My Fitness Pal: friend or foe?

Raspberries, ie sugar is delicious.

Dear My Fitness Pal,

It has been two weeks since our relationship began.  I am still not sure you are the sort of Pal I want.

I believe you are well intentioned, but you are making me crazy.  When Karen Irving at After the Kids Leave told me about you, you sounded great.

I figured that even if I don’t lose weight, maybe you could help me improve my health.  Not that my health is bad.  It’s fine.  Losing fifteen would be fantastic, though.

You seemed like you wanted to help.  I don’t think you’re malicious, but….

I cannot do what you want me to do.  It is not possible.

You tell me I need to eat more calories, but you don’t want me to eat more sugar or fat.  I expected scoldings about my cookie and candy habit, so I gave them up.  Now you are being ridiculous about this.   I feel like you want to take all the pleasure out of eating.

I drew you this picture, so you can see how I feel:

Why We Abandon Diets

You’re holding too much against me.  Who knew that fruits and veggies were so sugarful?  And milk?  Plain Greek yogurt has as much sugar as protein.

I used to think everything delicious contains sugar or dairy.  Now I realize that just means that everything delicious contains sugar.

I can’t give up every food I like to eat.  I know sugar is bad, bad, bad, but it is so good, good, good.  I’m not going to stop eating blackberries.  I don’t care how often you highlight my sugar overages in red.

Should we break it off now, or should we give it more time?  I want to think you’re on my side, even if we don’t see eye to eye on the fruit and veggies issue, but I’m not sure.  I’m confused.

I spent the first week forcing myself to eat when I wasn’t hungry, and the second week feeling hungry all the time.  I lost a couple pounds the first week, but as soon as I got my calories near your goal, I gained them back.

You’ve encouraged me to eat more protein.  It was hard the first week, but it’s getting easier.  I thank you for that, but I also wonder if the protein consumption is what is making me feel so much hungrier.  Or am I hungrier because you make me spend so much time thinking about food?

I’m trying to be faithful, but Sugar has been my friend for so long.  Choosing between the two of you is not easy.  So far, I’ve chosen you over candy, but I need to see results to make our relationship worth sustaining.

I’ll let you know at the end of the month.

Your reluctant friend,
Ginger Kay

P.S.  I’m visiting my mom next week, and that is usually one long junk food binge.  If I give that up for you, I expect pounds dropped.  If I don’t, please don’t hate me.

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16 thoughts on “My Fitness Pal: friend or foe?

  1. Hey Ginger! Enjoyed this entry for I, too, have the same love/hate relationship with sugar. Have a good time with your Mom next week…Also, once went by my childhood home and wondered how the heck we all managed to live in it because it was so small!

  2. This was so enjoyable to read Ginger!! I am proud that I don’t use sugar in my coffee, don’t add Nestle’s Quik to my milk when I see the hubby doing it, and not proud that I just ate some Girl Scout cookies.

  3. If it helps, I am writing a guide for all of us who are in love with sugar. It’s more about how to stay in that relationship than leave it, but still. I’m with you — what a love/hate relationship. This morning I decided to go healthy and eat a multi-grain bagel. There was a worm in it. Enough said.

  4. It’s true – pretty much everything has something bad for us in it – hahaha. But yes, sugar is in so many things that we don’t even realize – even carrots, which are healthy for us! But you’re doing great! Keep on with the healthy eating – it will definitely help keep you balanced during menopause!

  5. I’m not so bad about sugar itself, but carbs (pasta! rice! potatoes!) are some of my favorite things ever. As they convert to sugar, supposedly, that is where I go wrong. Good luck with the quest to cut the sugar! We all need to, I know, but I’m really sucking at it so far. Cheers!

    • I could easily give up those types of carbs, Lisa. It is the out and out sugar that I love. Not that I don’t like potatoes and rice, but I don’t love them the way I do pie.

  6. I gave up sugar long ago. I sometimes fall back into old habits but overall my diet is well improved. My general rule of thumb is to balance protein and fiber with carbs. So berries, while having sugar in them, are naturally occurring, also give you fiber and nutrition,. while baked goods will contain not only sugar but added fat, no fiber, and tons of other processed junk. Take those berries and put them together with greek yogurt (the kind that only has a few grams of sugar and high in protein) then you have a balanced meal or snack that will carry you for a while. If it’s a low fat yogurt, then add some nuts or seeds for fat. Food trackers are handy to see where you’re at in the course of a day but when you learn how your body processes foods, eating won’t seem so scary and bland. Check out Why we Get Fat and What to Do About It( http://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Get-Fat-About/dp/0307474259). It’s a pretty dry read but has loads of good information about this without it being a “diet ” plan. Good luck. 🙂

    • I eat Greek yogurt for breakfast every morning. I was eating it long before I started the food diary, but in smaller quantities. Eating more protein has been the biggest challenge so far.

  7. That book Jen just recommended is next on my to read pile. I used MFP more to ensure that I ate enough fruit & veg, fibre and drank water. Looked at portions too, but didn’t worry about the sugar content of ‘real food’ that makes me feel good. Dropping bread products helped me feel better and doing a food diary years ago made me realise I needed to eat more protein so started. Like you I struggled to begin with but it is easier now.

    My morning smoothie has greek yogurt (not low fat), fruit, sometimes spinach and ground seeds which keeps me full until lunchtime easily. Lots of fibre and protein plus five portions of fruit 🙂

    • Your usage sounds similar to mine. Fitness Pal has been very helpful showing me I need to eat more protein. I am ignoring the sugar, knowing it is coming from healthy foods.

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