Archive | November, 2012

Apps for Weight Loss Part 1

30 Nov

On the advice of a friend I installed two new apps on my phone, both are geared towards helping you lead a healthier lifestyle, one is for your eating plan the other is for your fitness. I thought I’d review the apps, give some deets on them and what not but in the effort to not make yet another horrendously looooong blog post I am giving each app it’s own post.

App numero uno!

Lose It!

-disclaimer, the app title uses the exclamation mark, that is not me trying to make it sound more exciting lol 😉

This app is free and is very user friendly. I had it before when I was still using my blackberry phone but I didn’t have it on my blackberry because that phone was a piece of crap and couldn’t handle, well…anything 😛 So I had it on my iPod touch, it worked ok on the touch, it is one of those apps that once it is installed you are good to go, can use it anywhere, you don’t need a data plan or to be hooked in to wifi to use it so that was nice. As far as I can tell (I’ve only really played around with this new version a bit here and there) it is still the same, you install and are good to go. 🙂

This version has some new things that I already love but before I start explaining those let me give you a quick run down of what the app does.

This is a food tracker, so goodbye little notebook that I used to take everywhere and write my food and drinks in to, now it can be conveniently written down in my phone which, being the person that I am, is never far from my grasp lol.

When you first set up the app you tell it how much you weigh now, what your goal weight is, your height, your gender and your age, it then asks you how quickly you want to lose the weight and gives you options to choose from (if I remember correctly the options are 1lb a week, 1.5lbs a week, and 2lbs a week…hmm, I think I am missing an option, I’m sure there were four to choose from…I know it topped out at 2lbs a week so it does try to make sure you lose the weight at a healthy rate). It then very nicely calculates how many calories you can eat per day so you achieve your goal 🙂 Oh! and it tells you when  you will reach your goal by if you follow the amount of calories it says to eat.

The main screen shows the current day, how many calories you are allowed, how many you ate, how many you burned and your net calories for the day. There is also a bar graph that goes from 0 to 2500 and it has a line marking how many calories you are allowed, as you add food to the tracker the bar lights up to show you how close you are to your caloric limit.

The next screen is your Log screen, it shows in detail the food and exercise you have logged for the day, you can toggle back to look at previous days. Along the top of that screen it shows your allowed amount of calories per day, how many calories you ate, how many calories you burned and your net total. It also has a box that tells you if you are over or under your calories for the day…if you are over that box is bright red so you can’t miss it…no matter how hard you try 😛 When you input the food you put it in as breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack so when you read your food log it shows the food separated by what meal you ate it in. You can select any of the foods on the list to bring up a detailed nutritional information screen, that screen also lets you adjust the quantity of food, so say you put down that you ate two pieces of bread but you actually only ate one, you can go fix it. 🙂 This is also where you enter your exercises for that day, you can select from a database of exercises (the list is quite extensive) or you can enter your own exercise. For all that the list of exercises is long and varied it still doesn’t have dragon boating, sigh, maybe one day…

After that is the Motivate screen, this one will require you to be hooked in to wifi or have a data plan. This is new (to me anyways, maybe it has been around a while) and I like the idea of it even though I haven’t used it that much yet. There are Challenges that you can sign up for which, depending on the type of person you are, could really help to motivate you. I signed up for one, it is a Holiday Workout Challenge, it was made by an American so it says there are 33 days from Thanksgiving till Christmas and the challenge is to keep active as much as you can in that time frame despite all the extra festivities you will be attending. You can invite friends to join the same challenges as you, you can see how well other people are doing (currently the leader in this challenge has logged 32 workouts – don’t freak out! She is logging “real” exercises  as well as things like housework and shopping) and you can even earn badges, ooOOOooh! Ok, so I’m making fun of it a bit *rolls eyes* they are virtual badges, I mean come on, are you gonna show your friends your phone screen and be all “look, I earned another badge that in the real world means absolutely nothing!” lol I’m thinking no!

