Monday, January 16, 2012

new year, new me

boy, does that title sound SO corny, like a crummy self-help title.  but it's true.  i can only speak for how i feel right here, right now, but i feel as if i've turned a corner.  i'm feeling more and more each day like i did 8 years ago (was it 8 YEAR?!) when i was kicking ass and taking names at weight watchers.  who knows why i've blown it since last summer and gained 60 pounds.  focusing on the why of the past doesn't help me find the how of the future so i'm letting go of all that.

enter the new me: heavy, chronic knee pain, which i associate with the increasingly chronic tiredness and irritability.  i'm ready to feel better, physically, mentally, and all other -ally's that apply.  the knee pain is the most disheartening thing dragging me down right now.  now that i have the image in my mind, it's very much like kirsten dunst's dream sequence in melancholia with the yarn.  if you don't know what i'm talking about, that's another sad thing best left to another discussion.  the most i'll say about it is find your local indie movie theater and beg them to get it if they haven't shown it already and you just missed it.

i just finished the greatest book i've had the privilege of reading in quite some time, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greastest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney.  The book discusses willpower in general, not just for the purposes of changing your eating habits, and it was all information that i needed to hear.  for instance, who would have guessed that making yourself sit/stand up straight consistently throughout the day is more likely to strengthen your willpower for resisting that fast food run than telling yourself what an awful idea that would be, how much fatter and uglier eating that doughnut will make you, etc.  Also, and Dr. B has been prompting me of this for YEARS, self monitoring.  Whatever it is you need to do (watching what you eat, stopping smoking, saving money), making a physical note of what you do is important.

so i downloaded a food/exercise journaling app on my phone.  i have absolutely NO idea why this did not occur to me earlier, but Baumeister talks about it in the book and BAM, the idea was planted and implemented.  i absolutely LOVE it! the search functions are great and the best feature, as far as i'm concerned, is that it has an imbedded barcode scan feature, separate from the QR code reader that i already have, so if i have a product to add to my food log that still in it's original packaging or i just want to check how much of my daily calorie allowance a packaged food will take up, scan the barcode and the nutritional info and serving size is right there on the screen.  it's super easy to look up other foods and add your own as well.  like ANY other monitoring vehicle, if you have a custom food to enter or write down, you have to add up the nutritional content of all ingredients and divide by the number of servings.  that's true for any attempt to log your food for any program or app so i'm accustomed to that as a holdover from my weight watchers days.  the app i downloaded is the Calorie Counter from Fat Secret.  Fat Secret has a great website ( as well and the app, like any good app should, syncs any info so that whether i add my food or exercise on my phone or the website, it populates to both places without me having to worry about it.

i'm excited about it, and about how committed i feel about, so i hope this motivates someone to get out there and add some sort of new self improvement change to their life!

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