Tag Archives: dream board

Food and Exercise Diary Flubbs: Deceptive Logging

You remember in school how the teacher would tell you that cheating gets you nowhere because it doesn’t help you learn? You cheat on your homework and when it is time for the test, you fail miserably because you failed to actually gain any knowledge while copying answers? I was the kid in school who always got copied.

Using a food and diary log is pretty much the same way. If you omit items from your diary in order to look better to your peers on My Fitness Pal or elsewhere, you’re only hurting yourself. You’re not accurately logging, and that will hurt you because you’re not going to see the results you want. You have to be honest. Likewise, overestimating calorie burns just because the automated form in My Fitness Pal estimates that you burned 1,200 calories cleaning your house for an hour and a half is going to hinder you in your goals.

I know that food is enticing, but we can’t enter false information and expect for these things to physically become a reality. If you enter that you burned 1,200 calories shoveling snow for an hour and you actually only burned about 400, you really only burned 400. That snow wasn’t tiny, extremely dense lead shavings. Sorry, folks, but putting it in your log doesn’t make it magically true.

The logging is your homework, the weigh in is the test, and you’re going to fail if you falsify that information. If what other people think about your diary bothers you, make it private. It’s not mandatory to have a public diary on My Fitness Pal. This is something that BLOWS my mind.

I don’t know where My Fitness Pal gets some of their information for estimating calorie burn, but you can pretty much be sure that you didn’t burn more than 10 calories a minute while exercising. Trust me, if you were burning more than 10 calories a minute, you’d be drenched in perspiration and your heart would be coming out of your chest.

I know it’s hard to put in real effort because you’ve been used to being lazy or maybe you’re uninspired, but you’re only going to be disappointed when the scale doesn’t reflect the “awesome dedication” that you allegedly put in over the week. There is no way around the fact that this is a numbers game. If you want to see results, you have to do the work and be honest with yourself about it.

There are no shortcuts in losing weight. None.

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A Regular Lois Lane

I know I mentioned that I’ve been writing a column for my organization’s e-newsletter, and it has given me a great sense of accomplishment since I started. After the first column, I received a couple of e-mails and personal responses that really boosted my confidence! My department resides in a building apart from the rest of the organization, so sometimes seclusion and involvement are problems for us. We’re the mysterious and faraway crew that obviously get paid to do something but no one is sure what that is.

One such response was this:

“Hi Melody,

Thanks for the encouraging tips and the benefit of your experience. I love it that you shared your talent!

 Susan”

My own supervisor came to me to congratulate me and tell me that she loved my tips. This month, I think I’ve mentioned before, I wanted to address the frightening popularity of low carb, no carb, and no fat diets as a method of losing weight. My column is below:

“On a day-to-day basis, we’re overwhelmed by magazine covers and news stories that tell us we should eat in a specific way. Some claim a low- or no-carb diet is key, while others claim a low-fat diet is paramount to losing weight. All of these headlines overcomplicate the concept of nourishing our bodies. While a low-carb diet, one of the biggest fad diets of all time, will yield short-term results, the realities of eating low-or no-carb are harsh. It’s recommended by nutrition specialists and professionals that 45-60% of our food intake comes from carbs. Why? We fuel our bodies with carbs! We need carbs to think clearly, to regenerate cells (glucose!), and to exercise. Carbohydrates are stored in our muscles as glycogen and used as energy when we get moving. Like carbs, fat is also important for our bodies. Some fats improve joint health and fight triglycerides (bad fat). What I’m getting at is a diet with a variety of nutrients and a balanced diet is most effective, so we have the energy to function as happy, healthy humans. There are always some exceptions; some doctors will suggest patients with insulin resistance or diabetes eat low-carb or cycle carbs to regulate blood sugar. Before excluding any of the three macronutrients (protein, carbs, or fat) from your diet, do your research and talk with a doctor. After all, the most important changes that happen while losing weight are happening on the inside.”

My assertion is that losing weight and becoming healthier are not always the same thing. There are several ways to abuse our bodies, even when we think we’re doing the right thing. It’s important to improve our minds by becoming educated about food while also improving our bodies by nourishing them with food. Think! Meditate! Consider!

To happiness and healthiness!

