Things went a bit wrong last week. There I was all proud of myself for cooking instead of getting a takeaway, hitting my 10,000 steps target every day, avoiding sugar, doing well. Right up to the point where I stepped on the scales and they hadn’t shifted. I was still exactly the same weight I’d been two weeks before.
My mind went into overdrive trying to rationalise this. Could it be a side effect of my medication? The result of an IBS flare up? Fat turning into muscle? A fault with the scales?
But I have to be honest with myself. And, being honest, I had to admit that I’d probably given myself a few too many ‘special dispensations’ to eat unhealthily. A colleagues birthday, biscuits someone brought specially, a funeral… When I really thought about it I realised I had probably had more days with unhealthy snacks than without.
This led to a wobble. A couple of days where I thought “I’ve failed at this, I may as well eat what I like.”
But I pulled myself around. Reminded myself why getting healthy is important to me. Decided what to do next.
One of the bits of advice on the Newcastle Can website is
– of EVERYTHING you eat. How much, what time you ate it, how you felt after you ate it etc. This is the best way to find out where you could cut back or where your problem areas are and what causes you to overeat.
Its something I’ve resisted. I wanted getting healthier to be about small, sustainable changes, not about counting calories. I didn’t want to worry about it so much that I was weighing everything I ate to calculate whether I could eat it or not.
But given my apparent ability to justify unhealthy on offs, and the way all those one offs add up without me noticing it, I decided I’d give it a go. I started Monday, using the Fitbit App for tracking, and My Fitness Pal for working out the total value per portion of home made meals.
So far it’s going OK. It’s sometimes a bit approximate. If I eat something that’s not listed I guess at a similar item and hope the calories are within the range. And when I’m making something homemade the portions we have for tea will be slightly larger than the portions I save for lunches but I just put the same for both. Generally I think it’s in the ball park even if it’s not exact.
Its a good discipline. I’ve felt more aware of what I’m eating and less tempted to have treats. Its been reassuring to see that in my usual eating pattern my calories in are fewer than my calories out. Using the tools available in the apps it hasn’t been as complicated as I’d feared it would be. Even though it’s early days I am hopeful that I’ll persevere it.
And hopefully next time I step on the scales it will make a difference.