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Strengthening Other Skills

Friday, May 30, 2014

Yes, I know tracking works. I did it almost religiously from December 1, 2008 until November 30, 2013. That is 5 full years. And I measured or weighed almost all my food, too. I re-learned portion sizes. And during that time I changed the food I was eating, selecting primarily fresh vegetables and fruits, lean meats, whole grains, skim milk, with occasional treats.

I am happy to eat those foods. I enjoy them. I feel satisfied most of the time eating those foods. I feel healthy and strong when I select good foods in appropriate portions.

I'm glad I tracked for 5 years. I suspect I would not have lost the weight, maintained the loss, nor improved my nutrition without it. But I am very reluctant to return to total tracking of the food I eat.

Why would I be reluctant to track at this point? For the past 7 months I have been maintaining (with a couple fluctuations) an 80 pound weight loss without tracking. It makes me feel free. It makes me feel normal. It makes me trust my ability to listen to my body. And I do listen to my body more when I'm not tracking, because I know I must. When I don't lean on tracking I have to use and strengthen other skills I have learned to maintain my weight.

If my weight goes up, I will try to just cut back and see if that works. I'll give myself two weeks to get my weight back down. If that doesn't work, I'm back to tracking until I'm back in range.

I doubt I'll need to go back to tracking this time. After one day of cutting back just a bit, my weigh-in was 2.2 pounds less than yesterday. That makes me think there was some hidden sodium in what I had eaten. Now I'm just one pound over my range. I have until June 12th to get there. I think I can.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Well said Marsha. I have never tracked my food and some times think perhaps I should. I have maintained my 60lb weight loss for five years now but I seem to focus more on exercise then food a lot of times. I guess we all do what works for us. I love that you are so in tune with your body. I am trying to listen to mine more. Have a great day!
    1455 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    Tracking does become a crutch and I don't know when and if I will ever stop using it but I think you are right that we do learn the portion sizes of so much. I know that even if I stop tracking someday, I will still measure and weigh my food because eyeballing is probably not a very accurate way to go for me!
    Great job on all of these years of maintaining. You have done an awesome and outstanding job and you have beaten the odds! Way to go! What a huge accomplishment!
    1456 days ago
  • GABY1948
    I will probably track my food the rest of my life, but I am an "ordered" type person like that....sometimes I envy more "free" types like you. Marsha, you have to go with what your GUT tells you to and I am sure you will FLY great!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1456 days ago
    1456 days ago
    Either way, you are demonstrating that you ARE in control! emoticon
    1456 days ago
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    1457 days ago
    I am thrilled for your freedom. Not quite ready to fly without a net, myself... but you give me hope for the future!
    1457 days ago
  • FROSTY99
    emoticon After all this time you have definitely learned what works and how to adjust what you eat so I am certain you will be back in range soon.
    1457 days ago
  • FRAN0426
    emoticon You have done well so far, sure believe you will again. I agree sounds like a sodium intake.
    1457 days ago
    Well Done! Tracking is great, but it is not the only way. Now that you've learned the skills you need, it's natural to stop tracking and trust yourself, unless you see negative changes.
    1457 days ago
  • _LINDA
    I believe you have got this too! You have had too much training in listening to your body to need to go back to tracking. You have it covered in fitness, health, food and emotional well being! You are already living the plan for success!
    As always, a great role model for the rest of us to aspire to someday!!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1457 days ago
    Awesome, a great place to be.

    1457 days ago
    Tracking is great - but you have accomplished those skills ......I know you have this!
    1457 days ago
    Very well said and I can totally understand the freedom and normal feeling you must get from not tracking.
    I actually believe you got this and know what to do and don't need the tracking. Especially now that you are a runner. And we all know how our weight fluctuates from day to day.....I sure know mine has been erratic lately with my health issues.
    Have a terrific day Marsha
    1457 days ago
  • LADYBUG1943
    I think you can, too.

    1457 days ago
    Everything you say sounds very reasonable and workable. It seems like it is a growth experience, not an excuse not to do something. It's great that you share what's going on. It's very educational. You're in a natural progression to a higher level of managing your eating. You're not saying "I'm not doing that anymore," . You're replacing it with different techniques. I wonder if there is a typical pattern for successful maintainers.
    1457 days ago
    1457 days ago
    I am baby stepping my way up to tracking.

    I did it once in life during a brief season on weight watchers. It was shockingly effective. It almost seemed like the mere act of writing things down was a weight loss magic trick. Write it down, lose weight! I was always over my points, but I was always losing weight. It brought a level of mindfulness to my eating.

    I haven't started doing it yet, but I plan to. For right now, I have recently begun writing down what I eat in a journal minus recording the calories, just a list of food consumed. I believe this will bring back some mindfulness into the situation. Eventually I'll step it up.

    Baby steps, right? :)

    1457 days ago
    Great blog! First of all, a huge emoticon for losing the weight and then maintaining the loss! I lost 73#, but couldn't maintain the loss partially due to illness and surgeries. I definitely believe that the maintenance is harder than losing. emoticon on tracking for 5 years!! Tracking is so hard for me. I know it works, it's a great tool for weight loss and realization of what and how many calories a person is consuming! I pray that your graduation from tracking goes well and that you reach your goal by June 12!! You're an inspiration!! Thanks so much for sharing!! emoticon emoticon
    1457 days ago
    What a wonderful blog full of affirmations! I have no doubt you will get there by June 12th.

    Eating to satiety rather than being overstuffed and focusing on those freggies and water really do make a difference.

    You are doing emoticon
    1457 days ago
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