I worked from home today. I was freakishly productive and got all ahead of myself, so I'm using my commute time to write a quick post!
I love the feeling of being productive and knocking things off the list. I wish the appeal of that feeling motivated me to be this way everyday, but laziness does tend to set in.
So. Remember how I was all gung ho about calorie counting and fit-bitting and trying to lose 10 pounds? I quit. It was crazy making, and without any pressing health reason to quickly lose that weight, I had no incentive to deal with that level of anxiety. It just didn't feel natural and started twisting my generally healthy mindset towards diet and exercise into a weird, calorie deficit focused one. I would go on super long runs and then try to eat as little as possible so I could see that huge negative calorie recording on my log. I would go get the kids after work (which means leaving work a little bit early), not because I wanted to see them, but because I wanted the calorie deficit that came from the 3 additional miles of walking.
Also, counting calories for every single morsel I put in my mouth took a fair amount of time and brain space. If you really are actively trying to lose a lot of weight, then maybe your brain is already focused on that, and this can be a great tool---particularly for the many people who have NO IDEA how many calories they are eating on a daily basis (that includes myself). It was helpful to get a sense of how many calories are in the foods I generally eat, and to know how full I feel after various caloric intakes---it helps me plan better what to eat for what level of hunger or activity. I made a few small changes based on my charting---eliminating foods I don't really care for that I was eating for ease and happened to have loads more calories than I suspected (wheat crackers & peanut butter are the two I remember), and eating more of things that I love that had less calories than I thought (certain fruits & veggies, hummus, corn tortillas/taco shells).
I still wear my fitbit, though I stopped (just this week, and initially by accident) wearing it when I run or exercise. The point was to try to increase the steps I get in daily activity, so seeing the steps pile up from a morning run (and then stay at the same level all day) was deceiving. I sit most of the day at work and I want to try to change that by motivating myself to get up every hour or so---seeing the lower step count is more likely to do that.
What I really want isn't to maximize calorie deficit so I can lose weight over the next two months. What I want is to make healthy choices...for life. I want it to be intuitive, and easy, and a good model for my kids---not stopping during dinner to obsessively check & record. To move throughout the day, not pace in my room at night so I can reach some arbitrarily set goal (really, where did the 10K steps come from? I'm too lazy to look it up right now, I'm sure there were studies). I want to get to this state (great post by nicoleandmaggie and even better comments) where I know I'm doing what makes me feel the best.
Of course I don't always make the right choices. My body occasionally (more often than I want to admit...) tells me it wants a metric ton of cheese or Pirate's booty and sometimes, I listen. All in moderation, I guess.