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To Lie Or Not to Lie - That Is the Question!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Do you ever want to just tweak a number just a little? Noone looks at that report except me, so, I'll feel so much better if I just adjust this a little bit. . . Or will I? These thoughts hit me while I weighed in this morning. But then, who am I lying to?

I've weighed every day and kept a written record of it for years, Good, bad or indifferent, that number goes on the page. This habit was begun when I was on a very restrictive diet as a young mom. The program called for me to weigh daily - at their office - and figure out what was happening in my eating or my body to cause any upward motion. That diet program only lasted six months, even though I had lost 60 pounds on it. It wasn't sustainable for life in my family, but the tracking habit was begun.

Since the tracking habit was begun, when I was diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure) and ordered on medication several years later, it was easy to adjust my tracker to take my blood pressure every morning and every night and record those numbers as well. My doctor thought I was a genius when he'd look over my reports at each visit. Of course through the years there have been reporting sheets with lots of blank spots on them when I wouldn't be recording daily, or other times that every spot is carefully filled in with additional information pertaining to my health, medications or life events. Still the habit seemed important and continued.

Sparkpeople's trackers are my first online recordkeeping. Tracking my nutrition and fitness have been a joy to do. I learn so much from reviewing what I've done and comparing it to my results - especially since I had to start tracking glucose when I began to seriously track on Spark last September. I still track my weight every morning and my blood pressure twice daily on a calendar page that I print out and keep in the bathroom with my scales and monitor. But my nutrition, fitness, and glucose all go online. My measurements are posted the fist day of each month and my weight is posted after I've seen a downward number two or three days. If the time ever comes that it goes up more than a couple pounds, that too will be tracked.

Tracking seems to work well for me. Whenever I've tracked my nutrition, I've been very aware of the bottom line and have managed to lose weight. Comparing my weight, blood pressure and glucose reports to my nutrition and fitness reports shows where I'm being lazy, making missteps, or doing fantastic. These are great tools. But they are only tools . . .

Now, back to this morning's weigh in. The scale showed that I was up over a pound from yesterday's weight. It was still within the same range I have been for the last several days, so it wasn't out of range, just frustrating enough to be tempting. Now, I asked myself who would know if I adjusted that number just a bit to feel better. I WOULD! I would make several years of faithful tracking into a worthless lie! Why would I do that to myself? A moment of feeling good to negate years of honesty. A moment of feeling good to make my ability to see where I need to make adjustments impossible. A moment to evaluate me to see if I want to begin to lie to myself, or to be trustworthy, even to myself. Mirrors lie, that makes life hard enough. Even though the truth sometimes is uncomfortable, it is still the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, even when I have to sometimes add notes like "water weight" or "5 hr sleep" or "b'day party" and sometimes "5 hrs at zoo" or "aquafit" to flesh out changes.

That number on my tracking record for today is what was on the scale. I do not celebrate it the way I did yesterday's number, but I don't worry about it either. I'm still tracking, and eating and moving healthier than I was last year at this time, and I weigh 50 less pounds. This time I'm tracking a sustainable lifestyle for my family. Honesty is a good thing. Seeing the mindful results of that tracking is priceless.
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