There comes a time in every person’s life when he or she looks in the mirror and sees this:
Wait… Really? Not everyone??? Alright, fine. But know that if you’ve never sobbed in traffic while texting your significant other that you wish you weren’t “built like the Pillsbury Dough Boy’s inbred cousin” (actual words- I checked), this post may not be for you.
For as long as I can remember, my relationship with food has been plagued by more drama, bathroom-sobbing, and overall emotional breakdowns than all 20 seasons of The Bachelor combined. Name any diet plan you can think of- South Beach, Atkins, Weight Watchers, low carb, no carb, Cabbage Soup, Master Cleanse (aka the Lemonade with Cayenne Pepper Diet), Major Depressive Episode, Weekly Chipotle Colon Cleanse, Poking At Your Stomach To See If It Goes Away, Just Cigarettes, Crying A Lot, Hungarian Tapeworm Implantation- and I’ve tried it, sometimes with disastrous results.
**Carly’s Into That Official Disclaimer: Do not, under any circumstances, participate in the Master Cleanse. You will cry; you will shit your brains out; you will cry WHILE shitting your brains out; you will experience visual hallucinations; you may or may not fantasize about eating non-food objects like your desk chair. I definitely didn’t! Not at all! Haha!**
Boring skinny people with great hair constantly preach that their secret is “moderation”, but what does that even mean? 10 fireball shots instead of 12? 3 bowls of ice cream instead of 3 gallons? 1 pizza instead of 4? NO THANK YOU! If I’m being honest, moderation sounds even more horrifying than spending 3 hours a day worrying about losing my spleen into the toilet. But if I can survive on spicy lemonade for 10 days, I should be able to eat “moderately” rather than with the speed and frequency of a large, angry bear who is only seconds away from its 7-month hibernation.
To help me on my quest, I downloaded a popular food-tracking app: My Fitness Pal.
Let me emphasize that the word “pal” is perfect here, if you picture it in the sneeriest, most condescending way possible: “OH YEAH? THAT’S HOW IT’S GONNA BE, PAL?? JUST GONNA CUT ME OFF AND THEN SLAM ON THE BRAKES, CHAMP???”
But a more appropriate name, I think, would be My Fitness Frenemy.
MFP frames itself as an encouraging weight-loss buddy- “we can do this together! look at u, eatin’ vegetables!”- but also pings you with daily passive-aggressive notifications as you log your food: “This food is high in saturated fat”; “You’re getting close to your daily calorie goal!!!”; “REALLY? A WHOLE BAGEL?? THIS ISN’T THE FOOD OLYMPICS, YOU HAM-ARMED MONSTER.”
MFP is shameless in its grasps for your attention.
Let me clarify that this was at 7:33 IN THE MORNING. I had to leave for work in two minutes, so naturally I was still naked and staring into my closet deciding which tarp would best disguise my shameful dad-bod. Right on cue, MFP popped up like the motherfucking Clippy of food journaling.
“HEY THERE, FRIEND! You’ve been awake for 45 whole minutes without logging your food, so we just wanted to make sure you’re okay! Because you haven’t logged your food yet! Remember to log your food! DO YOU WANT TO LOG IT RIGHT NOW? SO YOU DON’T FORGET???????? :D”
I was paralyzed with fear, as I had stood in the kitchen and horked down 1/3 cup of cooked egg whites no more than 5 minutes prior. HOW DOES IT KNOW? Clearly, when I downloaded the app, someone installed cameras in my house, and now everyone at MFP Ground Control knows that I look like the StayPuft marshmallow man once I take off my makeup. V. stressful morning, to be honest.
Upon arriving at work, I logged my egg whites like a good little sheep, glancing suspiciously at the air vents in my office for the blinking red light of a spycam. IF YOU’RE WATCHING, THAT WASN’T A CUPCAKE. IT WAS… AN ARTICHOKE. YEP!
I have to admit that writing down EVERYTHING I eat in a day, on an official record that can and will be held against me in a court of Fitness Law, serves as a huge deterrent to the mindless eating that so many of us are guilty of at the office. Defying all logic, EVERY DAY is someone’s birthday, which means cakes or pies or cupcakes or brownies (I’m not crying, you’re crying) are ever-present fixtures in my office. But I would rather serve as Ted Cruz’s personal courtesan than admit to My Fitness Frenemy that I ate 3 maple glazed donuts (more than 60% of my daily allotted calories, by the way) for no reason other than that they were leftover after a meeting and I have the self-control of a rabid squirrel.
My Fitness Frenemy also provides a massive incentive to exercise, in that you earn back calories that you spent on a piece of pizza (or 7) (WHY DOES THIS ALWAYS HAPPEN TO ME?) by burning them at the gym.
My general emotional state is this:
which often leads to this:
…Oops! With 346 calories left for the day at 1:30pm, either dinner’s going to be 14 lbs of celery seasoned with my own tears, or I’m going stick my ass on a treadmill until I’m allowed to eat another piece of pizza. It’s a vicious cycle in which I am first a joyous and then a massively depressed participant.
If you decide to give My Fitness Frenemy a try, some days
will be better than others.
But if you press forward, My Fitness Frenemy just might give you the best compliment of all:
The first time I saw The Holy Grail of MFP Notifications, I was all “…?”
I’ve heard from people who are naturally thin that being told “you look like you need to eat” is offensive. However, as someone who is built like the state of Kansas,
it is almost the best thing I can imagine coming out of another person’s mouth (second only to “Hi, I’m Joe Manganiello and I’m going to be your husband now.”)
When MFP tells me I’m not eating enough, I’m like:
More calories, you say??
I can make that happen.
Overall, I have to recommend My Fitness Frenemy for anyone who is looking to try “moderation” instead of the Just Lettuce, Breatharian, or Ice Water And Crying And Staring At Pictures Of Your Boyfriend’s Ex Girlfriend So You Won’t Ever Be Hungry Again diets. All you have to do is keep logging your food! Do you hear me?? LOG YOUR FOOD! EVERY DAY.
Otherwise, My Fitness Pal will storm off in the app equivalent of a huff, because you are beyond help and it literally just can’t with you anymore.