Tag Archives: food

Mile 750: Ugh. Calorie Counting.

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“And these flames boil in reclaim
On the way down.”
–Young the Giant, “12 Fingers”

Miles Last Week: 48
Total Miles: 750

Well, here we are. The halfway mark. Seven hundred and fifty miles down, seven hundred and fifty to go. So, why don’t I feel very satisfied or accomplished?

Because, as of today, I’ve only lost nine pounds.

Now, I know that losing nine pounds is nothing to thumb my nose at, but it’s not exactly great, either. After four months of working out, I think I should have a bit more to show for it–or a bit less, depending on how you see things. In six miles, I can easily burn at least one thousand calories if I believe what the machine tells me, which I do–robot apocalypse permitting. So, what’s the deal?

My only conclusion is that my eating habits are even worse than I originally thought. Apparently just trying to make healthier choices and having a bit more fruit isn’t going to be enough for this chickadee.

Ugh. As much as I hate it, this week I’ve had to force myself to reconcile with the idea that, no matter what I do, I’ll never be one of those people who can eat whatever they want, even if I’m burning a thousand calories per workout. Again I say UGH.

I’ve put off calorie counting for so long because I know myself well enough to realize that once there is a number out there, I’m going to obsess over it. It’s all I’m going to think about every time I eat something. It’s the same reason that I barely weigh myself once a week and I don’t measure myself. (Plus, and I’m loathe to admit this, but I might be just a little scared of what those numbers are.) I’m already obsessing over miles every week, and I didn’t want to worry about another number. I mean, it’s been a long time since I’ve taken a math class. I may nor may not be entirely certain how they work anymore.

So, I had a piece of pizza and a moment of silence as a small part of me hated those people who never have to worry about dieting. Then I downloaded the MyFitnessPal app.

For anyone who doesn’t have it, MyFitnessPal is online calorie counter/diet and exercise journal. Based on your current weight and activity level and your goals, the app will calculate the number of calories you should have per day. Then, you can either scan the barcode of your food, search for it in the database, or just add the number of calories every day into your journal. Plus, you can add the calories you burn while exercising. When you’re done for the day, the app tells you your projected weight loss for the next five weeks.

Not my food diary, but a good example. Source

Not my food diary, but a good example.
Source

My new goal in using MyFitnessPal is to just be more conscious of what I’m eating. Call me crazy, but I still think I can get a handle on this “all things in moderation” thing.

In just the few days I’ve been using the app, I’ve been really surprised with how the projection will change from day to day. One day, it will say that I could lose twenty pounds in the next five weeks. The next day it will say that I might only lose ten. Of course, that has everything to do with what types of food I’m eating and whether I exercise. In fact, the only days I’ve had trouble staying under my calorie goal are the days that I haven’t been able to work out.

So, I suppose that the only way to really do this is to be conscious of both diet AND exercise. The experts have been right all along.

How much does that suck?

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Mile 610: On Cravings

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“Cause I know that you’ve been thinkin’ ‘bout it,
And I know you think you’re out of your mind.”
–Hanson, “Waiting for This”

Miles Last Week: 47.25
Total Miles: 610

You don’t have to be pregnant to have cravings. I think we all suffer from them–be we with child or not.

Example #1: All morning at work I just wanted to eat something warm and gooey and cheesy. Doesn’t that sound delicious? In my lunch, however, I packed a PB&J, apples, grapes, and a yogurt. Not warm, not gooey, and not cheesy–but still all right, I guess. If you’re into that sort of thing. Which I usually am.

Example #2: The only thing I’ve given up in my daily diet is pop (or soda or Coke or whatever the regional colloquialism is in your region). I’ve totally sworn off carbonated beverages. Usually I’m just fine with my flavored water, but some days—BAM–it just hits me. I feel like I NEED to have a Dr Pepper or an A&W Cream Soda or a Mountain Dew or whatever.

