To Track or Not To Track…
That is the Question
So, I have something to admit. I am having a sort of existential crisis about my views on weight loss.
Up until now, I have been very vocal to my clients, to my family and friends, and even to the poor souls who get stuck next to me on an airplane, that life is WAY too short to count calories and macros. I have been shouting the message from the rooftops that it’s exhausting and no way to live. And that you should eat when you are hungry, and stop when you are full and relying on that alone will yield weight loss. I was wrong.
I am believing more and more in BOTH tracking AND intuitive eating — and herein lies my issue – and is exactly why I am left feeling torn.
Truth be told, I have never really been on a diet. Not even in college when girls were both starving themselves and killing themselves at the gym. I don’t think I saw the Rec Plex ONCE in 4 years, except on my initial college tour with my Dad when all I wanted was to go to the smoothie bar. I maaaay also have fond memories of watching 90210 and Melrose Place on our apartment sofa eating Doritos – out of the bag.
You can say I have good genes (I do,) you can say I had a Mommy Makeover after my little one was born almost 10 years ago (I did,) and you can say whatever else you want…I have heard it all. But I can also tell you that I have been working hard on myself for the last decade. Every. Single. Day, in some way, shape or form.
I do believe in the 80/20 balance – it works very well for most. And I do think it’s an enjoyable, realistic and sustainable way to live. However, I am neglecting the fact that MOST Americans (45 MILLION Americans each year) put themselves on some sort of diet or program. That’s a heck of a lot of people.
Which is exactly why I started myself on an 8-week body transformation challenge on January 14. “But you don’t need to lose any weight,” I heard. “What are you, crazy?” I heard. No, I am not unhappy with my current weight. No, I am not crazy (at least I don’t think I am!?) But what I want to know is A) How does it feel to be restrictive with my eating and B) What parts of the plan are realistic to keep up. Because isn’t that the whole point? To learn how to LIVE well and EAT well for the rest of your life?
Being on this program so far has taught me that tracking IS a great idea – at least for the beginning portion of a weight loss program. It is making me more aware than ever of my own eating habits and also that being out of my comfort zone is truly a GREAT (and scary) thing to do.
Do I think I want to be inputting calories and macros into My Fitness Pal for the rest of my natural born days? Absolutely not (I still stand by theory that life IS way too short for that!) But is doing so for a finite amount of time going to give me a clear distinction between what I THINK I eat and what I actually DO eat? YES. Which can only make me a more self-aware and educated consumer and help me to make smarter decisions for the rest of my life.
I am excited to keep you posted about my own personal journey and would love to hear from you about yours. Where do you stand on this controversial topic? Reach out to me at [email protected] and let’s talk.