App-Session

Yesterday I proclaimed my love for Twitter. Today I am telling you of my relationship with my cell phone.

Just like the social networking sites I frequent, I think I might be lost without my iPhone. The mini-computer has everything; it is my organizer, my date book, allows me to surf the internet, keeps me from being bored at stop lights, and honestly, the advertisements are true, you name it and there is an app for it.

But I also freakin’ HATE this little device.

One Christmas my dad decided it would be a fabulous idea for us all to have some new technology and I unwrapped my new Apple with immense excitement.

At that time they were brand spankin’ new and I couldn’t wait to download all these cool things I was hearing about.

It was also around this time that I wanted to lose a few pounds and start training for races, so aside from a few games, my first thought for apps to start browsing were all about diet and fitness.

Lose It! was free and looked pretty user-friendly, so with one click I had all the information I needed to “better myself” right at my fingertips.

I entered in my stats, it did a quick calculation, and viola—a new lifestyle for CJ.

Slowly but surely the weight came off and I decided to stop accounting for my physical activity and just eat what the computer determined for a sedentary person with my characteristics.

If the Lose It! plan was working before, this would be even better!!!

Or so I thought…

Little did I know, ED was lurking just around the corner.

I then downloaded another program so I could compare to see if I was doing things “right.” ED needs extra validation sometimes, you know.

Myfitnesspal, which I have now affectionately named Myfitness enemy, was added to my daily repertoire of logging, and essentially obsessing, over everything I ate.

I joined the forums, learned new tricks to control portions, and even though I was hungry I decided these little calculators knew way better than my body did as far as what it needed.

Well let me tell you, I hated math in school, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out when you are burning off a lot more than you take in, weight will disappear, and disappear fast.

And, after reading about 94538646 articles on my also downloaded nutrition and exercise magazines, about maintaining metabolism while on a diet, I learned the “best” ways to restrict while not completely slowing down your anatomy.

I felt AWESOME with my new physique and running capabilities….

Until the compulsive behaviors increased, my body image took a turn for the worst because no matter how small I got it wasn’t ever enough, the obsessive thoughts took over, and the smart phone was not just a part of my day, but now pretty much my life.

I was completely consumed and couldn’t prepare a damn meal without the assistance of my iPhone.

Recently I came across an article about the rise and treatment of eating disorders in the culture of techno-everything and diet obsession.

As much as I hate to say it, sometimes I think the evolving media helped me more “successful” in my days of horrifically poor nutrition.

I could count up all my calories in a matter of seconds, had support through forums and other methods of chatter, and I could access a million sources of information that could help me validate all my destructive behaviors.

I would never go as far as to blame these apps for my decisions, but they did become a significant part of me being sick, and have definitely assisted ED in combatting my recovery efforts (see CJ, you do not need nearly as high a meal plan as the dietician says!).

But what I need to remember is, out of the million and one sites I have visited; where I meticulously entered my height, weight, age, sex, and activity, how many were even close to being the same number?

The range between the lowest determination and the highest, is greater than 500 calories.

Like I said, math was definitely my worst subject in school, but even I know that variance throws up a red flag.

Perhaps the only accurate measure of what my body needs, is my body.

Imagine that.

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7 thoughts on “App-Session

  1. I don’t usually comment on your blog, but I do read. I just wanted to say that I am entirely with you in the belief that all these diet apps and sites and such are a way push EDs faster into a downward cycle. Myfitnesspal is the bane of my app world. Honestly I find it so hard to quit it. Right now, I’ve gone a few days with no counting, but I can’t bring myself to delete it and I know that if I have a bad day, I’ll probably turn back to it. After all, I’m crap at maths and this makes the whole process easier. I didn’t count at the beginning of ED, but finding these apps made me lose weight even faster and more successfully, as well as making terrified of foods I didn’t know were so “bad” beforehand. And I started weighing everything. Even herbs and spices.

    But there are recovery apps too! Recovery record is on I used a lot in the middle stages of recovery, though I don’t need to really anymore. Reminders of meal times, a place to log feelings and track your mental state, helpful motivation etc. It’s really nice and a good way of replacing the need to track on phones etc. I found anyway,

    Hope you are well x.

  2. MyFitnessEnemy sounds a lot like LiveWrong (livestrong.com). I had such a similar experience on my journey to “just better myself.” I deleted my account but was already mid-spiral. A few months ago, with my life radically reformed and free (and delicious), I got my new iPhone only to discover it came with a craaaaazy Nike App for calculating food, weight and exercise. Its funny to me that we are such an invisible, hushed that I didn’t even get the choice to opt in.

    A.

    http://www.wildheartcity.wordpress.com

  3. I totally agree in the media playing a role in making me more obsessive and more knowledgeable in fuelling my eating disorder for the worst. I definitely spent a lot of time on calorie counting websites and learned everything and anything about fitness and nutrition and portion sizes, I admit I still do log calories. I do like math, so I say that’s why I like calorie counting, but I know I also get really anxious when I can’t log my food intake for a day. What you said at the very end of this post = amen! Could not agree more!

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