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Hi my name is Kelly and I’m a repeat offender at Weight Watchers. All jokes aside, my love for food has also caused me to struggle with my weight and lately weight control has been extra hard. I had major abdominal surgery a couple of months ago, so that slowed me down. Before that I was suffering from really painful plantar fasciitis (wear your good shoes with arch supports people!) and not to whine, but my ankles, knees, hips and back bother me too! It comes down to the fact that my increased weight contributes to all these issues being worse. I’m pretty much recovered from my surgery, so it’s time to get back into gear!

Earlier this year, before my surgery, I was doing well and losing weight. So as I felt my aches and pains walking down the stairs at work, I decided it’s time to get back in the groove!

One of the tools I used successfully earlier this year when I was losing weight, was an app called My Fitness Pal. If you haven’t checked it out already, I would like to recommend it.

I like the versatility of this app. You can use it on your Apple or Android devices or you can just login at their website, Myfitnesspal.com. Best of all, it’s free to use!!!

The app uses basic weight loss principles. If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in! You start by entering some information about yourself; height, weight, exercise habits, etc. and then you get to select your weight loss goal and then how much weight you would like to lose per week. The app then calculates daily and weekly goals for you, such as how many calories you should eat and how much time and calories you should spend in exercise.

The app makes it very convenient to track your food and exercise. It has an extensive database of foods and exercises. Of course, my favorite exercise in there is “Cooking or food preparation”! LOL! Hey! I’ve had some days in the kitchen where I felt like I’ve run a marathon!

But let’s talk some more about food! One of my favorite conveniences is that when using your mobile device, you can scan the bar codes of foods and the app will tell you the detailed nutritional values and then you can easily log the food if you’ve eaten it. You can even build your own recipes in the app, again scanning ingredients, and this way you can easily log the nutritional information of what you’ve eaten. This is especially helpful for favorite recipes that you make frequently.

When scanning foods or selecting from the database, you will get very detailed nutritional information. This allows you to keep an eye on how you’re doing. Are you getting enough Calcium? Enough Vitamin A or C? It’s pretty cool!

One last thing. The home page of the app serves as social networking site, if you choose to use it as such. This is really a great way to get encouragement and share some with others. You can adjust your privacy settings, so it will only show what you want it to. For example, with my settings the app automatically shares the amount and type of exercise I do each day and how much weight I lose, but it doesn’t share when I gain weight or the details of my food log. I have found this to be pretty cool. People post questions, frustrations, victories, etc. and the community chimes in. I have found all the people to be very encouraging.

So I hope you’ll give it a try! If you do end up using it, look me up and friend me! My user name is Kelsurfs. That way we can cheer each other on!