I decided, for some unknown reason, that it would be fun today to live-blog the entire day through Instagram story. It started off super humble-braggy with my cute coffee mug sitting on the Keurig and all the junk I’m able to get done while the kids are still sleeping. Then after all of them are at school and work, I headed to the gym. I was looking forward to the workout since I got such a good burn from leg day a day earlier. Leg day would have been two days earlier, but remember that whole gym watch lady disappearance threw a wrench in plans.
But this time Bubs had preschool, so I was not dependent upon the appearance or disappearance of said commercial babysitter. I get to work warming up on a treadmill. Six minutes in and I get a call from a number I don’t recognize. Send it straight to voicemail because I basically only accept phone calls from one person. Check the voicemail and it is Peanut. She’s been dress-coded for wearing jeggings with a shirt that doesn’t go to mid-thigh. I promptly hop off the treadmill to the house for a different pant option that won’t get her in trouble, then head to her school to deliver said pants. She’s obviously mortified. I get it. She got herself dressed this morning and didn’t even consider that folks may think her pants are too tight. She wore stuff like that daily at her last school and no one said a word. But here they did, and it is in her permanent file *dun dun DUN*.
After all that nonsense I lost all motivation to workout. Instead I called a friend and chatted, which was good for the soul. Got some work done and started to get hungry. There is nothing easy for me in the pantry. Nothing easy in the fridge. I had packed all the leftovers for the other 3 humans, so unless I was willing to cook a protein from scratch or eat peanut butter pretzel bites, I was out of luck. Almost mindlessly I went to Taco Bell on the way to pick up Bubs.
What a mistake. The drive-thru was taking forever and I had to gorge on my terrible food choice as I drove to the preschool and sat in the parking lot. Really classy. Almost immediate heartburn and regret. Did I mention it is literally 95 degrees outside?
So we get home and I’m in bad shape. Not only did I not work out, but I put complete trash in my body again. Again. Come ON! Get it TOGETHER! The migraine keeps peeking around my eye and I try to take a quick nap on the couch while Bubs watches TV. Bad idea because boys literally can’t sit still for more than 5 minutes.
I had a promising client call after I picked up Peanut, one that could have been a big job for me. After a solid hour on the phone, it seems more likely to be a very small job that may require a lot of hand-holding. Le sigh. By this point I’m completely deflated. But I must press on. It is too hot to grill outside, so I pull out the cast iron grill pan and cook some beef sliders for dinner. I smoked up the entire house.
Then my period started. This past week has felt like it was slowly building to a painful crescendo. I can only hope that today was the peak. The period usually marks the end of the migraine, but this migraine has been hanging around far longer than usual. I just really want to tap out. Workouts, meals, work, parenting. It is hard.
I think I’m going to devote tomorrow’s preschool morning to getting back on a good path, and I think it starts with a chick flick and a good cathartic cry.
Remember how I mentioned that sharing my past experience with food diaries and restricting calories to 1200 per day seemed yucky just committing to words? I’m through 3 days of tracking every literal calorie I intake, and I hate it. HATE IT.
First, when you have to track everything you eat, it turns you into a person who is constantly thinking about what they eat. For someone who isn’t mindlessly eating in the first place, this means that I’m constantly having to think about the things that I may want to eat but probably shouldn’t eat. For instance, don’t think about fall. Don’t think about the leaves changing and the air getting cooler. Don’t think about putting 1 million pumpkins on your front porch. Just don’t even think about any of that.
What are you thinking about right now? Probably fall.
So here’s how it went down.
On Sunday I was well on my way to a great food diary day. Breakfast was my standard coffee and protein bar. Lunch was broiled tilapia on the leftover slaw with a blueberry spinach protein shake. Dinner was a Mexican bowl with pintos, leftover beef, cheese and a handful of tortilla chips. And then, after having obsessed about being good all day, I grabbed a slice of cookie cake from the fridge.
Here’s why that is so important: I don’t get sugar cravings often these days. I’ve cut almost all added sugar through the few months of conditioning myself. But after obsessing about not eating any of that cookie cake during Hubs’ birthday party, and obsessing about not eating that cookie cake the next day, my brain was fixated on that dumb cookie cake. It wasn’t even good either. It had so much sugar that made me immediately woozy and I tossed about half of the slice in the trash.
Well dammit, Monday is another day so let’s get to it. It started off really well. Well, except for the migraine that woke me up that morning. Again with the coffee and protein bar. I intended to go to the gym to get back on my weight-training routine. The staffer who runs the child watch just didn’t show up that day. Bubs and I waited for about 15 minutes, then decided it wasn’t likely that waiting there would be fruitful. So much for that workout.
For lunch I finished up all that leftover Mexican bowl stuff (beans, cheese and some chips) and about 3 hours later had second lunch of a can of tuna and cucumbers. While Bubs naps I spot some Cheetohs in the pantry (their aunt brought them as a treat over the weekend and somehow they survived both kids and Hubs being home for almost 48 hours). Still being good, I properly assign myself a serving and log it in the diary. Suck it, diary, I can still eat some crap every once in a while and be OK.
