To Track Or Not To Track . . . ???? Shout Out to JEANKNEE!!
Wednesday, July 08, 2020
I really enjoyed the comments on yesterday's blog -- where I celebrated how DOVES EYES so neatly linked resilience to more intuitive nutrition approaches.
And that evoked a really interesting comment from JEANKNEE!! With all her scientific training, JEANKNEE has long been been our stats queen here at Spark People!
She tracks. She graphs. And over months and years, not days.
But: she had never tracked with a view to "self discipline" or "self denial". For her, tracking of food and exercise was always based upon providing her body with the sound nutrition that best supported optimal health, documenting what foods evoked health issues for her . . . and she also noted fluctuations in weight as signals that inflammation or other issues required her attention. It's been a highly scientific and intensely personal experiment, well documented!!
"Ironically, I had not been willing to track or give consideration to food at all until I thought about food being a form of nourishment. And then the question became: What am I choosing to nourish myself? And, what supports me best? The tracking has simply helped me answer those questions. And, given that I've had a body highly reactive to food since birth, tracking has been a useful source of information, especially when the docs start asking me questions.
It has been really interesting to see how much the caloric intake has varied over the years depending on what's going on for me (physical activity, health, etc.) I've seen months where the nutritional intake has averaged less than 1300 kcal per day and months during which that nutritional intake has averaged in excess of 2400 kcal per day for months at a time. Those levels have been primarily intuitively driven.
Given the health challenges I've experienced, I am quite pleased with my ability to nourish my body more consciously (tapping into that body wisdom) and sustain a relatively steady weight. Although, my weight does fluctuate outside the parameters considered healthy. Not surprising, since I continue to live with health challenges that directly impact weight.
What's funny to me is that I have learned what healthy weight trends are for me and when I start to see those trends 'out of line' so to speak, they serve as a caution flag or indication that there's been a 'disturbance in the force'."
Yes, tracking CAN be used in support of innate body wisdom and intuition . . . of course it can!! And not as (I commented to JEANKNEE) a form of loathing self-reproach or self-flagellation!!
I myself track track tracked for years and years and years -- beginning about age 12 with my little calorie book and small note book that went everywhere with me . . . and until 2018 or so. I was desperate to control my weight. But in the process, I did learn quite a lot about nutrition that's best for me.
When I stopped tracking to try intuitive eating (combined with intermittent fasting and gentle exercise) I really did not change the way I'd learned to eat: for optimal nutrition. I'm still eating my Greek yogourt and berries, my salads and soups. Maximum veggies, fruits, lean protein, healthy fats, some whole grains.
I had learned to love eating this way. I over-estimated the lure of potato chips and simple carbs: when I permitted myself to eat intuitively, I did discover I could eat them moderately or not at all: without feeling deprived or craving.
There is no "one right way". Not at all. Track or don't track. Do or not do, but there's nothing wrong with giving it a try!!
The right way is personal and individual: whatever form of self-care works to bring each of us to a place of peaceful living in the present: content within our own skins.
We'll "know" it when we find it. We can trust the innate wisdom of our own bodies, when we listen to them. With the compassion and the kindness we express to other beings on the face of this earth!!