HAKAPES   43,503
40,000-49,999 SparkPoints
HAKAPES's Recent Blog Entries

Learning by moving

Sunday, June 02, 2013

This weekend I crammed in ~30h of exercise minutes... I was on my training with contact dance improvisation. From Friday to Sunday, I've spent the time in sleeping, in dining, or on the dance floor.

It's different from other types of dance I did before, salsa, rock'n'roll, ballroom dance, of folklore (Hungarian). They all have a choreography to learn+follow. The more precise I execute the form, the more liberating the dance can be.
In contact, however, no choreography. Boundaries are much more simple: we are in the room, there are no words, we move, we touch or no. I listen, watch, follow, lead, support, move, pour my weight. It feels in the same time natural and new each time. For me, it takes courage to start, but once I'm in, it just flows. For others, who grew up in "movement", coming from ballet, rhythmic gymnastics, martial arts, or sports it just flows, without the "start bump". Sometimes I catch that "flow" so fast, and it goes so easily and naturally, sometimes it's just "doesn't flow". But like with other forms of exercise, I still keep myself there and move.

I learn so much about myself through movement. I did explore already about myself through ways of mind (coaching, training, therapy), and spirit (retreats, silence, meditation), but I never really intentionally learned about myself through my body. Feels like a wide road that I have just discovered, and every step I make, brings so much data and information. Other times, I just play and enjoyed the movement, without much awareness about what I'm dancing.
I discovered movements I have never done before, and I noticed movements that I make all the time. And I moved so much, without even noticing that from morning to the evening, I was just moving. I find it to be so much fun, incredible.
Another learning then, is when I find a form of exercise when my focus is not on the "I'm doing exercise", it goes easily, almost without effort. This was a semi-conscious decision to come for this training. This way, beside learning this form of dance, I also contracted myself for 10x 3-day go-full exercise during the year.
If you haven't heard about "contact", just google or look up in youtube "contact dance improvisation".

Saturday was a "running day", so I started my day with a short run, just 15 minutes, to keep my habit alive. I could run more, but I consciously had to turn back home, and save the energy for later that day. I found it's good that I make short run even on those days when I wouldn't need, because I do anyway a lot of exercise. It makes it to continue with the running later on. When I skip it, later on it feels again like "restarting", and needs more effort to get out there.

Here's a picture of the forest I was running in. We were in Fraknó (Frochtenstein), which is near the border of Hungary-Austria (now in Austria). Lots of pine trees, and lots of rain. I think this was the only short period during the three days when it didn't rain.

Otherwise, Fraknó has a wonderful castle with strong history in the middle ages, and belongs to the Eszterházy family since 16th hundred. If you are nearby, worth a day trip to visit.

Any of you doing contact dance?
Or other forms of dance?
What's your experience?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EVER-HOPEFUL 6/6/2013 6:45AM

    there is nothing so freeing as dance,nothing that lets you be you than dance.how energy and emotion,life itself can be expressed through a few moments that can open and free your soul all through the beauty of dance and music.can you tell i love to dance?,lol.glad you enjoyed yourself and way to go on all the extra calories you would have burnt. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALMJBS 6/3/2013 5:17PM

    Love dancing :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
CLAIRESML 6/3/2013 4:47PM

    Well I learned something new today. I had never heard nor seen contact dance before.
Looks like a beautiful running area, too.
Thanks for opening my eyes.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SAPHRAEL 6/3/2013 9:07AM

    Intriguing! Umm, I occasionally attend a zumba class! Lol

Your reasons for sticking with the running program, even if it's a short run, makes sense. It's what they call a slippery slope. One rest day can easily turn into two and so on.

