Over the course of the last year, I’ve lost a lot of weight. It’s something that I worked really hard for, and am really proud of – and it’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried to do. My main strategy, until now, has mainly focused on exercise – I figured that if I just moved my body much more, the weight would come off, regardless of what I ate. And to a certain point, this has been true. I mean, if you go from a relatively sedentary lifestyle to exercising four or five times a week, something is going to happen.

Then I hit a plateau. This has been incredibly frustrating for me. I had achieved such success through exercise, and even though I was pushing my workouts as hard as ever, I just wasn’t losing weight anymore. I wasn’t gaining weight, either, which was reassuring. But I’m still overweight, and I have a lot more to lose before I have reached my goal. I set out to change my life and I’m sure not going to give up half way.

Although I’ve known this all along, I have recently come to terms with the fact that I have to get my eating under control. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 15 years, so while I do eat a lot of veggies, I also love: anything fried, beer, chocolate. It’s not that I would eat those things every single day, but I will admit that I consume much more of those foods than I should. I am also a classic emotional eater: mashed potatoes are just so homey and comforting after a fight or a stressful day. I know this about myself, and I’m trying to let it go.

livestrong.com's nifty diet journal

For the past two weeks, I’ve been trying out a new technology. I’ve been counting my calories through the livestrong.com website, and I have to say, it’s much easier and far less tedious than I thought! The site lets you track what you’ve eaten, how much water you drink, and what kind of exercise you do throughout the day. The point is, even if you don’t count your calories, really thinking about what goes into your body is a helpful mental exercise. I’ve been focusing on the kinds of foods I eat as well as portion size (I mean, as healthy as almonds are, they are also high in fat and calories). I’ve been journaling for 2 weeks, and with my workouts I can already see myself losing weight quicker.

What tools do you use to keep track of your diet?

– Hannah