I can be fairly suggestible. Hell that’s how I joined FB, Twitter, even started this blog. Back in June after eavesdropping on a My Fitness Pal discussion on Twitter I downloaded the MFP tracking app. It is no secret that my eating habits are pretty atrocious. Even 2 minutes into a conversation a friend remarked, “wow, you’re really heavy on the carbs.” Obviously I opted to make my food diary open to friends because I enjoy being entertaining with my spoonfuls of cookie butter and counted out chocolate chips of desperation.
Observations so far:
My work environment is a detriment to my health. I rarely leave my desk during my shift and and can often pound down an entire box of crackers by 11 a.m. I am sure boredom and dissatisfaction with my job also play a role in my face-stuffing habits, but the computer-staring monotony does not burn calories regardless.
On weekends and vacations I do not snack all day and rarely eat 3 meals.
Although my dog was old so she didn’t walk fast or far, that was still 2+ walks that no longer exist in my daily routine and it shows. Forget 10,000 steps. I am far often under 1,000. I need more walking before my legs completely atrophy. (Yes I’d like another dog eventually, but that isn’t under consideration right now.)
My alcohol consumption has increased significantly over the years. Not to a worrisome degree or level in and of itself, but eye-opening when each portion is tracked. Two or three drinks throughout an evening does not phase me until I see it laid out. Those are calories that I would definitely prefer to go towards butter and ice cream.
Actions so far:
Better portioning – I am no longer bringing entire boxes of crackers or cereal to work. I portioned out Goldfish and Wheat Fats into the suggested serving sizes. I am even measuring my cereal and milk at breakfast. I mean I was definitely still eating 2 servings in the beginning, but one with milk at home and one dry at the office to combat the carb munchies habit. I am not eating any crackers before noon (mostly). I don’t think I will ever get to the point of eating only 2 TB of hummus (#TeamHummus), but portioning out 4 TB instead of sitting down with the whole tub is a start.
One-for-one drink tradeoff – I have always been good about drinking lots of water, especially at the office. When I am feeling snacky, I now force myself to drink a full glass of water. This helps me judge whether I am hungry or just bored and want to munch. When indulging in booze I am trying to have a glass of water for every drink I consume. This seems like logical behavior but it does not always happen, so at least it is moving to the forefront of my mind as a goal.
Pushing for increased movement in everyday actions with more walking and stairs – I am trying to park farther away in the vast suburban parking lots. It feels weird to park my rust bucket car out in Guam but this seems to be an easy thing to do as I am rarely rushed during errands and the weather is nice. Not sure it is going to hold up once I am forced to cross slippery slushy pavement in the arctic temperatures. We shall see.
Drinking seltzer – I have swayed back and forth on diet versus regular soda so many times. I see both sides and I understand the wisest decision is to just not drink soda period. I don’t handle caffeine well anyway and that seems to be one of the major justifications for soda. I think it is a tasty treat to break up plain tap water and I like the carbonation and the acidic feel so I have caved into feeding my love of seltzer water. The environmental impact of this consumption (of bubbly WATER) is not lost on me, but it does feel like a nice treat in the afternoon without the guilt of mass amounts of sugar or fear-mongering chemical alternatives. Again, I am not sure the crisp, cool refreshment will be as delightful once the weather turns.
Where to go from here:
I do not have any specific weight goals. A friend in my book club called this pre-contemplation. I am thinking about thinking of doing something. I am still hesitant to get a scale as I have a history of developing a fixation on that. I go to the doctor often enough so I feel that should be sufficient to see if there are results in the poundage department. I think I set the MFP goal initially to lose 5 pounds in 10-12 weeks or something to that effect.
Mostly I want to not continue down this slippery slope of my pants not fitting and feeling bloated and lazy. I have sensory issues to begin with when it comes to pants and with my terrible posture exacerbating my belly fat it gets really uncomfortable in pants that are too tight. With a very sedentary lifestyle indicated, MFP set me at a goal of 1,500 calories per day. It is reasonable and doable (rum and popcorn dinners aside.) I was doing really well and have always been honest about the tracking (what is the point of fibbing?) but I took a break for a couple weeks around my birthday simply because it was getting obnoxious to see the overage when tracking 4,000 of celebratory calories.
Eating is only a part of the equation and even being under calorie goals is not going to get the results I want. I need to start moving my butt more. My office building is tiny and we are basically in an industrial park so there is not much room to walk even if I was somehow graced with the initiative to do it. I have had gym memberships in the past with very limited success and I haven’t found many home videos that don’t make me suicidal. My favorite activity is swimming, but absolutely hate sharing a lane so I lose all motivation to go when it is convenient (at peak times when everyone else wants to swim.) Since this activity side of things is kind of at a standstill, right now I am trying to focus on what I can do: stop piling the food into my mouth and be meaningful and accountable for what I do shove in there.