Food. Exercise helps, but it doesn’t really mean much unless you start looking at what you eat. I know this. I know that exercise helps me to be able to eat more but I also know it’s not going to do crap unless I stop shoving food in my mouth every time I feel like it.
And yeah, it had sort of gotten to that point. Mind you, I tried to be reasonable about it. I would usually keep a running calorie count in my head… you know…. until I ate something I didn’t know the calorie content of, like a cupcake. And even a single cupcake every now and again isn’t awful. It’s when you have that occasional treat….say… every other day, or even every day…. that it starts to make a difference.
I’ve already mentioned I’m up 8 lbs from my pre-accident weight and that’s not bad at all. What’s bad? I think most of that weight is right in my middle. It’s horrible. I want it gone.
And it’s not like I don’t know what I have to do to get rid of it. I did it for two whole years. And perhaps there is something about exerting that much control for so long that made me reluctant to come back. I’m pretty sure I only remember the hard parts. The initial shock of eating 1800 calories when who knows how much I was eating before when I weighed 230 lbs? The initial need for extreme self control or you’ll fail right at the beginning… that’s what I think my psyche remembers. That’s why it’s taken me so long to focus on my food again.
But I’m doing it! (Finally) And I really have to thank Beth and Sarah (who never blog here) for motivating me to do it. I’ve had the MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone forever. I’ve even logged my calories occasionally. I don’t know how many times I’ve logged a partial day or gone months without logging but it’s been a lot. Dieting with friends is easier. And, since they’ve started using MyFitnessPal, I decided to start logging my food again.
Before I show some photos, let me begin by saying that I have lost absolutely all of my weight on an 1800 calorie a day diet. Why so high? (You know, because doctors routinely put women on 1200 calorie diets.) Well, for one, I didn’t want to diet – I wanted to change my eating habits. Dieting means I’d have to change my eating habits… and then change them again to maintain whatever weight I reached and wanted to stay at…. not the best of situations. I’ve heard so many people say that maintaining was harder than losing…. and I believe it.
So I did some soul searching and decided that I could reasonably eat 1800 calories a day for the rest of my life. Some of you will think that number is really high and you’ve got to understand that I don’t necessarily want to be skinny. I want to be a size 12. I want to be able to do things without worrying that I might be too fat. I don’t want something I’m going to have to work terribly hard at maintaining because that scares me. And my idea of “hard to maintain” may change over time… and I’m open to that. I’m open to going lower if it seems like something I can do without making my every waking moment about calories and food because you know something? I am so tired of my life being about food and how hard it is to climb stairs. (Ok, so it’s not hard to climb stairs anymore.)
So yeah, 1800 calories. Anyway. MyFitnessPal lets you put in your current stats and it also asks you how much you’d like to lose per week. I had to play around with this to find a calorie count around 1800. It wound up being about half a pound per week…which is pretty awesome, really. It does tell you to eat your exercise calories, so it would add anything I burned off during exercise to my daily calorie goal. I don’t always eat my exercise calories…I go with how my body feels.
The interface is pretty easy to navigate. Also, it’s pretty easily customized if you go to the website. You can change the names of the meals if they don’t suit you and your eating patterns.
The database has a very large amount of foods in it. I can find almost anything I want. There is also a barcode scanner, so if you have the package, you can just scan it. It will also remember meals for you.. like my breakfast smoothie which I eat nearly every morning.
And, for motivational support… when you complete your entry for the day you’re met with one of these. Now, don’t worry… it doesn’t tell you that you’d weigh MORE if you go over your calorie counts.
But yeah, I’m finally tracking my calories again and having an app to do it with is really nice. Also… having friends is super fun. It makes me feel more accountable AND… I can look at what THEY ate that day… which is fascinating… kind of like food porn.