Monday, July 29, 2013

Motivated Monday - An anniversary and a moratorium

I have tracked food and exercise in one way or another for what feels like forever.  I started my weight loss journey with Weight Watchers about 11 years ago and of course, they highly recommend tracking to hold yourself accountable, to see how many points (calories) you've eaten and to identify trigger foods.

Long after I stopped strictly following Weight Watchers, I kept tracking on and off for years to stay accountable and to keep my weight in check.  A year ago when I felt like I had stalled and even gained some weight after moving to Texas, I decided to track honestly for one full year.  Yesterday marked one full year.  I tracked on Christmas, New Years, my wedding shower, my bachelorette, my wedding tasting and my actual wedding.  I tracked on my birthday, my husband's birthday, every friends' birthday and every single holiday. I literally did not skip a day and I never fudged the numbers.  Not under-estimating my food or over-estimating my workouts was hard but eye opening. I actually realized I had been under-eating for YEARS! And with that knowledge, increased my caloric intake, reduced my cardio, lost weight and lowered my body fat percentage.  My half-assed tracking had never allowed me to truly see that issue.  Only honest tracking allowed me to truly see what was working and what wasn't working.

But now, I want to see if I can continue my healthy habits without tracking.  The thought of not writing down every single thing I eat or every workout I do terrifies me.  I mean really, truly scares me. I am so afraid I will over-eat and almost equally afraid that the fear of over-eating will lead me to under-eat.  I am afraid I won't work out hard when I don't see the calories burned on My Fitness Pal in black and white.  But I want to know that I've learned something.  And I want to know that I can be less obsessive without undoing my hard work.  I want to have a go to option when I want to actually lose weight - tracking, caloric reduction - but also have the option of existing in the "normal" way; eating and drinking what feels right.

So after locking in yesterday's meals, I vowed to track only weigh-ins on My Fitness Pal and even then, only a max of twice this month. After a month, I'll be able to see if I can just be healthy and not have it always be a work in progress. 

Do you track? Why or why not?

4 comments:

  1. I track what I eat but I think its making me obsessed with the amount of calories I consume and how many calories I can burn with certain activities.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean! That being said, even just the two days so far without tracking, I've still been thinking about calories and macros a whole ton! It's part of why I wanted to chill on tracking - to learn to trust that I'm a healthy person and not have to be obsessing all the time.

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  2. Sounds like the right thing for you to do, but I'm at a different place in my journey. For me, tracking is helping me curb my compulsive behaviour. Not perfectly, but its helping me keep better control. For me, I think if I stop, I'll go back to what I was doing before, which was not working. But maybe I'll feel differently in a year. :) It's not to say I don't go over, I do. But I'm trying to honestly track it, and if I have a 'bad' day, have a better day the next. Not tracking makes it easier for me to sweep bad behaviours under the rug.

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    1. I totally understand that! It took me 11 years of tracking and one year of completely dedicated honest tracking to get to this point. And honestly, I'm really missing tracking already! Both for seeing successful days and mitigating negative ones! Good luck on your journey!

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