You know how you never fully appreciate something until you have to do without it? Well, I’ve had a few bad iPhone days in a row, and the experience has called to my attention just how integral a role my iPhone plays in my day-to-day weight loss efforts. This post begins with some rambling gripes, but should leave you with some ideas of how I use my iPhone every day to get closer to my goal weight.
I use my iPhone to take a ton of photos, many of which end up on this blog. It has an amazing camera. Mine developed a condition referred to as camera spots. As far back as the Broccoli Tofu Stir-Fry post, I’ve had spots in all the photos taken with my phone’s camera. I’ve done my best to work around these spots by zooming and cropping, but the spots were unavoidable in several photos. Recently, my camera developed more spots — enough that I couldn’t work around them. The solution? A trip to the Apple Store’s Genius Bar.
Apple replaced my phone under warranty for free, no questions asked. I could write an entire post about the several hour process required to sync the new phone with my existing music, photos, and settings, but this isn’t a technology blog. It’s a weight loss blog. The bottom line is that I noticed that the new phone was only able to get access to data using WiFi, which I pointed out to the Genius before leaving the Apple Store. After several more hours of plugging, unplugging, syncing, and erasing, I was sent home with the diagnosis that there was a Sprint network issue that would be cleared up the following afternoon. I missed my hour of cardio for the day, because I was at the Apple Store later than my gym’s hours.
I begin all of my workouts with music. I use a free app called Pandora, which streams music to my phone. If I like a song, I can vote it up. If I don’t like a song, I can vote it down. Through giving feedback, Pandora crafts a workout mix that’s perfect for me. If I’m doing a cardio day, I listen to a little over an hour of Pandora Workout Radio. On resistance days, I listen to Pandora during my warm-up and informative podcasts during resistance. Pandora is great because new music is constantly showing up in my workout playlist. Also, I enjoy the commercials because they give me an excuse to slow down and breathe several times throughout the hour. Without a functional data connection, Pandora doesn’t play.
Without Pandora, I was still able to listen to music that I had synced on my phone. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of 120-130 beat per minute exercise music in my library. I really missed my workout playlist.
Calorie Count App
I’ve lived by the mantra, “If you bite it, write it,” since I first heard it. I’m told it’s an old Weight Watchers saying. In my early days, I wrote my meal logs down on paper. Soon, I started using my iPhone’s Notes app to enter them as text. Recently, I’ve used About.com’s Calorie Count App. I love this app because it has a large database of foods, complete with nutrition facts which can be calculated based on portion size. The app lets you analyze and report your food choices and discuss daily progress in a forum with other app users. It’s wonderful! Without a data connection, the app still lets you log foods that you’ve eaten before, but you’re unable to look up new foods or post your daily meal activity.
Every set, every rep. ActivTrax is a service that I receive through my gym that I wrote about in September. It prescribes a workout routine tailored to help you reach your goals. When you follow the routine, you enter data into the system that is used to determine your future workouts. If you can do three sets of 20 reps, expect ActivTrax to up the weight next time. I was lost in the gym without ActivTrax.
A spreadsheet, at its core, is just a fancy calculator. I’ve posted several spreadsheets that I’ve created that help me track and maintain my weight and my food choices. Meal Planner, Weight Tracker, and Meal Replacement Calculator are examples. I use these spreadsheets not only on my computer, but also on my iPhone using the Google Docs app. I can create and update spreadsheets on the go quite easily. When I weigh at the clinic, I enter my weight, and the weight tracker calculates my total loss, weekly loss, body mass index, pounds from goal, etc. I use spreadsheets to plan my grocery store trips and even figure out which store has the best price on fresh fruit. My trip to Wal-Mart left me feeling uninformed without access to my shopping tools. For what it’s worth, the UberKroger has free WiFi.
It’s obscene how much information I get from my iPhone daily. Directions? I use my iPhone. Look up a phone number? I use my iPhone. Share a progress photo with a supporter? I use my iPhone. Approve blog comments? I use my iPhone. Kill time waiting in line? I use my iPhone. You get the picture.
Without access to the services and resources I’ve come to depend on day-to-day, I realized their true value to me on this weight loss journey.
What Mobile Resources Are Indispensable To You?
Update: After Sprint’s estimated date of repair came and went without an improvement, I started thinking it was a problem with the replacement phone — none of my other friends who were Sprint users were experiencing identical problems. Another trip to the Apple Store, and several more hours with the Genii, and I’m back in business. Apple has excellent customer service! Props to manager, Lani, for all her help in getting me back in business.