What I Learned from 100 Days of Food and Activity Tracking

I recently passed the 100 day mark of tracking all of my food and activity. I have both lost and gained weight…and had it stay the same. I have gotten very good sleep and very poor sleep. I have had good days with my health and bad. I have meal planned and done it rather slapdash at other times. But the one consistency is that I have tracked everything I have eaten and all of my activities without exception.

I can see the clear correlations in the data. I can see why I have at times gained or not lost weight. I also can see where things have gone well for me. I have a few take aways as I move forward. This will count also as last month’s health overview post.


Getting Enough Sleep

It feels a little silly that I was even struggling with sleep with how much I know about how poor sleep negatively affects health. I can see that when I have not had a solid night of sleep I have a much harder time with creating and staying to meal planning. I have a lot less energy to get the exercise that I need.

I know some of this comes from staying up too late and some of it comes up from not locking my furry loved ones outside of the bedroom. It is very hard after being away from them to not let them be near me as they miss me, but I will have better quality awake time with them if I don’t allow them (specifically the kitten) to wake me up. I also do not feel like I get enough time to myself so it is hard for me to go to sleep because I want to spend more of my time enjoying myself.

Sleep Goals for Next 100 Days:

  • Keep furbabies outside of where I sleep with the exception of naptimes.
  • Stick to bedtime and set alarms for more time in case it is a restless night
  • Go to bed early if needed during the week
  • Go back to only having caffeine 1-2 a week in the AM for fun (not for being awake)

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Emotional/Bored Eating v. Planned Eating

Having a plan that makes sense and satisfies my hunger truly has made emotional eating and eating out of boredom a thing of the past. I have had a few urges when I have been upset or even really bored, but by tracking everything it really has put on the brakes. I am trying my best to be honest about if I am hungry and what I am craving and when I have tried that in the past I would fail because I didn’t really know what I needed. Now I can look and see that I actually maybe do need more of something. The amazing thing is I thought I had a huge emotional eating problem, but I’ve found that while I did have some bad habits they were a lot easier to break than I thought. Turns out that when I have had a balanced diet I don’t have problems with staying on track. Tracking my macros has changed everything, because I can see just what is going on.

I also feel like I can be flexible to a point. Recently a coworker offered me some Girl Scout cookies. I had two (the serving size). It was fine. They were very good with my tea. I didn’t feel tempted to eat the last one or any guilt that I didn’t stick to a plan. I very likely won’t have anymore until another year from now. Pizza on the other hand will probably always be something that I just can’t control myself with so it is something for special occasions only.

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I did find it a lot easier to do my tracking after a couple months. On days where I did some sort of meal planning a night or two before I was much more successful than winging it the day of or even if I had tried to do it too far in advance.

Recently I have purchased a scale for those frustrating items where I couldn’t really tell what a serving was such as pasta. By the way, a serving size of pasta is a lot smaller than you would think. I sometimes have one serving, but I often now allot two servings if it is the main dish.

This being said, I am glad I did not take this on until I had a few months of tracking down. I don’t think I could be successful if I truly felt I had to measure and weigh every single thing I ate. I am finding that measuring and weighing are extremely helpful, but I could have easily overwhelmed myself. I now measure or weigh most things, but I do rely on the few things that I buy prepackaged to be generally correct. I know a lot of people would say not to do that, but for the few things I get that way it has been pretty accurate when I have tested it so I’m good with not overthinking it. If I am not sure I always can weigh it now, but I don’t want to get into the habit of needing to weigh every single thing I eat. That sounds miserable. I just want to do it enough to be informed and not way off base.

Meal Goals for Next 100 Days:

  • Plan at 1-2 Days in Advance
  • Continue to Focus on Reducing Sodium
  • Weigh Certain Foods
  • Drink More Water (This Has Been Hard to Stay Consistent With Doing)

Keep Moving

I love running and yoga and walking and even weight lifting so normally that portion of the equation is a lot easier for me, but I have been dealing with trying to get over an injury and too much time in the car. I sometimes get grumpy when people post “motivational” sayings about the challenge being in your mind. For me it is not. The challenge is in trying to heal my body so I feel like myself, because I know how to get over the hurdles of the mental challenges of working out. That is a lot easier.