My husband and I have castle tours on our bucket list. Thanks for sharing!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALDEBARANIAN 6/3/2013 7:44AM

    Interesting. Never heard of that before.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KALISWALKER 6/2/2013 8:32PM

    I watched some on youtube. Wow it's take energy and awareness!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JACKSGRAN 6/2/2013 5:39PM

    Well done. I know that exercise will be difficult for me. Thanks for sharing your experience

Report Inappropriate Comment

Me, the rain, the lake. My run.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sitting in front of my laptop, I'm tracking my food in sparkpeople. I feel tired. My posture should look really bad. I look outside the window, and it's raining. I check out the weather forecast, and it's cold. I don't feel like exercise at all.
Good. Zero motivation to get out.

I decide that at least, I take on my running clothes, my t-shirt, my pants, my socks, and my shoes, and at make some stretching inside, and then I decide.

I go outside. Here I can see, the rain is heavier then it looked from the inside. And it feels cold, too. My wife's mother is complaining with a smile, why I go out running when it's raining and it's cold, I should stay inside. We visit here for the long weekend. Huh, why can't people help me at least emotionally? It's hard enough already. I decide I don't care about her nagging, and make a short run anyway.

I make it to the nearby lake. I check out endomondo, how much I did. This trash, again, the GPS didn't connect, it just measured the time, no distance. I decide I don't care about the roaming costs, and turn on the data connection, the GPS connects better when the data is on. And I will get at least some voice feedback on my progress. And as I turn on the data connection, withing 2 seconds, endomondo shows the strong signal.

I make some stretching, and pose exercise drills. These drills are a bit boring, and I'm not sure I do it correctly, but I do it anyway. I wish I could go to a POSE training nearby. When I go to the POSE training, for a few days afterwards, running feels so much easier. Then it wears off, and my technique is poor again.

I decide to continue with the running, slowly.
Two guys are fishing, and discussing about their equipment. They don't look at me. I pass them, and hit a big watery area with my feet, and my socks are soaking. I guess, from now on, at least I don't have to care about avoiding water, I just go my way.

I get nearby a couple, walking their dog. The man is standing and watching me. He nods when I get very close, I nod, too. The woman is watching the dog. She smiles at me, looks at the dog, and back at me. I smile at them. But anyway, I steer a few meters to the other side. The dog looks friendly, but, I'm a runner, and it's a dog. Suddenly, I remember all those years, when I developed petfood. My life was about cats and dogs all the time. Feels both so long ago, and like yesterday. I hit some water again, and remember again, that it doesn't matter anyway.

I pass by the fisher guys again.
They are still talking, and don't notice me really.

A new couple walking their dog.

I'm still the only runner.

I realize, it doesn't feel cold actually.

I check my heart rate.
Up to 175 bpm.
Oh, these used to be lower.

I make another round around the lake, and pass by original the couple, the fisher guys, and dog. The new couple went away already.
The rain stops.
I'm running for 30 minutes now. It feel like I cannot go more, but I remember that after 35 minutes, it feels much better.

Another 5 minutes, and it feels much better.
I listen to the feedback of Endomondo, 5:40 minutes per K, a slow pace, good for this time.

I'm with my thoughts. I think about today, yesterday, and what will come the weekend.
I forget about the people, the environment. I just feel my heart beating, my feet touch the ground, the air in my lungs. I focus on my technique, pull-pull-pull. Andy's word echo in my mind, "Relaxed feet, and think about the pull!"

I finish my last round around the lake, and decide to steer back home. I could go on more, but as it was hard to start, now it's hard to stop. But it's better to go home now.

As I arrive to our street, I decide to speed up a bit, and have an easy sprint for the end.
I stop endomondo, and walk until my heart rate falls below 120 bpm. It only shows 8K, when it was 10K. I realize again that it missed the first part. When will technology finally catch up.
I walk a bit to cool down.
Make some stretching.

I feel energized, free, and happy.
Suddenly I notice, it's raining again.
But it's not cold anymore.

