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Still Tracking After All These Years

Back in 2010 it became clear to me that I had to do something about my weight which had crept up to the mid 220's and it wasn't coming down. As a first step I decided to track what I ate and set a reasonable calorie goal. What I didn't do was commit to staying within that calorie goal so when dinner rolled around and I was almost out of calories, I'd say "Oh well! there's always tomorrow," and just eat. It certainly showed me why I wasn't losing weight. 

Then in October 2011 I heard something on the radio about how bad it is to drink every day. Well I was having wine every day and that coupled with being obese was the wake up call I needed to do something. The something was to NOT go on a diet. Rather that something was to continue to track my food AND to start to pay attention to (1) staying within my calorie goal and that meant not just tracking, but planning my meals. (2) choose to eat healthy most of the time. No food was off limits, although my eye was on eating healthy foods more often than not. (3) cut out the wine during the week. These were extra calories that weren't good for me anyway and didn't fit in that healthy eating mindset. Over the years my eating changed as did my tastes and now eat mostly real food, lots of plants, and less of it. 

Luckily I was used to tracking my food and that became second nature to me. When I hit my initial weight loss goal after 12 months i didn't do much differently as I had committed to eating this way for life. One thing I kept up with was tracking my food. The weight kept coming off and I decided that I'd keep eating the way I was (about 1600 - 1700 calories/day) and exercising and when the weight loss stopped, that's where I'd stop. But I wouldn't stop tracking. Hit my final goal in April 2013 and have maintained since then.  

Lots of places suggest that once you hit maintenance you can stop tracking or only do it a few days a week, or a week a month. Not for me. This works and it keeps me aware of what and how much I'm eating. If I go to a party I may just write down 2,000 calories or whatever, so that day I'll be over. When I check my weight I can see that blip and it helps me understand why my weight changed or didn't. 

So here I am 6 1/2 years of tracking and still going strong. It works.

Views: 31

Comment by Christy on January 11, 2017 at 9:28pm

You rock! That's a lot of years of tracking! I agree that tracking is key to losing (and maintaining). The cool thing is that we can each find the exact way that works best for us. For me, the thought of tracking for the rest of my life makes me want to poke my eye out, but I also know that it's important to be accountable, so I continue to weight and/or measure all of my portions, but don't necessarily track what I am eating. I eat a lot of the same things, so I have a general idea from day to day. But I have a strict policy that if I get more than 3 pounds above my ideal weight that I go back to tracking every bite. It helps me reign it back in before I get out of control, while not feeling burnt out by tracking daily. And it's almost a "reward" that I don't have to track if I keep my weight in the zone.

Comment by MarthaG on January 12, 2017 at 8:33am

Thanks and I know what you mean about thinking of tracking forever. It probaby wouldn't work for everyone and who knows if I'll do it forever. Right now I know it works and in my past when I stopped tracking I stopped paying attention.   Now with apps it is so easy and like you I eat a lot of the same food, so it comes up.  I've thought about only tracking dinner since my breakfast, lunch & snacks are pretty similar or only tracking on the weekend. But then, I figure.....it's working so why mess with it.

Kudos for you for keeping the weight off.   

Comment by Erica on January 13, 2017 at 9:41am
Martha you are a testiment to how successful tracking is! I'm back to tracking as I had really fallen off the wagon while I wasn't well. Anyway it works!!! You are such a great role model!
Comment by Erica on January 13, 2017 at 9:41am
Martha you are a testiment to how successful tracking is! I'm back to tracking as I had really fallen off the wagon while I wasn't well. Anyway it works!!! You are such a great role model!

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