Food Trackers, I guess it’s the only way to curb my junk food habit

FitBit Food Tracker
FitBit Food Tracker

The hardest part about being someone who other’s view as in shape, but who is also struggling with his weight is finding supportive help in the process.  People just don’t have sympathy for me when I complain about my weight and how to curb the growing tide of fat that is encompassing my body.

No, I’m not fat. I get it, but I have hit that age where I have to start taking care of myself better.  That’s why I begged for ideas on how to eat healthier.  Apparently I am not alone in not knowing how to eat healthier because I got zero suggestions.

This weekend was a let down.  I can hold my diet together pretty well Monday through Friday, but when Friday night comes around all bets are out the window.  This past weekend was no exception.

This weekend followed a week of exercise and cutting back on the junk food I put into my body.  Unfortunately I negated all the hard work I put into healthy living by binge eating like a college freshman.  Cookies & Cream ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, Little Debby’s, French Toast and everything in between found its way into my stomach.

Oops! I guess that is completely what we consider a fail.

I am not one to count calories or to cut anything out of my diet completely, but eating those things completely cancels out any good efforts I have made.  Everything in moderation is my motto and I ate everything in excess.

One bowl of ice cream this past weekend would have been fine.  I had no self-control.  If I can’t control myself, then I guess it’s time I find a resource that can help me.  If I can’t eat healthy, the least I can do is make sure I am not overeating in a day.

Thank goodness for my FitBit Flex and the Fitbit App on my smartphone.  If you aren’t familiar FitBit is a product that:

  • Tracks steps, distance, calories burned and active minutes
  • Monitors how long and well you sleep
  • Wakes you (and not your partner) with a silent vibrating alarm
  • LED lights show how your day is stacking up against your goal
  • And it strives to give you the motivation you need to be more active and walk a little farther each day.

I’ve used the Fitbit Flex for about a year and a half now.  I have to say I totally am addicted.  I get why they are popular and how they can be helpful.  They motivate me to walk just a little more each day before I settle into my sweats and watch television all night.  It reminds me of how sedentary or active I have been each day.

Now it can help me track the foods and drinks I am putting into my body.  It’s always had this feature, but now it’s improved! The new food tracking part of the app will be a bit aggressive, but I think motivational.  It will make me think twice before eating that 5th cookie before bed. According to FitBit’s website the updated Food Tools include:


Use your smartphone to scan food barcodes and instantly capture complete nutritional information.


Choose from 350,000+ foods in our credible database, including grocery brands and restaurant items.


Log foods fast with meal shortcuts that automatically suggest the foods you usually pair together.


Use it with your Fitbit tracker to compare your calories in with calories out.

Well, if I wanted an easy tool to track what I am eating then I have found it.  The reason I think this is necessary is because seeing is believing. If I am not writing down what I am eating then it’s like it doesn’t matter to me.  I can just sweep the bowl of ice cream under the rug and eat some chips if I don’t force myself to acknowledge just how unhealthy I am eating.  Let’s hope this app works as the next part of my attempt to live a healthier life.

It’s 10:43 am and I have taken in a total of 123 calories today from a class of water and an iced coffee.  I’ve already burned 984 calories.  I like that balance!

AHHHH How do I learn to eat healthier?

Screw your bread free carb free flavor free diets!
Screw your bread free carb free flavor free diets!

How do people jump from diet to diet to diet? I just want to live my life and enjoy my life. That includes enjoying what I put into my body.  Is that really so bad?

Apparently it is!

This is something I have been struggling with for a couple years now. When I was in my teens I could eat anything and everything.  Unfortunately, I did not take full advantage of my youth and fast metabolism.  While I did binge eat at times, I also had a slight eating disorder.  We called it the dancer’s diet. It’s when you don’t eat breakfast or lunch, do a lot of physical activity and then eat a small dinner with your family at night. At this time in my life I needed an eating disorder the least!  I was already skinny, tall and had a metabolism that took every tasks as a sprint instead of a slow and steady marathon like it does now.

Then I was in my early twenties.  You would think this would have changed things, but it really didn’t. I learned that if I just added a little exercise into my life I could continue to eat whatever I wanted. Sadly, I turned 26 and began to enter the later years of my twenties.

When I turned 26 I felt as if my metabolism came to screeching halt. My favorite foods, treats, and deserts all have become my enemies.  Fried chicken is a way of life for me, but how can I continue eating fried foods like I do if my metabolism is all but at a stop?  The USPS is faster at delivering mail than my metabolism is at breaking down fried foods.

Candy! Don’t get me started on candy.  I am obsessed with candy. I crave candy about as badly as I crave coffee… and that is saying something.  When I was a teen and in my early twenties I would eat Twizzlers and Mike & Ikes by the pound like it was my job.  They said fat-free on the package so why not! I would eat tons and tons of them without a care in the world.  Now if I have one I feel as if my stomach needs a wheelchair to hold it up as I walk.

What do I do? I don’t feel like I have visibly put on a ton of weight, but there is no denying that my weight is on an incline.  Coupling a slowing metabolism with medications that cause weight gain as a side effect has rendered me screwed in the battle against my weight.

