Monday, October 15, 2012

Counting Calories

Since my early twenties, I have generally always found a way to incorporate exercise into my life. At times, I was really consistent running about 20 miles a week and hitting the gym in between runs. Other times, I’ve slipped and let exercise become a low priority resulting in immediate weight gain.  But generally, I have kept up with exercise incorporating hiking, running and lifting several times a week.
Something that I haven’t really managed so well is my diet. I think I am healthier than most Americans, but let’s be honest, that’s not saying much.   Generally, I avoid fast food and opt for higher protein meals versus starchy ones at restaurants. For a long time, I stopped ordering French Fries or greasy foods and I never drink soda.  My problem is that my serving portions are the equivalent of what an NFL player consumes and I am incapable of refusing pastries. I've also allowed French Fries and greasy food to occasionally sneak back into my life.
 After years of denial, I am finally accepting that maybe I need to control my diet as consistently as I have been about exercise.  I am 4'11" and I’ve stayed between 115-130lbs for most of my 20s getting as low as 105lbs at my absolute best. I am pretty proud about this weight range, but would be delighted if I could stay at 115lbs forever.  I feel the best when I am a comfortable size 4 and have strong arms and shoulders. Sadly, I haven’t been a comfortable size 4 in ages and the scale has been north of 120lbs for years.  I step up on exercise, but the results are just not exactly where I want them to be. I decided last week that It is time to take serious action to reach my goal.
I decided that I am far too much of a foodie to adopt a fad diet or anything that I can’t maintain long-term. I love all kinds of food from all over the planet, and I didn’t want to do anything too restricting. I decided that what would work best for me is to start controlling my portions and making wise decisions about eating by counting calories. To that end, I enlisted the help of my friends for their suggestions on an easy to use tool to help me track my calories. Many suggested, which I started using last Monday.
I have to say, that this first week of counting calories and tracking exercise has been fantastic!  I am allowed 1,200 calories on days when I don’t exercise to reach my goal weight of 115lbs. I am allwoed a few more calories on days when I do excerise. Crrently I weigh 130lbs.
This concept of earning my calorie allowance has been really helpful. During this first week, I found myself planning my meals for each day based on how many calories I should try to consume for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each day, I tried to eat the exact same breakfast so I can be consistent with my count.  I eat 2 soft-boiled eggs and a whole-wheat pita, a 300 calorie lunch and a dinner of 600 calories or less. I am also motivated to keep up with nearly daily exercise routines just because I love the idea of tracking my exercise on My Fitness Pall and tracking my progress.   I was also really good about logging in my entries each day. I made sure I didn’t go to sleep without tracking my food and exercise. I am already feeling a little more wiggle room in my clothes!


  1. Thanks for posting this article. It hits home once you realize that your metabolism in your early to late twenties is not the same after you hit your 30's. Balancing work, volunteering and family can often be a challenge when you are trying to add exercising. I squeeze in gym time when I can and if I am unable to, I then resort food portions or as a colleague of mine shared with me years ago "eat like a politician" move move around and eat only a small portion. For some reason it did not make sense then; however, it makes a whole lot of sense now. I am proud to say that I am 14 pounds lighter than what I was almost two months ago!

  2. That's awesome Sahara! I noticed you look fabulous!!