Why You Should Think Twice Before Paying for MyFitnessPal Premium

Fitness, productivity, Technology

MyFitnessPal (owned by parent company Under Armour) is a calorie counting and fitness application designed to help people manage their caloric intake in either an effort to lose, maintain, or gain weight. The service is free with an option to go add free for $49.99 a year. I chose the paid option, and based on my experience, I caution you not to make the same mistake. Here’s my story:

There are two ways you can go about using the service. You can stay completely quiet and count your calories or you can participate in the “community” and , like all social media, post and communicate with others from around the world. For some reason, I decided to participate in the forums.

On Sunday morning I found my account blocked. Blocked means completely unusable. My $50 gone. I couldn’t get on to the site at all, even to log things I had kept private. Why? According to the pop up, I had violated their policy. Specifically their policy on eating disorders. The problem? I didn’t. I’ve read the policy several times, I know what I posted and in no way, shape, or form did I violate their policy. The bigger problem? There’s no way for me to prove my case. The company has zero customer support or series of checks and balances. I realize it sounds crazy, this is a company that trades on the stock market how do they not have a customer service department? I don’t know, all I know is that I reached out via the “contact us” portal on the website (twice!) because I wanted to see a quote of the post they claimed violated their rules (I was convinced it had to be a mistake). No response. Check out my Twitter (@CarolynNicole) I tried reaching them through social media with at least 5 tweets in an attempt to solve my problem. No response. Facebook messenger. No response. Instagram. No response. So how did my account become blocked if no one appears to actually work there? According to the website they rely on community members to monitor the forums. I’m not sure what that means exactly (and of course there’s no way to ask, because there is no customer service) but I believe that means that other members have the ability to suspend your account (even paid) if they feel offended by your posts. Now things make sense.

So what did I post that could have set someone running to their safe space:

– I am a recovered anorexic. I’ve been healthy since 1995.

– I am technically underweight. I DID NOT post my weight, measurements, clothing size, or BMI which I thought might trigger someone. But I am large enough to get pregnant and have a child (so, not unhealthy underweight).

– I am happy with my body. (That makes at least 50% of the female population hate you right away. Everyone’s for body positivity, as long as you aren’t happy with your own body)

– At the time I received help I weighed 72lbs. I had a wonderful counselor, had a positive experience, and encouraged anyone in my position to get help.

– I am a Christian, prayer helps me retain my health and guides my life.

– I’ve modeled in the past.

– I eat to live. I don’t enjoy eating and count calories to make sure I am getting enough food and nutrition every day.

– I sometimes pack my own food if I’m afraid I’ll freak myself out and choose to not eat in social situations. Eating is very important and you should never skip meals.

None of the above mentioned information violated any of their rules or guidelines. BUT, if you’re a random person, unhappy with your life, I may have posted something you found offensive. Maybe it was another person who has struggled with an eating disorder and doesn’t want to hear about help. Or possibly someone who suffers from a binge eating disorder and hates underweight women. Heck, it could’ve been someone who was anti-Christian. The point is, I’ll never know, and the company itself will never step in to figure it out. If I were a vindictive person (or just crazy) I could creat a fake account and randomly report people because I didn’t like their profile photo, or so it appears.

Consequently, until there is a better method of regulating how posts are flagged and accounts suspended, I highly suggest you stick to the free version of this app. Thankfully, since I purchased the subscription through the Apple App Store, Apple stepped in and within 24 hours my $50 was refunded. I would still love to hear from the company and be vindicated but I seriously doubt that will happen. I moved back to LoseIt! and am quite happy. I’ll make sure to write a review after using the service for a longer period of time.

