I quit. I give up.

calorieNothing’s good enough for anybody else it seems.

Remember that song? Circle by Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, in case you were wondering.

It’s kind of become my new motto now that spring is finally here and I’m ready to start focusing on my diet again.  But I’m not really dieting. That was my motto last year and the frame of mind I’m ready to put myself into again.  Instead of dieting I’m just changing my relationship with food.

But with that comes a lot of number crunching and that’s what I’m going to blog about today. The numbers! What numbers you ask?  Well, first, there’s calories.

Before, I used My Fitness Pal religiously to keep track of how many calories I was consuming on a daily basis. I blogged about the app quite a bit.  I was using it earlier this year and eventually stopped, just like I’ve done before. I’ve been debating on using it again these past few days and finally decided not to.  Here’s why.

My Fitness Pal sort of rewards you on a day by day basis.  And it’s not really a true reward. It’s just a spreadsheet of what you are consuming and how close you are getting to your daily calorie goal.  The reward comes by how many calories you save each day, either by not using them or by gaining more calories through exercise.

The calories saved look really good in pie chart or bar graph form week to week, but if you are like me, you are always looking forward (as you should be) and you never look back at the progress you did or didn’t make.  Out of sight, out of mind, as it is with most apps that tally information for you.

Then, there’s the number related to consumption.  How much you should eat?  How much is in a serving?  A quarter cup of this.  A half cup of that. Two servings per package.  Approximately eight servings per package.  And then we are back to calories…how many calories per serving am I consuming?

Again, my biggest issue was not seeing progress after days and weeks and months of recording my daily food intake on the app.  Sure, it was fun to update my weight when I’d lost some. Sucked to update it when I’d gained some. Some days I saved a ton of calories.  And some days I went way over.

So I quit. I give up.  Yeah, I’m not going to use the app this go around but what I really mean is that I’m not going to focus on those numbers.  No calorie counting! No serving sizes! But how am I going to hold myself accountable?

Two days ago I started a food journal.  And I’m not doing it online either.  I’m doing it on pen and paper in a little black journal.  Yep, the old fashioned way. Hand written.  But again, not recording calories! Not recording portion sizes and servings!  Instead, I’m just writing down everything that I eat and drink each day.  It’s much easier for me to go back and see what I’ve eaten this way, or at least it feels easier.

I recorded my weight on the first day and probably will again every few days. Then I simply write down everything I ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And anything else, including how much water I drank. And I’m not worrying about calories.  I pretty much know what I should and shouldn’t be eating, and how much. So there.

No calories.

No servings.

The only number I’m going to care about is the number on the scale and how I can decrease it.  And I think starting with my food journal is the way to go.

Have you kept a food or dieting journal before?  If so, did it help?  What worked and what didn’t?

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3 comments on “I quit. I give up.

  1. I have had a food journal and being a diabetic it became a challenging ritual to keep up with the numbers, etc. I have gone through some things and stress caused me to lose the weight. Not the best way, of course. However, I did move down on the scale and since then, I have been keeping steady. The goal for me was to decide to do the small quantities. Note when I was doing more high-calorie carbs than I should (processed “white” foods, no pun intended). I have done the protein and low-carb food diet (vegetables). This is great for those who love vegetables as I do. I found the key for me is to do what my body responds to, protein and vegetables. I quit reading about the diets, eat the foods I enjoy in moderation and start doing the things I need to that relieve the stress. P.S. Writing is one of them.

    • Thanks for the feedback. Another thing I like about my journal is it’s always there with me since I take it to work and keep it on my desk. With the app, I always had to get to a computer or to my phone to punch the food in. Keeping the journal feels quicker to me and more convenient. And, when I stepped on the scale this morning I was down two pounds just from Friday!

  2. Pingback: I quit. I give up. Part 2 | The Lone Writer: Shannon Yarbrough

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