Tag Archives: dieting

Not Served by Servings

So back to the Goddess in training weight management stuff, let me just say that I don’t think we’re at all served by servings. I mean, when we go to a restaurant, we can see that the portions are ridiculously large, and hopefully we can ask for a box and not have to eat it all. But here’s the thing that makes me kind of crazy, and my mom reminded me of this recently.

See, Mom’s doctor told her she should try to stay around 1200 calories. Which is what I try to do. We’re 5’2″–or at least, I am and she used to be. She’s a bit shorter these days. So my mom says that she’s trying, but by the time she adds up everything she’s supposed to have, it’s hard to keep it under 1200. Meaning that by the time she adds up the calories from all the servings of dairy, fruits and vegetables, proteins, and cereals she’s allegedly supposed to have, sometimes she’s over, and there’s certainly not anything left over for something she wants.

Okay, so here’s what makes me crazy. We’re on 1200 calories, right? A big, 6’2″ guy like my husband can easily take in 2000 calories. That’s what all the nutrition information is based on. His needs. So…why would I assume that a serving size for him is the same as a serving size for me? I’m absolutely not a nutritionist, but I’m just going, if we have different calorie needs, why should I assume we need the same nutrition? If he needs a cup of something to make a serving, maybe MY serving should be a little more than half of that.

Which is basically what I said to my mom and she was like, oh, I never thought of that.

So I’m just feeling like this whole nutrition info on the package that was supposed to be helpful could be a little more helpful. I mean, could they include another column for a 1200 or 1500 calorie diet? I don’t even really care which one, I just think it would be a huge service to all of us short women out here who deserve quick package reference as much as the men (who often don’t bother to look) do. I mean, 2000 calories? Really? In what world is that a reasonable average?

So here I am on 1200 calories. Anything I’m going to snack on I’m going to want to break down into 100 calorie portions. If all I ate all day was 100 calorie snack things, I could have 12 day. Ever notice how many things are 140-160 calories per serving? 12 x 150 = 1800.

Eating the whole portion on individually packaged items or going by the serving size printed on a larger package would have me over by 4200 calories at the end of the week. Which would gain me over a pound a week. Six pounds in 5 weeks. How easy would it be to put on an extra 10-15 pounds each year just by eating from a portion standard made for people several inches taller with much higher metabolisms? How many of us have done it?

Now, if you’re doing all your math, you can figure this out and not go over. The thing is, we don’t want to do the math. For many of us, measuring, journalling, and mathmatizing the food has us thinking about food all the time, which is not a recipe for not eating as much. What has worked for me has been learning to eyeball things better, learning to be satisfied with 100 calorie servings. Saving up what seems like just little bits of calories here and there matters when you’ve only got 1200 to start. (Note: I set a goal of 1200 so I have plenty of room for error and actually consume between 1200-1500 calories.)

Since this is hardly a dieting site, I’ll take this time when I’m already babbling about weight loss stuff to add something else that’s helped me. I used to eat until I was “full” and call it “satisfied.” I retrained my brained to define satisfied as no longer hungry. If I’ve finished what I pretty much know I’m supposed to eat, I can take a moment to actually think and ask myself, am I hungry? Not, am I full? The answer is probably no, because I’ve already eaten what my body needs and what it can process. So I tell myself that I’m satisfied and can stop. That doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a process. But it’s how I can be satisfied, genuinely, with less while I sit with others as they continue to eat more, like my husband who needs to eat more because he’s a big man who physically labors.

Meanwhile, “full” means something else to me now. In my head, the concept of being full is like being stuffed. Overeating has much more negative connotations in my head. It’s not something that’s like, Oops! I overate and now I’m ugh. It’s more like a, why would I do that to myself? Why would I put food in my mouth to the point where it causes me physical discomfort? Isn’t that kind of like getting falling down drunk in public? That’s not cool.

I mean, no, really. Because when people keep eating just because something is delicious, how is that really different from continuing to drink because you like the way it makes you feel? How is that bloated, overstuffed feeling you get from eating too much so different from the way you get sick from drinking too much? So when I’m out and there’s delicious food on my plate, it’s not really so hard for me to convince myself that I don’t want to engage in public food drunkenness.

So I hope I don’t have to say that none of this is intended to make anyone feel bad about the way they eat. I say this stuff because I used to eat as much as my much larger husband. Because I used to eat until I couldn’t hold anymore and think THAT was the signal to stop. I trained myself, in a lot of ways, to NEED way more food than I actually needed. So what I’m trying to share with you is changes I made in my thinking that helped me train myself back out of that.

I don’t consider myself a dieter. Like many people, I came out of my high metabolism teens and just kept eating, going into college with a lot more social eating, got married young and allowed my eating to habits grow more like my husband’s. This is the first time in my life I’ve stopped to really think about what I’ve been doing and to learn what I really need.

It is damned nice to be able to run across my house to attend to a disaster without danger of tripping over my own thighs rubbing together.



Filed under GIT

I have too much crap

It’s GIT Tuesday. Things are going okay. School starts tomorrow and while I haven’t gotten everything done I wanted to do, things are better.

You know how you get Netflix in the little red envelopes and then you put them back in there and send them back. But you can also send two back in the same mailer. So the other day my husband asked me about all the Netflix mailers I have in the basket. And I explained how every once in a while I send two back in the same one, blah blah. “So you’re just saving the extra ones for emergencies?”

Um, I guess so. I mean, that’s dumb, right? Why am I holding on to these things?

Holding on to things is a problem. I hold on to so much stuff just in case I’m going to need it again. I have a drawer with jeans in every size from 4 to 16. What the hell?

Letting go of things is good. I’ve done it before and I know this. It’s just one of those things that doesn’t come naturally. But when I declutter, when I have less stuff, things are much better. There’s more space to, you know, live and stuff. I don’t know why the decision to give up stuff is so hard when the actually giving it up and living without it really isn’t.

So back to the weight loss thing, here are some things I gave up:

  • Drinking calories. The only exception is that I try to drink a glass of milk at dinner most days. Otherwise it’s water and diet stuff.
  • Diet Coke. I didn’t give it up, but late this winter I kicked at 5-6 per day habit down to a 0-2 per day habit. I think the loss of all that sodium from my diet has made my weight more stable, not ever-changing due to water retention.
  • Ordering french fries. We go out to eat every Sunday with my parents, plus my mom and I go out a few times a month, plus I have a child who likes the fast food playgrounds. I have plenty of fries with that opportunities in my life. At fast food I just say no. At a sit-down restaurant I ask to substitute something green. It’s never a problem. If someone else has fries and they look particularly good, I’ll snag one, but I don’t need fries with that. I think this has actually made a big difference. I’m a big fan of the carbs and fries are definitely one of the good things in life. But good enough to carry around on my person for years to come? No.
  • Being full. I never eat until I can’t eat anymore. I mean, I used to, and now I can’t even figure out why I used to. For some people, that feeling equates in their mind to “satisfied.” I decided to think of it as “stuffed.” And I don’t want to stuff. I eat because I’m hungry. To get unhungry. So when I find myself thinking about a second helping at home or eating much more than half of what’s on my plate at a restaurant, I try to pause and think about whether or not I’m still hungry. Since my goal is just unhungry, if I don’t feel hungry anymore, it’s time to put the fork down.

I tell you this because, as I said before, changing the way I think and actually being mindful about the eating has really helped me get back to healthy weight. Don’t know if it’ll be helpful for anyone else. Hope so. Meanwhile, I should go declutter and let go of some stuff.


Filed under GIT