How was your run today?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EVER-HOPEFUL 6/6/2013 6:46AM

    i love the rain it is my favorite weather.no i am not mad just english,lol. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
IGSBETH 6/4/2013 2:20PM

    Way to go!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRANDMACOO 6/1/2013 5:56PM

    Great visuals. I could smell the rain and feel your wet feet, although I never have to run in the rain. Living in arid AZ, even if it's raining when I want to run, I just have to wait a bit and know that it will stop.
Thanks for sharing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
AEROBISAURUS 5/31/2013 1:07PM

    I'm guessing you do not wear headphones while you run? Ditch the endomondo! Lol (I had to google what the heck it was!) Haha :P Just go with your flow instead, no chaos. I love the warm feeling you get after the first 3 or so miles, it's bliss, feels like freedom! That's probably why I enjoy the sport so much. emoticon

Happy running!

~Nikki :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRANDMA1951 5/31/2013 11:11AM

    How motivating. I hate getting outside when it's cold. Thanks for sharing so that maybe next time it's cold, I'll remember how you were no longer cold toward the end. Great blog.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WIO_ALISA 5/31/2013 10:01AM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing your run with us.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NUOVAELLE 5/31/2013 2:45AM

    Your blog is like the definition of "against all odds"! Well done, Oliver! Everything was against you, the weather, the people, even technology but you insisted and enjoyed a great run!
Thank you for sharing it with us. I really enjoyed reading your blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Oliver,,, this is GREAT !!!! Have you looked at the Dawgs and the running a 5K? They could USE YOU !!! And you use them for these DAYS !!!

The hardest part of ANY Exercise when we do NOT want to do it,,is "putting on our clothing" for it,,, for once we do that,, e are NOW OBGLIGATED to FOLLOW THRU !! WOOOHOOOO !!!!

I felt like I was runnin w/ya (I used to be able too,,, I LOVED THOSE DAYS !) when you stepped into the puddle. LOLOLOL I used to say the about the same ,,mine was "Well I am wet now,,, I can now STEP IN THEM FOR FUN" !!! AND I DID !! HAHAHAHAHA


Report Inappropriate Comment
STRIVERONE 5/30/2013 10:14PM

    You really conveyed the atmosphere and the gradual change in your mood during the run. Very engaging. Thank you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LISAINMS 5/30/2013 9:17PM

    What a lovely description of your run. Good job going out when it was cold, raining and you weren't motivated.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOUGDC 5/30/2013 9:03PM

    Your stream of consciousness style is great. I was engaged and with you every step of the way, every wavering decision, the beating heart, the rain, but not cold. Thanks for the post!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOBYCARP 5/30/2013 8:54PM

    My run today was not nearly as good as yours. Thanks for the picture of running in the rain; I aspire to being able to do that again.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETSTRONGRRR 5/30/2013 8:35PM

    Nicely written!

Exercising when you don't feel motivated is the mark of a true athlete...good on you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KALISWALKER 5/30/2013 5:46PM

    You are great at motivating yourself. I am glad you did what you should do.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KELLIEBEAN 5/30/2013 3:13PM

    People who do not pursue a healthy, active lifestyle and running, do not understand why we go through what we go through to get out there, to improve, to push ourselves and eat right.

It's just like people not understanding why I like to ride a motorcycle. I have a t-shirt that reads "if you don't ride then you don't know". I should look and see if they have shirts like that about running.

Thank you for sharing your run. What a lovely picture!

Report Inappropriate Comment

The joy of Quantified Self (video interview)

Monday, May 13, 2013

I've been in Amsterdam, The Netherlands this weekend (11-12 May 2013) on the Quantified Self conference. It was great - I learned and experienced so much. I probably will unfold it in another post.

I had the chance to have a video interview at the conference, it's posted on my own website, I link it to here. I would be interested in your feedback. And it's also a chance to see me sort of "in real life". It's 14 minutes, max resolution is 720p (HD).

What is evoked in you?
How do you like it?
Any advice for me based on your experience?

Thanks a lot!


