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Counting Calories

September 23, 2009 15 comments

calories jot

I have always counted calories. I can tell you how many calories are in any food you can think of (as long as i’ve heard of it).  I’ve memorized the serving and portion sizes on every food label and am well aware of the calories in hundreds of dishes at hundreds of restaurants. I am familiar with every calorie counting site that’s out there and have compared food between all the sites. I never intended to memorize how many calories were in everything, but after obsessing over it for so long, it just happened. I became my own calorie directory.

Anytime I ate anything I would either write down exactly what I had eaten portion size and all or I’d leave a running total in my head, which would eventually get written down, I have notebook after note book tracking my daily intake. It wasn’t odd to find sticky notes around the house with random numbers that would eventually be added into the daily total.  Every bite, every sip, every crunch…I counted.  Oh the insanity. Oh the burden. Oh the responsiblity.  It was a chore. I’ve counted calories for so long that I don’t know how to not count them.

Over the past 10 months I  have tried to stop counting calories and measure or count every single thing I put in my mouth and I have gotten so much better. But still almost everyday I end up calculating calories. Sometimes its at the end of the day or sometimes its in the middle. I’ll leave a running total in my head or jot it on a piece of paper…its not that I’m trying to stay below a certain number of calories like I have done in the past. I think it has something to do with me worrying I might be eating too much or even too little, or maybe I just don’t remember how to eat without counting.

I’m not quite sure how to kick this habit, and I’d love any ideas, suggestions, or personal triumphs.  I try to eat when my body is hungry and choose foods that are healthy and nutritious, but I’ve still not been able to let go of the counting completely.  It is no longer an obsession but a small reminder or my past and something i’d like to eliminate completely.  I know that many of you have been in similar situations and have found success, or maybe you have never even counted calories and are “normal” eater…either way I’d love some suggestions and a helping hand.

Here are a few questions:

Do you count calories?
(if yes, is it an obsession or is it helpful and positive)
 (if no, have you ever in the past and was it a positive experience )

If you don’t count calories how do you keep track of what you eaten on a daily basis?

Have you or are you currently losing weight without counting calories?

What do you think about calorie counting?

Peanut Butter Lover

September 10, 2009 9 comments

peanut-butter-spoon 

In my old life I used to sneak peanut butter.  A spoon full here or there when no one was looking and sometimes much more than that. Who was I hiding from you ask?? Myself. Thats right..my natzi self. Eating peanut butter was something I considered cheating and sinful. It felt like I was breaking a rule that stated peanut butter was the devil and when I partooke I would be damned to hell….or at least it left me feeling that way afterwards.  As quilty as I felt, and as much punishment as I put myself through after eating it, i’d always end up eating it again.  I remember watching my sister eat  peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast. She had no worry or guilt and was definitely not sneaking it.  The peanut butter sandwich was not her guilty pleasure but instead her breakfast of choice. She would always follow it up with a big glass of milk, and as I watched her I envied her guiltless conscience.  Why couldn’t I dig in to the peanut butter jar and feel no guilt?  The answer is simple.  I WAS CRAZY.  🙂 ok just kidding…not crazy, but seriously confused.  Lets take a look at the nutrional value of Peanut butter:

                                           Peanut Butter Nutritional Info

 Check out this article about healthy benefits of boiled peanuts…aka peanut butter.

So here are the facts: 190 calories for 2 tbs of Peanut Butter.  16 grams of fat. 8 grams of Protein. 3 grams of sugar. Eating 190 of my precious calories on Peanut Butter seemed INSANE.  It’s easy to understand my logic when you realize I was restricting my diet to 1000 calories or less (most times less). In my world after a couple spoon fulls of peanut butter you have eaten more than half of your allotted calories for the day.  I believe this is why I labeled Peanut Butter as a “bad” food.

When I began my journey to a healthy life there were so many things I had to change.  I’ve taken it step by step and conquered one thing at a time.  Changing the way I think about food… “good” food and “bad” food was one of those changes.  I did a lot of  reading, thinking, and talking with friends and family. I began to better understand how to have a normal relationship with food.  NO FOOD IS BAD FOOD.  Fat free mayo is not “good” and Regular mayo “bad”… low calorie bread is not “good” and regular bread “bad”….neither one is “good” or “bad”.  Eating, although pleasurable is really about fueling our body’s.  Making healthy moderate food choices can help fuel our body’s and give us the energy we need to live healthy lives.  I have learned that moderation is the key.  Through trial and error, prayers, motivational talks from my husband and through a lot of determination, I actually feel in control with my food choices and am proud of my progress. 

Just for fun… Here are a few things related to my food choices and thoughts that a year ago I would have never thought I could do….(without feeling guilt)

  • If I want regular mayo on my sandwich then dog gonitt i’m going to have it. 
  • If I decide that I like regular bread instead of diet calorie bread because it taste better and has more nutrients I’m going to have it. 
  • If I want a cookie or a piece of cake i’m going to eat it.
  • And last but certainly not least….If I want to eat peanut butter everyday then I will and I’ll feel great about it.

That guilt that I used to feel is gone.  I realized that peanut butter is not “bad” for me when eaten in moderation.  Although I could easily help my self to the entire jar, a spoon full or two each day is perfectly fine. Infact, since I have changed my behaviors and let myself eat the things I enjoy (which also include a plethora of healthy and nutritional foods) I have actually lost weight.  Although losing weight is not my goal, it happened.  Slowly my body has started to accepted the changes I have made and is loving my new healthy choices. It appreciates the extra protein it gets, and the rich nutrients it receives through eating yummy fruits and veggies. It loves the carbs I give it that allow it to fuel through a hard workout among other things.  Ironic as it may be, eating a healthy moderate diet has not only benefited my mind and spirit but my waist line!  Who knew!  (everyone but me obviously!?)

Through this process I have had many triumphs both small and large.  Last night as I read my emails with a spoon of peanut butter in hand, I realized that I felt no guilt eating it . None what so ever. Guilelessly eating peanut butter is a huge triumph for me. In conculstion….I am a peanut butter lover who loves peanut butter and I’m proud of it! Woo HOO!