Coming Back to Cronometer

Why Did We Leave Cronometer?

It wasn’t really a breakup.  It’s not like we got mad at Cronometer.  We didn’t stomp off in a fury.  It was more of a gradual drifting away.  We started to Cron (that’s the verb form of Cronometer!) because we had a goal.  Perhaps it was weight loss.  Maybe it was getting control of a chronic medical condition like diabetes.  Or we just wanted to improve our health.  Cronometer was like a new toy on Christmas morning.  We couldn’t stop playing with it.  But over time, especially we reached our goals. Or life circumstances changed to make our health goals less of a priority.  We found our Cronometer diary filled with empty days.

Baby, Come Back!

So why come back? And what stops us from logging in?

I think for many of us, the very fact that we know we’ve been away makes us feel guilty.  That’s especially if we quit Croning because we weren’t as strict as we wanted to be.  It’s hard to look at all those empty days.  It can trigger feelings of failure.  And if we’ve met our goals, we may wonder what’s the point of Croning anymore?

When and How to Come Back:

I noticed after I started a very intense job that my number of empty days shot way up.  I would force myself to eat my normal breakfast:

Breakfast Diary

But then I’d be away from my computer at my meager lunch break so I wouldn’t log the three pieces of low fat string cheese, 20 almonds and carton of yogurt I ate for lunch, even though I eat the same thing every day.

Lunch Diary

By the time I got home, I was too tired many days to carefully log anything, and would way too often reach for something I didn’t want to enter into my Cronometer, like the peppermint ice cream that my roommate bought and ignored.  At the end of the day, my brain and self-discipline were exhausted.   Other priorities (making a living!) had taken over, even though I value my health tremendously.

Creating a Recipe For My Everyday Must-Haves

I started to come back by creating a recipe (Under Foods at the top of your diary page, click on “Create New Recipe” that covers what I eat every day when I work.  I automatically enter that with my morning weight every day, knowing it won’t change.

New Recipe

Starting the Day In a Cron-ing Frame of Mind

Starting every day with two minutes of Cronometer sends my brain the message that I am on my plan.  I’m tracking and ready to have a complete day.  Having that day started makes it much easier to take a few minutes at the end of the day to track what I ate at night.  Also, in that mysterious way that good habits seem to build on each other, it makes me more likely to eat a healthy dinner after work and the gym, instead of reaching for whatever sugary treat my roommate has left in the freezer.

When I Cron every day or most days, I feel more in control, more together, and happier.  Being aware of what you’re doing gives an automatic nudge to make the choice you truly want to make.

But I’ve Met My Goals!

What about those who’ve drifted away from Cronometer because you’ve reached your goals?  Why come back?

One member of our Cronomter team no longer Crons every day, but does a check in every few months where he’ll log carefully for a month, just to make sure that he is still meeting his nutritional targets.

As we all know, Cronometer tells us much more about our health than just the scale or how tight our clothes feel can.  We may be maintaining our goal weight, training for a 5k run, and living life to its fullest, but still failing to eat the calcium we need to maintain those bones that allow us to run the race.  I suspect that all of us have a nutrient that we regularly come up short on: for me, it’s Vitamin E (hence the almonds in the work lunch bag) and B vitamins.

Others of us tend to drift away from our chosen marconutrient target if we don’t track.  Consider a regular Cronometer tune-up: take a week or a month to track everything, and compare it to your past.  See what you’re missing, and use the up to date information in Cronometer to find out what you need to eat.

Look at Long Term Trends: Completed Days

Coming back to Cronometer is also extremely valuable if you want to look at your long term trends.

How, you may ask, can I look at trends if I have a month of empty or half entered days?  We’ve solved that problem with a feature called “Completed Days,” where you can mark each day as Complete when you are finished entering all the information you choose to enter for that day.

Full Day Diary

When I go to Trends, I can look at only days marked complete to get an accurate picture.

Completed Days Dialog

Maybe after an initial six months or year of Croning regularly, I’ve drifted away and now I just want to do a check in every quarter.  During my check ins, I mark days as complete.  Then when I look at Trends, I can view only the days when I tracked.

Let’s Get Real

Let’s get real: very few people enter their complete nutrition, biometrics and exercise in Cronometer single day.  Cronometer is designed to be flexible so that regular people can monitor their nutrition and improve their health.  Whether you come back after a long break and track most days, or come back for a periodic tune-up every quarter or so, Cronometer’s features such as Completed Days make it easy to get the information you want!

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