I love food. A great burger. An awesome cup of coffee. A sweet dessert. A hearty chili. A good dark beer. A succulent filet. A fine fillet o’ fish. Anyone hungry now? All can find their way into my diet and in moderation can really be enjoyed! I used to reach for a Snickers, Kit Kat or Hershey’s if I had a sweet tooth craving. Now I reach for 1-2 squares of the darkest chocolate I can find. It takes a lot of discipline not to pig out one day a week until I started keeping a food diary for a while. It’s on the desktop of my work laptop so it’s always staring me in the face. Not only did I keep a food diary, but I kept it on an excel spread sheet broken down by meals and snacks. So I guess it’s more of a calorie diary than a food diary. Remember, I was 65-75 pounds over weight at the beginning. From writing everything down, I found out that numbers don’t lie.
Obviously, I needed a change and I made those changes. As of today I am quickly approaching 180 lbs which is a far cry from the 245 lbs at which I started! One of the amazing things I found after starting this food diary was the effects of one meal on my week. Numbers don’t lie. If the little dial on the scales didn’t go down then I could look back at my spreadsheet and know why. I recorded calories burned as well so I really got into it. After a while I even started changing the font color to red for high calorie meals. This was a visual indicator of what stopped me from being successful in my goal that week. Now if you’ve read my other posts you know that I plan for holidays and enjoy the foods that go along with them. I used to work for the Walt Disney Company so I know all about indulgence! 🙂 But aside from the 10-12 weeks a year when it’s okay (for me) to splurge I try to keep on track with a fairly controlled diet which includes all sorts of foods…foods that support my current training goals whether it be for a marathon, dropping 5 pounds, maintaining my current weight, gaining muscle, etc. I found that if I had a meal that was 800 calories for lunch and I burned 500 calories in exercise then a lot of time I was just going to the gym so I could have french fries that day. Totally not worth it for me since the numbers didn’t add up. Why? Because numbers don’t lie. Eventually I had to discipline myself to change my behavior and my perspective on what constituted a meal. I was way out of whack on my perspective of what size a “meal” should be. Did I need an 800-1000 calorie lunch? No, I didn’t. Did I have to have a salad every day? No, I didn’t. I just needed to make different choice and explore my food options a bit more. Recently I hit a weight plateau so I went back to my calorie diary and started keeping track again. Sure enough, it took me a couple weeks, but the pounds started to come off again. Bam, down another 5 pounds. Numbers don’t lie. So the moral of the story is know what you’re eating, how much you’re eating and the consequences of it all. I found there is a fine line between indulgence & gluttony. If you’re not sure where that line is just look at the numbers because numbers don’t lie. Happy Training & Happy Holidays!