How To Eat Yourself Rich In Health

Real People. Real Stories.


by Miranda O’Connell

The Calorie Bank

A few weeks ago, I reached a crisis point with my weight. It was 7pm, and I was heading out to dinner. Yet, I couldn’t fit into a single waistbanded item in my wardrobe. So, I did something I haven’t done for a year. I stood on the scales.


Now, I know it’s been a busy year at work, and I’m more sedentary than I have ever been before. My snacking habits have spiralled out of control at my desk, and I keep Cadbury in business in Australia. But I really don’t have any (viable) excuses. I was at a crossroads. Do I spend money on buying larger size clothes and commit my current wardrobe to eBay, or do I embark on finding the body that once existed beneath the folds?


The journey to weight loss, I decided, had to be more than weight loss. This isn’t just about looking good in a bikini aged 47 (because that’s a tough ask anyway). This is about my health and nutrition and making the changes that mean I can stick around for as long as possible to enjoy my children and their own.


Now, I must confess I took the easy way out and started on Lite ‘n’ Easy, but it was a chance meeting with Diabetes NSW that changed everything. While I do not have diabetes, I became more and more aware that my lifestyle back then could lead me into Type 2. So I joined one of Diabetes NSW’s SUPERMARKET TOURSand began, what I call, my ‘Calorie Bank.’


How the calorie bank works – it’s simple


Services like Lite ‘n’ Easy may be great time savers, but they do stop you from heading to the supermarket and re-educating yourself on proper nutrition. I downloaded a free app called MYFITNESSPAL, which calculated my allowed number of calories each day, split into carbohydrates, fat and protein. The number of calories I’m allowed is essentially my health money in the bank. I can withdraw from it each day, and I can also top it up by depositing calories through exercise (calculated by the app for you). There’s no saving up for a rainy day and then blowing it on a whole chocolate cake ‘purchase.’ It’s a day-by-day process that encourages healthy, nutritious choices, exercise and mindfulness about what (and how) you eat.


Six weeks later, I am seven kilos lighter and back into the trousers. I can still eat my Cadbury’s, but I know I have to earn it beforehand. But that’s not all – my hair, skin and nails are better than they have been for years, my energy has returned, I sleep like a baby and I wake up with an energy that I’d forgotten was there. This is not about fad diets, gym junkies or classes that beast you at 5am. It’s about withdrawing and depositing your calories in your daily calorie bank in a nutritious way to becoming the richest you can be in health.




My Fitness PalMyFitnessPal is free and available to download on the app store for iPhone and iPad, GooglePlay for android devices and also Blackberry and Windows Phone. You can also use its website. Once logged in, all calories sync across all devices, making it easy to track your health whether you’re at work, home or on the move.


Do you have a health story or tips you’d like to share? Have you been part of a workplace challenge or tried a new fitness program? Contact Fruit at Work at:[email protected]