Weight Loss Wednesday– Email and Walking

My best friend, Cindy is still chugging away at losing weight.  She’s made some great improvements but we still have a way to go. cindy and monica

She and I have been emailing back and forth with our daily eats and it really helps to write it out. Cindy’s been using the My Fitness Pal app and sending me an image of it.fast food diary

I tried using a notebook for a few weeks, but I would skip a day or two every week.  Luckily, emailing someone what you ate keeps it in your In Box and just feels easier – and it’s nice to have them respond back with their progress! IMG_1685 (800x600)

I’ve also been emailing with Chandra. At the beginning of the week we share our goals and plan. Then, we exchange daily updates. This might not work forever, but right now it’s been super helpful to get me back on track!image

Writing down everything you ate isn’t exactly fun – but it is kinda interesting. I’d suggest trying it at least for a day or two just to see if there are any holes in your nutrition or extreme imbalances.

After work I took a long walk. I was aiming for 5 miles and ended up doing 6!image

Which brings me to my Ridiculous August Challenge:

Walk 3 miles a day – in addition to any other exercise I do.

I truly believe walking is one of the best forms of exercise and relaxation. A long walk after a hard day makes me feel so much less stressed!

I know it might be a hard to squeeze this in a few days – that’s why it’s a challenge! (*I probably won’t walk on Long Run days.)

I also want to continue the Plank a Day and do some Yoga once a week.

Question: What did you eat today?

Write it down in the comments or email it to yourself or a friend and ask them the same

Question 2: What are your August goals?


  1. says

    Ok, sorry, I read this like 3 times and it’s just not making sense to me – do you mean you use a notebook to write down your food? Why would you have to do that if you have a blog where you post it all? Or do you mean one of your friends tried that strategy? Obviously it’s way past my bed time. I eat a lot so for me to try to type it all into this comment would be extremely boring. My August goal is don’t cry when the new school year starts and I actually have to teach.

  2. says

    B – peanut butter, maple oatmeal

    L – Togo’s chicken sandwich on wheat. Got avocado instead of mayo!

    S – Iced Soy Latte from Starbs
    S – Hummus Chips <—- way too many. Between 20-30.
    S – 3 Sweet Tea Vodkas (is that considered a snack? A dessert? AGH!)
    S – 1/2 Turkey Dog <—- just the wiener, no bread.

    D – 1/2 cup Lentils (after all that snacking, I don't deserve a proper meal, haha)

    Toooooo many snacks. I've gotta put gum in my mouth. This food journaling thing may not be such a bad idea……..

  3. Heidi says

    MYFITNESSPAL works wonders! It really took me by surprise how much I ate when I was snacking. Now I addit and the eat it!

  4. says

    When my dog was a puppy, I used to run her in the morning and walk her for 3 miles in the evening. It was very de-stressing and kinda nice! But, with that being said, it was also time-consuming, so as soon as she got out of her manic puppy phase, so I could just walk her 1 mile instead of 3 without her destroying the house, I was ready to let all that walking go! Now I’m injured and would LOVE to walk 3 miles everyday…or even 1/3 of a mile would be nice!!!

  5. Dynamics says

    I have been emailing my eats in a spreadsheet to my walking friend for the last week. She said I am not eating enough food. My question. Calories are low on some days but I am still getting 100 grams of protein. What is more important??? Calories or Prot, Carbs, Fat? I think P,C,F is more important. What do you count? Do most people keep track of calories???

      • says

        I keep track of calories, protein, fat, carbs and also sodium and potassium to make sure I’m not getting too much of one thing and not enough of another. I try to make sure I eat at least 1200 calories a day if I’m not doing much, 1500 if I’m being really active. You won’t lose weight if you eat too many or too few calories.

        I’ve been maintaining a 100 pound weight loss and all I really know what works for my body. But if you have been trying this for awhile and still aren’t losing weight, it might work if you change things up! I hope this helps.

    • says

      While it is important to make sure you’re getting enough protein, overall calorie count is important too. It’s about balance and that balance may be “off” if it’s heavy in one food group (even with “healthy” food) but overall not enough for your body. If you are tracking, maybe track both numbers for a bit?

  6. Ida says

    I actually think it’s pretty cool that your friend was able to stay on track with fast food. It takes serious will power not to go nuts in the drive thru:)

    my august goal is to get back into weight lifting. I took about 8 weeks off and my shoulder press this morning was depressingly weak.

