Friday, September 05, 2014


I’ve been thinking long and hard about tracking my food.  I’ve tracked my food for 8 years, more than 8 years if I want to be honest with myself.  For most of that time it’s been a near religious adherence.  Oh, that’s not to say that I haven’t had a week or two where I just didn’t track.  That’s also not to say that what I’m tracking has been utterly healthy for me.  But I’ve pretty consistently written down my food intake for eight long years.  I’ve had incredible success with it.  I lost quite a bit of weight.  I also gained quite a bit of weight.  (Luckily I gained quite a bit less than I lost….and for that I am grateful.)  Tracking worked for me.  Plain and simple, it worked.

I don’t know if you noticed something about that last sentence.  “Plain and simple, it worked.”  Still don’t see it?   It was written in past tense.  It worked.  It’s no longer working.  I can track until I’m blue in the face and it isn’t working.  Last weekend I wasn’t tracking but was totally cognizant of what I ate and I was showing a loss on the scales.  I decided to jump back into tracking and it all went to pot.  Seriously.  I’ve thought about it and come up with some thoughts about why it got rough once I started tracking.

  1. The process of tracking is SO old.  I’m sick of it.  It’s the same old same old.  Boring!
  2.  I am constantly thinking about food. I’m thinking about how many calories I have left for the day and what in the world I can eat that will fill me up but yet stay within those calories.  I stress about the days where I’m left with 200 calories for dinner.  (And anyone that has counted calories will say that this happens!  Heck, I’ve been there with less than 200 calories for my dinner!).  I then have a stellar day with calories left over and I eat ice cream just because I can.   It’s constant and it’s honestly stressful.   Tracking has elevated the importance of food from its previous high and lofty place to a God-like status.
  3. When I have a day where I’m low on calories it becomes a mental game.  My mind is screaming at me. “You’re going to be hungry with just those few calories.”  In reality, I should be satisfied with that food and probably would have…until those thoughts started floating around in my head. 

I’m absolutely petrified to not track.  Let’s be honest here. For the last 8 years tracking has been a way of life.  It’s been my crutch on this weight loss journey (The rubber gripper on the bottom just slipped off a few times causing me to fall!  Ha ha ha).  To not track scares the living doo doo out of me.  Holy cow, what if I slip and gain a ton of weight.  What if tracking is what has kept me from regaining ALL of the weight that I had lost.  I’m frightened!  Frightened beyond belief.

So I have been thinking about it.   Here is the guidelines I’ve come up for myself to give myself some semblance of support as I try to go trackless.

  1. Weigh daily.  I have always done this when I’m on track.  I understand that there will be fluctuations based on the time of the month, the sodium in the foods that I am eating the day before, what time I had dinner the night before, etc.  I’m ok with fluctuations. I can understand those.
  2. Fruits and Veggies.   My body needs the nutrition of fruits and vegetables.  And voila, they are usually low calorie.  I’ve historically seen that when I’m eating my minimum of 5 fruits and  vegetables daily that my weight seems to drop.  I’m filling up on low calorie and highly nutritious foods.   So I will be eating at least 5 servings a day. 
  3. Carbs.  This makes me sad.  So sad.  But I have long known that I have to limit my bread and pasta intake to once a day.  Just the way it needs to be sadly enough. (I’m not even going to look into the natural carbs in fruit and such…’s the breads and pastas that kill me.
  4. Blog.  Regularly!   And honestly!    That does not mean once a week.  That means every one to two days.  Be honest about where I’m at and what I’m going through. 
  5. Exercise.  This will only work if I am consistently exercising.  Something.
  6. Eat using the same principles that I have been using while tracking.  If I have a big dinner planned, then that means that I better eat light for lunch and breakfast.   

I’m scared, but I’m ready to dive head first into this.  Hopefully my plan of eating what I need and not what my projected calorie count tells me to eat will pay off.  I can always start tracking if it doesn’t appear to be working and I can and probably will do spot checks on my calorie count here and there.  I will be and plan on remaining cognizant of the calories that I’m eating.  I’m just not going to panic over it and count each and every one. 

On the flip side, I'm happy to be away from MyFitnesspal's "streak".  It's cool when you have a huge streak but it became just one more thing to stress about.  I literally logged on when I had the flu last summer.  I didn't leave my bed, let alone eat.  Yet logged on to 'maintain my streak"   That's just odd!

Let this experiment begin!

And after all of this rambling.....I lost 2 pounds this week!  (I went back to my trackless eating yesterday)