The next page is the Goals page, this is the page that shows you your start weight, your goal weight, your daily calorie budget (just can’t get away from that!) and gives you an option to modify your program. There is also a snazzy chart that shows where you started weight wise and as you lose weight the line will go lower on the chart till it gets to your goal weight, the dates are along the bottom and the weights are listed at the side. I remember this chart from last time I used this app and I loved it! I am fairly visual with most things and seeing the line going down down down on the chart made me feel so good about the progress I was making. 🙂 Go line graphs!

There is of course a More page where you can change  various settings for the app, read summary reports an stuff like that. What I like about the More page is you can create custom foods (so, say you drink a protein shake everyday and you make it the same way every time, add it in there and when you are putting in the food log that you drank the protein shake you don’t need to put each and every individual ingredient, you just put in the shake that you saved to memory, easy peasy!) You can also add recipes, pick which nutritional info is entered and tracked, see a list of all the foods you’ve entered in to the app previously, update the list of foods in the app, all that kind of stuff.

Something I absolutely looooove is the new ways to enter a food in to the tracker. you can search the database for the food you ate, you can take from the list of foods you have entered previously, you can take from your recipes or your previous meals, you can search brand name foods ooooooor, the best part, you can scan the freakin barcode!! Oh yah! I think this is sweeeeet and the best addition to the app that I have discovered so far! I tried it by scanning the bottle of wine I was drinking and it was brilliant! It seemed even more brilliant then it is at the time due to just how much of that wine I had consumed teehee. 😉

One last thing, when you are on the main screen you can change it so you can see how you are doing that week (a basic over/under for each day and by how much) or you can look at a macro-nutrient breakdown of the current day and the week so far. So, if you are trying to be low carb or high protein or whatever, this will help you to follow that. It’s pretty amazing how quickly some of the things add up, like carbs, there are so many carbs in veggies that if you are going low carb you can totally go over your carb intake for the day just by eating a quarter cup extra of veggies that day, crazeeeee!

So this is my explanation of the app, long enough for you? lol Hey, I tried to make it short, sorta…there’s just so much info in this app! I would highly recommend this app if you are tracking your food and/or exercise, it is easy to use, it’s on your phone which odds are is with you all the time, there are lots of different options for how to enter different foods, every screen shows you the important info so you don’t have to toggle from one screen to another all the time. All in all, it is great…long as you use it! If you install it and then just let it sit there, well, don’t go complaining you aren’t losing weight cause oddly enough, it only works if you work, go figure! 😉

Karma Points

30 Nov

I am definitely losing karma points over here, but the situation is so funny that I can’t bring myself to stop being amused by it which in turn is bringing those karma points down.

I am harness training my cat and he is not taking to it well at all! He’s never worn a collar or harness before but I didn’t think it’d be a big deal since I had cats years ago and they accepted their collars (and occasional harness) without even a twitch of their ears. However, Striker is constantly reminding me he is not like the cats I had before and this is one more situation where he is showing his personality.

As soon as I put the harness over his head he does that thing cats do so well, you know, where all of a sudden they become a bag of limpness, total dead weight, and they somehow magically make themselves weigh 100lbs so it’s super hard to maneuver them…how do they do that?? This reaction is better then the alternative which would be him fighting to get away, so far each time I’ve put the harness on him the end result is he is wearing the harness and I come away without any new wounds…which, if you knew him and his dexterity with his claws, you’d be impressed by. (I currently have a numb and yet also in pain pinky finger thanks to his claw slicing it from tip to first knuckle through the fleshy part, it feels so gross when I bend my finger and the cut re-splits open, ugh)