    Walking is so cathartic, getting in at least a small walk every day is a great goal.

  7. Jordan says

    B – homemade whole wheat banana pancake w/ sugar-free maple syrup, black coffee

    L – sauteed yellow squash + mushrooms + spinach mixed w/ one wedge of Laughing Cow cheese, steamed edamame

    S – one peach + one plum

    D – Olive Garden salad [dressing on the side], minestrone soup

    S – strawberries + banana slices w/ natural peanut butter, microwave protein muffin, black coffee [yeah, I’m a twice-a-day coffee drinker and I don’t plan on changing that… ever]

    I probably could have done with a few more healthy fats + more protein today, but oh well.

    Goal for August is to get back into running! I took several months off because I was tired of dealing with constant injuries, but I’m raring to train for a race again. Kicked it off with a 5k run this morning. [:

  8. says

    walking is definitely different than running..in a good way though! i try to walk around 2-3 miles a day. it doesnt always happen but what can ya do. my goal for august is to continue to stay active until our baby comes in early september!

  9. says

    i kept a food diary for 2 years! it was a good experiment – you definitely learn a lot about yourself and your habits. one thing that i noticed was that eating a big breakfast really helped me not get snacky at night.

    • Mary Neill says

      Thats so true about eating big breakfasts! I went through a period where I didn’t eat breakfast (it was awful because its my favorite meal of the day!) so I could “save up” calories for later, only to realize through my food diary I ended up snacking like crazy after dinner. Now I make sure I eat until I’m good and full at breakfast, then I dont need a mid-morning snack or any snacks after dinner. Funny how things work like that!

  10. Sam says

    Is Cindy really only aiming to eat 1200 calories a day? That just seems very low. Even though she ate out twice yesterday, I would say she did a good job of picking the better choices, which I know is extremely hard to do at fast food chains!
    On a side note, I think you’re awesome and love your. Log. I live in Columbia, MD and it is too bad I started reading your blog after you had moved.

  11. Jodi says

    Monica, I have been reading your blog for a few years now and although I really admire your running accomplishments I feel at times your “advice” or your view on your eating habits is really out there. I can understand it being that way after a long term struggle with weight loss and maintaining that because I too have been there.

    I was well over 300#s about 8 years ago, I joined Weight Watchers and never looked back. I reached my goal weight within 18 months, and was happy there with just doing minimal exercise and than I found the gym.

    After pregnancy, thyroid cancer, thyroid removal, and now lymphoma I still journal, am HONEST with what I eat every day and when I feel the slope becoming more slippery I tighten the reigns without depriving myself because I know how easy it can be to slip into the “dark side”.

    It is RARE that I find myself indulging in something that does not fuel my body, enhance my recovery in cancer, or feed the needs my body is lacking with my thyroid issues. I really feel that learning to feed your body without having that binge-y type pattern is SO key.

    I am not bashing you; Or I hope you do not think that, I just hope you can see a lot of people look to you for advice and until you are able to commit to a certain lifestyle or eating pattern sometimes your errors or slip ups feed other peoples lurking disordered eating.

    I do wish you the best in all of your races, your future with Ben and a possible little person soon.

    • says

      I don’t think Monica puts herself out there as a “role model” in terms of eating. She admits her struggles with eating and her weight, and I don’t think she should stop posting until she gets to the point that her eating is “worthy” of not triggering other people. If people are triggered by food posts then that is their problem, and should probably learn to avoid food blogs until they can come to terms with their issues.

      I used to struggled with an ED and it’s very easy to be pious when you feel like you’ve got it all under control and everyone around you doesn’t. I’m not a perfect eater. Monica’s not a perfect eater. Not everything you eat needs to be the perfect fuel for your body. Sometimes nonsense treats are fun. I just resent the idea that, as a blogger, you are held up to a standard of trying to avoid triggering people’s neuroses. No one should have to be held up to that standard. I also get that posting about eating journals is controversial. Everyone wants to give their two cents on it and pick apart how much/little/badly you eat. But it’s an exercise in honesty, and that takes bravery in itself. I think food journals also scare other people because it makes people suddenly look at and question their own eating habits.

      That’s my take for what it’s worth. If you are happy with your own eating methods, more power to you. But I don’t think this blog or Monica ever professed to being about eating for perfect health and nutrition. It’s just an account of a fun and honest girl who likes running and eating lots of eggs.

      Sorry, Monica, to jump in. Carry on.

