Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dieting

Okay, I'm dieting. Have been for the past few weeks or so. I didn't use to have to worry about this. I used to have a high enough metabolism that I could eat anything and maintain the same weight. I was 136 pounds for years (which at 5'8 seems to make me look good). Then I hit 30.

I swear the moment I hit 30 my metabolism said "been at this for 3 decades now... I'm done" and skipped town. My 136 lbs went with it. Within a year, I was 155... then 165. At 165, my abused bones held a revolt. My bum leg started to rebel, my squonky hips staged a protest, the other broken things decided they were joining in the fun because they really had nothing better to do.

At the time, I thought I was finally having problems with everything because the Michigan weather was too much. So I moved to Florida. In no time at all, I was feeling better, the bones were happy, and I was almost normal again. Of course, I also had a job where I worked from 8-4 straight with no lunch break, was on my feet all day, and was so stressed out that by the time I got home, I didn't want to eat. Needless to say, I lost weight. A lot of weight. In less than a year, I learned that 110 lbs does not look good on my frame. (Not that it wasn't nice to get into a size 6, and a C cup, but you could've played my ribs like a xylophone.)

One thing led to another and it all led me to colder climes. Still my bones were playing nice. Winter in Utah? Feh. It was nothing, and I still felt great. I gained a little weight back, stopped looking like a walking skeleton, and still nothing. I was back to my old standby weight again. Yay.

So, here I am in Colorado. Four years have gone by, and I've gained back most of the weight I lost since Michigan. And guess what? My body's back to its old tricks again. And it's friggin' summer, so the winter weather can't be the cause.

Process of elimination tells me it was the weight all along.

Yes, yes. I know 162 pounds is not overweight for someone my age and height. I've also known for a long time that added weight on my stupid legs would cause them to give out sooner rather than later. Add it all together and it means that I have about twenty pounds to lose and keep off if I want to dance with my husband at our tenth wedding anniversary. It all comes down to the simple choice: Eat less or get ready for another round in the wheelchair - and this round would be for good.

With that in mind, I'm not trying any of the fad diets, and I'm not starving myself. Neither way works in the long run. What I'm doing is sticking to 1300 calories or less a day. According to a couple dieting sites, that's a safe calorie count and should get me about one calorie thinner a week, and at my goal by the end of the year.

I'm playing this smart. (I think.) I recognize that every once in a while, I'm going to fall down. One day I may eat 1400 calories, another I may eat only 1200. It's all good. I figure if I average 1300 a day over the course of a week, the results will be the same. I also recognize that it's worse to cut out treats entirely. I know refusing yourself anything yummy can lead to a big fall off the diet wagon. So I allow myself something sweet, as long as it falls within the calorie count and I don't sacrifice healthy foods to eat it. (Did you know a fudgicle only has 70 calories? Yay fudgicles!)

And another thing. I trade myself calories. If I know I'm making something a little more calorific for dinner, I eat less for breakfast and lunch. Like the other day, when I knew I was making hamburgers. Oof, those things'll add on more than their fair share of calories. It was a granola bar for breakfast and a salad for lunch day.

Being the nerd I am, I made a spread sheet to keep track of everything I eat during the day, and it sums and averages. I use the internet to look up the calorie counts for each food that doesn't already have one. (Little Debbie Spice Cake? 170 calories) For the most part, I use this site - http://www.thecaloriecounter.com/ - for the basic stuff, and surf for other stuff. (Wendy's Baconator? 830! It wasn't mine. I had a Junior Hamburger at 260 calories, but damn that Baconator looked good.)

Anyway, that's the gist of it. I'll be happy if I get back to 140. Maybe then I can fit into a size ten again, and find a... support garment... that fits. Smaller clothing will only be icing on the cake, though, if I can get my bones to shut up for a few more years.

Are you trying to lose weight? Trying to get healthier? Either way, feel free to join in. Eat lighter, eat smarter... live longer.

.

1 comment:

Jason said...

I use the Calorie Counter website too. It has helped a lot with my daily math. And that's what it is. Math. I'm on a 1500 cals/day diet and...well...I try.

I think I had that many for dinner tonight.