So last week I started a spreadsheet with some of the standard eats in my eating plan. This week I decided to kick it up a notch and start tracking my calories, fat, etc.
Of course I've really only been looking at it today, but it's been interesting what and how I eat. Any "diet" plan will tell you to track what you eat. I'm doing it more because I really don't think I eat that poorly, but I don't know that I eat enough to make a difference.
You have to exercise enough to burn calories, right? But you also have to have something there to burn (because your body is going to hang on to some of that just to sustain you). Looking at my spreadsheet today I got to wondering if I'm reverting back to my college days.
In college, I met with my friend Derek about an exercise program. I was working a lot at Arby's and could eat there for fairly cheap. I was exercising almost daily, mostly for stress relief than anything. Anyway, my days went like this usually: Got up; ate cereal for breakfast; went to class or work - if class then I came home and ate a salad or sandwich, if work I ate a sandwich at work which was usually a whole wheat bun, a little turkey, lettuce, tomato, no mayo; if class, i usually studied in the afternoon or slept because I'd work that night, if work, I was working; if I worked at night I would have the whole wheat sandwich for supper - and generally I was working so this was a standard. After work I would come home and go running. I know - running at 11 pm? But this was a fairly safe town and by then I needed to run off my stress. These were my days.
Well, when Derek and I met we made some initial quick changes: switch to diet pop - that was crucial and I've never gone back to straight (with the exception of my sometimes suicide mixes or the Baja Blast at Taco Bell), and switch up my workout - I started working out in the AMs as well by going to the gym and lifting weights. But the biggest change was to eat more. He had me put more protein in my diet - eat more eggs, add chicken to things. I was really leaning towards almost a vegetarian diet before he and I talked. It was really eye opening.
Then in seminary first I tried the 6-week Body Makeover and that worked for awhile. Then I worked out with Jay. With his plan I was eating tuna for breakfast, hardly any carbs - in fact I had carb free days where I forewarned some of my co-workers that it was a carb-free day and they usually steered clear of me because my attitude went to shit. Of course with him I was also working out 2 hours a day after work and lost 15 pounds in a month - which was great until he left for Denmark and I gained it all back.
Finally, I took on the South Beach plan primarily because it worked so well for E&K and the three of us are very similar in body types. And I've loved this plan. I have a hard time going back to it now, because I'm at such a different place in my life. At that point when I first got into it, I was totally focused on losing weight. That was my goal. And I succeeded. And I felt great. But then I started bringing back in carbs - baking pies and such because I love to bake - and I started to lose it (my mind, not the weight...that started coming back). Plus it was winter and the nesting gene got back in my head and I subconsciously needed to stack on weight to keep warm (plus I lived in a basement so I was always cold).
After a few months, I had gained some back but by then I was also running more. I needed to run for my sanity. I needed to run for my now full-time job/then part-time job. I wanted to be more than just light, I wanted to be strong.
But to do that, I needed carbs. And I can say, I've learned from South Beach which carbs to eat and it helps. I generally eat what's on the Phase 2 "foods to enjoy" list, but my weight has come back and I need to lose it - not only for my health, but also because for me to finish TC next fall in a better position than I was last fall, I need to be lighter. Strong, but lighter.
So I'm going to track my eats. I think this will keep me from eating just to eat (maybe I'll even add in the "why I'm eating" to the sheet - maybe). Tonight I had scrambled eggs - which I have always (well, since SB) eaten them as 3 egg whites, 1 full egg, cheese and then veggies. Well I'm out of veggies since I used them all in my chicken/WWpasta for my lunches, I left out the olives I usually put in because I don't need those extra 20 calories and I left out the cheese because I just wasn't into it. But then I looked at my intake for the day and I could have had both.
I think this chart will help. I know that every morning for work I'm going to have a chai (thanks for the affirmation, Cinda!), I'm going to have half a bagel (I should add some PB to that and maybe I'll try that tomorrow) and I'm going to eat my WWpasta/chicken meal for lunch (because like my dad I'm going to use it as fuel and not worry about the taste - just like Daddy who had bologna and cheese sandwiches every day). So knowing that, I can plan the rest of my day and meals around it. So at night I can maybe eat something else, or my snacks can be added during the day.
I'm excited to try this. Who knows if I can make it work, but I'm hoping.