Confession: I created a monster. It doesn't live under my bed or in the closet, and I'm not friends with it like Rihanna claims to be with hers. It doesn't attend Monsters University and it doesn’t have seven eyes and three hands.
When I first started my journey to become healthier about two years ago, I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app to help get things started. If you aren’t familiar with it, it is essentially an electronic food diary that tracks your calories, both from food in your body and calories burned from workouts.
MFP helped me lose the weight I had gained in college, taught me to make better decisions when eating out, and I became more disciplined with my eating habits at home. I began reaching for more fruits and veggies and slowly began passing on my can of Coke a day because I didn’t need 150 calories to come from high fructose corn syrup.
The monster started roaring when I moved to Denver. I would forgo dinners with friends because God forbid I went over my calorie limit one time. I wouldn’t want to go downtown because God forbid I have a couple drinks that dawned the name “Empty Calories”. I would lie in bed thinking about how many calories were going to be in my breakfast and I would run that extra mile solely because I wanted to burn a certain number.
The monster was me.
Ask me how many calories are in a certain food and I could tell you. Ask me how many calories an average person would burn running for an hour and I could tell you. It’s rash, it’s maddening, it’s unhealthy, it's exhausting, and it’s not the way I want to live. Plus, I hate math anyways.
Last week it dawned on me that I was the one creating the madness and I had the control to stop it. I was continually setting myself up for more insecurity, stress, and failure every time I was opening the app. After a long, heartfelt talk with a best friend, we came to the conclusion that living this way was unhealthy to not only my body but my mind. I wasn't pointing out the positives because I was too strung up on the negatives, and in result, I was living in a vicious cycle of poisoning self-talk.
I then committed murder and killed MyFitnessPal in one quick click.
Where am I now?
I am in a place of self re-construction. I’m working through certain “projects” that either need remodeling or a few touch ups or a complete makeover. There are thoughts in my head that will take some time to rid of, but I can tell you that a weight has been lifted off my shoulders since not having to tell my iPhone how many grapes I had for an afternoon snack.
I know I’m not alone in my struggles as we all have negative things in our life that can eat us alive. But what if we can choose to not let it? What if we can choose to tell ourselves that we are better than that, we are more than that, and that we are lovely?
I also know that MFP can be a helpful tool for those trying to lose weight because it helped me do just that. I also know that it can lead to further problems so please, be cautious of your intentions with the app and once you have a panic attack over not being able to enter in your lunch until two hours after eating it, KILL THE THING!
Question & Comment: Do you use MyFitnessPal app? What are some positives and negatives you have experienced with it?