Monday, April 4, 2011

Creatively groundbreaking blog post: Mommy whining about her diet

My hubby and I started a "lifestyle change" (not supposed to say "diet") last week.  This was largely prompted by my youngest sister joining Weight Watchers and promptly losing enough weight to make her officially lighter than me (by about 1.5 pounds).  Not being willing to be the heaviest sister, I resolved to stop eating.  Once I got hungry and realized that was stupid, I resolved to start counting my calories again.

A few years ago, I used to count my calories.  I had to stop doing this for a few reasons (not least of which was getting pregnant).  One of the big issues I had is that calorie-counting and obsessive-compulsive disorder don't go very well together, and I may have gone a little bit overboard, depending on who you ask.

So, when my hubby and I signed up at MyFitnessPal, I edited my permissions so he can see all my entries.  This helps hold me accountable to eating healthy and eating enough, instead of trying shortcuts (i.e. substituting Diet Red Bull and Hydroxycut for a day's worth of meals).

But, I'm not going to lie, losing weight the slow and healthy way sucks.  It's constant work, day after day, with very little payoff and it never ends.  And that doesn't even cover all the extra little ways it sucks.  Like...

Being allowed to eat exactly half as much as my husband.  The way MyFitnessPal works is that you enter your current weight, height, gender, general activity level, and how much you want to weigh.  It calculates a target date, daily calories, fat, protein, etc., based on the parameters you gave it.  My husband, being a lot bigger than me and working a job that's the physical equivalent of wrestling grizzly bears, gets to eat twice as many calories as me each day.  Since the most active part of my day is walking upstairs to the mailroom, I get to eat 1,300 whole calories a day, a granola bar more than they inject into coma patients.

Hubby:  "I'm doing so well today.  I deep-fried my PB&J in butter instead of bacon grease."
Me:  "Hold on.  I'm still scraping the flavor off my carrot sticks."

Using "healthy" alternatives to certain foods.  My hubby and I have a weekend tradition of staying up to watch Saturday Night Live and eat junk food and drink beer.  One of our favorite meals for watching SNL is homemade mini-pizzas, on Grand's Biscuits.  These are a specialty of my husband's, and they are buttery and delicious.  But, to save calories, he realized we could substitute whole-grain pitas for the biscuits and it would be a lot healthier.  This led to us sitting on the couch in silent, mutual disappointment, not because of Elton John's opening monologue bombing so badly, but because our delicious, buttery mini-pizzas had been replaced by lean pepperoni-topped cardboard.

Using a 1/4 cup measure to pour trail mix.  To know you're eating right, you have to pay a lot of attention to portion control on a diet.  People often overestimate measurements on portion sizes, so you have to actually weigh and measure out your food.  I found out the hard way that one of my favorite "healthy" snacks, trail mix, though only having 110 calories a serving, has a serving size of a quarter of a cup.  There are therefore seven servings in a little 7 oz. bag.  If I'd eaten the whole bag, like I so badly wanted to do, I'd be over halfway through my calories for the day.

Getting your serving sizes messed up anyway because half your food is going down your toddler's throat.  My son is a Gold Medal food-moocher.  And I'm his Mommy; I'm not going to begrudge my baby's love of healthy snacks like trail mix.  Until I realize that he's picked out all the dried dates and pineapple and I'm left with a few nasty shavings of coconut (which we both hate).

Telling people you're on a diet.  This is the worst.  There's no way to avoid it.  Someone notices you're not eating something, and they have to ask what's up.  This happened with a friend of mine last week.  She'd cooked for our Bible Study, and noticed I wasn't eating any spaghetti.  I had to explain that it came down to having enough calories for either spaghetti or a rice krispie treat, and I had my priorities in line.  She understood, but I don't telling general acquaintances I'm cutting down on calories.  Here's what I always feel like they're thinking...

Person skinnier than me:  "Sure, good luck with that, fatty."
Person larger than me:  "She's smaller than I am and thinks she needs to lose weight.  She must think I'm a cow."

The only people it's fun to talk to about a diet to are my pregnant friends, because it's the one time I get to not be envious of them.  I'm thinking of telling all of them I'm on the brand new "Sushi-and-Vodka-because-I-just-love-seeing-my-feet" diet.

1 comment:

nicola bingo jones said...

Very interesting advice but I would allow yourself more calories than that as your metobolism will slow down. I eat around 1800 and exercise for 30 minutes a day and manage ok without feeling deprived.

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