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LindaF (@fessmom)

Staying Motivated for the Long Haul

Healthy Living | Last Active: Jan 29 3:42pm | Replies (499)

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@rosemarya @fessmom I neglected to include some of my best helpers in losing weight.
I have a fitness tracker. You set what you want your goal to be and it lets you know how you are doing. It really pushes me to get to that goal and beyond.
Next, I use myfitnesspal to track everything I put my mouth. I have not been doing that recently because I know have been not eating correctly but I am getting back on track with that too. It also syncs with my fitness tracker and adds to my allowable caloric input, the amount being dependent on how much exercise I have gotten.
Last, I have a scale that tells me BMI and fluid retention. I know it is not professionally accurate but it does give you a good gauge of things, primarily my fluid retention (you have to have bare feet for that to work). If I gain weight and then see that my fluid retention is high I don’t feel as bad. It measures fluid against BMI so when my fluid retention is high, my BMI is low, like in the teens and we all know is not true for me. Still, it does help me. When I start seeing my weight going down it spurs me on to stay with dieting. Sometimes if it goes up I sort of throw in the towel but I getting beyond that mindset now.
This type of scale is not as costly as you might expect. Mine is a Tanita that I got on Amazon and if I recall it was around $45.

I have included a screenshot of one day this week with my fitness tracker. I took this to send to send to my son. I did really well that day, one of my all time bests.

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Replies to "@rosemarya @fessmom I neglected to include some of my best helpers in losing weight. I have..."

JK, I too have a fitness tracker. I love it. When I first got it (Christmas), I was shocked to see how little I move throughout my work day at the computer. While I workout regularly, I was shocked to learn that the rest of the day I’m sendentary. Not good. Now I have my tracker set to remind me each hour to get up and move — at least 250 steps or stretches or something! Inspired by another discussion with you and others in the Transplant group, I used my tracker to monitor my water intake. Surprise again. I wasn’t drinking enough. Now I am and feel much better for it.

The physical data is tracked automatically. The water intake is self-recorded. Now that I’m consistently drinking enough water and I realize how much that actually is, I no longer track my water intake. It became tedious. I spot check every once in while.

But tracking my calories…I just can’t get started. The water intake was easy. Water is water and I just had to record the amount. Counting calories seems like a real chore, not only to track, but to figure out how many calories are in everything that I put into my mouth. Have you got any tips or inspiration for me? I’d like to give it a try.

@colleenyoung Colleen, which fitness tracker do you have? Mine is a Misfit. It will also remind me to get up and move but I have not activated that. It sounds very similar though, it tracks the exercise automatically, but I track my water on myfitnesspal, if my Misfit has that feature I am not aware of it.

Tracking calories on myfitnesspal can be wearisome initially but it becomes quite easy when you get used to it. It is most difficult when trying to figure out the calories for what you have eaten in a restaurant. There is a somewhat local chain around here, The 99, whose dinners are right there on myfitnesspal. I love to go there because they have a number of meals that are good for me, that are not too caloric. My favorite is the little sirloin that clocks in at around 460 calories!

—–Fit For You Mushroom Sirloin
—–A 6.5 oz. top sirloin steak is flame broiled and served over fresh sautéed mushrooms crowned with fresh, grilled asparagus. Served ——–with fresh spring mix, feta cheese, a drizzle of balsamic and grilled, seasoned tomatoes.

Not only is it good but it’s very reasonable, either $9.99 or $10.99, great for those nights when I do not feel like cooking.

I am almost totally back on track with dieting, I have been pretty good today but due to an upset stomach have not really exercised. I love that myfitnesspal and my misfit sync together.

If anyone out there also uses myfitnesspal and would like to “friend” on it I would love to. I think that helps to keep a person going, if they know someone else is following them.

I am supposed to drink from 80 – 100 ounces a day to keep my kidneys happy so I am used to doing that.


@contentandwell, sorry for the delay in responding. This is exactly the encouragement I was looking for. I will give it a try. I’m hoping that once I get a sense of the caloric intake, I can let go of the tracking, like I did with the water. I don’t like being a slave to quantifying myself.

I have a Fitbit. It doesn’t track the water automatically. I manually enter it. But the plus is that I can track physical activity, water, calories and sleep with the one device. It also allows “friending” which can be a great motivator.
Thanks for being my motivator.

@colleenyoung Colleen, today was a really bad day, I totally fell off the wagon. Tomorrow is another day so hopefully I will get back on track. I am not happy about today but I think it really must be like being an alcoholic, once I get going I can’t stop myself. 🙁 The day started out well but then this afternoon it went really downhill. I did get some good exercise in, so at least that was good.

