with a lot of artificial attachment of this or that, or wrong diet or drinking or anything like that. Here’s a beautiful structure, why not respect it?”