If the link doesn't work, copy-paste this into a brwoser window:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AEROBISAURUS 5/29/2013 8:58AM

    Cool! I'd go absolutely nuts self tracking! Very interesting though. Best of luck to you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
RUFFIT 5/28/2013 8:20AM

    Good for you!! Great video and I think it is awesome what steps you are taking in your healthy lifestyle journey!! Moni

Report Inappropriate Comment
SPARKCHANTAL 5/21/2013 5:04AM

    i'll check it out later, but for now...

meow emoticon woof!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GINIEMIE 5/19/2013 6:31AM

    I read the article of Quantified Self, and watched your video. It was very interesting and showed me how much more I could be tracking, things I tracked a long time ago and gave up on because I was too busy going to school, raising five children, etc. I used to track my dreams, and I remember it helped me figure out why/when I was stressed.
I track most of my food, and my exercise but I'm not consistent enough. I started tracking flossing my teeth, but did not stick to it. So now at the beginning of a new week, I'm going to find a little note pad and set it up so that I can look at what I'm tracking. That way when I'm away from my computer I'm still tracking my food/calories and exercise.

I liked you blog & video, it was motivating and you incorporated good examples. It evoked a desire to do better for myself. Keep on doing these kind of motivational videos.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHOOPETTE 5/19/2013 4:18AM

    I took a look at your website and thought it was very inspiring,
I think it's really important to stress that tracking is key and that you don't need super hig tech gadgets to do it.
So you track your dreams too?

Report Inappropriate Comment
DOLLFACEDX 5/18/2013 8:43AM

    FYI, the link didn't work - I did copy/paste and was able to get the interview. . .no video but the audio was the important part.

What is evoked in you?

Curiosity and excitement. Already a 'tracker', this hi-lited areas I hadn't thought to track.

How do you like it?

I enjoyed listening; you were asked about the benefits and as you responded, the words "self-awareness" kept popping into my head. Possibly even more important than the various health aspects is knowing oneself.

Any feedback, suggestion?

First, thanks for spreading this knowledge to others - I had never before heard of this movement as a movement.
Second, if not for my recent involvement in the 5% Spring Into Summer Challenge (which group is VERY difficult to learn about), I would have totally missed to learn of QS – is there some way to generate more general exposure to the Spark community on this subject? I’m sure many peeps could benefit and would appreciate it.

Thank you for taking the time to raise this subject in your post, Dolly

Report Inappropriate Comment
EVER-HOPEFUL 5/15/2013 2:48AM

    for some reason i couldn´t access the link but i am sure it was interesting as all your blogs are emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ITS_MY_TURN_NOW 5/14/2013 12:22PM

    It was very interesting. I hadn't heard the term "Quantified Self" before. It intrigues me. I like numbers which is probably why I like tracking food, water, exercise etc. I am just learning about bio-hacking, which is similar,I think. Thank you for the blog.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KALISWALKER 5/13/2013 10:04PM

    What is evoked in you?

an interest in being more investigative about myself

How do you like it?

I liked it very much. You are very knowledgeable about the subject!

Any feedback, suggestion?

I remember how motivated I have been from some of your blogs and this is another great blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment

My home, my food

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

On Sunday night, I was back from a 4 day visit back at family for Easter.
It was a great time, however, for healthy living...

Family + Holiday = Healthy Lifestyle Challenge

"If you love me, you eat!"
"You look so lean, OMG, are you all right?! You should put on some weight!"
"A good cookie is fatty!"
"Why don't you go by car? It's so far away, it's rainy, you shouldn't walk!"
"It's holiday time, why are you doing exercise? You should rest!"
"Are you sure breakfast was enough? There's cookies on the table, ham in fridge, cookies in the box, banana and oranges in the basket!"
"You really want to log your food? For what? Are you crazy? You should feel if you are hungry or not!"
"I prepared some cookies, ham, eggs, [long list] for you for the trip back in case you get hungry!"
"You don't eat more... you don't love me?"

No wonder, I put on ~0.5 kg (1lbs) during the 4 days.
I used to gain more, now I'm happy I could resist, and only have 2-300 kcal/meal, or 6-900 kcal in excess per day.

