Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Perfect "Fit"

Like most people, I always make a New Year's Resolution to lose weight and become more healthy. Since 2003, when I was diagnosed with ADHD and mild bipolar disorder, the antidepressants contributed to an average of 5 pounds per year. So by the time I quit my antidepressants in 2009 (I don't recommend this without a doctor's approval) I had gone from a 140 to a 170. In clothing terms, that means I went from a size 8 to a size 14 in 6 years.

The consequences (and there are many) of having a mental illness and a learning disability--or maybe I should positively say "challenges" include poor memory, lethargy, and fluctuating weight gain and loss, as well as poor organizational skills (how can you do something if you forget--make a list? you lose it!). It's always been my intent to lose weight by keeping a calorie log and lately, since I've had other health issues, someone recommended I keep a log of my mood, symptoms, etc.

Stress is also an issue for those who have ADHD. As I mentioned, it's extremely difficult to remember tasks, where you have placed something, or any other regular details that most people can easily glide through daily because, when you have ADHD, your mind is constantly playing your life's soundtrack on the fast track. Seriously--things move so quickly in your mind you have to concentrate to pay attention, willfully intend to stop, and you struggle to remember hour to hour, day by day. The stress from having the disability alone is overwhelming at times so if you have other life challenges, it's debilitating at times.

But I'm a naturally positive person and fairly simple (when I'm not being complex) so I was overjoyed to learn about Fitday.com.

Fitday takes care of several issues that I have because of ADHD:

1. The FOOD portion of the program allows you to find the foods you eat, select the portions, and add them to your daily food journal. What that means for me is that I no longer have to look at my labels, write down and calculate calories or fat grams, or keep track of any of it. I tested the accuracy of the calories for my breakfast this morning, including 1/4 cup of oatmeal and an egg. The journal was 100% correct in it's calculation. I was elated.

2. The MOOD portion of the program allows me to keep a written journal of how I felt that day, what I was going through--basically anything I want. Then it will give a scale of different emotions, you choose what end of the spectrum you're on for that day (sad, angry, hungry, etc) and it will color code if you are having an average day, below average day, or a good day.

3. There are pictures, graphs, and charts that are clear and accurate. You log your credentials in one area, then view your progress within another area. This section of the program allows you to see a color coded pie chart of your fat, calories, alcohol intake, etc.

4. You can track your calories burned vs. your caloric intake. It's awesome. I hate doing any form of math--this makes things so much easier. Plus, just like your food catalog, it will allow you to search what you've done (swam for half an hour, walked 2 miles) and will automatically tell you how many calories you've burned.

                                            (my friend Amber and I, at our first 5K)

I'm really excited about how easy this is going to make my life going forward in relation to my health and weight loss goals. You can join this site's Premium program for a little over $4 a month. I don't see the benefit of upgrading so far, besides not receiving ads, which may occur since you provide your email and food log. I don't care about that though. If you do, it could be a negative factor of the service.

Perhaps one day soon I can reach my goal weight, what I was in my twenties. Until that day, I can at least enjoy the relief of organizational burdens this fabulous site provides.

                                                         (Joe Elliot and I, circa 2000)

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