The Low Price of Success

Sometimes I just have to shake my head at people. (On the outside. On the inside, I’m questioning why I hang out with them.)

I met a friend for coffee earlier this week, and she offered to treat me to a scrumptious-looking piece of coffee cake. Ordinarily, I might have indulged, but given the excesses of travel-heavy October, I’m currently toeing the line, calorically-speaking. In fact, as a jump start, I started out the week by dusting off my Sparkpeople journal and have been having a blast seeing just how close to the exact nutritional targets I can get. (Not very, as it turns out, but it’s fun trying.)

Anyway, I thanked said friend, but told her I didn’t want to have to log it. Her response?

“Don’t tell me you’re still doing that thing where you write everything down? You’re not going to have to do that forever, are you?”

Something about her tone made me feel a little defensive, a little less…successful for relying on what is, for me, a functional gimmick. She seemed to be saying that I should be “cured” of the need for it.

And maybe I am. I haven’t logged to this detail in well over a year, and I seem to be doing okay.

But it occurred to me as I explained that it was a temporary thing, something I was doing as a personal challenge, that it wouldn’t really matter to me if I did still need to journal my food intake every single day. It’s a price I’d be more than willing to pay if that’s what I needed to maintain my weight.

I mean, really. Ten minutes of my day to keep 100 pounds off the scale? Deal!

In the end, my friend enjoyed her cake and I enjoyed my first cup of coffee of the year, and all was well.

As it turned out, I didn’t journal my food yesterday or today due to appointments and such, but I’m going to jump back on it tomorrow. For now, it’s a personal challenge to log one day without a friendly reminder from SP about one deficiency or another. Next month logging may be a necessity to stay on track. Either way, food journaling is a low, low price to pay for success.

Are there actions you’ve taken that you don’t want to do long term, but if success depends on it, you’ll happily continue?

15 thoughts on “The Low Price of Success

  1. Cammy, I so support you!!!! There is a lot of jabber out there about to log or not, to intuitive eat or not…. so much stuff.. BUT it all comes down to what works for YOU & not anyone else.

    Personally, almost every study out there says that logging your food & how you feel when you eat.. that people that do this have greater success with weight loss AND keeping it off. People so often have no clue how much they are or are not eating & even the make up of those calories.

    I have done it in the past & don’t now. I have done things I thought right for me in the past but I don’t do now BUT if need be, I would do again.

    Question: Are there actions you’ve taken that you don’t want to do long term, but if success depends on it, you’ll happily continue?

    A resounding YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is all in how much you want it!

  2. Well, you know there are so many tools needed for all aspects of life.

    I will track food forever if it means I can keep off the weight. I have been pretty much maintaining for 2 years and I still track almost daily on livestrong. You are never cured from obesity, I think it just goes into remission. If tracking foods is the “medicine” you need to keep it in remission, then who is to tell you it isn’t necessary?

  3. For me, it will be exercise. My Weight Watchers leader used to say that the people who exercise are the most successful at keeping their weight off. I never exercised when I was over 200 pounds. Seventy-five pounds lighter, I now work with a personal trainer twice a week and attend two aerobics classes a week. Two days a week I have a program I do at home, per my trainer. I’m starting to see definition in my arms and I’ve never experienced that before and I like it. I’m 62 and will do whatever I have to do to keep off the 75 pounds I’ve lost.

  4. Wait. I got stuck at ‘first cup of coffee for the year???’ Whats up with that?

    And also impressed by Jeana’s weight loss at 62 years–go Jeana! Do you have a blog?

    Anyway, Cammy, I am not tracking right now, but it is something that is almost second nature to me. I have a magnet with a piece of paper hanging on the fridge, and if I want to track that day, I’m ready to go. Totally with you on its a low low price to pay for success.

  5. LOVE THIS and the whole concept of it all being a LOW PRICE TO PAY for longterm success and LIVING, Cammy!

    and yeah Im with Sahar too.
    Im on my first cup of coffee….for TODAY :)

  6. Hey don’t listen to anyone about what’s best for you. And how dare a friend of yours be so unsupportive. I agree that is 10 minutes of your day will help you keep off 100 lbs it is a necessary task. In fact, food logging can be crucial to one’s success at weight loss. SOmetimes we have no idea exactly how much we really do eat until we put it down in front of us. 99% of us eat to much. This helps. Then again, so does social support. :-)

  7. I guess I would take offense to that tone too! I use, and a food scale, but because I know myself – if I don’t weigh my food, all of a sudden 3 oz. of beef turns into 8!

    And I use caloriecount to figure out how much insulin I should take, and that must be working because my doctor could not be more thrilled with my diabetes management.

    Do what works for you! 😀

    Hope you have a great weekend!

  8. I love the way you phrased it… 10 minutes a day [journaling your food] to keep 100 lbs off. I have never thought of it like that. Sometimes I have been resentful of journaling. This way of thinking about it puts a whole new spin on the ball.

    Now that phrase is my new reframe of why I get to journal my food. I’m keeping 50 lbs off 10 minutes a day – such a deal!

    BTW, we all know coffee is made from [coffee] beans… and beans are *good* for you. Therefore, coffee must be good for you too :-)

  9. For me it’s exercise too. It is so hard for me to lose weight on just my diet alone, I know I need that boost in metabolism to keep things on the right track. Even on weeks that I don’t do great with my eating, I know it would’ve been a lot worse without the activity. I do go through journaling strikes…where I just get so darn sick and tired of writing things down. You know what happens? The weight loss goes on strick too. It’s such a simple piece of the puzzle; almost ridiculous to not do it if it works! (<—remind myself of that daily!)

  10. I don’t think your friend meant anything negative toward you, she is merely ignorant of the issue and the process. Those who have not fought the Weight War are generally clueless, IMO. Much as we sometimes want to punch them.

    Somehow, it’s our nature to be defensive of our tactics, which doesn’t feel good. It’s hard enough…..

    You do have a great spin on the time spent versus the reward. You always spin the positive and that’s why you are so successful and inspiring!

    Battle of the Free Incredible Coffee Cake – WON!!

  11. Hey Cammy! :)
    I think that is a very small price to pay. I’m with you on that! I’ve been writing down what I eat since Aug 7th and it’s not a big deal. In face I just said to my hubby this morning, that when I think 10 or 20 years into the future, if I still have to journal it all to keep me at my goal…that’s no big deal! :)

  12. That would have seriously irked me. In a big way. Why is it sweat off of her back that you are needing to do this from time to time?

    Sometimes I do log my foods. Not all the time. The biggest thing I do keep track of is my workout time and sweat o meter. That’s a biggie for me. :)

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