Monday, November 14, 2011

Losing Weight with Calorie Count and Calorie Camp

Fed up with my tight pants and unflattering photos like this one,
Me and my gut on last July's Beercation

I decided to get back on my Calorie Count account a few weeks ago to keep track of what I'm eating.  I thought having a food log would also come in handy in doing detective work for my recent IBS symptoms, especially since I've been learning about FODMAPs in foods and which ones may be affecting me.

I discovered there is a Calorie Count mobile application available, which is handy for logging foods on the go.  After logging a suggestion via the mobile app to request a sharing feature on the app, I received a developer reply from the site about a beta version of the non-mobile site, called "Calorie Camp" and was given a link to get on and start using it and testing.  It's a way to share a day's report of foods and activities with others on the site (your buddies).  We support each other with comments and earn badges for doing things right.  I like it a lot!  Until now, I've basically been going it alone, with the exception of letting Don know about my goals.  Having a peanut gallery of people cheering me on online seems to make a difference for me.

I've been on and off Calorie Count for years since discovering it and creating my account, but it's always been a bit of a chore to count calories.  I would lose a little, then wing it, then go "oh yeah, Calorie Count" and get back on again.  With Calorie Camp, I actually find that I want to log, share, and comment with my buddies online.  I want to earn those dumb little badges.  I also like seeing my nutritional analysis (it's very detailed) and striving to choose healthier foods based on the nutrients I seem to lack.  Most of all, I really like the fact that being aware of what I put into my mouth has caused me to maintain a proper level of calories (on average) to actually lose a couple pounds since I've started up again recently.  I want to weigh myself!

This is my favorite thing to look at on the entire site - my own, personal Weight Log graph:
Keep in mind that this graph represent a whole year's worth of time, so the net loss over a year is not too impressive to most people (less than 10 lbs thus far), but I just love the slope anyway.  It's encouraging and empowering.  I made this happen!

That top weight pushing 160 on the left scared me into resetting my Calorie Count goals again last year.  I set things up and left my goals intact for many months while kind of being cognizant of my need to shed some weight but not really logging regularly.  Then, last July, I went on Beercation in Wisconsin with my husband and apparently overindulged quite a bit over that week or so.  (See that double spike over Jul 2011?)  I had a great time, but I came back looking kind of like a potato sack.  (See first photo above.)

The plateau at the bottom right of that little mountain is about where I started up on Calorie Camp beta.  Except for the final upturn from today's weigh-in (I went to a party last weekend and nibbled a bit too much), I've been losing weight, nice and slow, the way I'm supposed to.  The green, dashed line is the trend line, which ignores the minor blips in the blue line of my actual weigh-in actual data.  I'm hoping I can continue with the downward slope.  I have a long way to go yet, but at least it's downhill now and the slope is getting steeper.

If you're already on Calorie Count or want to sign up for your own account, feel free to be my buddy.  If you're interested in beta testing Calorie Camp, especially if you like giving technical feedback, Igor is the guy you want to contact.  Here is the forum about Calorie Camp.

One last thing.  My IBS flare up has finally calmed down in the past few days.  I'm hoping the FODMAP research and diligence has been a factor.  It's a theory that finally makes sense to me and seems to be making a positive impact on how I feel.