With apologies to Simon and Garfunkel:
Hello tracking, my old friend
I’ve come to need you once again
Because of pounds slowly creeping
On my frame while I was “sleeping”
‘Cause the issues that were planted in my brain
I find I need your guidance.
So. There it is. Me saying I’m no longer maintaining, I’m ever so slowly gaining. Again.
I finally got within striking distance (about ten pounds) of my goal weight last fall. And then… I don’t know what happened. Boredom, stress, kids home all the time, comfort food…. the real answer is complicated. It’s a mix of complacency and age-old issues with emotional eating that I thought had been overcome. Sprinkle in some doubt and confusion about my dietary lifestyle choice and you’ve got a slow but steady recipe for guaranteed weight gain.
While I hash out some of these issues, I’ve decided to return to tracking my food. It’s boring, it’s time-consuming, it’s at times embarrassing, but – above all – it’s eye-opening. Oh, and it works. I wavered between using an online tracker such as SparkPeople to track calories and all, or whether to go the simple pen and paper route. Since I know my issues to be mostly emotional and mindless eating, and I also know the numbers mess with my head, I’m opening a fresh composition notebook and tracking manually. That way I can track the when, the why, and the emotions involved with every choice.
Do you track? Should you? Share with us in the comments your preferred tracking method and how successful it is for you. Or, contrarily, why you choose not to track, if that’s the case!