So it’s no secret that I’ve gained some weight this fall/winter; I’m about 5 from where I was last summer and about 10 from my comfortable weight.
I can see it in pictures, in the mirror … it’s there, and there’s no denying it.
So before 10 becomes 15, I would like to capitalize on my hardwiring as an anxious person and use that anxiousness to make lemonade out of lemons.
I’m still a loyal online WW member and have been since 2004 … which is even more perplexing as to how I’ve gained without going over my Points — the only culprit I can think of is the wrong choices within my points, since I am still working out the same and not even eating those APs I earn.
But I digress.
I’m not here to ressurect the past, only to look ahead to what can be done going forward. Last winter/spring, I lost about 7 lbs. by continuing on WW and also journaling on Sparkpeople.com, a free weight-loss jounaling site that actually shows you the nutritional breakdown of your foods in terms of calories, fat, fiber, carbs, etc.
Now, this summer I quit Sparkpeople cold turkey because I was journaling there, plus counting Points, plus keeping a spreadsheet that would make even an accountant cringe, it was that nitty-gritty.
It was obsessive to the extremes, and it just made me more fixated on food.
But the truth is, I did well when I logged my food there. I was able to shed those nagging 7 lbs, and then my goal was only 3 lbs away. (I never got there; I gained it all back and then some). Hardwired as an anxious person, though, I flourished using the site, journaling there, adding recipes, etc.
Suddenly I could visually SEE the nutritional difference between opting for sugar-free cocoa for dessert (1 Point) or 1/2 T chunky all-natural peanut butter (also 1 Point). Clearly, the peanut butter is the more nutritious option, providing good fat and protein — and most importantly, substance. But it took seeing it shown to me visually to really “get it.”
And I’ll be honest, once I stopped Sparkpeople, I didn’t eat as cleanly as I had been. I didn’t worry about sodium as much and I didn’t pay as much attention to carbs as I should have. (I am sensitive to them whether I want to think I am or not).
So I am doing a little experiment for the next couple days; I’m going to journal on Sparkpeople again, probably after I’ve logged my Points for the day, we’ll see how it goes. I don’t fear getting obsessive again because I think now I have the tools to call myself out on it if it gets to be “too much.”
It was like logging on and seeing an old friend. I noticed one new feature right away, the “Remaining Today” area where it shows how many calories, carbs, and fat grams are left in the bank.
I’m not doing it for the calories so much as for the overall nutrition Sparkpeople shows that WW doesn’t. I know I’ve been low on protein and fats, way high on carbs, way high on sodium. And I can’t lose that way. (In case you’re curious, the caloric range Sparkpeople recommends is about the same as my Target Points on WW plus the 35 Flex Points, so it’s not like a drastic change from that perspective.)
Turns out today’s 21 Point day (since I have no WPAs left til I reset for the week on Friday) was about 1400 calories. Since veggies are “free” on WW, I never counted them in, but they do add up! And this is a suuuuuper low day for me (normally I aim for about 25, with exercise).
So I imagine my 28 Point days (like I’ve been having) were pretty atrocious … even with burning 500 calories in a workout, it’s still not enough at this point (for me) to lose. What an eye-opener … just what I needed to rejuvenate myself!
My hope is that journaling once again on Sparkpeople just helps me eat cleaner and focus on nutrition more than convenience. A Point isn’t a Point. A calorie isn’t a calorie.
And the sooner I see that, the sooner I can get it together. Wish me luck, making lemonade out of lemons.
How about you? If you keep a food journal, where do you do it?