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Counting calories at 20 months of maintenance

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

In my old life, I was too willing to listen to the idea that counting calories doesn't work. Something I realized while I was on vacation this summer is that counting calories is a lot like using a timer when you cook. Now some people don't use timers when they cook. When my dad visits, he puts on a pot of rice and takes a nap and sometimes it's okay, but sometimes he has burned rice. (At home he has a rice cooker.)

I don't use a timer for everything. If I'm scrambling eggs, a timer is pointless. Similarly, there are some foods I don't bother counting calories for. If a freggie isn't sweet or starchy, I don't worry about it. No one ever got fat on tomatoes. I absolutely measure my salad dressing, though. I don't weigh fruits.

Somethings you can eyeball at your own risk. I eyeball meat and jam usually. You can eyeball cookies or rolls, though I often use a timer because I don't want to sit there watching the oven for 11-18 minutes. Pasta is something I both cook by feel and dish by eye (using a lunch plate helps).

If something is mostly fat or pure carb, I will generally measure or weigh it, even after close to 2 years at goal. With the peanut butter or cheese, it's just too calorie dense to do otherwise. With cereal, it's more about my sneaky midbrain. It's not that I'll take bigger and more, usually, it's that I'll come back and ask myself if I've really had all I'm entitled too. The cooking correllary to this is hard boiled eggs and goes back to the rice. If you don't time them, you will have green yolks and burned rice. And you can't make rice pudding tomorrow if you burn the rice!

P.S. The larger context of my calorie strategy is knowing how much to eat when. 500 calorie breakfast (usually in 2 parts) 500 calorie lunch, 400 calorie mid afteroon snack, and 600 calorie dinner. I find this pattern works really well to get me full at a feeding, and get me to the next meal without being ravenous. If I'm going to have a big meal, I try and make it lunch. Dinners with extended family are still a challenge for me. But I've found it doesn't pay to skip a snack before them.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AJDOVER1 9/26/2014 7:19PM

    This is a great reminder that some things need closer attention than others. I've gotten very good at making a pint of ice cream last for 4 servings. I divvy out my portion of nuts that I'll take to snack on at work. For my salad, I measure the tahini sauce I use as a dressing, but just throw in all the veggies that look good to me. I haven't eaten meat this week, but I do roughly measure beans. Since I've been sticking primarily with fresh local produce, the change in season will change my diet a bit. It will soon be time to start to measure less familiar foods more accurately until I'm comfortable eyeballing them.

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 9/26/2014 3:56PM

    That sounds like some great strageties!

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JOYFUL62 9/25/2014 9:08PM

    Great strategies. Easy to live with and still keep your weight in control! emoticon

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GLORIAMAJDI 9/25/2014 9:58AM

    Great blog! I don't usually measure veggies but I do add them to my tracker - based on guesstimates. I measure most meat unless dining out, then I try to guess. You are right though, some things just need to be measured!

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SWEDE_SU 9/25/2014 4:41AM

    good strategy!

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ROSINVN 9/24/2014 10:29PM

    Great strategy,
I guess I need to be more diligent with the calorie count as well as I find those calorie dense foods so enticing and my servings get larger and larger. Thanks for the tip emoticon

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SUGAR0814 9/24/2014 10:25PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PMRUNNER 9/24/2014 10:09PM

    Great analogies!

Comment edited on: 9/24/2014 10:09:29 PM

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Where am I?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

It's been a while since I blogged. I have a lot going on. We're still making repairs to see if we can get the refinance, is kind of the big time sink. I'm only taking 7 credits this semester, but I come home from abnormal psychology just full of ideas and blogging like crazy.

I have over a dozen blogs (some I think of more as web projects). As I've studied hoarding disorder, I think it's maybe time to simplify.

I think I've been repressing my sadness about my oldest daughter leaving. Between panics that she needs help and I have no way to actually provide it.

As I observed in the maintenance challenge (at At Goal and Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance) I'm now happy to see numbers on the scale that used to concern me. It's way less than a 3% sway. Just my actual midpoint is probably a pound or two higher than it used to be. I have gotten my circuit training back pretty well. I guess I can try and bring on some cardio 2 days a week. I think keeping expectations measured is really important. Though as they say, cutting 100 calories a day is unlikely to result in losing 10 pounds across a year. I don't know that I really want to be trying to lose weight during the fall anyway. Just want to maintain.

I mean, I'm learning all kinds of interesting things about psychology and physiology.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEAUTY_WITHIN 9/22/2014 4:09PM

    Sounds interesting.

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AJDOVER1 9/22/2014 1:20PM

    Your coursework sounds so interesting!

Now that Autumn is here (well, that's what the calendar says) it seems a good time to review my progress, my habits, my goals, my expectations and my state of mind. Your blogs are always great food for thought.

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SANDICANE 9/21/2014 7:29PM

    Oh my, sounds like your mind is a bit muddled right now. Well, maybe it's not muddled, but full of info and "should dos" and "wanna dos" and "do I really wanna dos".

Hopefully some happy rays show through and you can enjoy some time each day.

I'll be thinking about you!

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Hello, Newman.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

That was the greeting Jerry Seinfeld used to give his nemesis. I finished my vacation and could see my feet were puffy from the car ride and the salty snacks. I knew I had gone a little over most days and had more than my share of plus days (where I go 300-500 over). I thought it over and knew I'd probably gained two pounds, which was where I landed after a few days of watching my sodium range. So now I'm smack dab against the normal/overweight BMI threshold. I may or may not be in the PMS zone. I guess I'll see where that lands up.

