“I’ll have the Kung Pao Chicken,” he said, passing his menu to our server.
Leaning back and reaching into his trouser pocket, my lunch buddy pulled out his phone and, with a few finger pokes, made an entry.
“Huh, what’s that?”, I asked.
“An app,” he said. “I’ve used it for several months and lost 40 pounds – all the weight I wanted to lose. I track everything I eat and my exercise. It calculates my target calories per day. It also shows my food balance, vitamins, and minerals.”
“Here,” he said, passing his phone to me. “Have a look.”
Yum! I downloaded the app as we ate and entered my meal.
That was 11 months ago. He sought to eat less food. I sought to eat enough: enough calcium, enough iron, enough protein, and, on some days, just enough, period. (I forget to eat, from time to time.)
“Forget about that,” friends have chided. “You’re careful. You’re thin. Eat what you like. You’ll be fine.”
I enter every meal, every snack, every day, whether I make “good” decisions or not.
Through seven days this week, I’m 713 calories short of my weekly goal with 9 hours, one ‘formal meal’ and a couple of snacks ‘till bed time. I’m at 143% of my iron requirements for the week and 102% of calcium. I’m just right with fat, cholesterol, carbs, fiber, and protein. I will make my numbers, including the short ribs and brownies I ate last night and the Monday night ice cream. A great week. YES!!!!!
So, was I short when I started? You bet! Short iron, calcium, Vitamin A, and protein, among others.
Have I changed my diet? Yes – I eat more of certain foods and little of others that once were staples.
With three weeks left to the anniversary of “the Kung Pao meal,” I’ve fulfilled the mission I began.
I can hear my friends’ voice, “OK, give it up now, Nick! It’s over!”
But I won’t (give it up) because, even better than the mission, it’s a game, and I have learned to love the game…..
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