Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Glorify: Tracking Meals

This is a topic I haven't really approached on my blog before - I've kept to myself and quiet because sometimes it seems like when I share something, my commitment to it is challenged in a way that is hard and unexpected.

But with my word of the year and really wanting to be real and honest, I've decided to open the door on it and share what has worked for me. I also want to acknowledge that our health and body is something very personal and very unique and individual. No two of us will likely have the exact same experience and our needs are very different as well.

Almost four years ago {I can still remember the day, I was taking photos for this post} I was feeling really disgusted with myself - I had let myself get pretty lazy and was eating anything I wanted anytime. I'm a comfort eater and stressful days are common. Really my biggest issue was that I wasn't feeling comfortable in my own clothes - they were tight and not fitting right and I was feeling icky about that and wanting to make a change.

I don't remember a lot of the details that got me started, but I knew I didn't want it to be about my weight necessarily. Not a number anyway, I wanted this to be about me feeling better about myself because it was affecting my outlook in many areas of my life. I got serious about logging my meals using My Fitness Pal and trying to add a little more activities to my days.

My Fitness Pal is great because it is FREE and is easy to use either on your laptop or device through the app. It really doesn't take long once you get into the habit of typing in your meals and keeping it up to date. I also like it that I can eat whatever I want really and am making my own choices about what to eat just in manageable portions. A thrifted food scale has been a help in this as well.

The most successful way for me is to plan out my meals the night before - it only takes me 2-3 minutes to type everything in and once I see it in front of me, I can make changes or adjustments and then just eat that plan for the next day. I love it. When I leave it for the day of, I'm not nearly as successful as I'm more likely to eat what I want and hope it works out {usually doesn't!} and it reminds me of something as simple as a grocery budget. When I plan my meals and shop from a list, I'm much more likely to stay on budget than if I go randomly through the store. Same is true with planning out my meals and portions and counting my calories. 

Within a few months, we had this family photo shoot at Christmas time and I remember feeling so good that day. I was so happy! It was cold and I felt so much better about myself and enjoying this time we were having together. And I kept this up for a while and then slowly got lazy again. One year ago, I was in the same place - really wanting to re-start this area of my life.

Last year was really hard and stretching in many ways especially through the Fall - and when I got to my parents house for Christmas, I was exhausted, weepy and just generally depleted in many ways. It was really on my heart to not only re-start logging my meals but also to look into adding vitamins into my life.

Jumping back in was great and in a couple of months I was feeling so much better and by summer - I felt even better and enjoyed the healthy glow that had returned to my heart and life. Like everything, it is not a one-size-fits-all fix it plan and it isn't even easy. But I have found that it has worked for me and it has been a blessing, why do I keep getting lazy and falling off the wagon only to have to start again?!

Here we are in January again and my pants are snug and I'm back to it, it gets easier to start again each time because I've developed some habits that are fairly easy to pick back up again even when I let them fall by the wayside.

Losing a few pounds is great and even better is how it affects my attitude and outlook. When I feel better about myself that shows and gives me confidence and joy. Next time we'll talk about vitamins!

May God be glorified in the sharing of these words and in how we take care of ourselves!


Mary Ann said...

Thank you for this post! I lost a good amount of weight about 6-7 years ago simply by portion control and cutting out most grains and sugar. I felt terrific. As each year has gone by though, my resolve has weakened and some of the pounds have crept back on--in places they were not before--thank you, 40's!!! I will say the past few years have been full and eventful (trying not to always use stressful-lol) but it has been more difficult to stay on track. And my health has suffered because of it.

We are now working diligently to get back on track. Just with exercising discipline with what I eat, I feel so much better! Here's to a healthy 2018!

Phyllis said...

Thank you for this post. You are a God-send.

*carrie* said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Monica. I'm sure most of us can relate. Appreciate you sharing what has--and has not--worked for you!

Angelia said...

Monica, Will you please share where you got your printables ? Or did you make them? ♥️Angelia in Tx

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing! I too need to get back on track - I find it harder during a Midwestern winter - and I too am a stress eater! I know what I need to do, but it is a challenge to actually DO it.

Stephanie in SC said...

I have followed your blog for many years now, and I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share! I have struggled for years with my health, and began my journey to a healthier life June of 2017. One more surgery in February and we will be almost complete! Thank you for being with me through most of my homeschooling years, and now beyond.

Monica Wilkinson said...

@Angelia: the calendars {one for 2017 and one for 2018} were made on Shutterfly; the brown kraft paper printable with months listed is here: http://www.ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2017/12/10/best-of-my-days-2018-free-download/
The reflect + refocus worksheets are a free download from The Well Studio: I could not find a direct link but they come by email from signing up for their newsletter: http://thewellstudio.co/blog/

Hope that helps!