      • Cate says

        I love the fact that Monica posts about what she eats – whether it is an entire watermelon, a giant cookie, or tofu. She’s honest and I admire her for that. I feel that Monica is more relatable because of this. I’m not interested in reading a blog that is all about 100% healthy eating because to me, that’s not realistic. I think you need balance and Monica dies a great job of that!

        • Jodi says

          I blog too and I find it mind boggling to put up a bunch of information and “imma gonna try-betters” she may not put herself out there as a role model but she is backed by organizations and sponsors that have a specific goal in mind. In fact with the whole ING thing Monica claimed or was billed as a nutritionist?!? Really at what point did that happen? Would she instruct her clients to binge eat on cereal? I think not.

          I love her blog but feel it may be one of the biggest trigger in her ED. I am not promoting a 100% healthy eating situation although it IS possible. I am promoting an excuse less blog.

      • kaycee says

        i think you make some great points. you are being very constructive and tactful. since this is billed as a healthy living blog, i think posts are held to a different standard. if it were just a food/ work out diary, it would be a different thing. when you post awards on your blog for being a healthy living blogger, i think it is fair for readers to expect inspiration from the posts.

        • Tara says

          I agree with you Jodi. I remember when I first started reading her blog she was talking a lot about intuitive eating. Having past eating issues (and still the disordered thoughts at times) I was intrigued and inspired. Nowadays I skip over a lot of stuff that I find triggering on here. I.E. I have NO idea how someone who has battled eating issues in the past could ever think it was okay to ask people to comment what they ate. It’s a breeding ground for competition. It breaks my heart sometimes to see her struggle with motivation and sometimes failing her goals, because it strikes a cord with me. Some days I have NO idea how to have a normal relationship with food, but I’d never promote myself as an example of healthy living either. I think a lot of us relate to Monica… but because of that we recognize the disorder. I hope some of our words sink in, because I believe most of them come from a good place.

          • says

            I appreciate your comment. I don’t think I am in a bad place with food or otherwise in life. I am imperfect, but the reality is for the most part I share the extremes on RER – the HIGHS and LOWS (not the “normals”). It is NEVER my intention to trigger anyone, I’m just doing my thing and trying my best to make this fun while sharing my life :)

  12. says

    I saw your friend eat the kid’s Z bars. Those bars are amazing! I buy them for my kids but then eat the whole box myself. The iced oatmeal cookie is the best flavor ever made!

    My August goals are to run outside more and to eat a smaller lower carb dinner. Dinner is usually my biggest meal and I’m trying to change that!

  13. says

    Thanks for alerting me to my fitness pal. Downloaded it this morning and am going to try to do a better job of keeping track of my eating.

  14. Tia says

    I walk at least that everyday. I usually walk my dogs for 40 minutes in the mornings and 60-90 minutes in the evenings which works out to about 8-10KM a day.

    I love myfitnesspal too but I find that a LOT of people say 1200 is not nearly enough. I work out and I still only eat 1200 but I never feel hungry or anything, I definietly would eat more if I was hungry. Not sure where to go with that one.

  15. says

    I love that you exchange daily eats with a friend. At work some of the girls decided to start doing my fitness pal, but that lasted a week…plus they had their food diaries locked. I had mine open for the world to see because I sometimes need that accountability before I down half a pack of oreos!

    B-multigrain cheerios and milk (portioned out)
    S – peach + slice of swiss cheese
    L – Spinach salad from Salata + 2 chocolate chip cookies
    S – 100 cal Kettle corn + 1 oz honey roasted peanuts (two hours later)
    D – cheerios, milk, crackers (my stomach started cramping, so I was trying to give it some easy food)

    August Goals:
    -Yoga once a week.
    -get back to running (I strained a back muscle that’s finally healed, but now I have a tight/knotted muscle in my glute. crap).
    -continue my regular workouts (bodypump 3x week, body jam 2-3x, additional weights, and cardio 6 days).

  16. Missy says

    Huh? If that’s your friend’s food diary, no wonder why she is not losing weight. YIKES.

    A McDonalds strawberry shake for a snack? Girl, those things are much, much more than 200 calories. Go look at McDonalds.com.

    • Alex says

      She said she drank half a medium one, so the calorie count on that snack would be about right. And she had a salad for dinner, albeit from McDonald’s. I’m not promoting eating out every day for every meal, but on the occasions when it may be the only option, it’s good to know how to order healthily. I think her friend did that relatively well.