@colleenyoung Colleen, I had no idea you could put calories right into the fitbit! Do you do it through the device or through the computer? If through the computer then it would be similar to using myfitnespal which syncs with misfit, perhaps some others also.

Those of us who are trying really need to encourage and motivate each other. Colleen, you look pretty thin in your picture but i do realize that even people who are not heavy sometimes feel the need to lose a few excess pounds.

@contentandwell The calorie counter is on the smart phone app, which is synced to my device. Now you’ve got me curious as to how it works. Apparently I can add a meal plan and log the food I eat. Sounds tedious, but I’ll investigate. Can’t preach what I don’t practice, right?

My BMI isn’t bad. I wouldn’t mind losing a little extra padding, but primarily I want to understand the relationship between calories in and calories out. My device tracks how many calories I burn (usually just shy of 2K). I have no idea how many I consume. Stay tuned. (I can’t believe I’m confessing all this. 😉

@colleenyoung My calories vary a lot, I burned 1819 today according to the app on my Iphone but one day last week I burned 2488! I think that might be the best so far. Regarding food, according to my food log I consumed 1428 calories today. My exercise added on more calories for me, bringing the number of calories I could eat today to 1533. When I am really trying hard to diet I go to bed earlier because I am so hungry. Before my transplant I was doing that and then I would wake up at around 5:00 famished. I would try to wait until around 6:00 before I went downstairs to eat. I am off to bed in a few minutes. I sure hope I am down a pound tomorrow, that always helps to keep me motivated. I do have a lot of motivations right now — our vacation in October, my daughter’s wedding — actually I should say weddings, there are three events, overkill I agree, one in September at a Hindu temple close to where her fiance’s parents live, the actual very small wedding and luncheon (@15 ppl, immediate families) here in our home in November, and the celebration in NYC in December with about 200 people. I am just glad we are contributing, not footing the whole bill.

As I said before, myfitnesspal, which is probably similar to the app you use, gets much easier as you get used to it. Tonight I logged in what I intended to have for dinner before I ate and when I saw how much sodium it would have I changed it, I opted for just a salad with some scallops. The scallops were from a small Maine company but when I put the name of the company in with the name of the scallop preparation it had it in the database. That database must be huge. The thing I like is that when you have been logging you do get more of a sense of how many calories, how much sodium, carbs, etc things have. I need to watch sodium and carbs. I try to be very careful of salad dressings because many are quite high in sodium, as are almost all canned foods. I enjoy soup but not canned anymore.

My real initial motivation was to get my BMI under 30 just in case i wanted to dual list at a center that required that. It was a real “just in case” because the ones I was edging toward did not. I was so happy with my success that I printed out some of my daily logs from myfitnesspal and brought them to my doctor telling him that I suspected he had other overweight patients who also might find it helpful. His response was he did but none were as motivated as I was, and he just sort of disregarded it. A doctor friend of ours, who himself is a bit overweight but not obese, thinks doctors have a responsibility to speak to their overweight patients about the problems that extra weight can cause. I agree. Not one doctor ever said anything to me though, even when my weight was well over 200. I brought it up to my current doctor once and his comment was that I could cut down on my servings. When my weight got down to @165 and I asked him how much more he thought I should lose he said not more than 5 pounds! He never commented when I saw him and it was 145.

Good luck in your efforts. They say “confession is good for the soul”. I too never told anyone how much I weighed when my weight was so high, even my husband did not know. Along with losing weight I am losing height, not good.

G’nite. JK

@colleenyoung, I am sure you know as you seem very active and in tune with healthy living, but don’t forget to include your basal metabolic rate in regards to calories you are burning!

@contentandwell – Not that I am a specimen of health but I have heard that when you make a mistake (don’t eat well or exercise) realize that tomorrow, or the afternoon, or the evening is new and you can get back on track. I used to think that I blew it one day so I’d keep eating poorly until the next day. I just need to acknowledge the mistake and not write off the rest of the day but start over immediately . I know it is easier said than done but it did help me to think all was lost and give up for the remainder of the day.

@colleenyoung – I’m just getting involved in this conversation. I use MyPlate app to record food but I assume they are all quite similar. You will find that at first it is cumbersome to record but you will also learn that you probably tend to eat the same things (especially breakfast and lunch) and my app remembers what I ate previous days. This feature is helpful because my most recent foods pop up and I can just check the box instead of recording again. Also, MyPlate has a feature to scan the barcode which is great for a breakfast bar for example.