Last night I got an email from my dietician with my “calorie budget” for the period I am to be tracking my meals and food consumed. I cannot say I was happy about it, and I will freely admit to have a text tantrum on multiple phones as well as a whine-fest with M about it.

I know, I know … first world problems, right? But it upsets my apple cart because I had told him in vivid detail how I do not count calories, weigh or measure food, or even really want to do the whole meal consumption list. Perhaps he thought I was joking about how wigged I would be over this idea; after all, people probably make up stuff to tell him every day of the week. However, I am really not most people; I am likely loonier about this sort of thing than the average bear. My instinct is to follow the advice provided when I am consulting experts for help, but I also know my limitations and obsessive/compulsive behaviors about stuff like that. I agreed to food tracking for 5 days so we would have something to discuss, and I will stick to that agreement in all it potentially ugly glory. So why the calorie budget now? To set me up for failure?

As of last night I was having a foot-stomping, dig-my-heels-in declarative incident that I’m not doing it, I am not going to concern myself with his calorie budget during this period. He gets a food list, that’s it. We can talk portion control or eating more of this and less of that after we review it at our next meeting. I am going to forget he ever sent me that email.

But what am I doing today? I am looking at labels and weighing food and doing the math on a simple lunch I probably eat some variation of just about every day.

02/02/2016 – Smoked turkey & cheese, fruit, water/sparking water.

The verdict? The estimate is this is 636 calories, and that includes weighing the turkey slices so I have a ballpark estimate of portions if/when the RD asks. I am not sure if I am crushed as if I am massively overeating already or just accepting this is a decent, typical lunch for me and that’s how much it costs in terms of calories. Of course, breakfast this morning was a scoop of protein shake mixed with a cup of coffee before the gym, so that was only 200 calories for a grand total today of 836. But then we are eating with friends tonight, and I will be (unfortunately) thinking about this crap the entire time I am reading the menu.

Do you see where this is going? If I allow myself to be quick like a bunny and dive down the rabbit hole of food measurement and calorie counting, I am so screwed and will be a stark raving basket case by the end of the week. And that’s just looking at calories, not a word about the underlying nutritional details as relates to protein, fat, sugar, carbohydrates, sodium, etc., etc., etc.

I am right to not do this to myself, except now I am not sure how to resist the compulsion to look at every label and think about every bite of food that crosses my lips. The voices of reason in my life suggest that my blood sugar numbers are good, I am not doing anything crazy (no super fad diets, no binging on cookies late at night), and just doing the 5 days of food list is adequate and to forget about the calorie budget.

So much easier said than done.

When I have experimented with food tracking applications like my fitness pal, there were also these trade-offs for the exercise completed each day. I do periodically have it flitter through my mind that if I eat this cookie it’s going to mean an additional number of squats or lunges or whatever else might be vexing me in the moment. But I am never thinking “I’m here doing this so I can eat regular meals and then some today.” My mind does not work that way, at least not anymore. If it did, believe me I would be consuming a lot more crap food and justifying it with the amount of time I spend at the gym.

The food tracking apps have a negative effect on my perspective with food, as evidenced right now by my level of discontent with the lunch I eat some variation of 5 days out of 7. Maybe I need to print out this post and email it to the RD so he understands I wasn’t kidding when I said I am neurotic about this food tracking and calorie counting stuff.

I do not officially start the food tracking until Monday, so I have the weekend to get all my angst and drama about it bled out of my system. Hopefully my feared level of cranky will simply be another projection of my anxiety about being judged harshly. If only I were not so honest with my reporting. If only I could write the good choices and lie about the less great things I eat.

Sometimes being a consistent rule follower is more harmful than good. I’ll get through it, but even less delightedly than before that email.

18 thoughts on “Feeding frenzy prelim

  1. I like crystal light powders at 5 calories each added to my spring water. I also like granola bars by Two Moms in the Raw. About 100 calories BUT 16 grams of carbs. My husband just bought a fruit ninja so now we are experiencing with this and I have to say we both love it!

    1. I do crystal light as well when I grow weary of drinking water. I’ve not heard of those granola bars and will have to check them out. I’m not much of a smoothie person, except the protein powder before or after the gym. It’s fun to experiment, though.

  2. Don’t do it. Honestly it isn’t worth driving yourself crazy over this. The real fundamental idea is to develop good eating habits/choices that support your health goals. Sustainable habits. Something that drives you this nuts isn’t sustainable and isn’t healthy. IMO

    1. My doc said something similar – only eat when hungry (not bored/angry), eat slowly, eat only what you want, drink water before snacking, and don’t feel you have to finish all the food on your plate (no clean plate club). This advice was key behind me losing the first 60 pounds!

      1. Great reminders. We’re in Tahoe meeting my trophy wife friend and her hubs for dinner at a casino steakhouse. I’m ready to indulge my inner carnivore with a dinner salad.

  3. I could not follow that RD’s rules.
    My sister is a RD and she’s a fanatic. I think they all are or have to be.
    Have you ever tried Weight Watchers? I have not but I don’t
    think it would be so strict and mind bending,
    That’s my 2 cents that are worth exactly that!
    Enjoy your dinner tonight : )

    1. I’m a picky eater. I’ve not tried weight watchers for precisely the wigged out reasons I describe with calorie counting and strict portion control. I’d rather just not eat.

      1. I hear ya. I thought WW went by points and not calories but I really have no idea.
        I cannot count calories but I should. :/(

  4. I know if you try to do everything he says you will go nuts. You have changed so much of your eating on your own this year that I am pretty sure you know your body and what your doing. Of course I am the junkie who turned you onto peter pan peanut butter so my advice may be slanted

  5. The minute I feel like I *have* to start restricting myself it totally causes me anxiety and throws me right off. I can’t do it. I managed to cut down my carb intake when a trainer suggested eating no carbs after 3 pm. But I did it on my own in my own time. I can’t be told how to eat. When I decided to go off sugar I craved it badly and failed. I ran to the store a week in and ate three chocolate bars that night. When I decided I would just eat the way I wanted I went three weeks before I realized I hadn’t eaten, or craved, any junk!
    Currently my naturopath wants me on this FODMAP diet to improve “gut flora”. I can’t bring myself to start it and it’s been a week. I tried to start yesterday and ended up so stressed out that I ended up eating two boxes of smarties before bed. Lol.
    Yeah, restrictions are the enemy.

    1. Oh sassy … THANK YOU! Sometimes I think I’m more batshit crazy than even I realize, then someone tells me stories like yours (ours) and I recognize that everyone is different and I am going to be okay.
      I have heard of the FODMAP diet, but know little about it. I’m at the point of just eating more vegetables and fresh fruit and not eating (a lot) of crap is a win for me. If I spend too much time thinking about it, I will have a meltdown and end up doing something insanely stupid … hence the purge of snack food in our house.

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