Friday, August 5, 2011

A Woman Can Change Her Mind, Can't She?

Remember how I said I would never count calories, again?  Well, technically, I’m not, but I’m letting a computer program do it for me.  The history of my anti-calorie-counting came from going on a very restrictive diet about 13 years ago.  I had to have a certain number of servings of this and that and the other.  I had my measuring cups, spoons, pencil, paper, charts, and calculator.  I went crazy.  And I began on a binge-and-purge path.  No more calorie-counting for me.  (Ironically, I wish I was at the weight I was when I started that stupid diet.)

Recently, I began a program about intuitive eating (Eating for Your Soul).  I liked that the program was also anti-calorie-counting, saying restricting and counting calories could be disrespectful to the body, which is perfectly capable to teach you what to feed it.  I need help, though, while learning to be taught (huh?).  About two days ago, a thought floated through my mind as I was reading the EFYS workbook, “Gina, isn’t it possible that it’s disrespectful to your body right now to not count calories?  Your body hurts and is having weight-related issues.  You have a better understanding about being more respectful to yourself.  Maybe watching calories can be blended with that knowledge.”  EFYS is good for maintaining, but it isn’t a weight loss program. 

I researched how many calories I needed to lose weight at a rate of 1.5 pounds per week with my current activity level, age, and weight.  I also came across a site that helps you count the calories.  I played around with it and am actually pleased with it.  One of the things I like about it is the analysis feature letting me know what nutritional requirements I've met and what I am in need of. If you're interested, the site is

I don’t know how long this will last.  It's only been a couple of days.  Maybe the novelty will wear off or I’ll start going crazy, again.  Or, maybe none of those things will happen, and I may have begun something that will last.  It’s worth the try.

There are differences this time compared to 13 years ago:

I have more nutritional info and an appreciation for a variety of real foods.

There is NO specified diet this time.  The suggested calorie intake is a reference point.  If I’m not hungry, I’m not going to force myself to eat.  If I've met the calorie limit but feel very hungry, I’m going to eat.

I have an arsenal of vegetables.  I’ve been learning new veggie recipes, and I actually like them.  This makes eating more possible while still staying under the calorie reference point.

I've learned from Eating for Your Soul.  There’s more to learn and practice, and I may adjust some of it for my life, but it is a valuable tool.

I have a computer.  No more pencils, notebooks, thick calorie book, nor calculator.  Yay, technology!

My fear is dealing with emotional eating.  No perfect eating plan will keep me from destructive behavior.  What I need is a perfect coping plan.


  1. Good idea! I used (still use at times) Sparkpeople, which is very similar to calorie-count in what it tracks. The basic difference is that with SP, I won trophy avatars! :) (I'm such a child.)

  2. I understand your fear. I was against calorie counting for a long time, too, thinking it was too restrictive and led to more stress which wasn't good for losing weight.

    Now, I realize that it is necessary for me, in order to keep track of what I eat. Otherwise, I eat too much. For me, I know that!

    And thanks so much for the visit at my blog! I do have a weight loss blog, too, which is where I am posting from this time. I love your blog -- it has a fresh, cheerful look to it! Take care.

  3. Cammy - You get rewards? Not fair! Awww, I want a reward, too [in my best childish whiney voice].

    Sharilee - Thanks! It's great that you know what works for you. It's a process, isn't it?

  4. Hey I use Calorie Count too!!! I also just started counting cals again, but this time I use them as more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule. So far so good. Like Sharilee, if I don't keep track I eat too much. I realized that I'm not very good at estimating!

    I think it's very wise that you realize you need respectful boundaries, which is what counting calories can be. As long as you remember that it's only a tool in your toolbox, I think you'll be fine.


  5. Calorie counting drives me nuts too. I think weball need to do it at least once in awhile to keep ourselves honest though. It helps me recalibrate my eye for serving sizes and true energy needs. Good luck with your counting endeavor.

  6. Gina, I like the sound of your new approach & hope it works for you! I also like the if I am hungry I will eat, if not, no...

    Emotional eating is a whole other beast that so many of us understand & it does take practice & finding your own way to deal with that & get thru it that matters. I have my ways but they may not work for others.. but the key is to find that cause emotional feelings good & bad ain't going away! ;-)

  7. "What I need is a perfect coping plan."

    Doesn't exist! You must make concrete plans to follow and make your environment work for you. by not having trigger foods in it. Otherwise keep changing the name of the blog one year at a time.

  8. I like calorie count - I never had sodium on my radar until a friend of mine could only have 1000 mg. a day - I added that category and was shocked that most days I have 3000-5000 mg! One day when I had sauerkraut, deli ham and pickles I was over 6000!

  9. I was so against counting calories too. But now, I find when I do, count calories, I feel in control. And hey, if I've had too many calories and I'm up on the scale, it's a no brainer. I did that, I know I did it and I can see where my problem lies. Before without my info, I could use my one liners, "I don't know how this happened....I eat like a bird." Yeah that's what I would always reality I was eating way, way. way more than I needed.

    Keep up the great work. You've got this...just stay focused!!!!

  10. If it works, count 'em. It's okay to change your mind.
    If it stops working, stop counting. That's okay too :)

  11. I tired to post this on July 3rd's post, as it relates to it, but it wouldn't "take"... I'll try it here:

    Hi Gina! Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment the other day! I've finally returned to blogging and therefore returned to reading blogs of like-minded people again, like YOU! :) Your posts make me laugh because they feel like I could have written some of them and I L*O*V*E that you say, "Ugh." I say it all the time, ha, ha! I'm wondering if you ever read Geneen Roth's books (especially Women, Food, and God)? She's lost and gained over a 1,000 pounds throughout her life of yo-yo dieting, binge eating, compulsive eating, etc... She finally got control when she "stopped making it about losing weight"! I can't recommend her books enough - have I mastered her outlook, "Um,no.", but I've found so much inspiration from her teachings and funny easy to follow dialogue. Anyway, I'll be back regulary! Best Wishes, Angie