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A person with blue hair has her phone in front of her face; blank apps float behind her. Bubbles from her phone include a shopping cart, a bag of groceries and food, and a check list.

It’s About Time to Track my Food

Diets have always been something that I, generally, scoffed at. I mean life is short, right? Why not eat an entire cheeseburger on a bus ride? Why not eat ice cream at 7 a.m.? Can't I have a granola bar before performing Shakespeare and explode? Listening to my body and assessing my triggers wasn’t a priority as a youngster.

Dealing with the IBS aftermath

Growing up, I was the kind of kid who ate anything and everything. I even took pride in eating weird foods like octopus or alligator. Such pride as being able to eat anywhere and not be picky or have these pesky “dietary restrictions,” despite the cramps and pain I would feel. As a natural storyteller, having experiences like this made for a more interesting tale and perhaps, as a result, a more interesting person! As a people pleaser with performance anxiety, being the most agreeable and least disruptive person is a part of my DNA. There have been so many chip dips and casseroles that I’ve impishly eaten out of curtesy. Despite what my body tells me.

“It’s like my stomach just runs away and my food is left to fall through a big tube to my butt.”-Me

Holding myself accountable for my IBS

As a promise to myself and investment in my body, I’ve decided to get a calorie counter. While I was in college, scrambling to find science courses to fit into my hectic acting major schedule was all too common. With no availabilities in the evening (meant for rehearsals and shows) an online health course was a godsend.

This class, in particular, focused on nutrition. Yes, we did all that science jargon, like carbs and protein, etc. But what I found more interesting and practical was the food counter. I mean here was written evidence that I was using to put my IBS on trial. Figuring out the contents of foods, as well as having a timetable of meals, was a great option for me to keep my gut in mind at all times!

Holding myself accountable felt weirdly satisfying. Filling out charts and having the app calculate caloric intake automatically. Recording every apple and piece of candy helped me regulate what I ate.

There were several times where I didn’t even eat trigger foods just out of the inconvenience of having to create a food entry if it wasn’t already in the database! This was quite the deterrent, but like most things pre-COVID.

I let it slip

My IBS has been worse than ever with limited exercise and quarantining. Food has become less of a necessity and more of an activity. Anxiety has found itself at the forefront of my days with every anxious look at the news.

That changes now

Downloading another food tracking app was just what the doctor ordered. Taking control of what I can, during a time with so much certainty, is all I can do on the homefront. I’m just tired of letting inactivity take over my life, but that doesn’t have to last. There’s nothing wrong with making a new year’s resolution 10 MONTHS into a year, is it?

Accepting that I’m no longer the ‘immune’ youngster who can eat everything in Wonka’s factory is one of the first steps I’ve taken towards living a healthier and more controlled life. I may have the creativity and personality of a 'lil goober, but my body has been telling me, for years, that it needs to be respected. What time is better than now?

Do you have a food tracker? How has it been cutting down or eating more during COVID? I’d love to know!

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