Count ’em!

Happy almost weekend! I’m at the ice cream store today and then an overnight at the hospital tomorrow night. Thankfully I don’t have much going on on Saturday so I’ll be able to rest and keep it low-key.

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Anyways, today on ScoopinRN, we’re gonna talk counting calories. Mostly because this week I had a conversation with Christina about how “we would have abs if we didn’t eat crap.” And I constantly struggle with this. Life is all about balance, and I believe in the mentality of 80% healthy, 20% what I want in terms of diet. However, some weeks I am really, really off. (Last week being one of them.) I told Christina we should try and start logging what we eat to which she replied “I hate that.” I laughed at first and then asked her why it annoyed her so much. She was saying she has some coworkers who do it and it is tedious and down to how much ketchup they use. She had a good point. You’re supposed to eat to live, not live to eat and obsess about it.

However, I thought I would give it a go so I would pay more attention to what I was putting in my body this week. I downloaded My Fitness Pal on my phone and started entering my meals. My favorite thing about this app is the barcode feature which allows you to scan the barcode of a food and it will show up opposed to having to enter it and search for it.

The app does a nice job of breaking down calories for people who don’t understand how food and exercise correlate. It also has a featuring showing how nutrients play out in your daily eating.

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I’ve only started this new “logging” system on Tuesday and I already don’t think it’s a good match for me. I plan on deleting the app and resorting to good old pen and paper. Why? I never count calories. I liked having a format to document what I was eating but didn’t like all the “+” “-” and green and red.

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I like choosing certain foods because it’s what my body needs and doing certain exercises because it’s what feels right. I don’t like red numbers making me feel fat bad about myself. I want to eat that scoop of ice cream, or drink that latte, and not feel guilty. I don’t want to worry about not having burned enough calories at yoga, I want to appreciate that I stretched my body and focused on my breath. I also realized that even though I “did a good job” and stayed below my “calorie max” I didn’t eat very well. I didn’t eat enough fruit or veggies. I didn’t focus on drinking enough water.

Being concerned about calorie intake definitely has it’s place. And definitely helps monitor what and how much much we are putting in our bodies. But it is also an easy trap to fall into to obsess and become restrictive. We have to remember to listen to our bodies and do what’s right for us.

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