We all know the feeling, preggo or not preggo. We’ve all had that moment when “Hmmm, that sounds really good” changes to “OH MY GOSH IF I DON’T HAVE A CHEESEBURGER RIGHT NOW I’M GOING TO EXPLODE.”

Diets suck, friends. That’s why I’m trying to be an All Things in Moderation type of gal. I worry that if I cut a bunch of things out, the chances that I will just binge on the forbidden fruit later will skyrocket.

So, what’s a girl to do when that urge for a big, giant pizza with extra cheese, washed down with a orange soda, hits you like a mack truck?

I do the normal thing. I shove that urge down as far as I possibly can and go about my business. Basically, I’m treating myself like a three-year-old. Oh, you want that thing? Look at this other thing instead! Sure, it’s not as great as that first thing, but it’s shiny!

What can I say? I was raised Catholic. Repression is an art.

Here’s to hoping that this particular type of repression won’t be as psychologically damaging as other types of repression. If anyone has any tips, though, feel free to share. I’m really trying to avoid any diet-related mental trauma.

Mile 444.75: Fruit and Cake

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“A kick in the teeth is good for some,
A kiss with a fist is better than none.”
–Florence & the Machine, “Kiss with a Fist”

Miles Last Week:  47.5
Total Miles:  444.75

So, last week I decided that I was going to focus more on having fewer “rest” days and eating healthier.  Here’s how I did:

  1. I only took one rest day, and I used it to see a stand-up performance by the hilarious Chris Hardwick. So, that could count as an ab workout, right?
  2. My dad’s birthday was last weekend.

If you are in my family, you probably know what that means.  If you’re not in my family, you need to know that my dad’s birthday is usually around Father’s Day, and my mom always makes a family member’s choice dessert for his/her birthday.  We don’t even have to ask my dad what he wants on his special birthday/dad celebration–it’s always the same and has been for as long as I can remember.  My grandma even used to make it for him.

Source I don't know if this is close to the recipe my mom uses, but this is what that wonderful dessert looks like.

Source
I don’t know if this is close to the recipe my mom uses, but this is what that wonderful dessert looks like.

Italian Cream Cake.

If you haven’t sampled a bite of this cream-cheesy pecan/coconut goodness, you are definitely missing out.  Italian Cream Cake is considered so special in my family that my dad’s birthday/Father’s Day gathering is the only time a year we usually get it.  (Unless your younger sister was gone that weekend at Bonnaroo and your mom might be talked into making another one.  I mean, it’s still up in the air.)

You may think I’m overstating the deliciousness of this cake, but, let me assure you, I am not.  Seriously.  I found out today that my mom made this cake for a charity baking auction and it sold for $150. IT’S. THAT. GOOD.

So, how did I do on making healthier food choices?  There was Italian Cream Cake in my house–how do you think I did?  What was I supposed to do?  NOT eat the cake?  We apparently waste, like, forty percent of our food everyday, and call me crazy but there’s no way that I can stand for perfectly wonderful cake to be thrown away and not eaten by me.  YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND–DO YOU HEAR ME?

I may have a problem…  Hmm.  I should think about that later.

My diet philosophy through this 1,500 Mile Project is to try to achieve balance.  All things in moderation.  If I know I’m going to have something less-than-nutritious, I try to balance that out with having something slightly more nutritious.  Or, if I know I’m going to have to miss a day of working out, I try to do extra another day.

The best way I knew to balance out my increased consumption of cake was to likewise increase my fruit/granola intake.  Several of my lunches last week included apples, grapes, half a peanut butter sandwich, a granola bar, and Greek yogurt.  Then I didn’t feel too terrible about having a piece of cake after dinner.

I want to focus on balance and moderation because I believe that is the best way to maintain a healthier lifestyle.  I plan to stay away from extreme diets because eventually you come off the diet.  Because you haven’t focused on building better habits, everything comes back and you are right back where you started.  I want to change the way I live.

Did I make any progress?  Maybe.  I still have a lot of miles to go.