Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Counting Decision

First of all, I was planning on posting my answers to the interview questions Heather asked me weeks ago but something is wrong with the pictures on my thumb drive...I'll problem shoot this evening and try again tomorrow. :(

My weekend was great! Having a 3 day weekend was fantastic but I was actually contemplating staying home today...seems like the more time I get away from work, the more time I want. We saw "The International" which is a pretty good thriller movie. We're waiting until next weekend to see "Confessions of a Shopaholic"...we have two free movie tickets but we can't use the coupon the first weekend a movie opens so we decided to wait until next weekend for Shopaholic and use the free tickets coupon. We did some shopping at the outlet malls...I did get some new tops at Ann Taylor but nothing too exciting.

My debit card got a ton of use this weekend...long story short, Stephen's account was cancelled without his knowledge on Friday so he couldn't use his debit card (there was suspected fraud/ID theft). I paid for everything all weekend and we kept a tally of what he owes me. No big deal but you should have seen all the receipts! It was ridiculous!!

I also decided something monumental this weekend...I'm done counting calories/points/grams of carbs, fat, protein/all of that for now. I've spent most of the last 16 years of my life in two modes: either on a diet or off a diet. There was never a happy medium of eating healthy but still enjoying food. Mentally, I'm tired of adding up calories in my head and my relationship with food is so wacked. Some days I'm satisfied with 1400 calories but because that's below my BMR (basal metabolic rate), I'd eat more just to get to my BMR. By doing that, it's like I don't trust my body to tell me what it wants or needs. That is absurd!! I trust my body when I'm running to tell me when to stop or when to push further...my body can tell me if it's hungry or not and I should trust it!

This is something I've been thinking about for a while as I've continued to count calories and yet my weight has stayed exactly the same. Emotionally and mentally, I can't keep counting calories to stay in the exact same spot...that is a lot of wasted time and energy. I don't know if I'll lose weight not counting or if I'll gain but I've got to get back to a better place with food. Food isn't a punishment and it's not a reward but I've been using it as both...healthy foods are a punishment when I'm on my diet and not so healthy foods are a reward when I'm off my diet. And when I'm on my diet, I feel like I should eat certain foods and not eat other foods. But when I'm off my diet, I take that opportunity to eat anything and everything in sight. I'm tired of this see-saw way of looking at food.

Here's what I'm doing (which I'll call my guidelines as rules sound way too harsh):
1) No counting. I can look at calorie counts just for informational purposes only. Example: a new product just for an idea of it is healthy.
2) Listen to my hunger cues. If I'm hungry, eat. If I'm not hungry, don't eat.
3) Similarly, stop eating when I'm full. This means slowing down and evaluating fullness at different points during the meal.
4) Eat what my body is craving. If I want chocolate, eat chocolate but make sure it's the good dark kind. If I want squash, eat squash (and, yes, I've actually had cravings for squash before).
5) Keep an eye on portion sizes. This may mean measuring out cereal and weighing meat.

So far, this has been so freeing. It's like all this room in my head that I was using to add up calories is now free to learn other information!! Also, I'm not weighing myself anymore. I'll know if I lose weight...my clothes will get baggier, I don't need to know to the tenths of a pound what my weight is.

There are sure to be some mis-steps along the way but I feel so much happier already...I've got tears in my eyes, I'm so happy to enjoy food again. Plus, not talking about calories and food frees up my blog to talk about working out and running more...which are the more positive and uplifting experiences for me anyways.


♥ Dee ♥ said...

I'm intrigued! The freedom!

I'm curious... do you weigh yourself regularily? Weekly? Or do you go by your clothing? Or is this something that you are letting go as well as the calorie counting?

I am sooo going to follow your blog.

Juice said...

This sounds like it has been a long time coming. I hope that you will find incredible freedom and satisfaction listening to your body and becoming healthy. I think the running analogy really works - you know when your body really needs a rest, and you know when you are just being lazy. Same thing with food and hunger. I'm pulling for you. Show us how to be sane and healthy! :)

Jen said...

Counting can DEFINITELY take it's toll on you! I am glad that you are feeling more free already!!!

I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the long weekend this weekend!! (it was Family Day in Alberta!)

Sparky said...

Sounds very sensible! :)