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Healthy Changes: Self-Monitoring

I know, I know, I’m shocking you all for writing 2 posts back to back. But I’m using the local library’s high speed internet and figure I may as well get the most out of it while I’m here.

I just wanted to throw out a few ‘healthy lifestyle’ things from the past few days. Since I am a dietitian after all…. can’t just have a blog about my obsession with cupcake shops and travelling! haha. After doing all my reading/studying/preparation for my upcoming course on Adult Weight Management, I’ve read over and over the importance of self-monitoring, and how most all people who successfully lose and maintain weight, keep track someway of what their diet, exercise, and weight is doing. So, what do I recommend?

  1. Wear a pedometer
  2. Keep a food journal
  3. Weigh yourself once a week

I dug out my trusty pedometer and have started wearing it all day, everyday, just to see how many steps I’m taking. When I first got my pedometer, it was back in high school, when I first starting eating better, exercising, and losing weight. I swear, I wore it every single day, and was meticulous about recording every day’s steps. In high school, I’d get home with only 2,000-3,000 steps, and then would exercise in the afternoon to boost the number. In college, my steps were obviously much higher, walking around a large campus. And yet the weight crept back. haha. I became complacent, assuming that I was getting in enough walking, and stopped wearing it. Then I lost it during my freshman year, had a breakdown (seriously, I did), and fell in love with the janitorial staff when they found it, broken in the hall bathroom and returned it to me – all put back together!

Since then, I usually only wore it when I was going out for a walk, as a way to measure the distance. But then along came mapmywalk, and I didn’t feel the need to wear the pedometer for even my workouts! So it’s been sad and lonely for the last few years, collecting dust. But this week, it’s back on and will stay on!

Now, before I talk about step details, let me just rant about the cheapo pedometers that are given out with various programs. I cannot tell you how many free pedometers I have collected over the years, from all sorts of places. Regardless of how cool they look, whether they play music or are colored, they’re all crap! Seriously people, don’t even bother wearing one unless it cost $20 or so. Because I promise, standing up does not earn you 20 steps, no matter what that thing says. Test it out – walk 10 steps and see what your pedometer says. More than 12? Throw it out.

There are a few online resources about the top pedometers, but I swear by my Accusplit Eagle that I’ve had for years! Looks just like this, small, black and easy to hide on your waistband.

Most of you have all heard that the goal is 10,000 steps a day… which, depending on the length of your legs, is somewhere in the range of 4-5 miles a day. Don’t freak, it’s not impossibly hard. Just take every opportunity you have during the day to walk more. Take stairs instead of the elevator, park further away, all those fun things :) My mom has been laughing at me during the last few days – she says I’m “cheating my way to more steps”. I walk around the house or yard when I’m on the phone, dancing around the house with the dogs, sometimes just walk/jog in place when I’m watching the TV. OK, so I’m not actively walking 4-5 miles, but hey, if I’m moving my body and taking steps, that’s all that matters!

I also found a new website called Fat Secret (not crazy about the name though!) that’s been great to use as a food/exercise diary. I’ve tried multiple, always liked Spark People the best, but thought I’d give this one a shot. The biggest factor for any of these sites is the size and accuracy of their food database. If they don’t have the foods that I eat, then what good is their website!? But honestly, Fat Secret has been great so far. Now, if you want to, you can set up a whole weight loss profile, give them your height/weight, weight loss goal, and it can work out some stuff for you. But really I think just monitoring yourself for a while, to see what exactly you’re eating, can be a great wake up call. And, as a vegetarian, I like to check up to see what my carb/fat/protein ratio is like, just to control my self from eating a completely carb-based diet! But usually, I find that I’m just fine on my protein. So there, all you flesh—eaters who live to mock me!

OK, that’s all for now! Wait, actually one more thing. I’ve had some votes in for the new blog. Since RD2B has to change… we’ve had some votes in for RDBME, RD2DAY, or RDisME. Any thoughts?


2 Responses

  1. How about the name of the website being “StrangeSmileyInCorner”

    • I know! I don’t know what it’s doing there! Maybe it makes everyone smile when they read my blog. Maybe it’s my good luck smiley charm :)

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