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 www.myfitnesspal.com, 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!