My experience with calories:
If I track, I'm terrible at it because I'm terrible at estimating my portion sizes. So even if I do track I do it with the understanding that I'm probably not very close to accurate.
If I track, I tend to feel guilty about the calories even if the number the calorie tracking app is set for is generous or irrelevant to me. And when I start to feel guilty, I start to limit what I eat.
Sometimes I track by simply taking pictures of all my food. I find that taking a picture is better and less frustrating than entering ingredients into a stupid app and makes me limit what I eat just as well as knowing the calories.
In reality I track only once in a while when I'm curious to understand a change I want to make. For example, recently I wanted to learn how to estimate my protein intake so I started tracking to get an idea. Now that I have a better idea of what x number of grams of protein looks like, I don't feel like tracking anymore.
In general, I "track" by how my clothes fit or how I look in the mirror. I truly honestly know if I'm getting fat and don't need calories or a scale to tell me so why bother?
Most of the time I don't see much change in myself and I don't do any kind of tracking. I have come to learn the following:
1. Eating all real primal food and getting proper exercise (lifting, sprinting and a little bit of the mild stuff) actually does normalize your body, your size, your metabolism, your hormones and your health. You have to do all of it and you must give it time.
2. A normalized body is rather resilient toward over/under eating.
3. A normalized body may not look like what you think it should look like.
4. You must choose your diet and exercise not on what you want to look like but on what makes you feel like the healthiest and strongest person you can be.
5. Feeling great is way better than being skinny.
Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
I can squat 180lbs, press 72.5lbs and deadlift 185lbs