I overdo it sometimes without meaning to overdo it. I don’t know until the next day. For me it is partially finding the time, but it is also trying to just feel well enough to do it. I can honestly say in the 100 days there wasn’t one day I actually was legit lazy. There were days however where I couldn’t do much. I have improved, but as I continue to heal and look for solutions I am finding there are a few things that make a difference. They are small things that I can push myself to do on a regular basis.

Movement Goals for the Next 100 Days:

  • Daily 30 Minute Walk Minimum (Treadmill in the PM if not done during the day)
  • Add a 15 Minute Walk as Able
  • Do Healing Yoga Sequence at Least 1-2 Times a Week
  • Continue to Do Physical Therapy Exercises
  • Run When Able (Plan Meals for This)

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Keep My Mind Sharp

This might not seem like a related goal, but recently I have started to make concrete steps towards getting back to my art and focusing on my art career. Truth is I get very bored with day in, day out same old thing. I need adventure and challenges and I desperately need to be creative and I often don’t feel like any of that is happening so I need to make it happen. I need to redefine success and not be so afraid to pursue my dreams.

I don’t want to spend so much time thinking about what I am going to eat or when. I have established some great habits. Those will help me, but I also need to create goals that will stretch my mind and help me be all around healthy and happy in who I am and what I am doing to create my goal life.

One thing that will really help me in reaching all of my goals is to continue decluttering my life. I feel overwhelmed and stressed out when my surroundings are not calming and free of clutter. I am the type of person that is generally super orderly and so if you see a mess you know my brain feels 1,ooox worse. Getting rid of stuff that I don’t love and isn’t useful is extremely overwhelming, but I am taking it on as much as I can.

Another is that I am taking steps like attending classes and redoing a room in my home as an artist’s studio so that I have a calming and happy place to start making a daily practice of my art.

I also have checked out some books on art including technique, getting over blocks, and the business side. What I need now is to treat that as something that I need to buckle down and read vs. just checking out a ton of things that I hardly glance over (or look at so many I don’t get enough from one single book). I read fast so it really is about staying focused and thinking of this as my job.

Brain Goals for Next 100 Days:

  • Read at Minimum Two Art Books a Month
  • Completely Declutter Art Room and Purchase Paint by April
  • Paint Walls of Art Studio and Order New Desk by May
  • Organize Art Materials and Purchase Needed Supplies by June
  • Begin to Create Alternative Art Space on Porch

It is frustrating to be where I’m at right now, but I know that I will reach my goals. Doing art, decluttering so I feel better, working on improving my health and overcoming injury, making eating something that is planned but not a hassle or limiting…It is all about being kind to myself. I suppose the biggest take away from 100 days of tracking my activity and food ultimately is that I need to put the passion and energy I have given others back into my own life. I need to work hard on changing the things I don’t like about my life. I have spent a lot of time and energy in my other career life and not enough in my art and the things that make me happy on a daily basis. The weird revelation from 100 days of tracking everything is that it is hard to start, but it does get easier with conviction to being kind to myself. Do I want to lose weight? Yes, but it is about feeling strong again and looking in the mirror and liking what I see (a strong woman who has worked hard for herself). More than anything I want to be able to do the things that make me happy and to feel like there is dedicated space and time and energy for that. Tracking my meals and activity is just one of the ways I am doing that, but it is a pretty fundamental way of making my life easier and happier. I just want to feel healthy, strong, and happy in my life.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. fattytomend says:

    I love this. Really inspiring

    Like

    1. veile says:

      Thank you! I’m glad it you found it helpful.

      Like

  2. lunawise says:

    Inspiring! I have a tough time consistently tracking what I eat. After reading I think I could set some better goals for myself! Thanks😁

    Like

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