Yesterday, I commented on a blog that was about the author’s frustration with tracking. I support tracking and know that, for me, I will track off and on for the rest of my life.
I have 2-3 months of accurate tracking from January through March of 2010. Back then, as I began weight lifting with a class, my fitness tracker gradually became a focus and my eating tracker less so. But I returned to my food tracker for 2 weeks early this month when I discovered the macronutrient ratios I needed for my success. The tracker was an eye opener! Initially, I thought it would be a struggle for me to consume THREE TIMES the protein and knock off the excessive carbs. But wa la—I’m achieving days I get 20% of my calories from fat (around 30 grams) and 135 grams of protein and 135 grams of carbs—and it is FEELING LIKE MY NEW NORMAL!!! I enjoy new food products (protein supplements in LIMITED quantities) and am mostly eating CLEAN with a few new favorite simple recipes. I feel great.
I read a thread about the challenge of Halloween for some. Halloween was a stumbling block for me in the past, but not anymore. My attitude toward food has changed. For example, over the last two weekends, I attended a baby shower and bridal shower. Cakes and treats did not grab ANY of my attention—consciously or subconsciously. I noted and commented on the beauty of the food presentation but NATURALLY I gravitated to meat, cheese, munchie veggies and black coffee while enjoying the events every bit as much as everyone else. Except I also got loads of comments from relatives about how great the weight loss was looking on me!! They all know I’m into spark— I’ve preached about it so much—and maybe someday they’ll join me.
The tracking has helped me get to the point where the new habits come naturally. They don’t feel that way at first. If the food tracker gets old, switch focus to something else for awhile. Like Rosannasanna Danna once said, there’s always something. For example, I switched my focus from the food tracker to the fitness tracker for awhile when weight lifting. I did food again then got into creating my own lifting routines when my formal weight lifting class ended. I needed to come up with a system of recording the workouts to make sure I was hitting all the muscle groups. Then I switched back again to food this time paying close attention to macronutrients.
My latest documentation effort is using my new omron pedometer to measure my “usual” activity during the course of a typical day. Wow!! Again, tracking something is an eye opener. I work out intensely at the gym but my own work—even on a very physical day—does not include very much walking. It reaffirms to me the importance of my regular Y activities.
I’m just saying, measuring objectively keeps you honest. They are tools. Use them wisely. Don’t burn out on them. Don’t allow them to become stagnant. If documenting food intake is not giving you USEFUL INFORMATION for the moment—focus on a different measurement. Streaks are great to measure.
Having said all that, access to your OLD documentation helps. My early food trackers helped me to see that I had eaten way too little protein for my whole life. My new little pedometer is awesome. I’m having fun with it. I “walk the pedometer” if I’m way under 10,000 steps. I’m letting my son use it this Friday for fun--his last day of band marching season.
Off to my morning exercise. Have a great day!