Monday, December 17, 2012

Track that!!

Here's my piece about tracking (or journaling, or logging, or whatever you want to call it).

I have found through my personal ups and downs with healthy eating, that I'm going to have ups and downs. That's just the way life goes.  And so, my results on the scale tend to go up and down a little bit too from week to week.  A great tool for me is to be able to look back at my food journals and see what the heck happened to cause whatever victory or misery I'm looking at.

Here's my deal though, it is very tempting not to track my food for the night when it looks kinda like this:

junior bacon cheeseburger
10 chicken nuggets
large fries
large diet coke (oooooh good going)
6 scoops of cookie dough
6 cookies (actually waited for these ones to BAKE!)
2 cups of milk

You get the idea.
Who wants to see those calories add up? Not this chubby waist girl.  But I do it. And I do it so I can see where the damage came from.  Plus, what would I rather think? Um, I magically weigh this much despite eating 1000 calories a day and busting my booty in the gym and there is something inherently wrong with me that I can't change?? Or I weigh this much because I had a bad day last week that I am going to do my best not to repeat?  And also, I can work that mistake off because I'm awesome.

So besides looking back at the binges, tracking my food keeps me accountable, because oftentimes I will track before I eat, or track as I go.  This helps me to plan my meals a day in advance or even just a few hours in advance, so when hunger strikes, I don't have to think.  I'll log in a day's worth of food that adds up to my caloric goal, when I'm sane and full the night before, with groceries I actually have in the fridge, and then move on to other things.  Then all I have to do is eat it! Easy peasy!

Also, with MyFitnessPal tracker, I can look up foods and track right as I plan to eat them, which helps me to make good food choices on the fly.  I did this at The Cheesecake Factory recently.  All the menu items I looked for were available on the MyFitnessPal app, and I checked calories and fat content of a view Skinnylicious menu choices before ordering. Shazaam! Magic. And tracked right then at the table.

I've been tracking my food every day since high school, whether in a pink sparkly notebook or on fancy shmancy iPhone apps, but basically, it's really important to weight management for me. When I let it go, I really LET IT GO. Yikes.

If you bite it, write it. Good, bad, or ugly. If it goes in my mouth, it goes in the tracker.

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