I have been struggling with an eating disorder for the past few years. I am afraid to eat and afraid I will gain weight. The fear is unjustified as I was never overweight. I have weighed the same since I was 12 years old, and I am currently nearing my 25th birthday. Yet, when I see my reflection, I see somebody who is much larger than reality.
I told my therapist that I thought I was fat. She said it was 'body dysmorphia'.
She explained this as a mental health condition where a person is apprehensive about their appearance and suggested I visit a nutritionist. She also told me that this condition was associated with other anxiety disorders and eating disorders. I did not understand what she was saying as I was in denial; I had a problem, to begin with. I wanted a solution without having to address my issues.
Upon visiting my nutritionist, he conducted an in-body scan and told me my body weight was dangerously low.
I disagreed with him.
I felt he was speaking about a different person than the person I saw in the mirror. I felt like the elephant in the room- both literally and figuratively. He then made the simple but revolutionary suggestion to keep a food diary to track what I was eating.
This was a clever way for my nutritionist and me to be on the same page. By recording all my meals, drinks, and snacks, I was able to see what I was eating versus what I was supposed to be eating. Keeping a meal diary was a powerful and non-invasive way for my nutritionist to walk in my shoes for a specific time and understand my eating (and thinking) habits.
No other methodology would have allowed my nutritionist to capture so much contextual and behavioural information on my eating patterns other than a daily detailed food diary.
However, by using a paper and pen, I often forgot (or intentionally did not enter my food entries) as I felt guilty reading what I had eaten or that I had eaten at all.
I also did not have the visual flexibility to express myself through using photos, videos, voice recordings, and screen recordings. The usage of multiple media sources would have allowed my nutritionist to observe my behaviour in real-time and gain a holistic view of my physical and emotional needs.
I confessed to my therapist my deliberate dishonesty in completing the physical food diary and why I had been reluctant to participate in the exercise. My therapist then suggested to my nutritionist and me to transition to a mobile diary study.
Whilst I used a physical diary (paper and pen), a mobile diary study app would have helped my nutritionist and me reach a common ground (and to be on the same page) sooner rather than later.
As a millennial, I wanted to feel like journaling was as easy as Tweeting or posting a picture on Instagram. But at the same time, I wanted to know that the information I provided in a digital diary would be as safe and private as it would have been as my handwritten diary locked in my bedroom cabinet.
Further, a digital food diary study platform with push notifications would have served as a constant reminder to log in my food entries as I constantly check my phone. It would have also made the task of writing a food diary less momentous by transforming my journaling into micro-journaling by allowing me to enter one bite at a time rather than the whole day's worth of meals at once.
Mainly, the digital food diary could help collect the evidence that I was not the elephant in the room, but rather that the elephant in the room was my denied eating disorder.
The elephant in the room
Some years back, we implemented a version of image upload on our mobile app that wasn't smooth as we wanted. We decided then that it was best to bring that feature down. It hurt to remove it, but we knew that eventually, we would get the chance to do file upload right again.
Now we got that chance. File upload on our forms now works amazingly smooth, both online and offline, and we can't wait for you to try it out.
This milestone is a testament to the speed and quality that our product teamwork has achieved. In just four weeks, we implemented file upload across all our platforms: web, Android and iOS.
Kudos to our engineers Parag and Rodolfo. I'm lucky to work with you.
To start using file upload, go to the web dashboard, edit the design of a form and choose "File upload" from the file type dropdown.
Then open that form to enter data, and voila✨: you have a field to drag and drop files or select from your computer:
When using the Teamscope iOS or Android app, you can choose to use your device's camera to take a picture, record a video or select from the device's gallery.
By default, a file upload field has no limit on its size, extension, or amount of files that you upload per field.
You can set limits to those parameters, though, depending on your need.
You may restrict the extension only to allow a specific type of files. Perhaps you only want your team members to upload PDFs or images.
Although you can upload huge files, you will be billed based on your total storage. For this reason, you may limit the file size and amount of files that your team members or participants can upload.
For more information on our updated prices, please visit our pricing page: https://www.teamscopeapp.com/pricing.
Working offline can be mission-critical when doing research in remote areas or inside a hospital with unstable internet.
For this reason, while you are offline, you can still attach images or videos to your forms.
The next time you get an internet connection, the app automatically syncs any offline files with the server.
In our next 3-week development cycle, we will be implementing better billing management.
At the moment, for you to cancel your subscription or upgrade your plan, you need to reach out to our support. We usually answer within a few hours, but still, you should manage your billing without us in the way.
With this new feature, you will be able to stop your Teamscope subscription, upgrade and change your credit card directly from the web dashboard.
Got a feature idea? We love to hear from you and get any thoughts on how to improve Teamscope.
West African Lead, ALMA Youth Advisory Council/Zero Malaria Champion
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Dear Digital Diary,
I realized that there is an unquestionable comfort in being misunderstood. For to be understood, one must peel off all the emotional layers and be exposed.
This requires both vulnerability and strength. I guess by using a physical diary (a paper and a pen), I never felt like what I was saying was analyzed or judged. But I also never thought I was understood.
Paper does not talk back.Using a daily digital diary has required emotional strength. It has required the need to trust and the need to provide information to be helped and understood.
Using a daily diary has needed less time and effort than a physical diary as I am prompted to interact through mobile notifications. I also no longer relay information from memory, but rather the medical or personal insights I enter are real-time behaviours and experiences.
The interaction is more organic. I also must confess this technology has allowed me to see patterns in my behaviour that I would have otherwise never noticed. I trust that the data I enter is safe as it is password protected. I also trust that I am safe because my doctor and nutritionist can view my records in real-time.
Also, with the data entered being more objective and diverse through pictures and voice recordings, my treatment plan has been better suited to my needs.
No more elephants in this room