Using Spark People tools
Friday, June 05, 2009
Periodically, I go on a tracking binge and log all my meals/exercise. I have my favourite meals saved as Spark Recipes and sorted into cookbooks for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks etc. so this is easy enough to do. But I tend to get a little nutty about the tracking after awhile, so once I have a few days of reality check, I stop until the mood strikes again.
I do like a little accountability though. So what I have found helps me is to use the 'Track other goals' feature daily to keep me on track without making me obsessive. This tool lets you list your own goals and how many times a week you want to achieve them, and then it gives you a set of daily checkboxes to tick off the ones you did.
I change these periodically. For awhile, I was very interested in making sure I got my water in. After a few days, I noticed I was very consistent with this and was checking it off every day, so I figured I had that habit down, and I removed the goal and added a different one. I try and keep it to just a few things so it doesn't get too overwhelming.
I also have learned to make goals that are more health-oriented and less about being 'good' or 'bad' or anything like that. For awhile, one of them was 'eat no junk food' and I quickly realized this was not a fair goal for me. There are some treats I enjoy that do fit within a healthy lifestyle, and I should be 'allowed' to enjoy these. But what I do need to work on is avoiding foods which irritate my sensitive system (wheat, dairy, corn, flax etc.) In the past, I have been faced with temptations usually involving food from other people, and have felt it was worth c cheat now and then. But I pay for it, always, and it can take days to get back to normal. So, since becoming more aware of the effects these 'cheats' have on me, I have resolved to really minimize this sort of thing. My new food-related goal is 'avoid irritating foods.' This is a much more constructive and less punitive than 'no junk food ever' and is something I really do need to work on.
I like the checkboxes. Much less work than all the tracking, but still gives me a big picture to keep myself on track!