To Track or Not to Track

By Emory Liscord MD

For over a decade, my life has been a calculated series of deliberate adoptions. Inevitable missteps not withstanding, I have followed a strategic life map.

It started after college with my plan for medical school. I had very little guidance and so I was forced to pay meticulous attention to detail. Medical school and medical training only reinforced this behavior.

Exactness becomes non negotiable.

Perceived perfection is celebrated and becomes addictive.

Heartbroken by the nature of chronic disease and the failure of western medicine to successful treat it, my interest turns to nutrition. While helping others avoid disease, I start to become obsessed with optimizing my own health.

Some call it biohacking.

I start to track my own health. I became my own guinea pig.

Low carb, low fat, vegetarian, carnivore, running, lifting, fasting, feasting I have tried it all. I have tracked it all with a goal for increasing over all life performance.

And it works. The right kind of nutrition and exercise dramatically affects the way we feel, function and look. It feels powerful to change your genes through epigenetics.

BUT, it is a delicate balance.

Perfection is impossible. Grace with yourself is necessary.

I lost my grace.

A few months ago I started to feel stressed for no reason. I felt tired, weak, irritable.  I exercised more, ate healthier still, slept more and yet, continued to feel terrible.

Tracking health goals is incredibly powerful but can become addictive and lose its usefulness over time. Despite being scrupulous about my nutrition, exercise, sleep, I was becoming more uncomfortable in my own skin.

Tracking felt fabulous when I was successful at meeting a daily goal but I would ruminate on days I failed to reach them. I would think to myself “I didn’t run far or fast enough”, “I should have ate more protein today or drank less wine.”

So, I put my fitbit in a drawer. Deleted all my health apps off my phone.

Truth is, I  know I don’t need to track at all. I have the education and all the tools to be intuitively healthy.

I know how to train for a marathon by several different methods. I know how to eat to be healthy and strong. I don’t need an app or coach. I just need my intuition.

I turn 37 this month and here is my goal for July.

I want to see what happens when I just stop tracking

I’m going to embrace intuitive living.

No training plan. No nutrition plan. No plan at all

I will just wake up every morning and pay attention.

I will  pay attention to how I feel. How I am treating others. How I spend my time. How I spend my money.

I want to create space in my life for intention and presence.

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