I try to put the harness on him everyday for at least two hours, so he can slowly get used to it and realize that wearing it isn’t going to kill him…today was his best day yet, he crawled on to my lap as soon as the harness was on and has stayed super close since, he’s more cuddly then normal (which, not gonna lie, I am enjoying) and I’m proud to say he actually slept while wearing it! Usually he works really hard to get it off then stays near me but in a panic-ready-to-run-at-a-moments-notice mode cause obviously wearing a harness is a sign of impending doom *rolls eyes*

On a weight loss note I am not following any type of recognizable eating plan nor am I following any type of recognizable exercise program, oops? *innocent face*

When I moved I moved far enough away from the gym I was at that it didn’t make sense to continue on there, luckily I had signed up for only a year and had lived there for only a year so the membership ended the same time I left the area. Where I moved to, there are 3 gyms (well, 2 gyms and 1 community fitness centre) all within a decent distance, two would require driving to get there, one I could walk to. There are also 4 weight loss clinics…I don’t know if that is the right term for those places, they are those places that you go in and sign up for their program and do everything they say (for a lot of money usually) and in a short-ish amount of time you’ve lost a fairly decent chunk of weight but you aren’t on a program that is meant to be followed for life and from what I heard once you finish the program odds are high you’ll gain the weight back cause you’re now eating real food again and your body is all “say whaaaaa? I get real food?? hurry up! store it in case this crazy wench starts starving us again and living off vitamin shots!” So, those places I am ignoring cause, well, I can’t afford them and they are kinda weird.

I have (as of a couple days ago) checked out both the gyms and the community centre and think I have decided which one to go with. The one that is within walking distance is the cheapest (which is a very important factor in my decision making process) but it is also the smallest and offers no fitness classes. However, I wouldn’t have an excuse to not go since it is so close and really, how often do I go to the classes offered at other gyms I have been a member at? Probably not enough to justify the extra cost per month. The only thing really holding me back is that to get the cheap rate I have to sign up for 2 years, that’s a long time to stay with one gym, especially considering how often I move and that each move takes me to a drastically different part of the city. I don’t want to be saddled with a gym membership for a place that becomes super inconvenient for me to get to if I end up moving in a year. Kinda funny really, I generally don’t look more then a couple weeks ahead, I don’t see the point in stressing or planning or trying to predict too far in to the future when who knows what will come along to upset the plans or ideas or visions you have in your head? Life will happen whether you want it to or not, I’d rather plan for perhaps a week in advance and leave room open so I can adjust when life throws something at me. And yet, here I am trying to decide if I should get a gym membership at this place and worrying about if I’ll be around to utilize it for the next two years. Oy! 😛

I’m pretty sure in the end I’m going to cave and get a membership at the close and cheap place, guess I’ll have to make a commitment to them for the next 2 years…it’s like I’m selling a little bit of my soul, well, I would be selling a little bit of my soul if I had any of it left lol 😉

As for food, *throws hands in air* I just don’t know what to do! I’d reached a point in weight watchers where I had seriously plateaued and I knew it was time for a change. So I switched to my low carb, high healthy fat high protein meal plan and did fairly well with that for a decent amount of time but when I went off it I went waaaaaaay off it and now, everytime I think about going back to it and the restrictions it has well, frankly, I just don’t want to. I want to think I can get the results I want with a less strict plan but reality is I most likely can’t. Soooooo, I am probably going to have to cave and just suck it up, stop whining (which, thankfully I am only really doing in my head lol) and get my butt back on the low carb high healthy fat high protein eating plan, sigh.

I suppose I could make it a challenge, I used to do that in my weight watchers days. If I knew something was coming up where I was going to want to veer from my eating plan drastically I’d give myself the goal of following my eating plan with no exceptions for a set amount of time leading up to the big event so I had earned it and could enjoy without feeling guilt. I have my birthday and Christmas coming up so those would be my goals…hmm…maybe that could work again, you just need the right mind set right?

