Again, I sit here and feel the need to respond to something I read that inspired me to think about my own journey and share how I stopped logging my food but did not start gaining weight. I'm not sure if this will work for others...but it is how I did it.
Step One: I accomplished my weight loss goal and logged for a while afterwards.
This is actually important because I then could refer back and see the kinds and quantities of foods I was eating while maintaining my weight. I knew that down the road I might need to look back on these entries because someone who had kept off weight for years told me I might find them useful if (or when) I struggled to maintain. It is a good idea.
Step Two: I started blogging with a fitness goal in mind.
This one is probably one of the more significant ones. I started a challenge called "Journey to Bethlehem" just before Christmas and invited people to join with me and then I blogged about the experience. I enjoyed the experience so much that I continue to blog to this day (obviously). I found this took the focus away from calorie-counting and into the more social aspects of the site.
Step Three: I stopped logging absolutely everything.
I was still mindful and logging, but at the end of the day if I knew I had a certain number of calories left, I would allow myself a snack and not bother to log it. This first step was as much out of laziness as anything but it did start me to taper off logging everything.
Step Four: Logging became less and less frequent and then stopped altogether.
I kept eating the same basic diet but eventually stopped logging. If new options or foods arose, I might check them out before eating them but other than that I just ate as I had been for months. I did make a conscious choice to stop logging but keep eating the same. I had established a nice routine and I kept it.
Step Five: I started weighing everyday.
While I was losing, I went to a weight loss group and weighed in once a week. I actually stayed with the group after I finished losing for several months but I did not attend as regularly. So, in order to stay accountable and to see the effects of my choices, I started weighing everyday. I charted this way for several months and it helped me to see the effects of my choices. Immediate feedback that I found motivating. I found eventually that even this got tedious though because I did not want the scale to become the new dictator in my life so....
Step Six: I started weighing once a week.
I still check in once a week and I will probably continue to do this because it keeps me accountable. Maybe one day I'll even move it to once a month. I like once a week though because it usually helps me to smarten up if I see a steady increase and I know the changes I need to implement to make it happen. I'm often surprised when I don't see a leap!
Step Eight: I developed more aggressive and long term fitness goals.
For me this came in the way of getting involved with races and specifically with triathlons. It's something I can do for fun and continue to improve upon.
Step Seven: I stopped being afraid of counting.
Occasionally I am curious about how much I am eating and I check it out for fun. I've also learned that it's also okay to fall back on calorie counting or look at those old journal entries to get back on track. It doesn't have to be all or nothing anymore. I also often log my exercise because I love the positive feedback about it and looking at the awesome burn on the screen. I stay mindful of my choices and exercise regularly.
I sometimes laugh at myself a bit that I blog on a calorie-counting site because I don't count anymore! However, I still need the support and community and I want to encourage other people as they face this long and often complex journey.
Posted on 2011-06-25 by RaeN81