Friday, July 9, 2010

Counting Calories

Logic (and science) say that is takes 3500 calories to equal one pound. So if you consume 500 calories less than normal each day you will lose one pound per week.
I know, nothing earth shattering here.
For my height and weight the calculators for BMR (the number of calories I would burn if I stayed in bed all day) is approximately 2300. Take off the 500 from that and we are at 1800. So to burn one pound per week my maximum calories are 1800. I know that exercise and moving around burns more, but for the sake of simplicity and perhaps burning more than one pound per week, let's keep this simple.
My dietitian would like my target to be 1600 which gives me 200 calories to accommodate the occasional indulgence and hungry days.
So 1600.
Now the hard part. That means I need to track my food. Really track my food. Keep a diary and write everything down. I DON'T WANT TO!
There I said it, out loud. I don't want to! I have said that before on this blog and I am saying it again, I don't want to. Do I sound like a seven year old, annoying child yet, no? ok, I don't want to. Now? Yes, Ok, enough!
I heard a dietitian on TV say that unless you are willing to write down your food intake you are not ready to lose weight. But here's the thing. I am ready to lose weight. I am ready to do the work. I am ready to take better care of myself. BUT I can't convince myself to count calories. And, the most frustrating part, really, is I have no idea why.
I keep thinking and thinking and thinking about why and the only thing I can come up with is failure.
I am afraid that if I track and still don't succeed then I have to blame myself for failing. Up to now, I have been on a diet, exercised, read a lot of books and really, deep down not been able to say that I have given it my all. If you don't track and weigh everything and count calories and go to the gym, can you really say you are giving it everything you've got. And if you don't give it everything you've got, it's not a failure if you don't succeed, it was just a bad attempt.
So, if I track and really give it my all, what happens if I don't succeed. What happens if I fail. What happens if I want a cookie here and there. What happens if I get cravings for chocolate. How do I figure out how to add them in to the 1600 calories and not feel deprived.
But then, should I feel deprived? This is not supposed to be easy. I read Sean's blog and he is a huge advocate of eating everything you want but in moderation and counting it towards your daily total. He has lost over 250lbs. He is giving motivational speeches now.
But he is not me, and I am not him. I suffer from Migraines. Horrendous, crazy migraines and they are absolutely triggered by food. If I eat the wrong things, too little, not frequently enough, artificial things, too many nuts, too much citrus, raw onions, bananas..the list is so long it is exhausting to think about.
So what do I do, if I start to track and I just can't manage to get this right. Then where does that leave me? What do I do then. Because then, I would be out of options. And that, I can't deal with. I can't deal with the hopelessness that that triggers. I just can't.
So, I need to turn this around in my head. I need to be confident that it will work. That I can survive on 1600 calories and not get sick. That I can add exercise to that and readjust if needed. That I can have good weeks and bad weeks but all in all I can lose one pound per week in a healthy way and get to goal. It might take me longer than some others, but I can do this and I will not fail.
I will start tracking on paper and try to figure out how to use Spark and then try to track on-line. I will try to buy groceries this weekend that will make meal planning easier. I will try to reframe the conversation so that I start to believe that tracking is just another tool in my tool box and is not the last option that I have.
I will do this, I will.


  1. I heard this quote not too long ago,

    "You will fail 100% of the time that you do not get on the court."

    I personally agree with the life of moderation and have lost 65 lbs due to that -- but it isn't for everyone. You can do this. Set your mind and decide why you are doing this -- and let that drive you to your fitter you.

    looking forward to hearing of your successes!

  2. Just wanted to say good luck and hang in there. You'll find what works for you and you'll succeed.