July 17, 2012

Time to lose weight


went to the doctor yesterday and heard the typical doctor speech for a 50-year-old: “You need to lose weight!” Well... perhaps it wasn’t completely typical because I need to lose a lot more weight than most men... of any age.

I have struggled with my weight all my life and over the years my excessive weight has contributed to a variety of health problems. But now I’m 50 years old and need to get control of this before it takes complete control of me.

Everyone says accountability is vital for weight maintenance, so I have put in place a few things to help with that. I began by downloading the FitnessPal app for my iPhone (also available for Android, Blackberry, iPad, and Windows phones). It’s a pretty cool app that had tens of thousands of 5-star ratings—and it’s free. FitnessPal also has a web site, so I can now track my caloric intake and my caloric output online and through my mobile phone. And FitnessPal has a huge database of foods to make tracking your caloric intake easier. You can even put in your own recipes and then add them to the database if you’d like to do so or keep them private if you prefer.

It can also be tied into a really cool digital pedometer called the FitBit. This tiny pedometer tracks how many steps you’ve taken, how many stairs you’ve climbed or descended, how many miles you’ve walked or run, how many calories you’ve burned, how many calories you burn while sitting or sleeping, and even how many times you get up at night and the exact times when you did it. All of this transmits the FitnessPal web site and mobile app via either wifi or a docking station that comes with the FitBit pedometer.

All of that is awesome, but still does not provide accountability. The accountability comes in with the Reports feature at FitnessPal. All of this tracked information is put into a printable report, which can also be emailed (perhaps to your family doctor), and it generates the cool little widget you see on the left side of this blog post. This widget is going to remain in my bar to the right, close to the top of the page, so my blog readers will be able to keep track of my weight. There’s the accountability.

I have a lot of weight to lose. I’d better get up and walk around. Sitting at this laptop isn’t helping at all.


  1. Could I suggest something I've been using (not as a replacement for this, but a supplement). It's a tad pricey on the front end, but worth every penny.

    I have a Withings scale (http://www.withings.com).

    Whenever you weigh yourself, it sends the data (weight/fat %/lean %/BMI) to your free Withings account via it's own built-in WiFi transmitter. The data can then be accessed via the web, by you or whoever you give access to. It can also be viewed, graphed, etc., on iPad/iPod touch/iPhone. You can set goals and see how close you are getting to them, etc. And the raw data can be shared with other health sites as well (for instance, my weigh-ins automatically post to my RunKeeper.com account).

    Anyway, as you can tell, I've been really happy with it. It's a painless and automatic way to get that weigh-in data recorded.

  2. Thanks for the recommendation. One of my coworkers showed me that scale online when I told him about my new app. Technology sure can be helpful. Now I just need to keep at it.

  3. I totally understand how scary it can be when the doctor tells you that you need to lose weight--I was staring down some pretty scary medical diagnoses myself. Accountability IS vital for maintenance, so I'm glad you've decided to keep track of what you're eating.

    However, if you're looking to start permanently keeping the weight off, you may want to look not only at what you eat, but why you eat. I can't tell you how frustrating it is to know what you need to do to lose weight, but never seeming to be able to actually do it. It's easy to get caught in bad patterns around food, especially with emotional/stress eating or eating out of boredom. These patterns only arise because we all have underlying needs that need to be addressed--it's just sometimes we mistakenly handle them with food. Take a look at the video in my link. It does a great job explaining our needs and how we can stop destructive patterns.

  4. As someone who can relate to your struggle, I would strongly encourage you to read up on low-carb diets. The vast majority of people who struggle with their weight do so because of insulin-resistance, which can be addressed only when you drastically reduce your carbohydrates. Research has proven that it is NOT a matter of calories in versus calories out. (As we are continually told by doctors and the media. Even exercise, while it is beneficial for our health, is a poor way to lose weight) Rather, it is the type of foods we eat. I would suggest the book, "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living," (http://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Science-Carbohydrate-Living/dp/0983490708), as well as reading Dr. Michael Eades blog, http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/

    I have found their information to be extremely helpful!

  5. Thanks, Mrs. T. I read that book a few years back, as well as quite a few other low-carb books. Due to some health issues, I am currently following the lifestyle advice of my nutritionist, which includes an extremely low-carb intake as well as a close attention to caloric intake and exercise. I have a unique metabolism that requires a good balance on those things. I am allowed no more than 16 grams of sugar per day and I am required to take in at least 30 grams of protein in the morning and another 30 grams in the afternoon/evening. And I need regular cardio workouts for many reasons. If I do what I'm supposed to, I should lose quite a bit of weight. I'm just not very good at following orders. :)

  6. I just pulled up the Amazing page for that book and although the names were similar, I haven't read this one yet. I will. Thanks for the recommendation.


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