I like to be in family, but healthy living wise, somehow my message doesn't go through. Especially when it's holiday time, it's green light in families for all kinds of crazy over eating. With some emotional blackmailing of "if you love me, you eat a lot of my food" type.
After the 4 days, I was emotionally recharged with the family love, and being surrounded with close people.
And in parallel my healthy lifestyle batteries went down to zero. It's tiring to constantly say no for the flux of food flowing in front of me, to say in myself that I look good and I shouldn't put on weight (on the contrary), to neglect naysayers when I want to do exercise.
I told them countless times. If they love, they should support me in living healthy, and not promoting with words, actions, messages, and the whole environment on getting overweight and lazy.

Now, I'm back at my home.
I go into my kitchen, and all food is packed away in the fridge, and the closet.
I open the fridge, it's full of healthy food.
Snacks are 100 kcal each.
There's filtered water.
When going for a long walk, there's nobody nagging around me, even if it's rainy.
My running shoes are on display.
My computer is only a click away to log my food.
There's no TV, so no TV during meals.

It's already 3 days that I'm back at home, and finally, I'm getting back on track. Because it's not just like I'm back at home, and I turn a button, and everything goes again well. I wish it would, but it takes time.

Easy to meet company in the countryside in Austria....

How you deal with family gatherings healthy living wise?
Any tips, ideas, suggestions?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHOOPETTE 5/14/2013 6:21AM

    Way to go!
Fortunately my family supports me on healthy habits, my coworkers though... and that's who I spend the most time with

Report Inappropriate Comment
DUSTYPRAIRIE 4/7/2013 5:24AM

    It takes those experiences to keep give us renewed focus, wouldn't you agree? Sometimes I think we all wonder what it would be like if we "went back". Now you know and have chosen wisely!

Since my brother became diabetic my mom doesn't question our diet choices anymore. Oh, she'll tell us what she eats, but she's stopped telling us what to eat and giving us the guilt approach into making us eat.

Have a super week, Oliver!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GREENGENES 4/5/2013 8:44AM

    I hear you loud and clear. It has taken DW a long time to accept my decisions to live healthier and her family still tries to "help" me get back to a "healthy" weight when we visit. It's funny because she wants me to be a good role model for Junior to make healthy choices but then finds way to undermine my healthy choices. Lot's of conflicting messages. I am encouraged to do some healthy things but other lead to grief - riding my bike to work is the biggest challenge but I am slowly winning that battle.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NUOVAELLE 4/5/2013 8:13AM

    I just read all the comments below trying to find some useful tips!
I'm sorry I don't have any to offer, either! But I can hear you on this one loud and clear! My family have been giving me this weird look when I only have a small piece of dessert on holiday feasts.
But you did great so you should be proud of yourself! Not only because you gained only half a kilo but also because you found your way back on track so fast afterwards!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLOOMINGLENA 4/5/2013 5:55AM

    I can so relate to you! It is the same with me and my typical greek family! Congratulations on your gaining ONLY 1 lb! I have no tips. I am fighting everyday with this family attitude towards me and my trying to lead a healthy lifestyle so I have no advice. They can't change their way of thinking even when I tell them that they should eat more healthy as they have to deal healthy issues themselves. So I need some useful ideas, as well. I am so glad I was of help to you!!! hahaha! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KELLIEBEAN 4/4/2013 11:22AM

    I can relate. But things are changing with my mom. She is starting to see how her lifestyle has led to so many of her medical problems. She's now very worried about my sisters who are very overweight.

When you get the "you don't love me if you don't eat" diffuse the situation with humor. Give a HUGE hug snd say "I love you this much!"

Its hard for people who are not health conscious to understand people who are.

