Do you think a fear of failure could be something that is unconsciously holding you back (or maybe you are conscious of it)? How many times have you tried to tackle this area unsuccessfully? How do you think that could be impacting your belief that you can do it? Were you taught growing up “if you’re going to do it, you better do it right”? Do you think that could have caused you to be scared to try things that you weren’t going to be “perfect” at? Do you create intricate plans that you don’t take action on (or hardly any action at all)? Why do you think that is? How do you think your life would change if you started looking at failure as feedback as to what isn’t working so you can figure out what will…instead of a sign that you’re never going to reach your goal? How do you think it would impact your ability to accomplish goals? What do YOU think makes successful people like Michael Jordan successful?

Who is Michael Jordan?

This has been a rough week “dieting” wise. On Monday, Alex and I went out on a daytrip to Peddler’s Village and New Hope (yet, we still had time after to go to a mall and make it to our favorite Starbucks location). It wasn’t the best day as far as food was concerned. I started my day with a multigrain and flax flatbread wrap with natural peanut butter and all fruit raspberry jelly. Then, before we hit the road, we stopped at Mcdonalds for bacon, egg, and cheese Mcgriddles and hash browns.

In Peddler’s Village, we enjoyed fudge and astronaut ice cream, and in New Hope, we sampled a dozen or more different flavored balsamic vinegars and olive oils (and we each purchased white peach balsamic vinegar). Lunch, for me, was spinach and cheese pinwheels, a ham and cheese sandwich on pretzel bread, sweet potato fries, and blueberries and cream bread pudding. Later, for dinner, we stopped at Taco Bell where I enjoyed 1 cheese and 2 Cool Ranch Doritos Tacos and an order of cinnamon twists.

Unfortunately, a day of indulgence escalated beyond the one day. Tuesday, I just had a hard time getting back on track. Then, Wednesday, I spent my day dogsitting without any kind of preplanned meals. Thursday was not much better. To be honest, part of the reason I had trouble getting back on track on Tuesday was a lack of groceries- which wasn’t exactly remedied. So, I went out to Target starving and came back home with crackers, cheese, and pepperoni.

Through all of this, I’ve been trying to figure out what really works for me. I am realizing that my current plan, even with the “free” fruit and vegetables, may be too low in calories for me. In an ideal world, I’d eat a 20% deficit of my Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE), or in other words, simply eating 20% less than what I burn each day. However, this is not an ideal world. I definitely like incorporating the free produce in my plan, which makes a TDEE-20% method a little difficult. It’s also making it hard for me to figure out what my baseline calorie count should be.

Then, I keep going back and forth between Sparkpeople and MyFitnessPal.

MyFitnessPal has a better Fitbit adjustment (should I decide to re-enable it). The database is also a lot nicer. I’ve only needed to enter one custom entry because they didn’t have the yogurt cheese I bought. My favorite thing about the database is that if there is an item that serves “about two” I can just put in that I had half the package at a meal. I can also put in “one can of soup” in a recipe rather than needing to figure out how many cups or servings of soup are in the can.

On the other hand, I like having a range like in Sparkpeople. It helps me make sure I’m eating enough without worrying about being over a stagnate calorie goal. Sparkpeople is also a lot better when it comes to generic, USDA foods.

For me, success is not so much about a number on the scale as it is about just being consistent. So, I get nervous about starting a new plan or switching things up because I don’t want to start something that isn’t going to work for me. Not being able to stick to a plan, for me, is failure. It’s not even about perfection. Success is taking a day off to enjoy a new place, but getting right back on track the next day. A bad day of eating is not failure. A bad week, however, is.

So, I’m ultimately debating between a website that is overall easier to track on because of its database, and a method of tracking that may be more beneficial. The best way would be to be able to bring the ranges of Sparkpeople to MyFitnessPal. I suppose I can technically just try to mentally stay within a range on MyFitnessPal, but that’s easier said than done when the big, red, negative number looms at the top of the screen.

And we still need to discuss how many calories I should try to eat. I’ve been trying to figure out that balance where I am eating enough, but not eating too much- without counting fruit and veggies.

I have been able to figure out what works and what does not work for me, but I’m still struggling to tweak my plan so it’s just right; so it includes the aspects of dieting that do work for me, and excludes those which serve no purpose other than derailing my efforts.