Before you run off and download it from the App store, hear me out as I confess my one day experience with the loser app.
I plugged in my current weight and put in a slightly ridiculous dream weight so the little app could calculate how many calories I was allowed to have in one day. It gave me a daily log to track what I’m eating, and even a way to track my exercise. For accountability and incentive, I could even share it with a friend and we could be accountable to one another as we watch what the other one is eating every day (not sure I would want her to know every time I pop a mini-Twix bar in my mouth)!
The app will print daily or weekly reports about my calorie intake that can show me, complete with graphs and charts no less, how close to my goals I actually am…as if I need that extra mathematical stress in my life.
But I was ready. Surely, my normal daily intake wasn’t that far from what the app was telling me I could eat in order to enjoy life…and stay alive. My breakfast consisted of one piece of whole grain oatmeal toast, a banana with a tsp of peanut butter, a cup of soy chocolate milk, and two cups of coffee with creamer. 390 calories. Not bad; I was off to a fairly good start.
My mid-morning snack = 2/3 cup of blueberries at 56 calories. I deserve a Twinkie for that one.
Ah, finally lunchtime! My plate could barely hold my HALF of a turkey and cheese sandwich, with 8…okay 10, multi-grain Tostito chips, and 5, or was it 6?, olives, and a glass of tea. 570 calories. Wow, the calories were starting to add up and I was starting to get nervous because I could only have about 230 calories or so for the rest of the day!
I made it to dinnertime without snacking, whew! If I wanted to lose 1 pound per week for six weeks, then this next meal needed to be reduced to a homemade protein chocolate-peanut-butter-banana smoothie (you should try one – they are the best!).
Well that yummy glass of frozen goodness put me 39 calories over my limit! And it was only 4:30 in the afternoon!! I was not going to make it to bed time unless I was willing to go over my calorie limit and completely derail the path that would lead me to my dream weight in six weeks.
At this point, my college-age son and daughter entered the scene. As soon as I began to mention the Lose It App, they both informed me: “it’s stupid!”
- “Counting calories is not a healthy way to lose weight, or even stay at your current weight, because it matters more what you eat, not how much you eat”
- “You will become obsessed with food and calorie counting and pre-occupied typing into that thing every moment of your day and night”
- “So, if you’re over your calorie limit and you’d like to eat an apple – because that is a healthy thing to do – but you won’t because it’s too many calories? That’s stupid!”
- “Why do you think you need to lose weight? Who told you that you needed to? They’re stupid.”
I’ve decided that I’m deleting the Lose It app from my iPad after only one day of use.
Ultimately, the kind of time and energy spent counting calories will be better used basking in the presence of my Heavenly Father, who knit me together and tells me, in His eyes, I am simply perfect.
In the image of God
You poured yourself into me
That ought to be enough
A beautiful reflection
of Heaven’s perfect love
When I look at me
Give me eyes to see
The image of God
~ ‘In the Image of God’ lyrics (offering hope and healing, for those struggling with body image issues and eating disorders, from our ‘Tell Me What You See’ CD).
Visit our “Tell Me” Facebook Page–Dr. Linda wrote a word in the inside cover!
Tammy Stauffer lives in Elizabethtown, PA with her husband and three college-age children who migrate in and out of their home. She serves as Project Manager with Music for the Soul.