I started using the Noom app back in July and have lost over 25 pounds since June. I totally did not think I could do that. I have never before used any participatory weight loss mechanism. That said, when my health insurer offered a monthly check-in with a nurse I did find that that was enough to increase my accountability regarding exercise or drinking water. So it was not entirely surprising to me that this app works for me.
Noom includes a weekly check in with a coach by text and a group of fellow Noomers where you can post. That group also has a group coach. Food and exercise logging are a big part of it as is a curriculum on food, weight loss and the psychology of eating and losing weight. It’s not cheap at about $45 per month but it is working. The default calorie level is 1,200 per day on which Noom helpfully points out that most people will lose weight. (Duh…)
A number of factors motivated me to start. One of which was inching towards the top of the Overweight BMI category. Recently I moved into a Healthy BMI for the first time in years. My goal is to move into the middle to lower end of a Healthy BMI for my height.
I feel good. I am enjoying taking in my too large clothes with sewing skills I haven’t used since high school. I ran/walked a 5K recently for the first time in years. Nice to have a baseline if I want to do that again. I have returned to yoga practice and am also using Fitbit Coach for at home workouts as my work-based exercise room is going away. Everyone is different and I am sure this wouldn’t be the answer for everyone but I enter the holiday season grateful that it is working for me.
The tale is that if you toss a frog into boiling water he’ll jump out but if he’s in a pot which slowly heats up he won’t and will die. It is disgusting to be sure. We used to use it to describe people’s circumstances of living in violent relationships… But I digress.
Lately I have been thinking about motivation. Looking at some of the fitness literature and web information I read I see that the great success stories are often the people who had never touched a weight and then discover weight lifting and proper diet and of course dramatic changes ensue. I think for more of us it’s harder because we are not suddenly discovering a new way of living which we can attack with religious zeal.
Like the frog in the slowly heating water I’ve been lifting weights and doing some type of aerobic exercise for about 35 years. Also I need to shed 10 to 15 pounds of fat. I remember reading somewhere in an article about building muscle how really modest the gains a person who has been training over time can expect to make in a year. So how do I stay motivated to keep doing enough of the right activities? And how do I stay motivated to eat in a way that supports the exercise enough to keep making positive changes?
For me having a variety of activities I can pursue helps some. My preferred forms of exercise are walking in a hilly local park, using the elliptical machine in the new fitness room at my job, lifting weights in my basement and taking the occasional hot yoga class at a local studio. I recently discovered http://www.lauramustloseweight.com which is cool both because of Laura’s personality, and for me, because she is about my height. It’s a good graphic portrayal of both the truth and the possibilities. I guess images and stories help because it’s hard to move from abstraction to action. It would be nice to be motivated more by the positive, e.g. move towards what Rachel Cosgrove calls being a “fit female” than by the negative, e.g. ominous health worries or the image of myself as some sort of lonely Jabba the Hutt. In any case, if I figure out the secret to motivation I promise to share it.