#37 Never Have I Ever: Counted calories
Foreplay: Without getting too deep into my history with body image, self-esteem, and general mindfuck with food, I would say that for the first time in years I'm struggling with my body and weight.
Now that I'm out of school -- away from a large variety of relatively healthy meals, free access to a gym, and long walks back to and from my dorm room -- I've gained a noticeable amount of weight. Even though I eat relatively healthy, a sloth and I shamefully have more in common than I'd like to admit.
During the last month, I've joined a gym and made an effort towards portion control but everything came to a head when I calculated my resting metabolic rate and discovered I was consuming an extra 500 CALORIES A DAY! Dude. That's a hell of a lot of calories! No wonder I'm no longer a secret fatty but a reluctantly honest porker.
The Down and Dirty: I downloaded a calorie counting application on my Android to help me keep track of everything cause lord knows me + math = adlkfdslhgybrnqrbre4.
I programmed my RMI -- age, weight, height, activity level (...sedentary), and goal (lost 1 lb/week). It gave me a 1500 calorie limit per day. Ok. I can deal with that.
With this new calorie counting shenanigan, I was also implementing a new habit of eating small meals every 2-3 hours to keep up my metabolism and curb snacking. I went into work the next day and had a small breakfast of butter & jam on toast with a cup of English breakfast tea. 200 calories. Not bad, not bad.
30 minutes later someone brought in a schmorgesborg of bagels that shot my morning blood sugar to hell. Half a sesame seed bagel with whipped cream cheese couldn't hurt, right? Another 200 calories. Holy crap, it's not even 11am and I've almost fulfilled 1/3 of my daily caloric intake.
I held off on eating anything else for the next 3 hours. I was practically sweating bullets the entire time. I am a hardcore snacker. I'm a sucker to my tastebuds and give into their every whim. Walking back to my room with a couple gummy worms, a banana, and a handful of potato chips isn't weird at all. I was chugging water like no other to convince myself that I wasn't hungry. And it worked!
Later that night, Daywalker asked for my accompaniment to see the L.A Philharmonic at St. Thomas the Apostle. I debated it since I worked a 10 hour day and it would throw off my eating schedule. Fuck it. I've let food take over my life before and I wasn't going to let it happen again.
But you know what can boss me around? Dino's. That dilapidated chicken shack that serves the tastiest garlicky, citrus chicken and fries that $6 can buy. It's crack chicken. No lie. It was practically mandatory that we stop in for a quick bite when we realized Dino's was only a few blocks away from St. Thomas. It took a lot to stop stuffing my face when I was no longer hungry. And if you've ever had Dino's then that, my friends, is called will power.
The Afterglow: Being accountable for everything I ate helped me make healthier eating choices and deter my rapid snacking habit. Did I really want to scarf down that stale sugar cookie? Or did I want to wait 30 minutes to enjoy my chicken and broccoli pasta?
I think this is something I'm going to stick with for a while. Although I don't condone avid calorie counting, it reminds me to stay in a healthy ballpark. I still enjoy "bad" foods, but now I ask myself if it's worth it. Usually, it helps. Usually...
It wasn't until later that night that I broke. 11:00pm and I was in pajamas. I knew I would be asleep within an hour but fuck it -- I wanted some crack chicken. I allotted myself a very small plate of chicken, fries, and rice -- practically guilt free! But when I entered it into my phone I was over by 200 calories for the day.
So after some uh... thought and consideration (read: convincing myself that I cannot live on 1500 alone as I licked my fingers clean of the secret crack sauce) I decided to change my application "goal" to "lose 0.5 lb/week". 1700 calories.
My will is weak.