  17. says

    I have tried a few times to keep track of what I ate using the “lose it” app but it was so much work to enter homemade food b/c you have to enter eat individual ingredient I usually got frustrated and gave up.

  18. says

    I’ve been reading lately about how we don’t do enough moving outside of exercise. That was my goal this summer – walk to the grocery store – bike to other places that are further away. It is a little bit hard for where I am but I have done it! I’ll run to a friends house or something too. If you make your goal to average 3 miles a day.. then if you don’t walk on a long run day you can make it up by a ding a couple of miles other days! Great idea!

  19. says

    Mine is easy, currently, because I am doing another Juice Fast.
    But typically, I use the LoseIt app, and that is linked up to some friends, so they can check in on me!

    Today, I’ve had one juice so far – kale, collard greens, orange, carrot, raspberry, strawberry and cucumber!

  20. Shannon B. says

    I just signed up for the Mud Run…so I need to get back to running a little more than I have been so I don’t die on the 25th.

  21. Missy E. says

    Hi Monica,

    Just found your site and I love it! For the past year I have been using loseit.com to track my food and exercise. Some weeks I’m really good at recording everything and then I fall off the wagon. :( I have a question about my fitness pal. When I created my account it said I needed to eat 1200 cal a day to lose a pound per week (I want to lose 30 pounds) and loseit says I need to eat 1436 to lose a pound per week. Do you have any recommendations as to which app is better? Thanks!

    • says

      I’ve never used the loseit app, but if you’re exercising I would say 1436 sounds about right. I think my fitness pal would add calories to your daily when you add in exercise.

  22. says

    What great ideas! It is so great to be accountable to someone-it’s so easy to say “oh it’s just a bite” but if you have to email it later, you would definitely think about it! I need to find a buddy!!!
    Also love your walking goal-I would like to do that and take my dog since I will be back to school soon and we won’t get as much time together.

  23. says

    I’m also on the MyFitnessPal bandwagon and have been since 2009.

    In regards to the judgmental comments (from readers, not Monica) about what others eat; I think that’s inconsiderate. Different things work for different people and if it isn’t hindering your own success or body, what does it matter if they eat fast food for every meal?

    I personally believe that we have to make ourselves happy as long as it doesn’t interfere with someone else’s happiness. Just my two cents.

    • says

      I love the judgmental comments you get from people when you post a screenshot of someone else’s food for the day, when they have zero information on that person’s life, situation, etc. I love the Internet!

      I hope your friend is encouraged and keeps up with her weight loss journey. It definitely helps to have a friend to keep you honest and offer motivation.

      I love the my fitness pal app. I’ve lost 8 lbs with it post-baby. It may be because I love the ability to scan barcodes; it appeals to the geek in me. I know the nutritional info on every item isn’t going to be perfect, but it gets me in the ballpark and shows me what I’m eating/snacking habits. I think it’s quite useful.

  24. says

    Hey I use My Fit Pal too!! Except not enough of my friends do so I only have about 4 “buddies”. I never thought about e-mailing it to somebody to keep me accountable…that’s a great idea! That way I don’t have to force them to participate against their will. Love this app!

  25. Robin says

    After my baby was born I was home with her for the first four months before going back to work, and addition to my normal workouts I’d go on a few short walks with her during the day. In addition to the mental boost, I really feel they helped me shed the baby weight faster!

  26. says

    Not telling you how to do you job, but as another MyFitnessPal user, I am wondering about the goal weight that is set for your friend. Her goal calories are really 1200?

    I’m 5’1″ and pretty small/medium-framed, and that’s the goal they give me. But if she weighs more and logs her exercises, she probably needs to eat more than that in order to make this a sustainable effort. For example, my base is 1200 + exercise calories (I use a heart-rate monitor, much more accurate). The app already factors in a -500 cal/day deficit into the goal for -1 lb/week. So most days, I eat at LEAST 1500.

    Overall, I wouldn’t be surprised if she loses weight faster by eating more.

    • says

      Julie, totally agree … The app told her 1200 – I would never have told her to eat that little. But, she did put in her current stats and exercise and that’s what it said (I was surprised and skeptical). I agree with your last statement about her eating more and have voiced it.

  27. Laurel Groff says

    I’m a my fitness pal fan… I have also used about every other one out there: Livestrong, calorie counter, lose it, tap & track, my net diary, fitbit… I could go on, but I don’t want to bore you! LOL After all of them I go back to my fitness pal. Mainly because this one allows the most “mealtimes” and I have perfected my personal preferences. I eat every 2 – 3 hours so I log 6 times a day.

