Friday, June 6, 2014

The Devil's in the Details (Improving Our Health)

At the end of the day, after I've recorded my exercise and plan my last meal, sometimes I play with My Fitness Pal app. If I feel like having a treat, I'll enter it into my food diary, and then click "complete this entry." It will show me my projected weight in five weeks. It helps me determine if my choice is in my best interest, and I can decide if the indulgence is worth it.

In April, I wrote about How I Lost 100 Pounds last year. My weight yo-yoed so much with my emotions and inconsistency. I joked recently about my FOUR DAY STREAK on My Fitness Pal, looking forward to when the number of days I'd recorded my progress hit a significant number. I am finally on my way. Today my banner proclaims I'm on a 26 day streak, and I am finally seeing results. Yay, me!

Depending on how much I've exercised and eaten already, the difference an extra hundred calories makes is a big deal. In five weeks' time, my decisions today determine how much weight I will lose, and how fast I will lose it. Do I want to achieve my goals sooner, or later? Do I want to postpone my goals to satisfy my cravings, or can I entertain myself in some other way?

It's easy to think, "Oh, this little bit won't matter," but is that really true? If it takes a deficit of 3500 calories to lose a pound, that's 500 calories a day. We can expend 500 calories in exercise, or eat 500 calories less than our current metabolic needs. (Or obviously, a combination of exercise and reduced calorie intake to equal the 500 calorie deficit.) It's all about the math, so for we who like to play within the boundaries, any combination that creates the deficit will work. 

On the other hand, to gain a pound a week, which, for most of us, is not exactly the goal, all we have to do is eat an extra 500 calories, or neglect to get our workout completed. If we skip the gym AND overindulge, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment.

Persistent consistency is key. So many of us berate ourselves when we give in to temptation, using an all or none mentality. It's tough when you go "off plan" early in the day to think that the healthiest thing we can do is to make a better choice at our next opportunity. Don't throw in the towel, chalking up the day as a failure, and returning to bad habits just because of one poor decision. Every choice we make determines where we will be next week. It's the little things done on a consistent basis that will make the difference. 

I'm happy to report that since January of this year, I finally hit my lowest weight today. I'm twelve pounds down from my heaviest this year. My biggest accomplishment was being able to surpass my goal of a 15 minute mile. 

For me, consistency has been key. The difference has been in recording daily my eating and exercise. Accountability keeps me on track. Having a workout partner, and friends who are cheering me on, inspires me to try harder. Joining the gym was a turning point for me. Once I made that financial commitment, I put more effort into my meal planning. I have a small group of friends on my My Fitness Pal's website, and in the Facebook group, Intentional Healthy Living, who are setting such great examples, and providing me with the encouragement I need. Thank you all.

Keep plugging away. Results will come. Don't give up. "The devil is in the details." Be persistent and consistent; in a good way!


  1. I'm so happy for you Denise! You are doing the work and seeing the results!

    1. Dawn, your example got me through some tough choices. Thank you for persevering with me.


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