Way back in June, on Day 96, I wrote a post about an effort to lose a little bit of that “quarantine 15.” I talked about a few things I was going to do, like eating a little better and getting a little better handle on my health.

If I’m recalling correctly, at some point in that brief process, I maybe lost a pound, and then put about 3 back on. After that I just stopped checking. We had the summer of insanity with Henry and everything else, and getting healthy took a backseat. Actually, like the way back seat of a station wagon. Not really even a seat.

I frankly reached a somewhat hopeless point of feeling like nothing I did to lose weight really worked, and meh, why bother. I wasn’t feeling great about myself, I wasn’t working out regularly, and things slipped. Around Christmas, Erin had a promo deal for Noom, and I found sale thing too and we both decided to give it a try.

What follows is the kind of thing that, were I some big fancy “influencer,” I could probably get some dough from Noom for product placement. But being a humble neighborhood blogger, I’ll just say of my own free will and truthful opinion that this whole thing has really worked for me.

The idea is pretty simple. It’s a behavior modification approach to being healthier. It starts with little things and builds up. I was talkng to Henry’s therapists and honestly, some of the techniques are similar to things we use working with kids with behaviorial issues. It’s small adjustments that help bring about big changes.

What it has basically done is get me to track the food I eat and the excercise I do. Pretty simple, yes, but that mindfulness has made an enormous difference in how I feel overall. I used to be good about portion control, but over the years let that slide and was eating way more than I needed to. Just being mindful of my meals and snacks made an immediate difference. It wasn’t like I was starving or not eating foods I like, it was just being more moderate and deliberate about it.

Now I’m eating smarter and finally back to running and exercising regularly, which I had done just in fits and starts in the past couple of years. So that is some success already.

Honestly, I’ve found that the awareness and tracking I have done with food and exercise have also translated into other areas of my life. I feel more present and deliberate in everything I do. I’ve been doing it almost two months and have lost about 10 pounds, but more importantly I just feel better and more centered.

So while I’m definitely saying that Noom has been a good solution for me, it’s just one tool and one way to get at the idea of creating healthier habits. I think the larger message is that using a tool to help me be more aware of what I do and how I treat myself every day has helped me in more ways than one. I’m sure there are other apps or books or paths that people can take to do something similar.

The main idea is mindfulness. At the beginning you set goals, and my overarching goal had something to do with being my best self. The weight loss is nice, but the underlying piece was just feeling better about myself and my own health. Though it is nice that some of my shirts are fitting a little better again.