Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Numbers game



Ever since we got serious about weight loss, numbers have been the mainstay in my life.  How much do I weigh?   How many calories did I eat?  How many calories will I eat tomorrow?  How many calories did I burn during that workout?  What is my heart rate?  I need to get my heart rate higher.  How many inches did I lose or gain?  How many grams in that serving?  What is my blood pressure?  It is completely draining to think about those numbers almost every single day.

Ever since we've come back from Chicago, I've been reluctant to jump back on wearing my heart rate monitor and tracking my food.  I don't do it the first week back, ever.  I just like getting back to normal eating and exercising without the pressure of those numbers beating down on me.  This time, I'll admit, I just wasn't feeling getting back into that on week two.  I feel like I may be doing damage to the Mr by not tracking because I know it helps him when I have dinner pre-planned and with this illness, I've just felt like I'm lucky to even get dinner made.  It's like I don't mind making it but I don't get excited for dinner because I can barely taste it so meal time has just become this reminder of being sick.  Then I think "well, maybe you're being punished for all the years you've used food for recreation and now you'll never fully taste anything again."  But if nothing else, I need to pre-plan dinners to help him and encourage him to track because I know he's very successful when he tracks.

I don't think it will be a permanent thing for me as far as not tracking food and calories burned because I admit I'm sure there will be a point it's going to bite me in the butt and I'll be frustrated when I don't have any notes to look back on to see a pattern.  I guess I'm just trying to see how long I can get away with it and keep that stress off of myself and hopefully be successful.  I don't ever see myself being one of those "intuitive eaters" but who knows, stranger things have happened.  I just know what we've been doing hasn't been working and something needs to change but I don't quite know what yet.  I can only see how this goes and then start the tweak game if things head south.  It's an approach I've never really done before but I need to make it work in a way that will benefit both of us.

Do you find yourself stressed out by all of the numbers you need to keep track of while trying to lose weight?

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9 comments:

  1. Tracking can get tedious at times and it does get crazy trying to make sure that your heart rate is up high during a workout, etc. The numbers can sometimes work against you and it is nice to get back to basics and making sure that your own sense of how much food you eat and how well you're doing in your workout is not a bad skill to hone further.

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    1. At this point, I just know I need to put my all into my workouts as I've always done but not be so obsessed by the numbers that I overdo it and then end up with an injury. That seems to have been my pattern the past year or so. The not tracking food has just felt a little scary but freeing. I've been doing this long enough that I know what to eat and how much of it. I hope this is the beginning of a good turn for us.

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  2. The numbers definitely stress me out. I tracked my food all the time I was losing weight, and for quite a while after I hit my goal, but now I haven't tracked for probably close to three years. I've got a Fitbit Flex, so I know how many steps I take, and it shows a calorie burn, which is ridiculously low. I'm lucky to burn 1,600 calories in a day. I know metabolism slows down as you age, but DANG! If I walk 10,000 steps in a day, my knees hurt so badly I can't sleep, so I set my goal at 5,000 steps/day. That doesn't cause quite as much pain in the arthritic knees, but it also doesn't burn many extra calories. I know I can't do the intuitive eating thing either and at some point I need to get back to tracking my food intake, so I can get these regained pounds off, but I have grown so weary of all of it...

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    1. The numbers are exhausting and particularly so when you're not losing when on paper it should all be tied up in a bow. I figure since I've been doing it this long, this is something I haven't tried yet and maybe it's time to see how it works for me. So far, so good but only time will tell.

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  3. I totally understand! I quit tracking my food a long time back now, but have always realized that the reason I'm probably bouncing around the same 10 pounds is because I'm not tracking my food. I just got a Fitbit Charge so I decided to start tracking the food again and see if I can find some success between eating in my calorie range and moving more. :-)

    It is totally overwhelming though - especially when all the numbers are right on paper but the scale doesn't agree. LOL

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    1. Yeah, I just can't do it right now and I've been so terrified to do it that I just never have. I've spent 6 years obsessing over numbers. I'm hoping this will be something that works for a good, long while! Enjoy your Fitbit!

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  4. Oh boy can I relate to this. I would be so obsessed with the numbers that I'd make myself sick over them. It finally occurred to me that what I was doing was just as neurotic as all the compulsive overeating I was doing! The food was still the focus of my mind 24/7, even though it was trying to monitor intake, calories, etc. It still kept my mind focused on food, food, food, and it was always a win/lose mentality. I'd beat myself up if I ate one extra pepperoncini pepper for pete's sake! My calories, sodium intake, and weight ---any one of those could change my mood in a instant if I was off one iota. It just got to be too much because I truly hated meal time. I couldn't enjoy it because the numbers mattered more than the tastes and textures. Eating because just an automated thing so I could hurry up and get on the computer to log, log, log. I tend to go overboard with things as it is, and this was proof for me that how I was doing it wasn't working. That being said, what I have continued to do is measure my food and don't go back for seconds (I started this about a month ago) and it had helped me tremendously to put food in better perspective (not so obsessive) and I find my moods are more even and I'm not as cranky. I haven't figured out why that is yet, but it's been an experiment that so far is working for me. It's simple, doesn't require too much time on my part and I can be a little bit more relaxed around food. Still definitely a work in progress as I tweak here and there as you said, but I know what I can't go back to, because it kept me on the hamster wheel of blame when things didn't go the way I wanted them too with the numbers.

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    1. Oh Lord, I forgot about sodium and such too and I'm SUPER rigid about it. Juggling all of those numbers was making me miserable and when they didn't equal a loss like the paper said it should be, then it had the power to ruin a day. I don't want numbers to have that kind of power over me anymore. I hope this is the first step in breaking that hold. Glad to hear your experiment is working! Here's hoping it's long term!

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  5. For me it's more about the time it takes to track it all. To figure out how many calories etc are in each thing I put in my mouth, find the foods I ate, to enter the ones that aren't already in the data base, and especially to enter new recipes to get counts for those. The last is the most frustrating thing for me since I rarely make the same thing exactly the same way. I've had to really step back and say that good enough really is good enough. I can't chase the numbers down the rabbit hole like I've done in the past. Other areas of my life need my attention, and if I'm consumed by which brand of mustard (9 or 10 calories per serving) I used that way lays crazy town. I know the counts are off anyway, so at best I'm getting an estimate anyway so what difference does 5% off make anyway?

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