We Be Calorie Countin’

For most of my adult life I have been around the same weight/size, though it has had its moments of fluctuation. About five years ago, I started my blog (my blog just had its 5th birthday, that’s a long time!) and if you’ve been reading since the beginning you know I started this as sort of a ‘healthy living blog’. Everyone else seemed to be doing it, so I thought why not. I basically logged what I ate and my workouts every day, and due to this I dropped…I don’t know how much weight, I wasn’t really weighing myself, but I would say at least 10 pounds, maybe 15. I was noticeably more svelte, and all around more fit.

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When I look back at pictures of myself from 2011 and 2012 I can definitely notice a difference in how my body looked to how it is now. Somehow I can still fit into the same clothes, and my pants still fit (except for one pair of pants that I could wear at my thinnest, and which I am keeping in case that time should happen to come again), but they are tighter or don’t exactly fit properly, and it doesn’t feel great. Having your muffin top trying to bust out of your pants just isn’t a confident feeling.

I managed to keep up with the healthy living stuff for a while even when I stopped blogging about it as much. Because blogging about that got old for me pretty fast. I can only talk about my oatmeal so many times before I am embarrassed for myself. Around the time I started dating Evan though, the weight just seemed to pile on. It makes sense. Before, I was in an unhealthy relationship, so I didn’t mind spending time after work at the gym, and then I was single, so again, I didn’t mind spending time at the gym. And then I started dating Evan and I just wanted to hang out with him and eat everything possible because I was so excited he liked food as much as I do. And then I went to Jamaica, and then we went to Florida, and I ate all the things, and I seemed to get into this rut that I haven’t been able to get out of. Although I’m probably back to how I was before the svelteness that happened in 2011, I’m not at the level that I know is possible for me.

Anyway, so I gained probably 10 pounds (I’m estimating, I’m not sure how much) almost immediately, and although my weight fluctuates and I can gain almost that much after a big meal, this 10 pounds stuck. I never really made an effort to try to get back into that healthy living phase again. Oh sure, I had surges. The Whole3o last January, the awesome training I did with Gillian, my spurts of going to the gym and running again. There’s been moments, but nothing has been consistent. And of course we all know that consistency is what makes the difference.

Evan is actually in the same boat as me on this. It seems like we just like to eat and be lazy together. So, since the beginning of January, we have been calorie counting. And again, we have gone through phases like this before, but this time it’s been almost a month and a half and I feel like it might be sticking. I don’t intend to count my calories forever, but to get myself back on track with my portion sizes and really take a look at how I eat, I know from my blogging back in the day that holding myself accountable is helpful.

I’m aiming for about 1500-1800 calories a day, and most days I find this really easy to stay within. Here’s what a typical workday looks like for me:

Breakfast

  • Oatmeal with cinnamon and either a banana or berries

Lunch

  • Either leftovers from dinner, soup (I’ve been on a big soup-making kick lately and I usually make some sort of giant soup for the week on Sundays), or a salad

Dinner

  • Usually chicken, pork or fish, a vegetable/salad, and rice or a sweet potato or something carb-y. Sometimes spaghetti squash or a stirfry or casserole. Basically we try to focus on lean proteins and vegetables.

For snacks I’ll usually have a yogurt, cheese, popcorn, and a Girl Guide cookie or two (room for that in every diet). And a glass of wine with dinner (room for that as well!). I’m just eating a bit more strategically than I do when I’m not paying attention to how many calories I’m consuming.

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It’s nice that Evan is doing this with me so we can commiserate (also, can I just say that I really love that Evan still has read receipts on his phone?).

By the way, we’re using MyFitnessPal to track our calories. It’s the best.

On days that I eat out, or I’m out of my routine, of course my calories are way over. If I go out for dinner I can easily eat 1,000 calories in that one meal. Last weekend I went to a baby shower — and the best part of showers are eating. I snacked my way around that food table like nobody’s business.

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It’s difficult to track everything I ate. Here’s my try:

  • Four triscuit thin crisps
  • Five pieces of cheddar cheese
  • Four pieces of kolbassa
  • A pickle
  • Half a cup (?) of nacho dip
  • A handful of Tostitos
  • 7-10 dill pickle chips
  • Several pieces of pita bread (how can I possibly remember how many…)
  • Several spoonfuls of two types of hummus dips
  • Several spoonfuls of bean dip with mango
  • Many, many apple slices with this amazing vanilla Skor dip
  • A few raw cucumbers and celery (but they don’t count anyway, do they?)
  • Some type of delicious lemon cake tart
  • A vanilla cake pop
  • A big piece of vanilla cake with buttercream icing
  • A two bite brownie with a tablespoon (give or take) of buttercream icing on top
  • One mimosa
  • A glass of punch

And when this happens I’m surprised at how quickly those calories add up!

