In which I bitch about my body….again.
Perhaps it’s the the warmer weather which negates my need for the coat that allows me to continue the pretense that I am actually covering the lumps and bumps that are purported to be my thighs and butt. Or it could be from my kid innocently laying her head on my stomach and telling me, “…Your tummy is good to watch TV on because it’s so squishy! I don’t need a pillow!” Maybe, just maybe it’s because getting dressed takes more time than the actual activity that I am going to*. Whatever the case the time has come to dust off the sneakers** and get moving.
The support is there; my friend/marathon partner AND my sister have been running like crazy and inviting me to come along. It’s not that I don’t want to run (or slowly lumber as is my case) it’s just that everything seems so much more important when I have thought about making time for the gym. So if Rachee won’t go to the gym, let the gym come to Rachee.
The Apple App Store has a plethora of apps, some free, some cost a few bucks that are available to help keep one on track. After watching two separate news stories on Fox 29 and CBS 3 I decided to make use of my little phone. I figured besides the crappy dropped calls *** and Bejeweled, I could get some other use out of it.
First I found an app that will allow me to track my diet. After years of reading, but not really doing anything about it, I am taking a look at what I put in my body. With the free app, My Fitness Pal I can track my food and exercise. Depending on the goal, I am allowed a certain amount of calories each day. Since using this app I am being more aware of what I am putting into my body. One thing I realize that I eat a lot of crap. Lots and lots of it. Golly, I drink a lot of creamer. If nothing else because I have to track what I eat, the thought of having to cop to 3 (or more) servings of creamer at 35 calories a pop before 9AM is a huge motivator to grab a bottle of water before I reach for Maxwell House.
There is a visual with a graph to show all of the progress I make, especially if I enter information on a regular basis. Even though I can tell by the number on the scale or the fit of my clothes, I like seeing the line on the graph going down.
Reminders for logging in. After a week or so of not entering any information I was sent an e-mail to remind me to track my information.
Entering my food. It does keep me honest! Who wants to cop to seven (OK, a box) of cookies in one sitting? Since I know that I have to log all of this, I can eat the serving and not feel cheated.
Entering all of the information. Sometimes it’s a pain in the butt trying to enter all of the foods that I eat. It’s not that I can’t remember but scrolling through the list can be a chore.
Some of the exercises that I complete are not in the list. Perhaps I am calling them by the wrong name. This can be fixed with some type of upgrade to list exercises by body part.
Last year I joined a challenge to work up to 100 push ups. While I did not complete the challenge (I HAD gotten up to 22 ‘real’ push ups before I stopped) I found that there was an app to help me log onto the one hundred push ups challenge. As I am not really interested in upper body strength, although I plan to have Michelle Obama arms one day, I did see a similar app for abs called Crunch Fu by a company called GymFu. Yes, I could probably get my butt motivated to do crunches on my own but with a name like Crunch Fu as well as the enticing price of 1 buck, I was almost compelled. With Crunch Fu you hold your phone on your chest and it will track the reps. Points are awarded for full motion crunches, deducted for only performing the motion half way and for trying too fast a movement. The goal is to get you up to 200 crunches. So far I am able to complete 36 without hearing Sarge snap that I am too fast or only doing half the motion. There are ten weeks or stages to the program. I guess if I continue with this app I will get abs of steel and can sing “Everybody was ‘Crunch Fu’ fighting!”-hiyo! I’m here all week!
The name! Seriously, this program makes crunches seem like a game. I can challenge other people who have this app. The reps are doable and it does seem as if I may make it to 200 reps.
There are voices to move you along. My favorite so far is Sarge who snaps at you to “Lie Still!” and “Go!”
Sometimes finding the position for the phone is a bit wonky. I find if I move my hand just a fraction I am penalized and not credited with a full rep. Also, I have yet to find someone to battle with. Le sigh!
For readers of Shape and Women’s Health magazines there are apps for some of the exercises featured in the magazines. Instead of carrying the magazine around you can flick through the workouts on your phone. Thanks to a gift from a generous co-worker, I was able to purchase Shape’s Little Black Dress and Flat Abs apps (notice the trend!) and Women’s Health Workouts.
Not having to carry those workout cards as I try to complete my workout. Also, I can log my workout as I complete it so no notebook to lug around along with keys, water bottle, sweats, etc.
Having an assortment of workouts to choose from which is also a con:
The app assumes that one is familiar with the exercises. I like to hit the gym, do my cardio and then my strength training. With this app I have to plan my workout ahead of time and review it as I do each set. This is more user error but I’m bitchin’ anyway.
I did download a yoga app which talks me through each move. Good because after downward dog I am lost.
So far I have been pretty good about following my workouts. Since I have my phone with me most if the time I can log my food, review the workouts and, here;s the best thing: DO them without any excuses. I’ve dropped 6 pounds (yay me!) and can squeeze into the goal jeans I have had hanging in my closet for (redacted) years. More progress after I am not totally ashamed of the number that will come before ‘lbs.’
Working my weigh (get it!) through my apps,
*Actually it’s because I’m single now and someone will see me naked but let’s go with health reasons so that I may sound like a progressive womyn.
**Yes, I have become THAT person who went to the gym twice in January and has not returned!
***I still love my iPhone but the sound quality sucks!