    I am toying with running a half, but while still working actively through an ED, I don’t know if I actually can. So my goal would be to make a decision on that and move on!!!

  28. says

    I actually have a post drafted about some August goals of mine. The three main ones are: eating more iron, doing more core-strengthening exercises, and switching up my strength straining routine (I tend to do the same moves all the time, which obviously is pointless after a while).

  29. jayp says

    not sure if I am contributing anything that not everyone else reading this knows, but I can’t help myself.

    While I understand that everyone’s body functions differently and we all have different caloric needs, I am SHOCKED to see women eating under 1500+ calories a day.

    Perhaps I am young and naive (and extremely active), but I feel like that would hurt my metabolism. I already played a dangerous game in my teens with heavy restrictions, it was horrible.

    For anyone out there that is reading this and is like “hot damn, I eat a lot” I eat at least 2000; 2500 <—(long run days) calories a day and I am a healthy 5'9 and 117lbs.

    I urge anyone who wants to pursue weight loss to visit a doctor (endocrinologist) or a nutritionist. And DO not judge your habits on others on the internet. If I did that, I'd be back down to 106 lbs and weak as anything.

    • says

      Thanks girl :) I agree with your comment all the way. I think 1200 is crazy low for anyone and have never recommended that to anyone. I’ve voiced concern with my friend, but that’s between her and I. I probably eat about +1800 – 2300 a day.

    • becky says

      While I agree somewhat with what you said, you did have one key word in there…you are “young”. As you get into your 30’s, 40’s and above it gets harder and harder, active or not. Take my word. 😉

      • Cynthia says

        Yes, Becky. I’m a 49 year old woman on year 3 of maintaining a 135 pound loss. I run everyday, lift weights 3x per week, garden a lot and eat about 1450 calories per day (I log everything religiously) to maintain 160 pounds at 5’8″. I’m not complaining. That’s just the way it is. Every body is different. Enjoy your 20s, girls.

  30. Daphne says

    My August goal is to train hard and train consistently for my first full marathon coming up in December. It’s only 4 months away and I just feel like that is simply NOT enough time. I think that’s because I’m scared out of my mind! ha ha I’m also going to focus harder on eating well most of the time and stop finding sorry excuses to eat crap!

  31. Daphne says

    Let me add… I don’t know why people feel that the internet gives them the right to judge others. Wow. Some of the pathetically judgmental and mean comments posted here show how inconsiderate and full of it a LOT of people are. I would love for some of these rude know-it-alls to post pics of their absolutely fabulous bodies … six packs and all. I can assure you that many are more pathetic than their funky attitudes and their bodies and eating habits are less than stellar! It’s easy to judge and be rude when your own life sucks!!

    • kaycee says

      um, since your comment is so judgmental and rude i guess you are trying to say your life sucks, that your life is pathetic and that your body and eating habits are less than stellar? the point of a public comment section is so that people can comment. i think monica is aware she is opening herself up to criticism, otherwise, why put yourself out in a public role? as for her friend, i am assuming before she posted all of her private information, she got her permission and that her friend understood she also was opening herself up to criticism. if we just want everyone to pat us on the back and say great job, even when we are not doing things correctly, then we are not really looking for help. monica has admitted she struggles. i would assume she welcomes the tough love along with the praise.

        • Kaycee says

          I’m wrong to assume you know you’ll get criticism for opening yourself up to the world and for believing you would have the courtesy to speak to your friend and allow her to weigh the same before sharing her private email? And I’m wrong to assume you are ok with constructive criticism? Ok. I’m sorry for making those leaps.

  32. Laurel says

    In life we are surrounded daily by things that may be “triggering”. They are inevitable and can be used for growth or for regression. I think it is important to be able to identify these things and act rationally on them. When rationality is no longer possible, I think any post becomes triggering and it’s time to get off the Internet and talk to someone! :)

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  34. Alicia says

    If you don’t like the blog don’t read it!! It’s that simple. I personally am a long time lurker and read RER every morning while running on the treadmill. I love Monica’s sense of humor and her telling it like it is. So I’m here to shout out a thank you to Monica for her entertaining blog!

  35. Bridee says

    After reading this blog entry I decided to challenge myself to walking 3 miles a day on top of my exercise! So far it has been accomplished!!! Thanks for the “push”!!! We are almost half way thru this! LOL!!! Still loving your blog!

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