But I’m doing what I can. I’m trying to be consistent, and reminding myself again that consistency is what counts. All or nothing is just not going to work for me. I need to feel free to stalk food tables (and I did this in my sveltest stage, so I know it can work).

I am also trying to get 70,000 steps per week, as per my fitbit.

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I may not be able to get 10,000 steps per day. Some days that just wouldn’t be possible. But I can make up for that step deficit on the days where I can’t be as active as I would like. 70,000 steps per week is an achievable goal for me. I have been walking every day at lunch for at least half an hour, which has been great (and has also been helpful keeping the winter blues away I think). I have also been running on the treadmill for at least half an hour two to three days a week. I just signed up for a 10k in June (the Toronto Waterfront 10k) so I better keep up with the running — that’s the furthest distance I’ve ever run!

I do feel like these changes are making a difference. I have lost about 5 pounds since early January, and as I said my weight does fluctuate that much if I eat a big meal, but I feel like it’s legit.

So, I’m hoping to keep it up. It just sucks that it’s something I have to think about and put effort into all the time. Why can’t my default setting just be healthy and active?!

And although I don’t want to turn this back into a healthy living blog (I would rather blog about my adventures, unfortunately I haven’t had many lately), maybe you will understand if I talk about it a little bit. My goal is really just to feel comfortable in my clothes and not like my muffin top is trying to push my pants away from my body. That is all.

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16 responses to “We Be Calorie Countin’

  1. I hate putting effort into being healthy. It’s the worst. I’ve been using MFP for years and years. I want to stop but I feel like I always go back to it for some reason. It’s like a food logging addiction. Also, the reason why I stopped Weight Watchers – because everything became a point value and that was no fun. So maybe this will be the year I stop logging my food but still eat within a healthy range? I have 1.5-2 Lindsey’s hanging on, but I got rid of 5 of them so that makes me happy.

    Also, you’re lucky because you’re tall and weight gain isn’t really as noticeable on you. But keep up the good work! I feel like it’s harder to be healthy in the winter when you can wear clothes that cover all the things. So nice work mamacita!

  2. woo good luck! I think it is soo hard to start calorie counting, but once you stick with it for a few weeks it becomes easy (I did it solidly for 6+ months while I was dieting a couple years ago). Im trying to get back in it now since my muffin top has reappeared, but with all the running my hunger is all over the place. sometimes I have no appetite and some days (ok, most days) I clean out the cupboards. its tough to balance!!

    I am super stoked for our 10K though!! Its so good to have goals to keep you consistently working out

  3. Good on you, I think it helps when you have someone doing it with you. I am currently attempting Feb Fast and not drinking alcohol for the month of February, my husband started off doing it with me but then buckled on the first weekend and so is only doing it during the week now.

    I attempted it last year and only lasted until lunchtime on the first day because we went out for lunch and the cocktail menu just looked far too appealing. I am proud of my effort this year on my 11th day and I have noticed that I may have shed some pounds, I don’t own scales so I can’t be sure but I have started wearing a belt with some pants that didn’t previously require one due to my muffin top holding them up.

    Good luck!

    • I have debated doing this… I think the winter months are the only ones I could do it in. Beer on a sunny patio is just too tempting. Although I might be able to do it during the week! Baha at only lasting until lunchtime on the first day. That sounds about right.
      Good luck!

  4. I’m right there with ya on the “on and off the weight loss train”, sister. All aboard…

  5. Do I ever feel you buddy. Although my fluctuations are much more drastic and very bad for me. Ugh. I just love pizza so much.

  6. Glad you’re going to include some of your mindful eating adventures again. I’m always on and off healthy eating, so I can really relate. I’ve gained 20 pounds since I got married in September 2015!! Five have come off since I too started eating better recently. I feel I’m on the wagon again – so your blogs will give me some motivation!

    I loved your baby shower food table list, btw. I too would eat all the things!

    Also, lucky you to have Evan right there along with you. The constant bags of ketchup and salt and vinegar chips in our cupboard at home make this even more of challenge for me…

    Good luck!

    • Oh that would be tough. We do also have a roommate who keeps us well-stocked in chips, so I feel your pain.
      And I still think that as long as you are eating healthy most of the time you can still eat all the things available at social events!

  7. PS I lied, I got married in September 2014. So, not so bad…. 😛

  8. Lindsey, I am so proud of you and your blog is inspiring as I too need to work on my weight again. Continue with the blog because you are inspiring more people than you realize. It’s all about long term health. Keep it up and you will live a long and fulfilling life like your Nana! You go girl!

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