2012 was pretty awesome, right?
This year I got married, went on a honeymoon, got promoted, traveled a bunch for work, became a runner, met some really cool people and lost 30 pounds. 2013′s got a tough act to follow. The biggest things on my radar for the coming year: Buy a house and buy a new car. Lame, I know.
My list of resolutions is a work in progress. I have never done this before. Humor me while I share a few, but what I really wanted to write about was how I lost 35 pounds this year. Weight loss is the most common resolution, and I think my experience proves it’s really not that hard if you have the right tools.
Anyway, my resolutions:
- Run the Twin Cities Marathon (first marathon)
- Read at least one book per month
- See a play at the Guthrie Theater
- Take Beth somewhere she’s never been before
- Return to a daily blogging schedule
OK, weight loss. How did I do it? Better question: Why did I do it?
Back in March, I weighed about 228 pounds. No one would ever accuse me of looking unhealthy or out of shape. I went to the gym three times per week. I played pickup basketball twice per week. I was more active than most. However, my activity wasn’t compensating for my diet. And worse yet, I felt poor about the way I looked. I was sick of buying XL sizes. My pants always felt a little too snug. I knew I was getting married in October and dreaded how I might look on my wedding day. (Where can I re-apply for my Man Card?)
I wanted to lose weight, dammit. And lots of it.
Confession: I’m a tech nerd. (I blog, after all.) My weight loss story began on a morning in March when I pulled into my driveway after a particularly grueling workout. I thought, “There has to be an app that makes weight loss easier.”
One rudimentary search of iTunes later, I found MyFitnessPal, a free mobile app that provides users daily caloric budget to help meet weight loss goals. Basically, you log every calorie you consume by scanning UPC codes or choosing from their massive database. You also log all physical activity to factor calories burned. It’s a food journal, sure, but it’s SO MUCH EASIER.
This morning, I had my normal breakfast: One fried egg, two egg whites on toast with light butter, along with coffee, a multivitamin and B12. Here’s what that looks like on MyFitnessPal:
In three months, I dropped 25 pounds. MyFitnessPal guided my success in two ways:
- It reduced weight loss to four simple words: Calories consumed. Calories burned. No batty algorithms or protein-to-carbohydrate ratios.
- It incentivized working out with the most lucrative of rewards: Food. Burning more calories meant I could consume more calories. Run four miles? That burns the caloric equivalent of a Chipotle chicken burrito bowl.
It’s Dec. 30 and I’ve almost survived the holiday season without adding weight. I currently weigh 193 pounds. This afternoon, I’m planning a 10-mile run before the Vikings-Packers game so I can eat and drink basically whatever I like. My goal is to get down to 175 pounds before the Twin Cities Marathon next October. I know I can do it with MyFitnessPal.
Whether you want to lose 5, 10, or 50 pounds in 2013, I can’t think of a better tool to motivate a healthier lifestyle. I’m not the type to get wishy washy, but seriously — MyFitnessPal changed my life.