Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why I Use My Calorie Counter

A picture taken last September of a double rainbow I thought you'd enjoy! :) 
I'm not sure if I took it or my hubby, but isn't it lovely?
 
As I've mentioned before, I use My Calorie Counter on EverydayHealth.com.  For those of you who know me outside of the blogging world, you may find this surprising.  Why?  Because I'm generally really against counting calories, counting fat grams, counting carbs, exercising for weight loss, etc.  I suppose that by saying that I use My Calorie Counter and LIKE it makes me sound like a hypocrite, but I promise, I'm not.  Let me explain.
 
When I "fell off the wagon" and started eating basically anything and everything and gained back nearly 100 lbs. of what I'd lost, I realized that I'd lost sight of portion sizes, lost my ability to exercise self-control and stopped caring about my health in lieu of short-term gratification or self-medicating my emotional hurts with food.  I realized that this HAD to stop, and I was kinda at a loss of where to go and how to start, etc. since all my doctor could really tell me was things like "Eat better and exercise more" (Ok, so that wasn't all he said, but I didn't want to ramble. :) ).  It's not that he didn't want to give me direction or guidance, in fact he gave me lots of information and helpful tips.  The problem was I needed something with accountability that didn't require me to join a group that I paid for.  I realized I didn't want to have embarrassing weigh-ins or join a health club or gym either.  What was I going to do?
 
Enter My Calorie Counter.  I found that I could customize it.  I could be as public or as private as I wished.  I could even make daily notes on what worked and didn't work for me.  I could join groups or not.  I could make friends or not.  It was FREE.  Hallelujah!  Jackpot! :)
 
I realized something I hadn't realized before, too.  Maybe I am just dense or maybe you're like me and this will be eye-opening for you like it was for me.  Did you know that you don't have to burn all the calories you put into your body in order to lose weight?  Did you realize that your body burns x amount of calories even if you do nothing, and if you don't get enough calories you can actually GAIN weight?  I can honestly say I didn't.  Joining My Calorie Counter showed me this truth, and I'm grateful for it.
 
Ok, so if I'm against counting calories and exercising for weight loss (I think you should use it for fun, tone and health), among other things, why do I use a program designed to count calories?  Well, for one, I expect this to be somewhat short term.  Once I get used to recognizing proper portion sizes again, once I can eyeball about how much I should be eating for each meal, I need this tool.  It keeps me honest.
 
I also like that I can keep track of how foods and daily events effect me.  This is great for noting what my triggers for my Fibromyalgia are.  That is beyond worth its weight in gold. :)
 
I have found, too, that the thought of having to record the fact that I ate that candy bar (worth 1/2 a meal's calories - YIKES!) to be enough to deter me more often than not.  That's a good thing.
 
I am learning more about food and exercise, too.  Did you know that men can eat what amounts to a whole other meal a day than a woman and still lose weight?  I know, so unfair, but it explains a lot.  I've realized now that I cannot compare my eating habits to my hubby's because our anatomies are simply too different.  He can eat more than me, so therefore he should be eating more than me - by quite a bit.  If he's eating normally and I'm eating as much or more than him, especially if it's not veggies, then Houston, we have a BIG problem.  Talk about eye-opening!
 
I've realized that you can burn a lot of calories by doing housework and playing with the kiddos!  Really!  It's amazing.  Extra motivation to keep up with the laundry and bathroom and to take time out to dance around my living room with my 2 year old or playing hide-n-seek with her or chase my boys around like a crazy lady.  Bonus for all. :)
 
Whenever I've not been able to keep up with my calorie intake right away (like we've been over to my folks for the day) and I have to enter everything when I get home, I realize that I do quite well already balancing calories in with calories out.  I think part of that is because I'm now aware of my eating again - it's not an idle exercise anymore.  I'm glad of that.  I figure in a few months, I'll be a pro and not really need the program anymore, but I like the extra accountability so I'll probably stick with it. :)
 
Now, I don't deprive myself - I eat that chocolate (the proper kind that doesn't make me sick, that is) when I really want it or eat that juicy steak.  The only thing is that now I eat less or I plan for the indulgence.  This is a change I think works for me.  I've lost 12 lbs. and 13 and 3/4 inches since starting the program on August 5th, 2012 (22 lbs. overall since July-ish), so I think I'll stick with it, too. :)
 
If you're struggling with being honest with yourself about your eating habits, I encourage you to try My Calorie Counter.  It may be just what you're looking for to turn your health around. :)
 
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Oh, before you go...
My recipe/information blog for those with or those caring for those with the top 8 food allergens, Natural and Free, is up for Top 25 Food Allergy Moms - 2012 on Circle of Moms!  If you want to support me in this, if you have been to Natural and Free and feel it worthy of the title, I'd be honored if you would click on the icon above and vote on my blog or follow this link: http://www.circleofmoms.com/blogger/natural-free?blogroll_id=78.  Once you get to the page, find my blog (it's currently at 33, but that could change - you'll see my picture and Natural and Free) unless you use the link which is a direct link to my blogger profile and takes the searching out for you :), and click on the little thumbs up button next to the word "vote".
Voting ends October 17th. You can vote once every 24 hours if you wish (so if you vote at 3pm today, you can't vote again until 3pm tomorrow). You don't have to be a member of Circle of Moms to vote (or even a mom or woman for that matter), either, so if you really want me in the top 25, encourage those you know to vote, too. :) Thank you so much!
Oh, and while you're there, check out the other nominees. You can vote for more than just me if you wish, just only one vote per blog per 24 hours. I know I personally have voted for a few of my blogger buddies who are more than deserving of the title. :)
Thanks for the support, and have an amazing day! :)
 
 

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