Calories

Just a little note on what I am doing.  After getting back from Africa, I decided to start tracking my food carefully and honestly, to try to get off the post-Christmas/travel weight.  Here’s what that looks like at my house:

That’s it.  Stop it!  Don’t try to decipher my shorthand system.   And don’t look too close.  You might see some stuff on there that I say I don’t eat too often…  Saturday was a work day and Wednesday was a work day.  You can see the problems on those days.  Sunday was fine, I just wrote what I ate somewhere else.  Yes, I wrote it on the church bulletin.  It keeps me from obsessing about what I am going to eat that day.

Anyway, didn’t mean to go on about it that way.  Just wanted to say its not that hard to keep track of what you’re eating.  That piece of scrap paper stays on the side of the fridge with a magnet, and I always have a pen in the kitchen.  I try to keep the calorie book there too.  Most of the time I don’t need the book.  Either the calories are on the container, or I know them by heart.  When I am being careful and honest like this, I will usually think twice before I take a few extra walnuts.  And it helps me to decide ahead of time what I will eat later in the day (depending on whether I eat heavy or light earlier in the day.)

So originally, I had a goal of 1300 calories  per day.  Remember I am only 5 feet tall, and I am old, so my metabolism isn’t as fast as you young’uns.  I also know I am satisfied (not that hungry) if I eat 1300 nutritious calories.  I also have another theory about calorie counting (or whatever kind of counting you are doing.)  So even if someone says, ‘1300 calories is not enough for you,’ but you are not hungry, there is the possibility that your counting is not exactly accurate, but it is a consistent method of counting.  And if you are losing a small amount of weight somewhat consistently, I don’t think you have to worry that you are eating too little.

Anyway, you can see on there that I usually went over my goal of 1300 calories.  I was a little glum about that this morning.  But I remembered something Vicky had done one time.  I added up the whole week’s worth of calories and divided by 7, and my average daily calorie intake was 1550.  I was pretty pleased with that.

I’ve had a little trouble getting to the gym this week (as in, just couldn’t make myself go) but I have had some killer walks with the dogs, pushing myself to make it more of a cardio workout.  With the hillwork, I was really feeling the effects the next day.

Today I went to a quilt shop and then out to lunch with a couple of friends.  Went to a new restaurant, and I was so happy with my choice–had a delicious salad, ordered the ‘small’ size (which, come on, is never all that small) and we split a small order of sweet potato fries between the three of us.  NO DESSERT.  NO COFFEE DRINK.  Not that there’s anything  wrong with that.  Just that when I’m trying to lose weight, it doesn’t work for me, because I still want to eat something or other for dinner when I get home.

Here’s a couple of links to blogs that I really appreciated this morning:  Helen talked about the difference between having a single moment that ‘clicks’ for you vs. reaching for a goal. That made a lot of sense to me.  And Vickie wrote about the difference between ‘being nice’ and ‘having grace.’ Also resonated with me.

Allright, sayonara mes amis!  Here’s a preview of the next blog.

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15 thoughts on “Calories

  1. Sounds like you’re doing well, Debby. 1300 calories are not a lot, but I try to stay in that range, as well. I’m 5′ 2 3/4″, and older than you, so I know how hard it is for those of us in those two categories to take weight off–and keep it off. I’ve been a bit lax with the exercise. I got out of the habit when I was sick for about a month, and I don’t like going out of the house in this bitterly cold weather–really a poor excuse. But It’s 13 below zero right now and will be colder by morning. BTW, your lunch sounded great–I love sweet potato fries!

    • OMGOSH, Jane, 13 below zero is a VERY GOOD excuse for not exercising. I think if I lived there, I would consider the act of trying to keep warm enough exercise for the winter, and then make up for it in the spring.

  2. I identify with Jane – hard to get going again once we have had a break. And Debby, yes, hills at a fast clip are good cardio. It cracked me up to see chicken scratch calorie count and lions in the same post! Very good to have you back. Missed you hugely. (thanks for the shout out).

  3. I’ve got notebooks from years of calorie tracking that look just like yours! Now I track/count on an simple (VERY simple) Excel spreadsheet that does it for me. I just enter the food and calories and it totals by meal and day. I like being able to go back and look at a day/week in one glance. It also averages calories for the week and I find that helpful as well!

    I’m glad you are back – really missed your posts while you were in Africa.

  4. So the line about your height “and I’m old” CRACKED ME UP Debby. Me too on the old thing. I am amazed at how little food it takes to keep me going. Sad sometimes too because I really really really like food 🙂

    How much do I love that you use chicken scratch to count your calories? A whole lot. Really, you just blew a lot of people’s excuses right out of the water.

  5. Did you write this whole post for me? 😉 I like the idea of averaging out your calories for the whole week – makes the day to day less…stressful? challenging? Anyway, I like it that you have another way of keeping track.

    Entering my cals on the health ins website is working pretty well for me so far. I find reward points to be a good motivator! And actually it gives me 1900 cals, but I’ve been trying to keep it under 1800, and so far so good. But I”m only a few days in, so we’ll see how it’s working in another few days.

    Hopefully my boss will leave for a bit this afternoon so I can listen to that song you linked to me!

    • No, Jill, I really didn’t. Sad to say, but *I* am the center of my universe. It was just what I was ruminating about yesterday. Its been quite a while since I seriously tracked (in writing) what I was eating.

      And Oh! I forgot to comment on your blog how much I would be motivate if I got PRIZES for tracking!

  6. “I’m old” cracked me right up. You’re not, really. I couldn’t do your way of logging my food because I can’t read my own writing. I have a running blog topic list and I was looking back at it for inspiration and there was one word that I have no idea what I wrote. It was a solo topic, too. Might have been a good one – I’ll never know. I even asked Jeff to try and figure it out because he often has trouble with my grocery lists, but he was stumped. Probably the best idea of my life and *poof* it’s gone with the chickenscratch.

    Um, what were we talking about?

    Lions! Can’t wait for the lions!!!

  7. Well Debby ,
    I’m beginning! Started WW today it is different then the last time more points but everything has more points in it. Does that make sense? Anyway I’m also tracking my foods. Had a few eye openers. The Greek yogurt I’ve been inhaling has lots of calories in it (wonder if that is why it’s so good? 🙂 ) Wish me luck!

    • Hey Liz! good luck! Your comment reminded me of one little mistake I made when doing weight watchers. I tended to discard foods that were really good for you because they ‘took too many points.’ Things like olive oil, walnuts. That greek yogurt is good for you–great protein etc. Maybe you’re eating the flavored stuff. Try the plain and add splenda (or a little honey if you don’t do splenda,) and some fruit, or muesli, or nuts. I still buy the 2% Fage, 75 calories for half a cup. I think it is quite worthy!

      Have you ever tried making your own yogurt? I make mine every week, and if I strain it I get something pretty close to Greek yogurt. And then I use the whey for smoothies.

      Okay, TMI. But you can tell I am pretty passionate about yogurt!

  8. Those lions look so purposeful! I have a feeling there’s quite story.

    What struck me: our challenge days are so opposite! it’s easier for me to keep on track at work than it is at home. Maybe because my week days are more consistent? That, and any break room munchies are “meh” (or simply off my radar by habit) in my book. Also, my job is not about life-and-death stress, so I know that has something to do with it.

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