A recent conversation at the doctor's office:
"I've been eating better, not perfect, but better, and I've been exercising more and somewhat consistently yet I seem to keep gaining weight. I don't get it."
"Well, you might not be eating enough. You should keep a food journal to see if you need to up your calorie intake."
You can imagine how that piece of advice sounds to someone who has struggled with weight their entire life and has forever attributed that issue to not enough exercise and too much food. To finally come to a time and age when working out and interest in lighter, healthier eating has finally started to take hold and then hear the reason the weight clings is because I'm eating too few calories simply blows my mind.
Truth be told I thought lady was crazy when she offered her take. I understand the concept of making your body think it's starving if you're not eating enough, causing it to go into storage mode, but I couldn't understand how that scenario could possible apply to me. I'm eating better. Usually. Sometimes? Not perfect by any stretch. I still indulge in drive-thru meals, embarrassingly enough most often after I've hit the gym when I'm too tired and it's too late to cook. (Let's talk about crazy, shall we?) But I'm better, and that should stand for something, right?
This past Sunday I bumped into some friends, one of whom has dropped an incredible 80 pounds and looks fantastic! He has a foot on me in height and now weighs less than I do. Can we talk about depressing? In desperation I begged his secret: fitness and calorie counting. Now, Weight Watchers actually worked for me once upon a time but I've never, ever wanted to become a calorie counter. Lately I'll try just about anything, however, and so I ask him to tell me more.
Turns out there is this amazing little app for my iPhone that will count your calories for you! It calculates your calorie intake goal based on your height and weight, asks for your weight loss goals, even tracks your water intake (for those of you who don't know, I suck at water. It is a massive accomplishment that I now drink about a Sigg bottle a day) and exercise habits. All for FREE!
I downloaded MyFitnessPal(.com) and started tracking right away. Figuring I'd already blown the bulk of my daily allowance on the indulgent Corner Bakery Anaheim Scrambler breakfast I'd had I took it easy at lunch with a sushi roll and edamame. I wondered how I was going to find anything to eat at dinner with the girls for what I imagined to be a cup of carrots worth of calories I'd be allowed left to consume. I shared some scrumptious Korean BBQ with some lovely ladies and tallied up the damage done. Much to my shock after dinner I still had 796 calories to go to reach my goal.
Ok, so, maybe there is something to this not-eating-enough thing. Now armed with what will hopefully continue to be a wonderful tool I am preparing myself to try to shift 20+ years of ingrained thinking. Waking up in the morning wondering how on earth I'm going to be able to eat enough is just not a place I ever thought I'd be.