I've been turning this post over in my mind for a good four weeks now--since I started using my Fitbit, in fact. It's going to be a hard one.
I have gone over to the dark side. I have let my inner obsessive-compulsive take the upper hand in my life and I am feeling very conflicted.
I am tracking my food consumption. There, I said it.
Probably, compared to hard-core trackers, my tracking is pretty loosey goosey. And I like it that way. In my opinion, to be a hard-core tracker, you have to give up eating a lot of real food because real food doesn't come in packages with numbers (aka calories) on it. Let me give you an example: I make my own salad dressing. It's fantastic, in my humble opinion, and adds oodles of taste to my salads. The dressing is made up of several ingredients and I make it in an old jam jar or sometimes in a jar that once held Dijon mustard. It contains olive oil, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, a splash of maple syrup or a spoonful of honey, lemon juice, freshly crushed garlic, pepper, a small sprinkle of salt and assorted herbs. Calculating the number of calories per spoonful is possible, but it's way harder than pulling out a bottle of ready-made dressing that's full of preservatives, low on real taste...but has a label on the back with the calorie count.
Oh, and how do I calculate the number of calories in my kitchen-sink salads that contain chicken (or tuna), walnuts, apples (or pears), a handful of raisins, and various veg on a bed of salad greens? The time and obsessiveness required to do so would drive me around the bend. So I "eyeball" and sometimes I'm sure I'm too low, while sometimes I might be too high.
I admit to using a kitchen scale at least once a day, often more frequently.
I find that the obsessive-compulsiveness level is already higher than I feel comfortable with. But I've been doing it for about a month now.
When I got the Fitbit, it seductively asked me if I wanted to lose weight. I fell into its trap, though I could have fallen a lot farther. I decided to see what kind of calorie limit it would give me if I aimed to lose 1/2 pound per week. Not surprisingly, due to my small stature and limited mobility, most days the Fitbit doesn't give me all that much to work with, calorie-wise. It's rather cool though, in that it constantly recalculates the number of calories you "can" eat, based on how much energy you've expended up to that point in the day.
Which leads me to admit to a move into even darker waters. Yes, I've been dabbling in the Nightmare on ELMM Street, aka "calories in - calories out".
And the results? I know you're just dying to find out...
Yes, I've lost weight. And it's more than 1/2 pound a week, though I'm not disclosing any numbers. I have a scale which supposedly gives me fat percentages too and so far, the fat number is wobbling around at best. It literally goes up or down a few percentage points after drinking some water or excreting some solid waste (sorry, TMI). I am terribly afraid of losing muscle, as women my age are prone to do, and as people who are very limited in their exercise abilities such as myself are EXTREMELY prone to do. I cannot afford to lose muscle.
So, all in all, I'm feeling very, very conflicted about what I'm doing. I'm trying not to blame myself for doing something that I am philosophically against. I will not tolerate allowing myself to be hungry. I am quite aware of my honest hunger signals and I continue to respect them. If I continue to lose weight, I might ask my doctor how to go about getting an accurate measurement of my body's fat percentage. As I said before, I cannot afford to lose muscle. No one can.
That's my admission of guilt.
And I can hear the wonderful Debra's evil "bwahaha" echoing in my head.
Sympathy for the Devil, er, Chuck Schumer
5 hours ago