Wednesday, October 12, 2011

{Fitness} Checking In

So I have been calorie counting for about two weeks and it is, surprisingly, going pretty well.

And by "pretty well" I mean that I have been stressed out, overwhelmed, hungry, and extremely emotional, but I am figuring it out. Let me tell you about it, really quick. (Meaning I will ramble for a while and you can skim.)

The Number

Remember how I told you about MyFitnessPal? Well, it calculated the calories I need to take in to be healthy and lose weight. And since I'm small, it was a very, very small number. 1200 for the whole day. 1200. For the whole day! Snacks included!

1200 calories is not much. There was lots of dessert-skipping going on, and that was very sad. In fact, there was no dessert at all for about a week. Go ahead and ask the hubs how that made me feel. ;)

The Experience

Seriously, the first day I kept almost crying. I know that sounds maybe a little stupid, but I just felt like none of the foods I was eating that were low-calorie were making me feel full, and my pitiful 1200 calories were disappearing fast. And I love to eat.

After a couple of days I started shifting things around, eating more veggies as snacks, switching my breakfast from Life or Special K with 1% milk to Cheerios and non-fat milk, that kind of thing. Then I started seeing that I could save up calories so I could have a higher calorie dinner with the hubs who gets to eat--wait for it--2300 calories per day. Yes. Almost twice what I eat.

But last Tuesday, I saved a little too much. I ate so low-calorie during the day that, though I had a ton left by dinnertime, I was exhausted. I had a dinner of low-calorie soup (240 for the whole can) and a piece of toast to dip in it. We had two types of bread, and I chose the lower calorie one. It was gross. But the soup was pretty good, and I felt full, and I got to have a Snickers ice cream bar with my remaining calories.

The Sandwich

This is the lunch I had last Wednesday, after a little over a week of watching my calories. Two pieces of bread, some turkey, an piece of provolone, and thinly sliced apples, with the rest of the apples on the side. It was REALLY good! I loved it. But it took me a while to figure out that I could actually eat real food, and "use up" some calories during the day. I would not have eaten this last week because I would have thought that 100 calories per slice of bread wasn't worth it.

So this week has been better. No gross bread. Less crying. And I am getting more comfortable with being mindful of what I eat. No mindless snacking while I'm fixing the kids' meals. (A lot of times I get something halfway to my mouth, though, and then stop and put it back down.) I use a measuring cup for food portioning, and am now the proud owner of a kitchen scale. I log every bite online, and I am okay with that.

What I've Learned So Far

Okay, so it has been almost two weeks. This week I am feeling more full on less calories (I can tell you how now, if you care). I have still had some crying jags, but I am feeling a little more in control which--unfortunately--is important to me. I have averaged 4 trips per week to the gym, and about 1lb per week of weight loss.

When I stepped on the scale for my weekly weigh in, I was depressed. I honestly didn't think that even with all that work any of this would melt off. But a pound a week. That is pretty good. And thank goodness because reigning in my diet has been crazy hard.

What's Left to Learn

Oh. Lots of things. I need to work on my weekends, when date nights or evenings with friends lead to me blowing my calorie count BIG TIME. I need to find more options for eating, because I love to eat (did I mention that?). I need to make sure I am taking a vitamin, and that I am eating a variety of healthy things, not just the things I know are calorie-cheap. So I'll be working on that. And preparing myself for the holidays, because that is basically like running a calorie-counting 10k while bricks of fudge are being thrown at your mouth. :)


Jessica said...

1200 - Wow! Way to go though Jamie!

I've got two tips for you...

#1. Combine your snacks with a bit of protein. Protein takes a little longer to digest which will help you from feeling hungry sooner.

#2. Low-fat ice cream. We all love those awesome flavors and big dessert chunks in them, but low-fat ice cream is awesome. It's half the calories per serving but still tastes good (not quite as creamy, but when you're calorie counting it hits the spot anyway). As luck would have it, it's also the cheapest stuff at Walmart, so you don't even have to break the budget to get it. Brand - Polar Treats Ice Cream (it has a polar bear on the box).

Keep it up!

Allana said...

So I'm doing the same thing as you. My calorie goal is not much higher - 126. I was having a terrible time with feeling never full too! What I allowed myself to do is have one day a week where I could comfortably go over my calorie goal and not get mad at myself. The trick is still not exceeding the number of calories that would be required to maintain (as opposed to decrease) your weight - I think probably adding 500 calories or something. I do this so that I can still enjoy things like potlucks with friends and not have to have the long face and say "I'm on a diet" and then be met with the "oh, you don't need to go on a diet blah blah" type thing. But yes, in general, this whole calorie counting thing which I never thought I would do is completely eye opening - I never realized how many calories some things I thought were totally healthy had, how much I over portion my cereal, how much of muncher I am, etc. Anyway, sorry, long blabbing post...

Christie (and Eric) said...

Hey Jamie - sorry I'm behind!

1200 is definitely not much, but, like Jessica said, make a point to eat high-protein items. Think beans, peanuts, whole grains, even protein bars (my new best friend!), bananas, oatmeal (there's an awesome blueberry muffin oatmeal from Better Oats - they sell it at WalMart and Aldi for $1)or hummus.

Also, remember fats aren't always bad - they make you feel full. I feel like we've been really trained to think "fat is bad," but unsaturated fats make you feel full and are harder for your body to digest, burning more calories with digestion.

Oh, and planning meals and snacks helps me a lot too... I like knowing that in 2 hours I'm going to get to eat that apple. It gives me something to look forward to.

Keep it up. It may not be fun, but it does get easier!!