Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Reality Check

853 calories.  If someone told me they were eating 853 calories a day I would've put both hands on their shoulders, shook them gently and said "you're starving yourself and your body is in starvation mode.  Eat something!"  And yet, there I was a few days ago.  The day I realized that I was eating between 853-980 calories a day....and I had absolutely no idea.

Let me back up.  A few of my coworkers are taking a nutrition course and I overheard them talking about myfitnesspal.com, a website where you can track your calories, fitness, etc.  My coworkers know I follow Weight Watchers and included me in the conversation about how they could best get their allotted calories in for the day and how to eat healthfully.  I'm not a calorie counter.  As someone who was never good at math, even adding simple Weight Watchers points together can take some extra thought.  I always thought calorie counting was too complicated, especially when the Weight Watchers points system makes so much sense.

Out of complete curiosity, I entered in the food I had eaten that day and I sat there with my mouth open as it told me that I was only consuming 853 calories.  Surely that was wrong - I was eating my allotted 20 points!  I thumbed through my Weight Watchers journal and entered in another day - one where I had eaten pasta.  Surely that would have put me over the 1,200 mark, right?  Wrong.  Completely wrong.  I was staring at the screen figuring out how in the world my "pasta day" only netted me 980 calories.  So, over the weekend, I decided it was time for me to put aside my 20 points per day and focus on getting in the nutrition that my body so desperately needs. No wonder why I've been having such a hard time losing the last ten pounds of pregnancy weight.

The realist in me knows that I have to eat more to lose more,  but putting it into practice can be challenging.  Regardless, I'm plugging along and tracking my calories, fat, fiber, carbohydrate and protein intake each day.  Surprise surprise, I should get a gold medal for my carbohydrate intake.  My fat consumption, on the other hand, could use a boost.

Over this past weekend, focusing solely on nutritional eating, I felt a million times better.  The urge to have my relaxed weekends where I still track but eat what I want wasn't there.  I'm much less irritable, my energy level is up and you know what?  I'm not hungry.  Not even a little bit.  And right now, that's such an amazing feeling.

I'm certainly not knocking Weight Watchers.  It got me to where I am today and taught me a lot about portion size, moderation and being realistic.  In fact, just for giggles, I'm still tracking my points and I'm finding that instead of the 20 points I should be eating, I'm only going over them by 3-4 points each day.  There's something about counting calories that makes me feel like I can eat so much more, and it's actually encouraging me to get more fruits and veggies into my diet.

I was craving a salad yesterday, so I beefed it up a bunch and after I was finished?  I was full - and extremely happy.

For 308 calories, here was my delicious salad:


It contained spinach, shredded cheese, peanuts and a hard boiled egg.

So all of that rambling just to say boy oh boy did I get a reality check last week.  And I'm so incredibly grateful for it.

Question of the Day:
Do you track calories, weight watcher points, etc., or are you one of those lucky ones that can eat healthfully without much effort?

Until next time!
~Anne Marie