Otherwise in life, I saw my oldest off to college. That was a bit stressful, and the day after she left I realized we could have set up her bank account before she went. But no big deal. And that 30 minutes would have been sorely missed from her one day she was home from vacation before shipping out. It has given me a lot to think about.

Once she left, we got to bump everyone along to the next bedroom, So now we don't have anyone sleeping in the cardio room, so if we ever want to work out at 1 a.m. we can! Just kidding. Only my husband says things like that.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 9/1/2014 1:50AM

    You can do it.

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AJDOVER1 8/29/2014 3:24PM

    Sounds like a big shift in your household. A temporary 2-pound increase is something you can handle before it take up permanent residence.

1 a.m. cardio? not me!

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SUGAR0814 8/28/2014 11:51PM

    emoticon on your daughter going to college! Such an exciting time!! emoticon emoticon

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GLORIAMAJDI 8/28/2014 9:39PM

    So much going on in your life Tricia, I think that things will settle down and you will get back on track and all will be well.

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NILLAPEPSI 8/28/2014 8:46PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 8/28/2014 6:50PM


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LOJAKZER0 8/28/2014 4:54PM


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Sunday, August 03, 2014

Wow, a month goes by fast. I had no idea it had been that long since I'd updated my blog. I was already pretty busy with school, and then I was thinking of getting a job, but we decided to try for a refinance instead. So I was working a lot on getting the house ready for an appraisal (which we haven't heard back on).

I was apparently stressed enough that it interfered with my cycle, but that's back on so that's good. I've gone over a few days in the last week, and need to keep an eye on that. We have a trip coming up that I gained three pounds on last time we went, but I think so much of that was having to deal with in law's eating schedules, and then riding in a car.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJREIMERS 8/21/2014 8:20PM

    I'm glad you could give us a quick update on what's going on in your world. Keep at it and you'll do just fine! Enjoy!

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 8/7/2014 10:25PM

    Have fun! Be safe!

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JUMPINJULIE 8/4/2014 9:37PM

    Have fun on your trip.

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AJDOVER1 8/4/2014 8:04PM

    I admire how you're able to manage everything you do. It seems like you and your husband plan and make decisions together. Navigating your way through a home appraisal is a ordeal in itself -- hope you don't have to wait too long to get a response.

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GLORIAMAJDI 8/4/2014 12:15PM

    You are so very busy, I am not surprised that time got away from you! Hope that things settle down for you soon.

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SUGAR0814 8/4/2014 12:07AM

    Time is on the move!! It will be Christmas before you know it! Hope your stress levels are better!! emoticon emoticon

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SANDICANE 8/3/2014 10:52PM

    Yes, time does fly...but around here, it flies well! Have a wonderful trip!

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NILLAPEPSI 8/3/2014 5:17PM

    Get some walking in when you can. emoticon

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WENDYDANCER 8/3/2014 10:53AM

    Good luck with the trip. Plan ahead!

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WIFE48 8/3/2014 9:23AM

    Yes, time does fly.
Wishing you the best on your trip.

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TORTISE110 8/3/2014 8:41AM

    Glad you are checking in at home base! Enjoy your trip.

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BUSYGRANNY5 8/3/2014 8:14AM

    Time really does go by fast... a day... a week... a month... a year... a lifetime...

Enjoy your trip and good luck with your eating plan!!!

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Que sera sera

Friday, July 04, 2014

The good news is I'm scoring pretty high on my anatomy tests. The bad news is I misinterpreted something I thought I heard the teacher say and have lost some credit on homework assignments. So I guess we'll see what he meant about attendance and participation at the end of the term. But I can kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel for this term.

My plan for spending these two weeks prepping the house for sale has not gone so well. Each day seems to fill up with other stuff. We may have a party in a week or two, though, so that should require some focus in that direction. Well, life is too precious to spend much of it in regret. Moving forward and hoping for the best may sound naive, but I really am working my assets off.

I have a physiology test on Tuesday but I feel pretty well in control of that.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 7/17/2014 12:43AM

    You can do it.

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CETANISTAWI 7/6/2014 1:46AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NILLAPEPSI 7/5/2014 8:34AM

    I took an anatomy class in high school & loved it!! I liked that class so much that I still remember a lot of what I learned (that was nearly 30 years ago - how time flies). I'm sure a college course is much more in depth. Hopefully you won't get dinged too badly for misunderstanding. I'll say a prayer for you.

Good luck getting the house ready. That's such a huge job.

Hang in there & keep smiling!! emoticon

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AJDOVER1 7/4/2014 10:36PM

    Best wishes to you! I hope the instructor doesn't understimate the value of your attendance and participation.

Let us know how the physiology test goes!

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SUGAR0814 7/4/2014 7:05PM

    Good luck on your upcoming test. You'll do great. emoticon emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 7/4/2014 3:24PM

    You can do it!

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GLORIAMAJDI 7/4/2014 1:05PM

    I agree, no regrets! I am not one to sit back to think of what could have been. I think about the present and plan for the future, so good for you for moving forward. It will all work out. Good luck on your exam on Tuesday!

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MTALLON8787 7/4/2014 12:15PM

  Don't worry the attendance/participation grade is normally a give me.

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