Thursday, March 6, 2014

Not Tracking?

First, very interesting, an anonymous commenter said something that my therapist said to me as well, basically "Don't avoid social situations because of food."

And I get that, I do. And I usually don't! I see my friends several times a week and rarely change my behavior based on knowing food will be there (though I often wish there was less junk and less a focus on food in general). But last night was my birthday and right now, it's hard for me not to eat in social situations, so I decided for a quiet night with my husband who has my best interests at heart and knows my demons :)

But, rest assured, I'm dedicated to learning to be around junk food and controlling myself- so I never have to fret about a social situation again. I'm just not fully there yet!

However, I DID relent and go out to dinner with Chris. I ate well all day and had room for two sushi rolls in my day. We love the place and had a nice time (we also walked 1.2 miles to the restaurant... And 1.2 back, meaning I walked a lot yesterday when you add in the dog walk!) ... I didn't gain any weight, either :)

So- yes, a nice meal, a nice night, bad TV, hanging with my man and my animals. It was perfect!

On to topic #2... And I want to try and be careful in my wording so I'm not misunderstood.

I'll put this out there first: I believe calorie counting and tracking food is an excellent and useful tool! It helped me get control of my eating after a decade of overeating. It helped me learn proper portion sizes and how to eat normally.

And I will also put this out there: I've been tracking almost every bite of food I've taken for almost ANOTHER decade. It's gotten to the point I don't really listen to or understand physical cues about hunger/fullness. I know how much food I should eat for maintenance and for weight loss - I eat that amount, no matter what. For example, if a 500 calorie dinner fits into my night, I will put 500 calories of food on my plate and eat it, no matter what, no matter if I'm full.

This all leads to me overeating in other situations, like at a party or a friends house, when I don't track AND have no ability to listen to my body- to realize it's satiated and full.

I've wanted to stop the obsessive tracking of my food for a couple years. I think I'm ready to try, to work on other tools to maintain my weight (like relying on my knowledge about nutrition, working on eating when hungry and stopping when full, getting connected to my body).

My therapist said something that helped me put it into perspective: I don't have to think of this as giving up tracking forever!' If this doesn't work, I wasn't ready or didn't have the right tools/mindset and I gain weight, I can go back to tracking. Work on things for a while before trying to give it up again.

After a decade of being tied to my phone or a notepad 6 times a day (meals, snacks, coffee, etc).... I'm ready to see what I do with my freedom.

Thankfully- I eat the same things everyday, so I DO know what are proper portions. 

My plan: stay super clean and strict paleo  while not tracking. Focus on nutrition, a variety of vegetables, etc. It is hard to put on lots of weight when I'm eating mainly veggies!!

This is something I need to try. Things have gotten too controlling. I'm controlling my food/body to manage other anxieties. That's not how I want to live.

So this is a step. It might work, it might be the wrong step. I won't know till I try!

Again, I'll say, this is for me- a situation that has become too obsessive and time consuming. For others in their weight loss journey, I think tracking is AWESOME and often necessary.

I welcome thoughts and comments. Just know this isn't a spur of the moment decision... I've wanted this for a long time. Having the support of my husband, a therapist, and this blog finally made it time to try.

Namaste my friends, thank you for the birthday wishes :)


  1. I'm really impressed with the work you are doing, and willing to do, to achieve the level of health you wish for yourself. No need to defend, justify, etc. anything to us out here in blogland (although I totally get the "why" on that one - I cringe at some of the comments I read sometimes). As for the tracking thing - I've always had the opposite problem - I don't track when I should. I'm finally at the point where I'm journaling every day (I should turn it into a blog, but not ready to be that vulnerable right now) but I still rebel against the tracking. I'm trying to deal with the emotional side of food, and the nutritional side of things, so I know I need to get more serious about tracking, but for some reason, I just can't get there right now. It's an evolution for all of us who have food demons....and really the only ones who understand are the people with the same type of demons. But you are doing awesome things for yourself, and I'm interested to see how this works for you. As you said, you can go back to tracking if necessary - there isn't one right way that works for everyone!

  2. I've been tracking for a little under a year and what I started doing a few months ago, is not tracking on the weekend. I'd track, track, track during the week and not tracking on the weekend has been starting to teach me what portions look like and how to listen to the hunger cues in my body.

    It sounds Jeanette, like you're taking what you're learning and therapy and putting it in to action. That is commendable and whatever you need to do, then do it. Don't worry about what "anonymous" blog commentators say. Everyone has an opinion, listen to yourself and do what you need to. :)

    I may not comment other, but I thought I should tell you how much I appreciate your blog and your honesty. You rock, lady. :)

    1. Interestingly, I get very few anonymous comments! And the one I did recently - I appreciated.

      It is just hard to be as honest as I am- I sometimes feel misunderstood BUT in using that to try and write my thoughts a little more clearly, use it as a learning tool for writing!

  3. "Thankfully- I eat the same things everyday, so I DO know what are proper portions."

    I think you are on to your answer.

    I have suggested to many people over the years, when they get tired of tracking or do not want to start tracking in the first place, that they make cards. We tend to eat the same things/combinations, so if we write meals on cards, can just sort of flip them as we go thru our day.

    I am not suggesting you make cards. I don't need to make cards either. I sort of eat whole foods in servings and paying attention to groupings (two fruits a day for example) and it works out.

    So I do think if you are dealing with whole foods and mostly eating from home and pay attention to the type of foods and portions, it can work. All the years you were tracking have trained you well. And you get on the scale, so you know whether or not it is working.

    Honestly it would be nice if your friends started to get a little food maturity so you were not surrounded by so much junk. Because really no one should be eating that way. Not saying you should be policing them. Would just be nice if they cared more about their bodies.

    1. I agree with you about my friends... They are such sweet, loving, and generous people. But their attitudes towards their own bodies and their health and food are all out of whack!

  4. Jeanette, as someone who avoided a lot of social situations when she was losing her weight, I'm only just now realizing how unrealistic that was. This is life, people go out and they hang out with their friends. I'm only just beginning to do that. And yes, I still track and I believe that you're in the right stage of your life now where you can start to wean yourself off tracking.

  5. I think all of us at some point want to be at a place of not having to track. You've been at it for a long time, and like your counselor said, if it doesn't work, then you can go back to it. I do hope you are successful at being able to eat intuitively, knowing what you know about food and nutrition and portion sizes, and what your body needs. Looking forward to cheering you on in this and just seeing how it goes. :)

  6. I don't the sense that although I know the general caloric load of foods I eat, I don't write anything down. Any tracking is just generic in my mind. I do check 'nutritional information' for restaurant websites, if I haven't eaten there before while following a primal help make wiser decisions. I find that if I stay true to the primal matter where I am, I'm okay. If I eat meats that aren't too sauced up, vegetables (ditto re the sauces)...salads...fresh fruit for dessert if dessert at all...I'm fine. I know pizza crust, breads, sugars, flour-laden sauces are verboten. So I just avoid them. Period. Easy Peasy. I hope you can get to that mindset, soon. :)

  7. "So this is a step. It might work, it might be the wrong step. I won't know till I try!"

    Wishing you all the best in your steps ahead...........

    Take Care

    All the best Jan

  8. I see now from reading that post just how "tracking" food has taken over. I am not against counting calories and tracking because it is a great guide to knowing what we should be eating. Slowly then maybe you could learn to reduce this - a day here or there - trust that you now know what is right. I don't think you can do it all at once because obviously you love that control it gives you. Slowly, learn to trust your instincts :)