Report Inappropriate Comment

    I am glad you managed to gain only 1lb and that you are back on track now. Good for you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KCLARK89 4/3/2013 9:54PM

    I feel the same way! I know I definitely used to be part of it and I would eat whatever and not be SO focused on nutrition and exercise as I am now. Now that I live 1,000 miles away, coming back is a huge ordeal, so it's EAT THIS it's your FAVORITE! I baked this for you! Definitely hard to resist, but if you keep reminding them that you are doing this because it makes YOU feel better, they'll (eventually!) understand :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETSTRONGRRR 4/3/2013 9:14PM

    There's nothing like family to make it seem like good food is the answer to all our problems!

My mother is famous for giving you a look if you don't have seconds on everything she makes..."Didn't you like it?"

Report Inappropriate Comment
MOBYCARP 4/3/2013 7:43PM


I got shoved into SparkPeople the last time I went home to visit family. I don't know how challenging it will be the next time I go, but I don't expect to have as hard a time as you did.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ALDEBARANIAN 4/3/2013 4:08PM

    No tips. Just a couple of messages.

Yes, you are a mature, intelligent person, capable of making valid and important choices and decisions for your own life.

It's ok to decide where your barriers are, and to choose where to draw the line between intrusive, inappropriate input, and when to compromise for the sake of family relationships.

Keeping the weight gain under control was a victory.

Isn't it nice to get back to the environment that you've created for yourself, to live the way you choose without taking a lot of flak for it?

Thank you for the blog, and for being a friend.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MISSLORI5 4/3/2013 3:16PM

    I applaud your self-control! Unfortunately, mine lasts only on the road trip of three days, and then I'm shot! As a result, I put my last ten pounds back on for Christmas vacation, but then, one does get to go home! I have family who knows better, but cares less to make the changes than I do, so I am kinda thankful we don't live too close to one another! Fortunately, my husband knows better and is willing to make the changes when he's around me, but does not always have the willpower to remain on track when he's away, so I consider myself mostly lucky! I hope you are able to get your life back into harness rather easily and maybe, someday, the saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" will be de-mythed! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LILYBELLE8 4/3/2013 2:13PM

    I love this blog - and especially appreciate your decisions and methods for getting back on track! Thanks!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
IDICEM 4/3/2013 2:05PM

  It's always difficult to navigate family gatherings when you've made changes that don't fit the traditional family dynamics. Congratulations on navigating the holiday so well! As much as I enjoy visiting family, coming home is often my favorite part.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FIT4MEIN2013 4/3/2013 1:26PM

    It is time for you to wrap your head around the idea that Love does not equal food! Then you need to teach your family that. My family, rather my husband's had a very difficult time learning the lesson. I just repeated the mantra that I love them, and I was there for the people not for the food.

My eating habits have nothing to do with the people I am with! When I started back to work my hubby started making dinner. The 2nd day he fixed something that he knows better then to fix. "My feelings are going to be hurt if you don't eat some of this'", he said. "Prepare to have your feelings hurt, then" I replied because he KNEW that it was something that I don't eat.

Don't get pulled into the guilt trip. It isn't a fun one and has only negative results.


Report Inappropriate Comment

From a never-track to the QS conference

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Something fundamental changed in me during the last two years. Or it must have, because I'm doing something I never thought I would do.

I'm registering for the QS conference in the Netherlands in May. QS stands for Quantified Self, and it's about tracking in any way our life. With pen and paper, with gadgets, with sensors, with computer, with blogs, with Google calendar, with wall calendars, with Excel. In any way, collecting data about myself. And then, learning about it.

However, this was a long journey to here.

When I first had the idea that tracking is important, I could hardly imagine how I would fit into my life those 5-10-15-... minutes per day, just to track. I started with a paper booklet to track what I ate during the day, and it was quite a hassle. At the beginning, I forgot simply to write it down, and when I finally wrote it down, it felt such an effort.

However, that was the thing that got me started to live healthier. Looking back on my logs, I was shocked to see how, what, and when I ate. It brought an unprecedented level of awareness into my system that shifted me to action very quickly.

