Keeping Track

Nancy Berk, psychologist/foundation board member/humorist/author ( is also my friend and partner in the unending search for ways to achieve fitness and lose weight. Today she sent me her latest discovery, one she claims is motivating enough for me to switch from my beloved Blackberry to an iphone.  

“Yesterday I added an iphone app called “Lose It!” she wrote.”It tracks your weight, exercise (lists tons of options), food (it searches for the food and inserts the calories) and it ends up budgeting the calories and exercise and telling you how many calories you have left in your day to still reach your goal weight.  You put in how much you want to lose per week.  Amazing! So much easier than writing everything down and you don’t have to look anything up (they have restaurant calories, generic, and store brands).” 

Perhaps best of all, each pound you lose sends the graph of your weight tracking on a nice, deep plunge. Yeah, Nancy! (However, the next day when she ‘flatlined’, I think she wanted to choke her iphone to death.) 

It struck me that we get a lot of joy out of writing down the precious, hateful pounds we hope to lose. My Mom was a loyal Weight Watchers’ member and carried her little book documenting her goal weight attainment for at least two decades after her accomplishment. I use one of those little moleskin books and find there’s nothing more guilt-inducing than confessing every snack in your own handwriting.  

Diaries, pedometers, body fat scales, and the best, the ‘which black pants fit now that didn’t used to?” test…we are creatures of ‘the number’. For all the lip service we give to loving ourselves the way we are, and how much it’s all about how healthy we feel, let’s face it. We’re keeping count. We’re taking names. The toys and tools just get fancier. Nothing changes, (except maybe a smaller size, if we’re lucky.) And even if the techno trackers of today are meant to keep us honest and give us inspiration, I’d rather leave that up to a good friend.  At the same time, if Nancy significantly “loses it”–I might be switching my phone service.

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December 2, 2021
by Mary Lou Quinlan

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