A good friend of mine and I started using the MyFitnessPal app the summer of 2014. For the uninitiated, the MyFitnessPal app tracks calories and food consumption as well as calories burned through exercise. Like finding the right personal trainer (I prefer ones that tolerate me cursing through most of my exercises), it’s important to find the right companion fitness app.
It’s imperative to locate a trainer and an app that provide the right style and method of motivation. If the praise is fake or too high-pitched, I won’t exert myself fully because I’m too annoyed and preoccupied with whatever the fuck is driving me crazy about the motivation being provided. I don’t need sugar-coated praise (unless it’s in pastry treat form), but when I’ve lost my will to live after 150 squats, my personal trainer needs to come through for me. I expect no less from a free fitness app that should be able to re-shape my body and render any physical flaws obsolete. I’m nothing if not realistic.
For instance, I love it when my personal trainer tells me, “You’ve got this!” I’m thinking about using that one as positive reinforcement in the bedroom. Conversely, I hate it when my personal trainer tells me I have 30 more reps, or only two minutes left of holding a plank pose. I need to hear information at the right time. When I’m feeling like a little wimpy man is not when I want to hear I have 120 seconds of agony still left to endure.
Currently, MyFitnessPal Tells me how many pounds I’ve lost from when I weighed wearing boots and a coat while carrying a loaded backpack. This is helpful information that I need to stay motivated. Thanks, MyFitnessPal! I’ve lost seven pounds in one day! I knew we could do it!
MyFitnessPal dangles several carrots at users to keep them motivated. When you tell the app to “complete this entry” for the day, it’s little fitness algorithm fairies generate a (no doubt wildly inaccurate) message that says, “If every day were like today…. You’d weigh (insert magic number here) lbs. in 5 weeks.” To think that I could weigh as little as (insert magic number here) in 5 weeks is seriously awesome motivation. I don’t care if it’s true so long as it’s motivating. My only complaint is that MyFitnessPal could be ULTRA awesome with some minor tweaks.
I need a fitness app to be more intuitive. It should take my mental health as seriously as it takes my physical health stats. If I haven’t exercised for four days, the app should tell me, “If every day were like today… You’d be curled up in a ball under the couch. In 5 weeks.”
If “Johnny Walker Red” nears the top of the list of my Frequent Foods, MyFitnessPal should call me out. “If every day were like today… You’d have a lot more money in your pocket that you didn’t spend on liquor. In 5 weeks.”
I’d also like a fitness app to be a little brutal with me occasionally. Like the day I ate donuts for breakfast, donuts for lunch, and a donut as an after lunch snack, MyFitnessPal should appropriately scold me. “If every day were like today… you would get diabetes and die of a sugar overdose. In 5 weeks.”
“If every day were like today… eating an apple would be such a shock to your system you may have sugar withdrawal. In 5 weeks.”
If every day were like today…