Counting it Out

Thanks for all the kind comments regarding Chris and I’s four year anniversary! I know I didn’t really talk about it much beforehand, but it’s really not that big of a deal for us. Chris and I like to keep the cheesiness to a minimum in our relationship. In fact, I’ve told him several times that I will break up with him if he ever writes me a poem or anything else equally as lame. But we’re also not ones to turn down an excuse to go out for a good meal ;) If you’re curious about how we met, etc , I wrote about it in a previous post here.

Despite only sleeping a measly six hours last night, I at least finally discovered a place in my apartment that takes decent photos in the dark mornings.

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Much better than spooky oats ;)

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey powder
  • cinnamon
  • frozen berries
  • plain yogurt w/ vanilla extract and stevia
  • Fibre 1 cereal

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AKA an Oatmeal & Yogurt Parfait. Haven’t had this since berries went out of season! Not as good with the frozen stuff, but still tasty. This bowl will always hold a special place in my heart as it’s what I ate almost every. single. day. while I was losing weight.

My hunger is still off the charts today. I was digging around my kitchen for my morning snack mega early. Had another old favourite.

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Wasa fibre rye crisps, almond butter, raisins, cinnamon. Ants on a wasa?

Sure enough, I was looking for lunch early too! This is the exact same “boring” lunch I had yesterday. Luckily, boring is often delicious ;)

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Fontaine tofu spread, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, bell pepper, romaine. When me and homemade applesauce get married, I want tofu spread to be my maid of honour :P Unpictured is the honeycrisp that rounded the meal out.

My day was spent running errands and “catching up” on aspects of my life that get neglected on work days. Dinner was “thrown together.” Literally. Usually there are two ways I throw together a meal. Put a bunch of ingredients in a pan and sauté it, or put them on a baking sheet and roast it. Tonight’s was the latter.

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  • 1/2 block tofu, cubed
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 6 button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 buttercup squash, cubed
  • 2 handfuls spinach (towards end of baking)

I tossed everything, minus the spinach, in a big bowl with a little olive oil, pepper, parmesan cheese and this stuff:

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My mom insisted I buy this Kirkland organic no-salt seasoning when she took me to Costco. I know better than to go against my mother’s wishes.

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Then I let everything roast up at 425 F for about 20 minutes, then at 350 F after adding the spinach for an additional 5 minutes.

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The one bad thing about “throwing things together” is that I just keep chopping new things up and adding them to the mix. This turned out to be so much food! I ate maybe 2/3 of it then claimed defeat. The tofu in that seasoning was delicious, but I oddly did not care for the squash. Too dry and bland.

I decided to make today a rest day after my 8 mile run yesterday. My old lady hips were a little cranky with me after forcing them on a long run the day after I put them through multiple weighted squats at the gym. Thankfully, they’re in a much better mood now :)

Just finished up an hour long living room yoga session. Yoga class was cancelled tonight. Boo. I tried out a Dave Farmar power vinyasa podcast. It was alright. I did 30 minutes until I called it quits. I can only go up and down so many times until I get annoyed! :P I did work up a nice little sweat though. Finished it off with some balance yoga from Yoga Today. I really dig the balance poses because I’m actually good at them! I could hang out in tree or dancer all day :)

 

I also want to let you guys know that I’ll be counting my calories for the next few days. I haven’t done this in seven months! I know a lot of people hate calorie counting because of the obsessing and analyzing that often goes with. But it’s never been like that for me. Calorie counting was like a slap upside the head for me when I started losing weight. I didn’t have a sweet clue what calories were, or what their effects were. That’s not to say I didn’t struggle with calorie counting at times, but overall, it was just a really useful weight loss tool for me.

Anyways, I just feel like it’s time to check-in and make sure I’m still on-track. I haven’t gained any weight, nor do I want to lose any more weight. But I have not been feeling as content as I’d like to be about my food choices lately. When I moved into weight maintenance, I wanted to make sure there were no “off-limit” foods, which there were plenty of while I was losing weight. But I just feel lately, I’ve been using that as an excuse to eat more processed foods, especially sugar. So I want to take a few days to reflect on my food and really just bring it back to basics. I want to feel confident about my food choices again, and not like I’m derailing a bit. I’ll keep you updated on how my “check-in” is going :)

 

Question of the Day: What are your feelings on calorie counting? Like I said, I think it’s a really effective tool for weight loss. But I also don’t think it has much of a place in weight maintenance, unless you need it to achieve fitness goals (ie to ensure you’re eating properly during marathon training). With that said, I know from my own personal history that bad eating is a long and slippery slope for me. Hopefully stepping back and taking a look at my food choices will again raise awareness of what I’m putting in my body and get me feeling good about it again :)

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Posted on November 12, 2009, in Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. I track calories maybe 2 or 3 days a week. I honestly am not sure whether I should be tracking more, or less, but this seems to be a pretty good place for me an sustainable so I’m sticking with it. I like to “check in” too and set a pattern but sill have flexibility most days.

