Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I love numbers but this math is hard [to stick to]

I've always loved math. I love the beauty that is numbers. That probably sounds crazy to a lot of people. But you can't argue with numbers. Everything you see can be reduced to numbers in some way.

Anyway, recently I decided to start doing something crazy. I started counting my calories. I've been using a web site (that has an accompanying smartphone app) to take the guesswork out of it.

I will admit, I've never been the type to watch what I eat. I love food. If it tastes good, I'll eat it. I was raised to clean my plate, and I still do that, even if my plate is loaded with huge portions.

But I'll tell you a secret. I have gained almost 50 pounds since graduating from high school. Yes. 50 pounds. (When comparing my most active high school days - soccer season - to my highest recorded weight, taken after a recent evening at Flat Top Grill.) Probably about 20 of those pounds came during college, and the other 30 since.

It was a real eye opener to weigh myself at the gym and see that high of a number.

And that's when I realized I need to gain some self control. I'm not a 17-year-old chasing a soccer ball for two hours every day after school. The number on the scale isn't going to start magically going backward just because I want it to. I'm a 28-year-old professional who is more or less chained to a desk 40+ hours week. I need to adjust.

I've used other diet plan web sites before but was unimpressed. The site I'm using now has me hooked because it's easy to use and easy to understand. If I don't record any exercise for the day, I'm limited to my daily basal metabolic rate minus 500 calories (with the goal of losing a pound per week). If I do work out and record it, I earn extra calories. At the end of the day, after I log all my food and exercise, it'll tell me "if every day were like today, you would weigh [this many pounds] in 5 weeks."

There's no getting around that stat.

I interpret that as "eat like a pig and be a sloth everyday like you were today and you should wear a muumuu to the beach" or "keep it up and maybe you'll feel confident in a bikini again."

No pressure.

But I'll tell you what, it is hard sticking to the calories. I still have to eat dinner tonight and I only have 200-some calories left  :-\  Looks like today is one of those "go muumuu shopping" days. AND The Sailor brought home six (6!!) boxes of Girl Scout cookies on Monday. I've had one so far.

HOWEVER! Did you know that playing a wind instrument (like the flute) burns around 150 calories an hour? So yes, I do log my weekly band rehearsal as cardio.


  1. Tell it! This is a milestone. And I was always one of those people who thought that your metabolism slowing down every five years was a lame excuse.... it isn't. So if you can get a handle on responsible eating now you'll be so much happier when you get to your next "perfect square" birthday (look it up--it's more math)!

    Nice job Maggie! =)

  2. perfect square birthday!! I love it! :)