A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Logging, Logging, Logging...

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For over a year and a half, I logged every single morsel of food I consumed on MyNetDiary. I know that seems obsessive and time consuming. Obsessive, maybe. But it is always nice to be able to look at and be accountable for what goes my body. Time consuming? It's not as bad as you would think because during the week, I eat a lot of the same foods, so everything is pretty much saved in my spreadsheet and it's really easy to fill in. It's not like I'm starting from scratch each and every day.
Logging food is not for everyone. Certainly not for a year and a half straight. But logging answered a lot of questions for me, such as...
Am I eating the right amount of calories? I like to fall within a certain range 
depending on my workout for the day.
What is my macro nutrient breakdown? Again, I aim for a certain range for each, 
depending on my workout for the day.
Logging also held me accountable. Each and every night I had to stare in the face the number of calories I consumed via ice cream.


Ummmm... why did I never think to do this?
Over the past few months, I have gotten very lax with my logging and eventually stopped. There are several reasons for this. First, I was super busy, and some nights I chose 5 minutes of extra sleep over 5 minutes of logging food. Second, I was a bit stressed and didn’t give a damn about keeping track of my calories for the day.
I've come to a realization during these past couple months of not logging. I normally fall within my desired range of calories and macro nutrient breakdowns whether I log my food or not. I have established good habits, eat a lot of the same foods, and have developed a routine. That being said, I have allowed more of a variety into my diet now that I don't log. But I still eat chicken breast out the wazoo. That will never change! 

I have seen no significant change (for the worse) in my performance, energy level, and body over the past couple months, so I think my nutrition has been pretty good, even if I’m not logging.
Slowly, I am letting go of this “control” thing I have with my food. I think logging was very helpful to me for a long time, but I no longer feel bound to it. I think it has served its purpose for me, and I am sort of organically just letting the habit fall to the wayside. That is not to say I won't ever log my calories again. But for now, I don't feel I need to. Plus, it is more fun to allow myself to eat a larger variety of foods!

(Ha! I wish! I still would rather be in control!)

Have you ever logged your food?
Do you find it to be helpful to you are does it make you obsessive?

How yummy does that Pop Tart ice cream sandwich look?

22 comments:

  1. Pop Tart ice cream sandwich looks terrific. Wow.

    When I was getting my degree, I logged my food and analyzed my diet (in addition to all the clients I helped). I don't do it anymore. I have the foundation of what I need to do in order to be healthy and like you, I do gravitate towards the same meals during the week. I feel if it works for someone, great. But often times you just need to do it for a bit to gain some knowledge and then let go and trust your body.

    Have an awesome day!

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    1. Yes, that is where I am right now! Letting it go and making mindful decisions.

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  2. I've been thinking about logs lately too. I used to obsessively keep my running logged in THREE places (my coach's log, my wall calendar and my Garmin Connect app). I would obsess over my daily, weekly, monthly and annual miles to meet some arbitrary goals I set for myself. In July I started only tracking my miles in my coach's log (which automatically adds up weekly totals, but not monthly). I think that has helped me sanity a lot! Instead of thinking "omg I need to run 2 extra miles tonight to hit XXX for the month and XXXX for the year" I just focus on what needs to be done now to train for my marathon. I think it's been a good change for me.

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    1. I am trying so hard to get away from logging my running miles and having it make me feel good or bad depending on what the number says! I also track on my garmin connect dashboard and a spreadsheet. Nice to hear you have let go of some of the tracking and just follow the plan for what the plan says. That is next on my list of things to do :) Follow what my body wants to do and avoidance of injury will be my barometer for success.

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    2. As someone who doesn't track their miles, I can definitely see the benefit in tracking them, but of course, not obsessing over them. Running "junk miles" just to hit arbitrary goals is not ideal! Glad you have let go of some of the logging. I bet it will make you less stressed!

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  3. I've never officially logged food. I don't even think I'd know exactly how! Once in high school we had to keep track of our meals for Biology. My mom tried to make fancy cool stuff because she knew my teacher would read it, lol. So weird. Now tracking miles run is a whole other kettle of fish! I track those like a drill sergeant!

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    1. Omg that is so funny but I feel like if I were a mom I would do the same thing! How cute!!!! :)

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  4. I go through phases of tracking food. At the beginning of this year, I tracked for over 100 days straight. I do eat a lot of the same things every single day, so it was pretty easy. The problem is when I don't cook my own dinners (which is often) and I just have to guess. Then, I started getting busy and was never on my computer, so I just stopped. The tracking thing makes me obsessive and I worry constantly about what I eat. It sends me into an unhealthy spiral downward, so I realized that it was good that I stopped.

    I am the same way with my milage. I do track that religiously. Down to the tenth of a mile. Something about a type A personality or something. It does make me a little obsessive and think that I need to run X amount of miles to meet what I had planned for the week. But, I've been slowly starting to learn that letting go of some of that control is a really good thing.

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    1. That is awesome that you are slowly letting go of the control thing. That's really all it is after all, right? I feel like there are valid reasons to track both calories and miles, but if it becomes obsessive... no good. I've been there with the miles AND the calories. I agree, it is sooooo the type A thing! I am extremely guilty of doing it in the past! I totally "get it",

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  5. Okay, so now I really want a pop tart ice cream sandwich.. my problem is, I only like them toasted so I would have to eat it fast before the ice cream melts! :)

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    1. I WILL eat one of those some day!!!!

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    2. Me too! Since I cannot get it out of my head!

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  6. I am currently logging my calories as I'm trying to lose weight, and I'm actually enjoying the process (I'm a bit of a numbers geek!). That said, I think unless you have a specific reason to track calories, you are better off just eating intuitively.

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    1. I agree! It is prob not good to do it every day for the rest of your life, but if you have a specific goal or want to check in with yourself, it is a great tool. I am not doing it now, but that is not to say I won't ever do it again.

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  7. I am a lose it app nut. I have been logging a few years now, it's so nice to be able to easily pull percentages on fat, protein, etc... my big motivation when i started was that my doctor and my endocrinologists both seemed skeptical about what my food intake really was. I gained weight in 2010 and went through hormone and thyroid changes. It was quite a process for everyone not to blame me, no I am not perfect but I wasn't gorging on stuff. The logs helped me to feel confident about that at least.

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    1. That is awesome that you were able to use you log as documentation to help the doctors accurately diagnose you.

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  8. I have never logged food but my husband does. I see pros and cons for both! I'm glad that it doesn't control your life but I also think that you learned a lot so maybe that is why you don't track as much? Happy Not-Logging!!! :)

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    1. Exactly! I have learned enough that I don't feel the need to do it anymore. I have discovered that my body responds better when I get the correct range of macros rather than a set number of calories. If I am training hard, going over my calories by A LOT doesn't negatively affect me at all unless I were to do it all the freaking time.

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  9. I really like the way this entire post is written... I do think a lot of people log calories as a control thing and I DO think it's good to know what you're putting into your body. I also think it's good to not obsess over it, so this post makes me happy :)

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    1. There is definitely a fine line! One could definitely log and not obsess but for someone else it could become an obsession.

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  10. Logging my food always leads to a terrible spiral of obsession for me, so I don't do that anymore. It actually makes life a lot harder because when I want to lose some weight it's hard without logging...but I know I can't log food if I want to stay healthy and balanced.

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    1. Very important information to know about yourself!

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