Of course, it was not by accident that I started to track what I eat. I came accross a peer reviewed scientific article, which showed that a group of people lost twice the weight when simply writing down their daily food intake into a food-journal vs. a control group, who were on the same diet, but without the food-journal. That's all it takes to double my success rate? I would be crazy not to try it, and it worked. And since then, I'm experimenting with different types of self tracking.

For example, I weigh in daily, but less to follow my weight then to track my hydration level. When my weight drops 1-2 lbs from one day to the other, there's a high chance I didn't drink enough the day before.
I like to take a note of the dreams I had. It's funny, but since I jot down a short note about my dreams, I remember them easier, and they are more and more interesting, with meaning. I even started to read the book from Verena Kast on dreams.
Firing on endomondo for my walks during the day convinced me that those 5-10-15 minutes of walk do add up to an hour, sometimes to two hours a day, worth of 300-600 kcal burned.

At the moment, I'm looking for "low resistance" tracking methods. Best is to have some device in set-it-and-forget-it mode, which tracks in the background. Or it's in my face, like my scale in the morning, it's almost no effort to step on it on the way out of the bathroom. And there's a moleskine notebook next to my bed, so when I wake up, I have already a 5 min window planned into my day to jot down any interesting dreams from the night.

The highest resistance is still food tracking. I wish for a system that is easy to use, user friendly, and requires zero to minimal time. Unfortunately, to track food here on sparkpeople is only medium good at best. Firing up my PC, navigating to the SP website, waiting for the nutrition tracker to load, fiddling with the search results, entering food into a US-formatted nutrition table all (I live in Europe, with metrics, and a different order of nutrients) gets in the way. However, I still make the effort, although, I'm not surprised that I skip easily, and many give up after a few days. Still, I didn't find a better solution, so I live with it.

I was thinking to try it on a tablet, with the native SP application, but that would be the main reason to invest in a tablet, and I heard mixed feedback on the forums. Many people told me it's still easier to do it on a PC.

An easy was of tracking food would be planning ahead my weekly meal plan, and following it. This way, all the tracking-calculating task would be done in one batch, ahead of time, and I wouldn't loose time each day to capture what I've eaten, and to stay in my calorie budget.

Another thing I slowly learned over the course of the last two years that probably tracking food, and other things in general, is part of the daily routine of a healthy lifestyle. When I started, I thought I just track now, I tolerate the effort, and then later on, when I've reached my goal weight, I focus on other things. However, it seems that to keep my weight, and to balance well my exercise and food intake, I need to track. So, better I make it fun. :-)

The Wednesday market under my window, lots of healthy options (and some totally not healthy), mostly from local production.

Here's the link to the QS conference.

What do you track?
How do you track?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POPSY190 3/30/2013 12:03AM

    The conference sounds fascinating and I hope you blog about it and let us know how it went. Food tracking is very difficult, especially if the site used is "foreign" - it's time-consuming adjusting weights and measurements, let alone trying to find the products on the lists provided.
Yet, tracking, even inaccurately, is better than not doing it at all; when I let it lapse it shows on the scale within days!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LYNNIERN 3/28/2013 7:21AM

    Another interesting blog. I hope you'll blog after the conference and let us know how it went. I think some of the topics are very interesing; especially those on the lunchtime ignite talks.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETSTRONGRRR 3/27/2013 9:40PM

    WOW, that sounds right up my alley! You know I track everything from food to heart rate to calorie burns....I quantify everything and would like nothing better than to have a Wi-Fi from my brain and heart directly into my PC.....maybe someday my grandchildren will have that ability.

I've been using something called the Bodymedia Fit Core Armband. It records steps, calories, body temperature, sleep patterns....and it plugs directly in SP and translates it into the fitness tracker


I also started using Digifit to link (via Bluetooth) to my phone....it records heart rate, and maps out routes for running cycling, etc.

Let us know how the seminar goes!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KELLIEBEAN 3/27/2013 9:12PM

    I never believed in tracking food until last year. Now I'm obsessed with tracking my food to stay mindful of what I eat.