5 Best Ways to Surround Your Weight Loss Journey with Positivity

It’s extremely easy to become negative when it comes to losing weight. It can take up to 4 weeks to even see any changes in our bodies even if we are doing just about everything right. That can become discouraging, and when the numbers increase or stay stagnant on the scale, we might become discouraged. There are many ways to combat the feeling that we would rather be happy and eat than have to work ourselves to the bone for the dream body we want. I’ve come up with a list of methods that have been extremely effective for me in losing weight and sticking with it, even through the tough stuff. 

1.) Make a dream board/motivation wall. 

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You can do this in many ways. You can use a poster board with magazine clippings, the wall with a bunch of post-its, or a shadow box with items that depict your weight loss goals. The dream board serves as your visual depiction of your weight loss journey. Why did you start? Were you tired of being fat and tired? Did you want to set a better example for your kids and family? Why will you continue? Do you want a bikini body? Are you trying to join the armed services by meeting a weight/endurance goal? Do you just want to feel like the strong/fit person you feel is inside you somewhere? Brainstorm on all of these things and find pictures to give you a visual representation of these feelings. If you get discouraged, check out the board and remember why you started and why you should keep going. If you’re extra discouraged, maybe it’s time to add to your board some of the things that motivate you so that you can turn this negativity into a positive outlook. 

2.) Join an online community for support.

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MyFitnessPal has been instrumental throughout my entire weight loss journey. Here, you can use the food journal, exercise log, and you can post status messages just like Facebook, only it’s fitness-related. Your friends can comment on your exercise logged, your food diary completions, and your status messages. They also just recently implemented a “like” button! In addition, there are groups and online forums where you can post to the larger MFP community and get feedback on your goals/decisions. 

Another option would be to establish your own community in a group page on Facebook. I am the member of a group with over 200 people. Constantly, all day long, we are posting inspirational quotes, results, non-scale victories, and venting about issues with making healthy choices. This particular group is BeachBody affiliated (you know, P90X, INSANITY, Shakeology, those guys), but anyone can make a private group at any time. Establish the group, invite friends with the same goals, and post daily. This has been extremely helpful for me since none of my friends or family has to be bombarded with fitness/health posts at any time, yet I’m still able to go brag on myself or ask for help whenever I need it without them seeing. 

3.) Get a fitness buddy. 

This is one of the most common suggestions for successful weight loss. The concept is simple: if you have a friend who keeps you accountable, you’re more likely to stick with this healthy lifestyle. I have had a few fitness buddies, and I still do have a few. Some of them are friends, and one of them is my wonderful significant other who has been ridiculously dedicated to helping me in my goals throughout the past two years. I am so very thankful for my support system. 

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At one point, this beautiful lady and I had lost a whole person together, 140lbs combined! She’s had a kid since then and has gained some, but she’s back at it. I am so very proud of this mommy of two, wife, and she was a student at the time! She’s superwoman! 

4.) Make an interactive representation of your weight loss.

Here’s one of my favorites:

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There are tons of ways to make interactive weight loss trackers. You can use money in a jar, adding a dollar every time you lose a pound. Once you meet your next mini-goal (I usually space these out every 10-15lbs), use the money to buy yourself something fitness related. This brings me to my next topic! 

5.) Reward yourself often for your success.

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Do no, I repeat DO NOT, reward yourself with chocolates or a nice dinner. That is definitely not an effective way to reward oneself for not eating food. I usually go for things like sports bras, workout tops, headbands, and other fitness supplies. Heck, I think I even bought myself a blender for shakes and smoothies once as a reward. I have also rewarded myself with new clothes for my new body, piercings, and there is a tattoo on the list for the day that I meet my ultimate goal weight. What is your passion? Do you love books? Buy yourself that novel you’ve been DYING to read but can’t justify spending $25 on in a hardback, or buy yourself a Kindle when you build up reward money. Do you love movies? Maybe every 5 lbs you lose, you can add a new DVD to your collection at home. Are you a music buff? Buy yourself a $99 cent song download each time you lose a pound. (It would help to make it a good song for working out!) There are so many ways to make sure that, even though you’re giving up some of the things you used to love, you don’t have to feel any deprivation in this process. 

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