September 5, 2008

What I have learned from the bodybugg...

I am not one to get all worked up about the latest dieting fads; I've always thought simply eating right and exercise was the key to a healthy weight loss. I have struggled, as most women do, with my weight over the years and its yo-yo tendencies throughout various seasons of life. My present situation is that this past year I finished my last year of college and getting my teaching credential. Going to class, working, and student teaching took up all of my time and getting to the gym and making sure I was eating right wasn't my top priority. I put on about 15 pounds and simply had to just deal with it...buying new clothes, etc. Needless to say, I belong to 24 Hour Fitness who sponsors the bodybugg and had wanted the expensive calorie counter for quite some time. Then one day I was on their website checking out some information and they had an online drawing for the bodybugg...and I won it! I know, I am amazed too! lol! People actually do win those crazy drawings! I have had the bodybugg for 8 weeks and have lost 10 pounds.

Here's how it works: I wear it on my arm all day while I am awake. It counts how many calories I burn which loads onto an online program that provides all my goal information. Depending on your weight goal, you make a program that fits your lifestyle. My goal is to burn 2600 calories a day and consume 2100, giving myself a 500 calorie deficit. Burning 500 calories a day will allow me to lose a pound a week (3500 calories=1 pound). Now, depending on your own goal and lifestyle, these numbers vary. I go to the gym everyday and consider myself pretty active so burning 2600 calories a day is reasonable. Whereas if I was stuck in an office all day and didn't have many opportunities to be active, the calorie intake would be lower to make up for the lack of calorie burning. This is one of the features I love; each program is unique to your lifestyle, making it realistic to meet your goal. Besides logging in your bodybugg to find out how many calories you burn, you also have to log in what you eat. The program already has nutrition information for a lot of foods and you can also enter in your own. For example, for lunch I eat a sandwich which is pretty consistent every time I make it, so I entered in all the nutrition information so it is always there to easily add it to my day. I also quickly Google major restaurant chains and find what I ate and transfer that information onto my online program. It takes a little work but is actually very easy and so much more helpful to have a correct calorie count.

In order to make this work there are a few key factors that I believe lead to success: 1) Discipline: you have to want to make this work, or at least force yourself to! I have to get up and get to the gym. Sometimes it is hard, but once I am there it is worth it and I have more freedom in the day to not worry about making my calories burned quota. 2) Honesty: you have to log in realistically what you ate. When you go to weigh in each week, and your results are much different than what was logged in, your calories consumed is at fault. The bodybugg isn't going to lie about how many calories you burned! You have to be honest with yourself when logging in the food in order to have an accurate account of how you are doing.

I love my bodybugg! I have never found success in losing weight like this before. I have always been anti-other dieting programs because they are not realistic to lifelong living. With the bodybugg I can go out to eat without worrying about running my whole program. If I eat more than normal I make up for it the next day by eating less calories or burning more calories. One specific example has been traveling this summer. Driving in the car for 7 hours doesn't burn a whole lot of calories! Besides the fact that all there is is fast food restaurants for eating on the way. What I do is to make sure to pack healthy snacks for munching and carry along a calorie counter book that includes major fast food chain nutrition facts. It helps me keep a log of what I eat and I usually cut back on my calorie intake to compensate for my lack of physical activity.

The biggest thing I have learned is basic calorie knowledge and how to have self-discipline. I know approximately what I burn in a normal day and I know how many calories basic staple foods have in them. Even more, learning self-discipline has changed my life. In all areas of life I have found that just because I want something doesn't mean I can have it! We live in a culture that is all about me and all about right now. Having ______ because I want it or because emotionally it will make me feel better does not mean it is good for me or what I need. Instead I have to turn to what I really need: the Lord. He is our Bread that sustains us through the day...not just food! I have done some research on fasting and have learned that realistically our bodies don't need as much food as we put into it. We can go for days...weeks...without food and still live. A book I read explained that we train our bodies to eat at certain times during the day even if we are not hungry. We think we are hungry because we have trained our bodies! Times I have fasted I have found that I can function all day, to the same level without food as I did with food. Sure I may get a headache or be more irritable but I can still function. Then it goes back to what I was saying before--just because I haven't eaten doesn't make it okay to be rude or irritable towards the people around me--back to self-discipline. Between what I have learned from the bodybugg and fasting, I understand more fully what it means to rely on God to fulfill my needs; not by earthly things (including food!).

I am excited to lose 10 pounds and I love that people stop me when I am out and about to ask me about "that thing on my arm". I love that there is a universal sense with women to be cheerleaders for one another in striving to be our best. But even more than all of this, I have learned a treasure of self-control that has changed my life...

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:22-24



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