Thursday, January 13, 2011

math is hard

Jill, of the awesome and inspirational blog Lost and Not Found, commented that I didn't have any tangible, measurable goals.  So true!  And Beth, Girl Explorer, suggested a food diary (among other suggestions I need time to digest :)...

So yeah, umm.  About that...


For the first couple days, I tried using SparkPeople or, both of which have really highly rated Android applications, so I can be on my computer or on-the-go and keep track of everything.  Oh just UGH.  Tracking my every bite?  Typing in each ingredient I use on my salads?  90% of the complex foods I eat are homemade, not a store-bought, pre-packaged, or - most importantly - a pre-entered food in the database.  So I have to look up every ingredient of every tuna salad, hummus, smoothie, spinach lasagna, whole wheat loaf, etc, I make/eat?  Did I say UGH?  I lasted two days.  Then stopped.

Can't I just wing it?

Mornings: I eat a bowl of chai oatmeal (1/2c ff milk, 1/4c oats, 1/2T honey, my homemade chai spice blend) and a piece of fruit.  If I'm in a rush, a hard boiled egg or two and fruit, or just a piece of whole grain bread (yup, homemade!) with smart balance.  If I'm feeling particularly lazy, a bowl of raisin brain and a piece of fruit.
Mid-morning snack: 1oz almonds, or a piece of fruit and a protein (HB egg or cheese stick) (cuz fruit alone in my belly SCREAMS for company until I cave and eat a whole bag of chips)
Lunch: soup (homemade, yep!), normally a low calorie bean soup of some sort
Afternoon snack: yogurt and granola (only ever a 1/4 cup, not a full serving), or fruit and granola, or fruit and protein
Dinner: one of those tiny snack plates of whatever Able-Bodied Boyfriend is eating (AKA, big compromise on his dieting style/routines and mine), or tuna (made with homemade yogurt) and celery/carrots, or some other raw veggie with healthy dippy thing, or a small portion of leftovers from another meal that's screaming to be eaten before it goes bad.  This meal needs work, yes indeedy :(

I counted all that up a thousand times and I really think that puts me around 1500 calories, or less, each day. 

I'm up to about 1.5 liters of water each day (two 750ml fill-ups)(or 48oz-ish)... and working my way up to three fill-ups a day and on to four as a goal.  <-----------  OH LOOK!  A measurable goal!!!

I feel like a really really really awful, uninspiring, devious dieter.  I mean, I've gotta be the ONLY person on the planet right now not counting every calorie, right?  It's January, the Month of Counting Calories and Going to the Gym Every Day, right?

Jill and Beth are so friggin inspiring, in all of their weight loss and the progress and diligence with tracking it all.  But I don't know that I can do this in the same way.  I mean, granted, I could weigh myself in another month and go "SHIT, I guess I really need to keep track of everything I eat"...

But I want to do this in a way that doesn't feel like I'm trying too hard.  Cuz the "end" isn't really the end, is it?  It's only the beginning.  I'll be down to a healthier weight, with good eating and exercise habits, and I shouldn't really end there at all.  I'm actually just in the prep-work stage of a whole new healthier me.

Oh my god my brain is going ape-shit.  I have a brain that demands fairness and balance.  Right now, the right side is saying YOU MUST COUNT, it's the ONLY way to KNOW!  And the left side is dancing around singing BUT you should BE FREE and just EMBRACE your generic HEALTHY eating as a WAY of LIFE!  Right: THE DIETING GODS WILL JUDGE YOU HARSHLY!  Left:  IF YOU LOSE WEIGHT, IT'S WORKING, RIGHT??  Right:  BUT WHAT EXACTLY IS WORKING???

Ugh. Fine fine.

5-6 fruits or veggies/day (3-4 raw, minimum)
2-3 grainy beany things/day
2-3 proteins/day (yes, Beth, I should have said less meat proteins)
85oz of water/day
5 aerobic workouts/week
1-2 yoga/pilates workouts/week
strength training TBD

I'm good with fruit right now.  Raw veggies, not so much; but it's my plan to get those prepped for next week.  Grains/beans I'm ok with, and I'm probably a bit over every day on the proteins.  I'm good with the workouts.  But if I'm losing weight, ~3 pounds each month, I'm not going to sweat the counting.

Ugh.  The idea of counting and tracking really really bugs me.  My bohemian side is twitching.

Do you think my vague list of eating goals/limits is satisfactory?  Any suggestions for other not-too-county/tedious ways of tracking or goal-making?  Or do you think I'm setting myself up for failure?

Much Love,
Able-Bodied Girl

ps.  Jan 13, 7a weigh in.  one pound lost.



  1. Congrats on the pound! You are heading in the right direction.

    If counting is too much for you, don't do it. In a month, you'll re-evaluate and see if you want to change something. All the foods you are eating are good, healthy choices, and it would be hard to over-do them. Stick to sensible portion sizes and you will be fine. Listen to your body. You'll know if you are doing the right thing. I needed (need!) the empirical evidence of tracking everything in order to be able to better hear what my body was (is!) telling me. You are much more in tune with yourself than I ever was with myself. I hope you don't think I was trying to lecture you... just offering up the things that were helpful to me! But I know that everyone's journey is different. You just have to pick and choose what you think will work for you.

    Keep it up!

  2. I think putting yourself into a situation where you overanalyze everything is just going to increase the stress on your body trying to be healthier and increase your chances of failure. You are in the dilemma of Diet vs. Life Style Change. Everything you are doing is good and it just needs time, especially if you aren't doing a strict diet like I am right now. I would take your last weight as your baseline and then weigh again in two weeks and then another two after that. Not much to trend on, but since you aren't doing a hardcore diet, you'll need more time see results. Having another person in the house with this common attitude and goal is a great thing. There is a lot of ease and support that comes from it since you won't have to prepare two meals and you can both enjoy each others success. In time, feeding off of it and eventually taking the next inevitable steps in becoming even healthier.

  3. "over on the proteins" is an oxymoron. As long as you aren't getting too much fat along with the protein, protein is the best kind of calories to eat. They are satiating, slow to digest, and difficult for your body to metabolize.

  4. I recognize that tracking is a lot of work at first, but once you enter all of that stuff in spark people once, it gets way easier. Still time-consuming, just slightly less.
    However, I like your approach and you seem to have a good handle on well-balanced/healthy eating. I like what Beth said above about you being more in tune with yourself than I was. I think you're right to see how it goes for a month and then reevaluate.
    Good luck!

  5. Thanks for all the support friends! Especially on such a whining post :) I hope this way does work, because I don't know that I quite have the willpower to really track and count and be all methodical (I know, I know... me, NOT being methodical?? Unheard of!) If it gets to that point, I'll look to you all for lots of cheerleading and maybe some ass-kicking :)