I’ve had something weighing on me for a while now.

Literally.

Sometime between the summer of 2017 and the winter of 2018 I quietly packed on about 20lbs

While this is not the most I’ve ever weighed – thank you steroids – the last year represents the longest stretch I’ve been at this weight not due to medical intervention (or lack thereof). I understand intellectually that I look fine, and am close to a healthy weight for my size – 15-20 lbs of tit weight notwithstanding – but carrying an extra 20 lbs over my normal has been both physically uncomfortable and demoralizing.

On top of which, my wedding dress, which fit more or less perfectly when I bought it, now won’t zip up.

Boo.

I knew Noom had a different approach than something like Nutrisystem or Jenny Craig. While the idea of just eating foods that were delivered straight to my face and disengaging entirely was attractive, I also knew it wasn’t a long-term solution. Though I haven’t traditionally struggled with my weight, my body has changed a lot since menopause, and I can’t rely on it acting the way it has historically.

Noom has scientific backing and a multi-dimensional approach. Both nutritional advice and cognitive behavioral methodology are at work. Not only advice about how and what to eat, but ways to identify – and hopefully circumvent – the triggers for unhealthy eating.

 

 

Additionally, Noom provides one-on-one coaching. It asks questions about what motivates you, what kind of support you prefer, and pairs you with a coach who best fits your style. It even guides you to set a failsafe in case you start to lose steam. For myself, I set an alert so that if I failed to log meals 2 days in a row, I would get a text message reminding me to get back at it. You can choose whatever accountability check feels right, or skip it if you don’t think it would be useful. 

So far, I like the way information is presented, and unlike other plans I’ve tried, it has presented me with new information. In some respects weight loss is common sense. It’s rare for me to encounter insights about strategies I hadn’t already heard about. Noom’s mention of Caloric Density as a concept certainly wasn’t new, but it’s use in terms of the proportion of foods being divided and organized to complete the dietary landscape absolutely was.

The app is easy to use, approachable, and cheeky, which I enjoy. I think Noom is aware that a lot of this information isn’t news to anyone, but chooses to deliver it nevertheless. My feeling is that by presenting a full and comprehensive picture, they hope to create a sense of intellectual engagement with the process of change. It doesn’t insult the intelligence of the user, but neither does it take anything for granted. It’s a difficult balance I feel they achieve beautifully.

I know that a lot of changes in my life have brought me to where I am now – both good and bad – so it makes sense that adapting the way I approach self-care would be necessary as well. I’ve always had a slightly combative relationship with food, and I see this as a way to potentially heal that breech, or at very least, develop a healthier rapport with what might be driving me to make decisions that aren’t in my best interest.

I’m actually pretty excited about what might come of this process for me. I think a lot of the psychology and routine of attending more closely to my actions could apply in other areas of my life where I struggle. Maybe Noom can take on finances, next?