Physical Fitness App: I downloaded the app MYFITNESSPAL on my phone, and I have been counting calories. This is a first for me as most of my life I have been blessed with high energy. Recently, however, my clothes have been tighter, I've felt sluggish, and I've been eating way beyond the "full" feeling. It's almost like I'd have to start feeling miserable at the table before I could feel like it was time to stop eating! I noticed that I was always hungry, but never thirsty. By accident I ran across an article that said when those symptoms appear, your body is actually screaming, "Water!" but your fat little belly says, "Nah! Have a candy bar." I decided to see just what I was putting into my body, and I discovered that I'd be a tub of lard within a few years if I continued at the rate I was going. So I started watching calories. I felt like I was starving to death! Then, my husband suggested that I might take a closer look at what I was having to eat to see if it contained any nutritional value. The app indicated I was mostly having sugar. Once I began filling up on raw veggies, I have felt a lot better. I am not standing looking longingly at the forbidden. In fact, balance has become my focus rather than strictly watching calories. I find myself making choices now. Do I want that tiny bowl of ice cream now, or would I rather have a larger dinner (with a little dessert!) later tonight? This seems to help me feel empowered. I am choosing which pleasure I want to indulge in rather than what treat I am forbidding myself. My goal is to lose a few pounds so that I can enjoy the upcoming holidays without needing that New Year's resolution to lose half my body size. I want to be in the habit of making better choices so I don't gross myself out at the table and so I am able to put on a few pounds without needing a new wardrobe in elastic. I'm still in learning mode, but I am happy with my results. For example, I found out I am able to eat more if I exercise more. I'm walking--briskly, I might add!-- these days. It's a new discipline, but I'm enjoying it. I'm still struggling with drinking water, but as food loses its control, I am making a little progress in drinking.
Mental Fitness App: Another APP that I have downloaded is the MENTALLY FIT APP. It's like having a counselor for a one-time price of $4.99! The app uses cognitive therapeutic techniques to help improve depression and anxiety. Each day I can collect points for doing various activities, which the app with chart. In addition, there are quizzes I can take to assess how I am feeling. There's a section for positive affirmations, which I can tailor to my specific needs, and a method for checking them off when I verbalize them. All the results can be mailed to a counselor or therapist, or even to a friend. I simply use it for my own assessment purposes. In addition, the app has a link to the owner's blog, which is informative and helpful. I find that the app is most beneficial to me in keeping me aware of my actions and thoughts and in helping me be pro-active in having a positive mood. I find that I am more aware of my whole being. For example, I found that I could be out of balance within the context of a single day. For example, I might collect all of my points by focusing on spiritual things while completely neglecting my physical well-being, or I may be doing positive actions, but thinking negative thoughts. The app has helped me be mindful of daily balance. I work in a mental health profession, and I wish it were possible for every client I serve to have access to this app. It would surely be an asset to them.