  2. i think calorie counting definitely has a place! i use it to make sure i eat enough on long-run days, and in the past, it was helpful in teaching me proper portion sizes. if it works for you, do it!

  3. I attribute calorie counting hugely to my weightloss BUT one of the problems I do have with it is that people look at it as just the calorie number and not holistically like your macros, sodium, ingredients, etc. THere are so many people that calorie count and live off of sugar free jello, snack packs, and subway. No deal. I got to a point where the counting wasn’t helping any more and it started to take a serious emotional toll on me so I quit it. And I haven’t really gained anything back but I would still love to lose some more.

    • Yes! All those other little things are important too! I’m actually really interested to see where my macros are falling these days. And I want to keep an eye on how much added sugar I’m having. I think my sugar intake may be behind the “yucky” feeling I’ve been having lately.

  4. That’s cool that you feel good about re-checking with yourself. I JUST stopped counting cals a couple of months ago. At first I lost weight, then gained a bit back. ironically I did ok on vacay but fell apart when I got home!!.

    I’m still higher than I’d like to be but I know that I’m eating when I’m not hungry. So I don’t THINK that I need to count to confirm it. i just need to tell myself to STOP eating if I’m not hungry dammit! :-) I’ve been craving sweets something awful lately and drinking diet coke like water- bad bad bad. Gonna pull back on the d.c. and try to be more in tuned with my body. Good luck though and let us know how it goes.

  5. I love your comment about poems! When my husband I started dating I made him promise – no poems, no stuffed animals, no flowers on Valentine’s day! We don’t even give each other gifts on most birthdays, which I guess is a little sad, but it’s an ok trade for the lack of mush :)

    http://eatventures.wordpress.com

  6. I would never have been able to lose weight without calorie counting. And I know I need to do that again if I want to lose these 10 stubborn pounds I’ve gained back. However, I’m very scared to. I did not like where the counting took me and the obsessiveness around it. It’s a difficult battle!

  7. Mmm, your breakfast looks delicious! I don’t think your lunch looks borning at all, and the tofu in your dinner looks great.

    I don’t have a problem with counting calories. It’s definitely an extremely helpful tool for many people, and if you can do it without obsessing, by all means go for it! :)

  8. Checking yourself periodically is a very smart thing to do.

    I think calorie counting is a good thing, as long as one doesn’t become obsessed with it. The only problem I see with calorie counting is that some people will forgo nutrition to get the least amount of calories. I would rather eat more calories of ‘real’ food than less calories of processed ‘diet’ food.

    I have portion control problems cause I like to eat, so counting and measuring will always have to be a part of my life, but I actually like doing it. Must be even more of a nerd than I thought I was.

    • Lori, a lot of my food issues are from portion control too. My eyes have always been bigger than my stomach. Pair that with being a member of the “Clean Plate Club,” and you’ve got a problem. I haven’t been measuring my food as much lately which I think may be part of the problem. It’s probably something I’ll always have to do too. There are worse things than scooping my hummus out with a tablespoon measure for the rest of my life :P

  9. I’ve been calorie counting lately to try and make sure I’m eating enough.. I never thought I’d see that day! I think it can get a bit obsessive for some, but sometimes it’s helpful too!

    I love Costcos seasonings! You should get their saigon cinnamon.. its so good!

  10. I was about to say I don’t calorie count, but I realized that I do. I just do it in my head. I’m learning that I need larger breakfasts and lunches, but if I don’t count I can easily have 250 calories and call it a meal. So I keep track until dinner, and then I think about the exercise I’ve done and think “ok I need to eat less than XX calories tonight”

    I find that strict counting doesn’t help me lose weight, so why do it? Especially since it’s nearly impossible to track your every calorie (food labels are misleading, your apple could have 50 cals or 120 depending on size, etc…). But I think what you’re doing is a good idea and you have a great attitude about it. Keep us posted!

    Sugar makes me feel like crap! Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to keep me away from the sweets, but awareness is the first step, right?
    Whew, holy rambling! Guess I have lots to say

    • I still calorie count in my head too, it’s almost like a subconscious habit now. And if I bake or make a big pot of something, I’ll figure out the calories in it so I can determine an appropriate serving size. But I at least don’t do it when I eat out anymore. For example, I don’t care to know how many calories my pork and chocolate cake had the other night. Whatever it was, it was worth it! :)

  11. Love how colorful your pita sandwich is!

  12. I guess as a yoga teacher, I dont ever listen to podcasts…I just move as my body asks me to. And not how a teacher in my headphones asks me to. If someone’s flow was annoying, I would for sure shut it off…that’s not yoga! Good call!

    Cal counting? No. That’s a way to drive yourself nuts, just my opinion :)

  13. Counting calories helped me lose weight, so I am a fan, but I do not do it anymore because I have an obsessive personality and easily go overboard and starting worrying about not only calories but all the macro-nutrients. A crazy woman I can become!

  14. Believe it or not I have been counting my calories for about three years now. Even though it only took me like six months to lose most of my excess weight (50 pounds), I continue to do it because it keeps me on track.

