Monday, September 3, 2012

The Weight: Documentation

I feel like a slug these days.  My energy is low and I am generally depressed, moody, and anxious.  A huge part of all of these things is the level of uncertainty in my life right now.  Added to that, my health and fitness routine have suffered significantly in my general domestic chaos.  We have spent so much time on the road in the past weeks that we have not been eating as cleanly as we should either.

This epiphany has led me to two responses:

  • This won't do.
  • I need to get back on track.

Even though we are packing up and preparing for a move, I can commit to maintaining enough open floor space to work out at home.  Right now my time is very much my own so I need to take advantage of that.

My ace in the hole though, is documentation.

When I first began working hard on my health and fitness routine, I documented pretty much everything.  I was tracking my fasting blood sugar daily and I kept a food diary with those measurements and my after-meal readings.  In addition to that, I also documented my weight, my measurements, my fitness minutes, and my workouts.

When I lost that first twenty pounds, I eased up on my documentation routine.  I think that was a mistake because not writing down my workouts and not writing down what I have been eating has made me less accountable to myself.

Documentation is essential, even if it is documentation of only one thing.  There is quite a bit of writing about tracking calories, food, carbs, or whatever out there on the internets, but my favorite article on the subject by far is How to Properly Track Progress over at Nerd Fitness.

I created a simple spreadsheet in Google Docs to track all of my numbers.

Image is my own
It is not nearly as cute as the log image I found on Pinterest, but it does lay it all out there at once with no frills.  If you have a fundamental aversion to spreadsheets, there are a ton of online fitness tools and entire communities that are built around really nice documentation tools.  SparkPeople is my favorite.  You might not be able to tell from this screenshot, but in lieu of a food diary, I only included total carbs and total calories for the day.  I got that information from the food tracker tool at SparkPeople.

I am getting back on the wagon with tracking my activity.  Looking through my numbers and seeing the progress trend has made me wonder about where I am now and anxious to get back on the path towards a healthier, fuller life.

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