At this point I’m sitting at 1,310 calories for the day and all that’s left is dinner. I’m not even all that hungry because this migraine just won’t stop. It is the crazy afternoon where I have to pick up Peanut from school then shuttle her to and from dance class, meaning a home-cooked meal is almost impossible. Meanwhile the migraine. And the constant fixation on this stupid food diary.
What happened next? Chick Fil A happened.
But Chick Fil A happened big. I was going down and I was going down HARD. Flaming dumpster fire kind of shame spiraling here. No. 1 no pickle meal for me, with a sweet tea to drink (only drank about a third, but still that junk is sweet). Oh and I wanted to try their new mac and cheese, so add that on (I split that with Peanut). I love their cookies and my migraine really wants some chocolate, so let’s add some of those, too. I only ate one of them, but here’s a real moment of honesty: I didn’t tell the fam I even got cookies. I hid those bastards.
Shame spiral complete. What does the food diary look like now?
Total calories for the day: 2,830
Net carbs: 242g
So you know what I’m not doing any more? Food diaries.
One day down in Operation Quantify. How does it look? Take a look below.
Verdict: Having a birthday party for your husband can really lead to bad food choices. Does my normal day include hot dogs and chips? No. But it was a special occasion, so perhaps I’ll share the next day’s food diary just to show what a more normal day looks like.
Total Calories: 1,578
Protein: 97g (went over goal by 13g)
Net Carbs: 69g
Fat: 97g (went over goal by 30g)
- Coffee with 2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream, inositol supplement, collagen peptides and ovaltine (was feeling a mocha)
- Dark chocolate peanut butter protein bar
- NAC supplement
- 2 Hebrew National hot dogs on a bed of slaw and Bunker Hill hot dog chili
- 16 original flavor Pringles
- 1 pound fresh shrimp
- 1 cup fresh broccoli
- 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp stir-fry sauce for cooking
- 2 Tbsp ginger dressing for dipping
If I’m going to send a virtual middle finger to the nutritionists out there who think merely cutting calories will get me results, I’m going to first need to have quantifiable evidence of how their logic is flawed. Back during my “eat 1200 calories a day” phase of life, I had MyFitnessPal on my phone, and I compulsively tracked every morsel that entered my body.
Does that sound unhealthy? Because just typing it feels yucky. But I was there. And it was at a point in my life when I wasn’t even that overweight.
So first things first, I need to get MyFitnessPal to set the same benchmarks that I already set in daily life. I stopped keeping track of total calories per day a long time ago, so I went to a calorie calculator to determine what my resting metabolic rate was (meaning the number of calories I burn without doing anything else). The results for my weight and height said that I should intake roughly 2000 calories a day to maintain my current weight.
So, if according to these “experts” I intake somewhere around 1600 calories a day, I should see results. But why should I trust a random calorie calculator I found from a Google search? I need a name with some brand recognition. I need some reputability.
Mayo Clinic? OK. I guess that counts. At least it won’t tell me I have cancer like WebMD. What does their calculator say?
OK, two sources that say around 1900-2000 calories would be a baseline metabolic rate. Got it. Here’s what I’m setting for benchmarks in MyFitnessPal:
Calories Per Day: 1500
It isn’t extreme like 1200 but it is well under the 1600 that should result in “fat loss” according to these experts
Macronutrients: 25 - 35 - 40
I need to keep net carbs to 65g or less, so setting carb goals at 25% should allow enough carbs to make up for fiber intake. For instance yesterday – the first day of my food logs – I had around 81g of carbs and 12g of fiber, which landed me right at 69g net carbs. Almost perfect. The rest goes to protein and fat.
We seem to be living through endless summer. Fall technically started a week ago, but we’re staring at yet another week of mid-90s highs, so I’ve got the soup recipes tucked away for a bit longer. After my tantrum yesterday I’m more motivated than ever to establish those lifestyle habits that are going to ultimately lead me to success. I’m convinced the problem is primarily hormonal. I’m almost to that time of the month again, and for the past few months I’ve merely plateaued during that lead-up week. I’m predicting big numbers at the next weigh-in.
Here’s what is on the docket for meals this week:
Friday dinner: chicken potstickers and rice (which is becoming Hubs’ favorite)
Saturday lunch: Hubs birthday lunch of hot dogs and Pringles. (I had my hot dog without a bun on a bed of slaw and chili)
Saturday dinner: Jet’s Detroit-style deep dish for the fam. I stir fried some fresh shrimp and broccoli
Sunday lunch: sandwiches and chips for the fam. Scavenger salad for me
Sunday dinner: Pork tenderloin and mac (broccoli salad for me)
Monday lunches: leftovers / pasta salad
Monday dinner: nuggets and chips for the fam (it is a busy afternoon), blackened tilapia tacos for me
Tuesday lunches: sandwiches and fruit
Tuesday dinner: hamburger sliders and fries
Wednesday lunches: soup and crackers
Wednesday dinner: firecracker chicken and rice
Thursday lunches: leftovers
Thursday dinner: jambalaya (using a shrimp stock I made from the shells over the weekend)