I built this app because I really needed it.
In the summer of 2010, I was running 35 miles a week and eating “healthy” food. Seemingly out of nowhere, however, a series of out-of-the-blue digestive and skin symptoms let me know that something had gone awry. I shoveled out the dough for medical tests that told me nothing was wrong. And according to my doctor, the USDA guidelines and even the back of my cereal box, my diet and lifestyle were incredibly healthy. My body should be singing.
But it wasn’t.
I searched for a tracking app that would help me dig deeper than generalized guidelines. I wanted to track a variety of things* so that I could figure out what was causing my distress and what could heal it. The problem was that the only health tracking apps out there were calorie-counters and weight loss tools.
I tried one of these for the sake of tracking what I was eating, but it really got to me. I began to see a Diet Coke and a cup of green tea as equally “good” (zero calories!). And I realized I was dumping Splenda in my oatmeal while the jar of my favorite nut butter gathered cobwebs in the cabinet. It was absurd, really. And it was distracting.
I wrote to the developer of that and similar apps and asked them to make a more holistic and less prescriptive version. They didn’t write me back. I wrote them again. And again. But weeks went by and I could practically hear crickets chirping in my inbox. So there I was: One of the least technical people I know, building an iPhone app. This tool just had to exist.
The thing is that I know that there is more to food than calories and more to wellness than food, and I have an inkling that a whole lot of other people know that, too.
We’re over calorie counters, and we’re over believing that our health issues are simply a matter of what we eat or the medicines we take. Our relationships feed us, our emotional health feeds us, our careers feed us… bringing ourselves back to balance is about more than eating broccoli.
Further, no two people’s symptoms or ideal diet or ideal exercise is the same. It’s like our fingerprint.
For me, I ended up finding out that the culprit was dairy, artificial “diet” foods, eating too quickly and eating too much raw stuff. And also: trying too hard to do too many things too perfectly (including eating). I swapped raw carrots for happy hours and aspartame for whole foods and relaxed quite a bit about the whole thing. But well-being is a never-ending journey, and so I continue to search.
With MyOmBody, I hope we can, together, paint a more dynamic picture of nourishment.
* Here are the things that I tracked: my consumption of common allergens and “red flag” ingredients like aspartame; my food’s preparation; exercise; skin symptoms; digestive symptoms; anxiety; fun
Lindsey Witmer earned a BSc in Public Health with highest honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She enjoyed a career in international development, including extensive solo travel throughout the global south, two years working in sub-Saharan Africa and co-founding a water filter microfranchise in Thailand. She got lambasted with odd health issues in her 20′s and, seeking a tool that didn’t exist, decided to build it. Welcome to the world, MOB.
Meanwhile, she studies yoga, nutrition and the art of feeling great. She’s a health coach with her own health coach who’s still trying to figure it out. She hopes this tool and these incredible coaches will help you in your quest for the same.