[Rowing Machine] 2020: Week 02 {218.0} “Capturing Calorie Counts”

The biggest trap I fall into when it comes to the diet portion of diet and exercise, under the health and wellness umbrella, is accountability. Given the option, I would eat constantly, and excessively. That’s not too bad when the calories out [exercise] are more than the calories in [diet], but when it’s not, it becomes an unbalanced system. I’ve been struggling to figure out an accurate way to count my calories. I’ve found something…

I was already 90% of the way there. This approaches 95%.

My current process for recording my calories is to track what I eat each day in my Gsheet, Rowing Machine Sheets Supplementarium, which isn’t going away. I’m going to make two major modifications to it. First, this won’t be my data-capturing spot, rather my data-displaying spot. When I eat some food, if I didn’t remember to put it in this chart, I’d be likely to forget about the exact numbers or even that I had eaten as much as I had. It’s clunky adding any data directly into the sheet via my mobile device, so I would often forget. Now, I’ll add in my counts to my task management program of choice, where I can just say “row- chili with crackers” when I’m eating, so I’m not a jerk about counting calories.

When I next get to a computer, I can refer to my common foods tab, to add in the counts.

Second, the charts are somewhat going away. I’m going to decide exactly how after I complete this essay, but currently, I’ve wasted minutes of time per week adjusting how the charts look on each tab, because Gsheets is not good at handling the moving of data, and the charts themselves bug out if you look at them wrong. It’s not worthwhile from a time perspective, even though when I look at the information at a glance, it does give me some nice information to refer to later.

Otherwise, most everything else about this process works well for me.

I just find myself not accessing the chart as often as I’d like, so when I encounter situations like this, I like to ask myself “why?” The answer is easy. I like to track data, but it’s not a daily thing for me, like writing essays. I might go a few days without looking at the chart, and so when I’m honest with myself, it’s difficult to remember what I ate three days ago. With that realization, it’s just a matter of figuring out alternatives, and realizing where the roadblocks are appearing to avoid them later. That’s why I said “data-capturing” and “data-displaying” above.

When you use a tool incorrectly, it becomes useless.

Trello is useless for data-displaying and data-searching. Gsheets is useless for data-capturing on-the-go. These tools are great at their opposites, though, and so that’s why I’ve been using these options more than MyFitnessPal, or whatever, besides the notion of giving control over to another system. Trello and Gsheets can go down but as long as I have offline equivalents – notepad and spreadsheets – I can still count my calories. If I don’t get a subscription plan to the latest calorie counting app, my data could be deleted.

It might be still too early for me to tell if this will be effective.

For now, anyways, I have a note that says “Rowing trello list – friday – chili with crackers, lasagna, salmon.” I ate salmon and lasagna on Friday morning, and the chili Friday night. Having this information, cross-referenced with my calorie counts for these foods, should give me a good estimate on how much food I ate. Sure, I am in some ways reinventing the wheels of other apps, and having two tools makes it seem clunkier to work through, however, I like using both tools, and I feel comfortable with them, both for this function and with other functions.

I just advocate for counting calories as easy as you can.

If it’s easier for you just to jot down some names and numbers every day in a daily journal that you show to no one, that’s great. I put some data like this online for public display because this sort of data, or the information I share, is not overly personal information. I will not share my home address or details over my current job. Previous jobs, spoken vaguely, I consider to be fine for information to share out. I personally don’t care if this data is aggregated. Facebook already sells my data actively without giving me any profits.

My route is more obscure.

This all falls under the umbrella of data management, in some regards, and I appreciate seeing data as it changes and develops. I haven’t really got into numbers enough to be interested in the evaluation or changes in data, whether it’s calorie counting or budgets, but with this new business I’m working on, I’ll have to have some sort of rudimentary understanding of all this. Maybe by the end of the year, I’ll have a better data-displaying system? Maybe I’ll find a better process? For now, though, I think it’s important to state where you’re at with something, how the old process failed, and throw out some ideas on how the process can be improved.

I do need to figure out a way to manage the amount of food I eat.

It’s easy for me to overeat without thinking about it. Counting calories is my way of being more deliberate with what I eat for each meal and each day. If I have to remember to record the can of chili I ate, and the crackers I had along with it, then I’m more likely to remember that they have calories, and that I need to manage my calorie intake if I want to get into any degree of health. Even when I exercise. Exercise isn’t a magic cure-all for binging on excess calories.

The only thing exercise does for me, from a calorie intake perspective, is decrease appetite.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My fitness experiences.
This week’s weight: 218.0
Last week’s weight: 222.0
Difference: Three pounds down is a good start to the post-New Years start. In the upcoming weeks, I’ll write about what I’m doing more specifically, so look forward to that.
Inspirations: I wasn’t sure what to write about until I started to realize that I had been neglecting the Rowing Machine Sheets Supplementarium. No one neglects the Rowing Machine Sheets Supplementarium! Not even me!!!!!
Related: Past weekly column entries.
Picture: Second use of the template. I’ll probably be using this picture through the remainder of the year.
Written On: 28 December 2019 [27 minutes. From 1:16am to 1:43am. Gdocs.]
Last Edited: 28 December 2019 [Some edits adapting from Gdocs to WordPress… so… second draft?]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.