    A friend recently asked me “…how long I will be counting calories for?” and my response was, “How long will you be making sure your checking account balance doesn’t fall below zero?”

    I guess my point is, if you find something that works, why stop. I am not opposed to stopping, but it just seems to work great for me. It keeps me accountable. Or afoodable as I like to call it.

    Once I gained control of how much I was eating, making better food choices became all that easier to fine-tune.

    I think we all make the mistake of trying to do too much all at once, eat better, workout more, and eat less, etc. I say, pick one… make it a new good habit, then move onto the next.

  15. the only thing i can say about calorie counting from personal experience is that is drove me friggin’ bananas. however, i do realize it as an effective tool for weight loss.

    yay for yoga….i haven’t worked out in four days and am itching to do something. perhaps after some yoga, i will make those roasted veggies + tofu. that looks amazing!

    love ya girl

  16. I share your views on romance – I hate those cheesy kind of things. Love letters? Please, give me a break.

    I love how similar our lunch and dinner were yesterday! Pita sandwich and a big bowl of veggies with some veggie-protein. Great minds think alike ;)

    I’m not a counter but I can see why people do it. As long as it doesn’t snowball out of control, I think it’s an okay tool to use for loss/maintenance.

  17. I think you know this already, but I fully support calorie counting, especially in moderation to check yourself as you are doing. I think it’s important to know where we stand and how we are doing. Maybe that is just because you and I have similar backgrounds in terms of our weight, but I totally understand.
    Just wondering, are you going to be posting your calorie counts on the blog?

    • Lara, I thought about posting about how many calories I’m eating, but I’m scared it may influence people in the wrong way. How many calories a person needs truly is an individual thing, and I don’t want to open myself up to criticism over it being too high/too low. (although I will say, with my activity level, it’s definitely on the higher side!). I’ve so far comfortably maintained my weight for over a year with my current calorie range, so I already know it works for me :) I’m definitely going to be a little more critical with my macros and sugar intake though, I feel like that’s where I’m struggling…

  18. I swear. Having everyone added to my google reader takes away from me clicking on ppl’s individual website and leaving a comment. But today, I just wanted to say congrats (a bit belated) on your 4 yr anniversary! Hooray for the 4 year team! (We hit ours in June and aren’t exactly celebrators either).

  19. i think it is a great idea to check up on you calories right now, where you dont want to lose/gain anything.. so nothing gets OUT of check. that was my problem. i lost it all and then just thought i could eat whatever and the weight crept back up. once i went back to basics it came off again.. and now i am making sure to always check back in.. maybe once a week i will mentally calculate my calories as i eat that day. not exactly, but a ballpark number. i like your response up there as far as posting your calorie counts. you are doing it for YOU and i agree, there are some people out there who dont agree with counting and they may criticize the numbers. but youve got my support! you know what a number freak i am :P i have seen that seasoning at costco. worth buying?

    HAPPY FRIDAY! love to you susan!

  20. “Ants on a wasa” makes me think of that commercial for beer where the frog yells, “whassssssssssuppppp?!” Did you get that in Canada? Your thrown-together dinner looks awesome. I love anything roasted :)

    K, calories. Personally, it works for me. It’s how I keep track of the amount I am eating- I rely probably too much on it, but it also gives me more freedome/security. I think it’s useful and effective for weight control- I think for someone who doesn’t know anything about nutrition, it’s not the best way to acheive optimum health since it doesn’t ‘teach’ healthy eating habits, but if you have knowledge about healthy foods, etc, it’s the most effective way IMO. I used to count calories without knowing anything more than the numbers and volume so stayed clear away from things that didn’t offer “bang for my buck” so to speak (ie, why would I eat 1 tbsp peanut butter when I could eat a whole decent sized apple for the same calories?) but now I balance the two as much as I can. I really love that you haven’t counted calories lately because once the numbers are ingrained in your head, retraining your brain isn’t easy. Let us know how it goes!

  21. I was never one to track calories per se because I lost 110lbs with weight watchers, so it was more points for me, but since I have started maintaining I find myself looking at the back of the packages more and more and being focused on the calories. I agree it doesn’t have much of a place in weight maintainence but I think that a quick check in every once in a while can be a good thing!!

    Great post – BTW why are poems cheesy?

    – Adam @ http://www.turnupmyworkout.com

  22. I repect calorie counting and do it on occassion. It’s the best method for me to lose weight. Once I get in a routine I prefer to quit for awhile though because I get too obsessed with numbers and I noticed I would choose a less nutritious item solely because it had less calories which is counterproductive to eating healthy!

  23. Calorie counting didn’t work out for me long term but I do think it can be super useful as a tool for weight loss/gain/maintenance. Whilst it doesn’t teach people a holistic approach to nutrition, I think it can be a wake up call for a lot of people. I remember the shock on a friend’s face when she realised that the morning bran muffin she thought was a healthy choice packed almost 700 calories…

    Way to go on the long run btw :)

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