Monday, September 5, 2011

To Count or Not to Count...?

I like it, Anne!  Both Marky Mark shirtless (hummina hummina) and the encouragement about not worrying about calories in the food you should eat.  I really struggle with this one.  I've been trying for 16 years to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen, and have read dozens of books out there that all say to do different things.  I eventually took bits and pieces from each book or theory that fit into my life, and over-all things started working.  (Of course, this was all before 2007, when I found out baby #2 was en-route...) 

The one thing that I discovered, mostly by accident, is that I don't lose weight (can't lose weight?) when I'm not counting calories.  I think it's a Kristin-specific thing, unfortunately.  I attribute this to the books that told me that it's "true that you can't gain weight eating 2000 calories worth of celery or lettuce..." but it's also (possibly) true (not my quote, something from a book...),
"that if you eat too many calories of healthy stuff, almonds or avocados or lean meat or Greek yogurt or whatever, you won't lose weight if you were small to begin with and trying to regain that size..."  Why do the books say this?  These are the books that insist that that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, or that a calorie is simply a unit of energy, and one calorie gained followed by one calorie burned equals a maintained state, yadda yadda yadda...  Sounds like a bunch of BS to me, but what do I know?!

I don't know.  This is so tough for me.  I've been counting so long that I can't imagine a week where I'm not starting my day by writing down my cup of tea at the top of a new little sheet of paper.  I would actually LOVE IT if I didn't have to do this!  But when I don't...the pounds don't CREEP back on over time.  The pounds seem to magically glom onto me while I sleep, over-night!!!  :o(

One author/writer/actress/dancer/vegan who supports the "not counting" approach is Marilu Henner.  She used to be in the show "Taxi," remember her?  Red hair.  More recently she's danced on Broadway.  Anyway, she writes lots of books about healthy living and eating, as well as child-rearing books.  My favorite title of hers:  "I Refuse to Raise a Brat."  Good stuff!

She has some good Labor Day tips and recipes on her website, which goes by the title "Marilu Henner's Total Health Makeover."  Here's the link:

Marilu Henner's Total Health Makeover 

Anyway. Marilu says the same thing as your guru.  One thing I've never forgotten that she wrote was something along these lines:  "If you change the quality of your food for the better, the quantity that you eat doesn't matter."  I have wished for 16 years that this would just work for me!  The reason I have those calories scribbled on that stupid little page is that I have such a hard time resisting un-healthy food!  If a snack-sized bag of Cheetos contains 320 calories (OMG), and I don't want to waste/spend that many calories on crap food and would rather save the calories for a healthy dinner, then this psych-out alone is often the thing that motivates me to walk away from the crap food.  Without that stupid little list, my brain betrays me, 99% of the time.  It tells me that I should be able to eat whatever I want to, and I do.  This is so unfair!  My own brain.  Trying to derail my efforts at every turn.

Hope everyone's Labor Day weekend has gone well!  I've done OK.  I made a big pot of venison chili today, and we've all been snacking on that.  Healthy ingredients, and I've minimized my saltine consumption.  Now heading to HellMart to stock up on food for the week. 

Have a great week, chickies!!!

1 comment:

  1. I write down everything I eat, too. I don't count calories but do watch portion sizes and make an real effort to avoid the bad stuff... my food chart is broken down into breakfast, lunch, and dinner with 2 snacks between there. Then the food chart breaks each meal into protien, fruit, veggie and at dinner add to it a starch.. good starch, like potatoes or rice or quinoa. For me, when it's broken down like that, it's easy to follow. and I'm not left feeling unsatisfied.

    There's more to that calorie thing... I suppose that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. But think of it as a high or low density calorie. A Hershey bar...mmmm good, right? But it's "low density" - satisfying the crave but a half hour later, you're hungry again and reach for more junk food.

    Have a Chobani and maybe say a grapefruit... you get your protein, fresh vitamins, fiber from the pulp...satisfying and keeps you're tummy busy for longer.

    Time for a Lisa quote... "What happens if you put sugar into your gas tank? Car dies, right?? Bad stuff! Think of your body like a car - you don't wanna put sugar in your gas tank."