Some questions I get often. What happens when I reach my goals? Do I need to continue tracking forever? And do I personally track all the time?
Do you need to track forever? It really depends. For some, spending three months tracking and measuring will be a great reset. A way to get a good handle on what they need to thrive, proper portion control and the get the tools they need to continue to do so intuitively. This works well for someone who enjoys a little more flexibility in their life and is not needing or wanting to be super lean or super strict.
For others, like me, I am actually really enjoying the sense or routine and control I get from tracking, and it has given me so much more flexibility in my eating while allowing me to keep my gains and perform the way I want to at the gym. I find tracking to be second nature now and I do like to eat at home and cook most of my meals any ways.
This would suit someone that has more defined performance goals or just wants to maintain a leaner physique. Also someone that thrives on routine and discipline in their life.
But that’s not to say that it needs to be 365 days.
While I track pretty much year round, I do make a point to give myself 2-3 times a year to exercise more flexibility and eat more intuitively.
There is a time and a place for this and I do believe it is more successful after we have been at this for a while, are at a happy place with our body and have found a balance in our macros. Taking a break can be great both mentally and physically.
As I am four sleeps away from the trip of a lifetime with my family to Japan, I have to be honest that I am a little nervous about losing some of my control over my nutrition. We are, after all, in the middle of the Crossfit Open, and I am at a really good place and it’s scary to upset that balance.
At the same time, I worked hard to be here. I am confident that I both deserve this and that I know how to make good choices and find the right balance to both enjoy my trip, enjoy my food AND continue to support my goals and my needs. There is no need for it to be one or the other.
Practicing flexibility and learning to trust your judgment is a skill. We can practice this every time we eat out. It is important to not become so strict and so controlled that we become social hermits. Learning that there is a balance in between eating like it’s your last meal on earth, saying “F it” to all the rules AND only ordering steam broccoli and bubbly water because you are just too scared to let go of your scale and your rules.
But in the end, it’s a process and we are all just doing our best every day. Food is energy. Food is love. And food is definitively more than just macros.
Be sure to keep up with @power_upnutrition on Instagram to travel through Japan with me and take in all my noodle bowls!