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Quick Update & a Rant

Fitness

Just a quick little check in. I’ve been eating the same number of calories (1400-1600) which I ate when I weighed 93-96 lbs previously. High protein. Walking 3-4 miles a day and light weight lifting for 30 minutes. And…I’ve gained weight every day. Didn’t see that one coming. I went from 103 to 105 BUT I do look tighter. I’m not sure if that makes sense. I’m going to keep going and see what happens. I’m not going to cut calories because despite what people (and companies like myfitnesspal) think a tiny person looking to get back to where they were before pregnancy, admittedly tinier, is not anorexic. Sometimes that is just the way God made ‘ya. All that “you’re more than just a number on the scale” thing seems only to apply if that number is large. I am not encouraging starvation! I’m a small person who maintained a low weight for 15 years, 16 actually. I weighed 96 on my wedding day. In 1999. My cholesterol was close to 300!!!! My body fat stayed consistent between 23 (training for a marathon) & 26%. I never looked frail. This is just the way I’m made. And maybe things have changed. Hey, I’ll weigh 200 if it means I’m healthy, I have lots of energy, and my old jeans fit. Regardless of the numbers I’m just an average mom trying to lose the pregnancy weight which makes me realize that maybe that’s ALL I should have written. Just the facts and not the exact numbers because listen, it’s about how you feel (and right now, I feel sluggish and sad my clothes don’t fit) and not the number on the scale. No one cares what you weigh. Your doctor. Your doctor probably cares what you weigh. Other than that, no one follows you around with a scale. Which brings me to another point, when you read an article such as the one on Kim K “losing” 7 lbs in two weeks…no one is following HER around with a scale. She may have gained 7lbs. but because she’s working out and eating better, she’s giving the appearance of weight loss. It’s an interesting theory. And it reiterates the fact that the important thing is eating well and moving. I’m sure even Pokemon Go counts. Never starve yourself. Ever. Period. And it really upset me that myfitnesspal would…anyway, longer post on that later because I wrote the company and I’d like to hear their response. 

I’m happy I’m back to lifting weights again. Nothing crazy. The 10lb free weights are the “heavy” ones now. I can leg lift 104lbs, which I find impressive. Lifting weights makes me feel more confident and I didn’t realize how much I missed it. If you’ve never tried weight lifting you may want to give it a try. Start with some light weights and find an app if you aren’t sure what to do with them. I’ll post some recommendations tomorrow for anyone who is interested. I just wanted to do a quick check in, maybe some advice: ditch the scale. 

I’m Back…

Fitness, Technology


Wow! Where have I been? I realize I’ve neglected this blog, but at the same time, I have a pretty valid excuse: I finished my master’s degree and had a baby. Not just any baby, mind you, I had Tabitha. Tabitha the “I’m coming 3 weeks early and you can’t stop me” baby. The baby who wouldn’t eat so we had to wake up every two hours to feed her, the baby who wouldn’t sleep, the baby who everyone has admitted is a “sibling killer”. Aka: Tabitha the only child. Tabitha who I love more than anything and wouldn’t trade for the world. Add in a little postpartum depression at the fact I didn’t have a 22″ waist two weeks after birth and my epic return to work…longer story involving cheerleaders. I have a plethora of apps to review. A whole bunch of stories. My mind is working all the time and I have no outlet for my musings. So I’ve decided that it’s important I return to writing. And it’s ok that my writing isn’t just tied to one topic. I’m making peace with that. I’ve read so many articles about blogging and building an audience, branding yourself, and sticking to only one subject and I respect that. I understand the logic to that but that mindset has also caused me to stop writing for almost a year. So, I’m back, but my blog is changing. It’s no longer just about teaching with technology it’s about how technology assists in all aspects of your life: work (for multiple careers), fitness, parenthood, & relationships. The first thing I’m going to tackle is getting my body back in shape. The baby is almost a year old! I believe it is time. Right? I recently came across an article on how Kim K lost 7 lbs (not a fan, personally) in two weeks. Perfect. 7lbs. would put me back at 95. I think my ideal weight is between 98 & 100 so if you take into account that I may mess up a few days…

My tools are my Apple Watch, my iPhone 6, and the Myfitnesspal app (user name Tabbycat00 feel free to add me). I’m starting this Friday July 8th with my goal finishing date being July 22nd. I can’t do bikini before and after pictures, not because I’m ashamed of how I look in a bikini, but because my school district will not allow me to post them on social media. Trust me on this one. But I can post photos in tank tops and shorts. My goal is to prove that everyday women can have “Hollywood” results. You don’t need a personal trainer or cook…remember I could be wrong. I’ll blog my food intake and exercise for each day and sometimes I’ll post videos of my workouts so that you can follow along at home. Here is my lovely “before” photo in my messy bedroom.