A Video

29 Nov

This has nothing to do with weight loss, just thought it was a well done video and wanted to share…let’s hope I can get the link to work…

http://youtu.be/HO4e4nCYBEo

 

Lost Ability

25 Nov

I have lost the ability to sleep, which I gotta say, really sucks. 😛 Normally I have trouble getting to sleep but I eventually manage it and once asleep I sleep like the dead. Earthquake? No waking up happening over here. Really bad storm? Nope. Loud noises outside my window? Nah. My ability to sleep through pretty much anything has always been something I have enjoyed, it meant that even if I didn’t get a long sleep time I got good quality sleep which, for my body anyways, seems to be the more important aspect about sleeping.

I know a lot of people are all “you gotta get 8 hours, blah blah blah” and I do understand about sleep being the time our bodies restore themselves and I also get how certain chemicals are released that help with losing or maintaining or gaining weight and how if we don’t get the right amount of sleep it can sabotage all that nice work we do during the day to keep ourselves looking how we want (-or for some of us, the work we do to try to get ourselves looking how we want *shuffles feet*) but I also think that every person is different and there can be no set rules about anything when it comes to our bodies and what is best. I can function wonderfully for a week at a time with only 3 hours sleep each night, I don’t nap, I don’t look tired (thank goodness!) and I’m not performing at diminished capacity or refraining from doing all my normal stuff due to tiredness…I do however eat more carbs lol

But this, this not being able to get to sleep and when I do manage to nod off not being able to stay asleep, this is just not pleasant. I’m cold throughout the day (and while yes, I am always a bit chilled this is a deep in the bones cold that my sweaters and endless cups of tea are doing nothing to touch), I am grumpier then normal, my eating is off (as in, I’m not really eating) and I feeeeeeel tired, ugh. Nobody likes to feel tired, that draggy don’t want to do anything but zone out and nap feeling, boo!

I haven’t figured out how to combat this little problem. I am refusing to let myself nap (something I seem able to do, so at least I know I can fall asleep…eventually, and at inconvenient times lol) but if I nap then I really can’t sleep that night which screws me up for work the next day, sigh.

Today after work I did some errands, then came to the apartment, watched a dvd, talked on the phone with peeps, scrubbed my bathroom from top to bottom, basically did whatever I could to keep my mind engaged enough that I wouldn’t nap cause oh man did I want to! I’m hoping that by not only refusing my body the nap it wants but also doing physical stuff around the apartment I wear myself out enough that tonight I get that elusive snooze fest *crosses fingers*

You’d think that if my mind/body won’t let me sleep I’d at least be more productive during those late night hours and be, I don’t know, solving world hunger, or writing the next great novel, doing something constructive and impressive with all this available time. Wouldn’t it be nice if this insomnia-fest was the universe’s way of giving me more time to get stuff done? Sadly though, just because I am not asleep at 3am doesn’t mean I am not tired so I am in bed, laying there with my hot water bottle and my comfy pillows, wishing for sleep, and hoping I at least doze off a bit, but not really succeeding. I figure I must be dozing off at least a bit here and there otherwise I’d be in crazy land by now from lack of REM time but I know it’s not so much unconscious time as to count as a real nights sleep. *rolls eyes*

Tomorrow I am taking down my dream catcher, it’s new and I wonder if there are too many bad karma vibes attached to it for it to be working…don’t laugh, or, fine, laugh, but know that if you were here in front of me I’d smack you for disrespecting the dream catcher 😛 I have had a dream catcher for so many years it’s crazy. I get bad dreams and I swear by my dream catcher. I don’t care if it’s a mental thing, you know, a I-think-it’s-working-therefore-it-is-working or if it really works, all I know is that it comforts me to have it hanging there, guarding me while I sleep…or not sleep as the recent case may be…but like I said, this one is new so maybe that has something to do with my new bout of insomnia…can’t hurt to take it down and try…course, I’m taking it down when I don’t work the next day so that if my removing it makes things worse it won’t set me up for a crap ass day at work…hope for the best but prepare for the worst right? 😉

 

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