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Confessions of a Compulsive Calorie Counter...

Saturday, March 30, 2013

My first blog entry was a week ago yesterday, so it's time to write another if I'm to meet my current goal of blogging once a week...

This week has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride...feeling really strong and motivated one minute...and compulsive and out of control the next...but I've logged in to SparkPeople every day and met all my daily goals so I'm feeling good about that...

As I've been enjoying (or not) my roller coaster ride :-)...I've been trying to take a step back and identify the things that trigger me...and one of them has definitely been calorie counting.

I first began calorie counting at age 15 (33 years ago) and have used this tool a number of times to help me lose weight...and while I agree that is an invaluable tool to monitor and moderate food seems to have an unfortunate side effect of making me crazy!

I start out ok...but after a while I begin to do weird things like...

saving up calories for snacking in the evening and eating more after dinner than I have the whole day...

stuffing myself with extra food when I'm not hungry because I haven't met my calorie goal for the day....

eating more processed foods because I can, and still meet my calorie goals...

eating more food, but stay within my calorie goals so I can track it and earn more sparkpoints (this is a new one:)

These things are crazy...right?...and they all eventually lead me to ignoring my body’s signals and eating less healthy overall.

As I started to notice these things, I tried coming up with strategies to try to overcome reduce my lower calorie goal by 100 calories to allow for daily fluctuations...but these just seemed to add to the mind tricks, and I ended up back where I started...CRAZY!!!

I’d forgotten my capacity to become compulsive around anything!...not just food...and as I watched myself slide from control into compulsion...I began to feel frustration...and even some despair...

As I looked at all of this more closely, I realised that I was reluctant to let go of calorie counting, even though it was not working for me, because I was afraid of being judged by other Spark people and experts for heresy!!! stuff, not yours :)

My fear of being judged by my peers and important authority figures is an old one...that goes back to my childhood experiences as an overweight kid who was rejected by peers as fat & ugly and befriended by teachers because she was a good girl (i.e. compliant)

I’m still healing this stuff, and writing this blog is another step in my process of accepting & respecting myself...and expecting others to as well.

So...where does all this leave me?...

I have decided that for me, for now, calorie counting is not working and there are plenty of other tools I can use to help me stay on track and meet my goals.

Recording what I eat is still useful and I will continue to keep a daily food diary so I can stay honest with myself and pick up on any patterns that emerge and need to be addressed.

I will focus more on fitness, in the hope that I can become compulsive around exercising! I’ll let you know how that goes...:-)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • -HOLLY-
    Everyone is different and so we have to find what works for us. I think it is awesome that you are able to see the problems that arise from what you do. Most people are not self aware enough to notice these things. Good luck with your fitness focus. I know you'll do great. emoticon emoticon
    1812 days ago
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    1813 days ago
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    1814 days ago
    Each of us need to discover what works for US. The trackers help many people but so do a lot of other techniques and strategies. What works for some may not work for you - so do it YOUR way. Making a plan that fits YOUR circumstances and YOUR life is the way to make this a true lifestyle change that last for life.
    1814 days ago
  • BILL60
    Everything in moderation is what we're often told. Myself, I have a tough time with moderation in exercise of nutrition. Today I biked for 3 and a half hours. Needless to say, when I got home I replenished the 3,000+ calories that I burned rather quickly. Does it work for me, yes. Is it the proper way to live healthy, NO.
    1814 days ago
    1814 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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