Friday, March 15, 2013
I've been using the food tracker for the past four days, because my midwife wants me to keep a food diary.
I'm definitely DONE using the food tracker.
I stopped counting calories when I did my Whole 30 last fall, and I'm very quickly remembering why. Here's the deal:
1.) I start freaking out about numbers right away. The simple fact of the matter is, I have NO IDEA how many calories I need in a day. Knowing that I'm supposed to eat "300 extra calories" each day for my baby's growth doesn't really help. Does that mean I should be trying to eat 2300 calories daily? 1900 calories?
And calories aren't the only numbers that I worry about -- carbs, fat, blah blah blah. Getting hung up on these stats is not at all useful, because it doesn't address the quality of food I'm eating.
2.) I don't trust the numbers it gives me. The food tracker does not know the nutritional information of the bread my husband bakes, or the ingredients in the chicken salad I ate at lunch (which I hope doesn't kill me). The yogurt I eat doesn't list potassium in its nutritional information, even though all dairy products contain the mineral. So am I really potassium deficient?
3.) I immediately have awful feelings of food guilt and that's just fcked up. Sure, today was not my healthiest food day, but when it's 70 degrees and sunny, few things are more delicious than a slaw dog, fries, and ice cream. Sure, it wasn't the best choice given that I also had a brownie and some sweetened tea today (but at least I had a big side salad with dinner and chose sugar free ice cream), but it's also not something I do every day, or even every week. I don't really need Spark People's nutrition analyzer telling me I'm turning myself into a big fat pig, thanks.
It only took 4 days for a crappy cycle to start. See, the first two days I tracked, I was SHOCKED by how few calories I was getting. So I figured I needed to eat more to make sure I was hitting the 1900-2200 mark that I "think" is right for me. But after four freaking years of obsessing over my weight, food intake, and how what I ate determined whether I'm a decent human being (I know that's extreme, but my emotions regarding food got pretty intense before my W30!!!).... I can't see numbers like the ones I see today and feel OK about them.
I can't let my relationship with food get that fcked up again, ever. And I certainly can't let that happen when I have a person to grow.
My midwife will not be happy about what I ate today, I'm sure of that. But you know... it was DELICIOUS, and it was a rare treat that I don't want to feel guilty about. And tomorrow, I'll be right back on track with a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner (corned beef and colcannon, yummmmm).
So to hell with calorie counting and obsessive guilt, and hooray for loving my body and my growing bump!
Also, turns out I can't do a W30 or even strict Paleo. My midwife wants me to eat every 2-3 hours (that means a mid-morning snack, an afternoon snack, and a before-bed snack, with smaller meals in between. THIS IS SO HARD FOR ME TO DO, OMFG), to drink juice when I'm "blocked," and eat yogurt daily for the probiotics. Whole30 is pretty strict about not snacking, juice is forbidden, and obviously even cultured dairy is a no-go. So while I can definitely eat a primal blueprint, a W30 is out of the question for now.
I also ran out of coconut and almond flours and have been crazy busy, so I haven't had the time to bake any kind of paleo snacks that quell my crazy carb cravings (like banana bread or big batches of pancakes). I have more now though, and a quiet weekend planned, so hopefully I'll have a few more snack options on hand.
Today has really been my first "bad" food day in a quite a while though, and I'm pleased about that. I'm eating lots of veggies, getting plenty of protein, and taking good care of my gut. I want to make my mindwife proud!