Now I am about to do something I never do and reveal something I never reveal to anyone. My weight.  I am 6 feet tall and have been since the later part of high school. When I was graduating from high school at the age of 18 I weighed 138 pounds. Yes I do know this to be 100% true.  When I was graduating college and moving to NYC I weighed 140 to 145 pounds.  When I was moving into my own apartment in Astoria in 2012 I weighed 145 pounds.  Now that I am settled in Los Angeles I weigh 170 pounds.

That’s a pretty big jump! Here is a comparison for you:



























You can see from the pictures the visual isn’t 100% a big deal.  Somehow my body has distributed the weight well, but I still want to be fit an in shape.  I can see my abs, but I’d like to have a healthy tight 6 pack again.  How do you do that when you have spent 20 some odd years not caring about what you eat or drink or do?  It feels utterly impossible.

They say everything in moderation and a good workout routine is all you need.  Well I am going to test this out.  It’s hard enough to cut back the amount of junk I eat, let alone to start some crazy diet that doesn’t allow you to eat bread or solid foods.  That’s right I am calling out all you juice dieters.  How do you do it?

Anyways, I’d love to hear from all of you. What healthy things do you eat for lunch, dinner and snacks that are still 100% full of flavor?  What do you snack on while watching TV or hanging out on the weekends at home with friends? I grew up on hardy and flavorful food. I refuse to give it all up now!

It may sound strange, but I don’t think I ever learned how to eat healthy since it’s never mattered to me before.  Well, it matters now!

After lunch guilt

After lunch guilt

For the past two months I have been constantly on the go.  Every second has been focused on work, friends, family and travels.  It has felt almost impossible to exercise due to the packed schedule I’ve been living with mixed with a need to rest every once-in-a-while.  Now come September 9th I find myself a bit weighed down, but this time not by my schedule.  Physically weighed down is how I feel.  I feel as if I am putting on weight and that just won’t do for me.

Admittedly I am a bit hard on myself, but I can’t help but feel every ounce of food I have consumed the past few weeks sitting on my stomach, face, legs, arms and everywhere else on my body.  With that feeling consuming me I turned to my running monitor system, Nike Plus (I highly recommend checking the Nike Plus products out if you are a runner).  According to my Nike Plus account I last ran on August 24th.  In fact, according to my Nike Plus account, I ran on the 18th, 20th, 23rd and 24th of August and covered a combined total of 17 miles.  That’s just two weeks ago.  Yet, I feel like I am slothenly now.  This feeling has been amplified due to the fact that I ate a full lunch today, which is sitting heavily in the base of my stomach right this very moment, coupled with the feeling of exhaustion that consumes me due to a night of insomnia leaving me with a desire to go home straight from work and sleep.  Woah, I may not be running, but apparently I am writing in run-on sentences today…

Tonight is my first night in months without a single plan.  I am ignoring chores, not packing up my old apartment to prepare for my move, not meeting friends or anything else.  Once the clock strikes 5:00 pm I will be packing up my purse (okay, my man purse.  Call it what you want.) and heading straight to the apartment.  For the past week I have had every intention of climbing back on the horse and running today, but now the exhaustion is consuming me (reference my night of insomnia blog from 1:00 am last night).

Now step back a moment.  The need to run isn’t just that I have this strange obsession with my weight and feeling fat.  If you follow you will know that I am training for the Richmond Marathon which takes place on November 11th.  That is rapidly approaching and I only have a 17 mile a week base from two weeks ago under my belt.  Honestly, I am pretty sure I am screwed when it comes to this race.  For starters I am mentally not into the training.  Today, two months away from the race, I don’t care if I get out and train.  The only reason I am trying to motivate myself into running after work is so that I can burn off the food I have been eating lately.  The race is an after thought.

The original intent behind the race was to run with my friend Robbie from college.  I thought it would be a fun way to get to see each other and get some exercise along the way.  Additionally, I saw the marathon as a vehicle for distraction.  The first time I ran a marathon it took so much of my mind, body and spirit.  I trained rigorously for 16 weeks straight.  I assumed going into this summer, which I knew would be stressful, I could use the marathon training as an escape. This has not been the case this time around.

Now, September 6, 2012 I sit at my desk feeling full, nasty and frumpy after having finished my lunch.  Now I have to ask myself:

Should I be like the majority of Americans and throw in the towel when it comes to running today?  I could easily let my booty inflate after carbo-loading and following it up with no exercise whatsoever;


Should I run tonight.  Even when tired, push past the exhaustion and force myself to cover some distance no matter how feeble or little that distance ends up being.

Really though, I should try to get some rest and focus my energy on why I am so obsessed with my weight.  I thought this was an obsession I left behind myself in my high school years.  Can I blame the obsession on societal and social pressures or should I just admit the only person judging me for my food intake is me?

I know the answer, but it doesn’t make it easy.  Instead of addressing any of these questions and making a decision right now I instead will listen to some Destiny’s Child.  I just feel like a Bootylicious moment after taking a moment to very briefly touch on my thoughts about eating, weight and running.