For the past year, I've been trying to exercise and lose weight pretty consistently.  I've made some pretty good strides during that time including the following:

  • Losing 40 pounds.
  • Building a good amount of muscle mass.
  • Building up my endurance.
  • Ran a half marathon.
  • Started swimming again.

A lot of this had to do with moving to Kalamazoo where I wasn't quite as distracted by going out and drinking every night.  Now that I've moved back to the Metro Detroit area I'm a bit more distracted (I've got stuff going on the next two nights before going up north for the weekend).  However, I've been able to work out during lunch since work seems to be ok with it.  All in all despite going out more I've been making it to the gym and eating pretty consistently every week (with some notable exceptions).  One thing I find very useful during this time is keeping track of what I do.  I don't really count calories like many people on diets do and insist that I stay beneath a certain number, but getting the numbers for everything really helps you remember what's good for you to eat and what's very bad for you.  One tool I've been using is myfitnesspal.com which makes it very easy to keep track of everything you eat.  You basically go in and add what you eat and drink for each day.  Here's an example of what I ate today:

image

You'll note that it allows me to split things up into different "meals".  In addition when you click on the "Add Food" link, it remembers the things you've eaten for that meal before.  Also, you can search for previously entered food items (in fact I haven't had to enter a single new thing in their site, everything I've eaten or drank was already there).  While it obviously allows you to keep track and "count" calories, as well as several other things (protein, fat, carbs, sugar, sodium, etc).  Another portion of the site also allows you to enter your work outs.  When you generate your account you basically put in your current weight and what your goal is as well as how often you work out each week.  It will then tell you how much you should eat to achieve your goal in the timeline you've chosen.  So if you're interested in keeping track of what you're eating and really being held accountable, I'd suggest giving it a try.  I'd definitely throw some props to my friend Kevin who pointed out this site to me.  If you're interested in someone's journey to be a bit healthier, Kevin's blog is a good site to read.


Chris Risner