I also track abdominal contractions that I do every morning while brushing my teeth, daily walks, journaling stress among some other goals.

Very interesting blog!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MELBBART 3/27/2013 7:02PM

    Great blog. Since the last time we talked about food tracking not being very efficient, I got an iphone and downloaded the SP app. For some situations it is helpful, like when I'm tracking foods that I eat often. But if it is something that isn't on my favorites list it is easier to do on the computer. It is helpful to have another way to track though.

When I started SP I figured, like you, that I would just track everything until I lost the weight. However, now I'm also realizing that is probably something that I'm going to have to stick with long after.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KMICHA 3/27/2013 4:35PM

    Another interesting blog, Oliver. When I see that you have posted one, I try to make time to read it, because it is always interesting! Thanks for sharing!

I usually track food and fitness. The food I track here on sparks. I have quite the list of favorites built up, so it doesn't usually take that long to track . . . especially if I do it meal by meal. I can understand where it would take more time for you to convert items and find comparable items in some cases. For me the tracking has become a habit. I'm not so good about tracking all of my fitness anymore. I do make sure I track my strength training each day. I received a fitbit for Christmas and I feel it does a great job of tracking for me. If I desire to track time or miles I run, something of that nature, then I will take the fitbit off and clock manually.

I'll check out the link to the conference, hope you enjoy it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GOGETUMX2 3/27/2013 4:23PM

    I'm a data person, too.

I find it eases my self confidence because I usually eat much healthier than I think.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KRISKECK 3/27/2013 4:18PM

    How interesting! I love to collect data, it is interesting. I track my caloric intake as well as all my various workouts in Spark, either on my phone or pc. And like you, I kept track in a little notebook before we did everything online. I started before I heard that it was one of the most effective ways to lose and to keep weight off and I expect to keep tracking when i reach my goal weight this time. I also hop on the scale each morning but only track it each Saturday. I wish I remembered my dreams, perhaps I'll start keeping a notebook by my bed and they will stay with me when I wake up!

Report Inappropriate Comment
POLITIGAL75 3/27/2013 4:03PM

    I use spark to track my food and typically use my iphone unless my computer is turned on. I have the sparkpeople app and found it's pretty easy to use. Has the added benefit of showing calories as you are entering rather than when you post them. Best of luck.

Report Inappropriate Comment
TEQPEACH 3/27/2013 3:27PM

    I completely agree with where is the easy tracking option!! When I went to Jenny Craig, the meals were all laid out. Just eat what was on the paper. Now I'm doing the Weight Watchers plan and it is a bit easier to track on their site. But you have to be a member. I don't have an easy answer for you. But I'll stay tuned in case you come up with one!


Report Inappropriate Comment
STRIVERONE 3/27/2013 1:48PM


You blog is always so interesting. I'm sure it is keeping a lot of people engaged.

I have been quite fanatic about tracking my food over the past few years, first on paper charts, then with SP. The main negative for me is that I tend to eat from a limited group of recipes and meals because it's just easier to record them. It also limits my going to restaurants, but that is probably a good thing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KRISZTA11 3/27/2013 12:54PM

    Great blog!
I'm an enthusiastic tracker normally, but now I haven't tracked anything for weeks being so busy at work.
I can see how not-tracking can undermine motivation.
For me tracking means I'm aware how well I'm doing.
I'll return to tracking fitness minutes, sleep, water, running soon, hopefully starting this Sunday.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BESSHAILE 3/27/2013 12:53PM

    Congratulations on becoming a QS. :)

I got better at tracking food when I went online although I still grumble about it. But when those good habits become true habits, life just gets a whole lot better, doesn't it?

Report Inappropriate Comment
KALISWALKER 3/27/2013 11:43AM

    I enjoyed your blog. I tried planning meals in Spark a week in advance, but I am impulsive and often change things. However I see the benefits, you can create a grocery list and see how many calories for the whole we and plan for a splurge. Enjoy the conference!

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 Last Page