Tuesday, May 1, 2012

My new best friend

If you read that last post, you'll know I've been disgruntled with my eating habits lately. Partially due to following in line with Ashley's habits, but let's be real here - mostly my own fault. I could always prepare myself a separate meal or choose better options when we go out to eat. Now that meal planning is back on track, I'm going to borrow from my cousin and direct you all to her excellent review of an app we're both nuts about - My Fitness Pal.

I've always considered myself to have fairly healthy habits - I make the majority of my own meals, happily eat most fruits and vegetables and have a moderate activity level. But let's be honest here - now that I'm an adult spending the greater part of my waking hours in a law office, I'm exercising my brain more than the rest of my body. I'll also admit (shamefully), that more often than not, I drive to the office. Yes, me, the environmentally conscious individual who lives a mere 3 blocks (equating to a less-than-10-minute-walk) from her place of work, drives a car. Why? Because I've gotten too damn lazy. I'd rather roll out of bed at 9 and scramble to slip in the office door just as the grandfather clock chimes 10 times than wake up at a decent hour, play with the dogs, take my time getting ready, and enjoy some fresh air (oh right, this is Philly) on my way to work. Honestly, I'd love to do all of those things, but, like I said...I've grown lazy.

We all need a boost from time-to-time, so I'm looking to MFP, and my friends, for some motivation. I've only been using the app for a week, but I love it. Like my cousin, I love scanning the barcodes of my food to enter my daily calories. When I want to search the database, I'll log into my MFP account on the computer to make the process a bit easier. One thing I'd like to put a little time into, and I think will be time well spent, is creating meals. For example, I made falafel last week and went through the process of entering every part of the meal - the canned chickpeas, the pita, tomato, the avocado, the this, the that. If I were to combine all of those ingredients into a meal, I'd enjoy the ease of entering 1 item into my food diary rather than half a dozen.

Along those lines, since it can be somewhat of an annoyance to have to scroll through the database to find all the components of a meal, that alone is a motivator. It's even more of a reason to east simple, fresh meals, even when going out to a restaurant. Last weekend, Ash and I went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner, and I ordered chicken fajitas. The plate comes with it's own tray of toppings, but I kept it simple adding only rice, cheese and avocado to my chicken.

Overall, I think this is something I can stick with long-term, because once I'm in the shape I want, I can reset my account so that it helps me maintain my weight, rather than lose weight. In the past I've kept an online food journal, but I've never counted calories, paid too much attention to serving sizes or otherwise used any sort of precision when keeping track of my eating habits - I just watched for general trends. Now I have a friend to keep my on track - My Fitness Pal!

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