I Just Can’t Count Calories

calories1When I was in sixth-form I don’t think a single person DIDN’T have MyFitnessPal downloaded onto their phone. Everyone used it religiously.

For those of you who don’t know, MyFitnessPal is an app/website that logs your calorie intake and output. It’s efficient, effective, and downright addictive.

So there we all were at school, a class of 100ish girls, all logging everything we ate onto this app and calculating how much we’d weigh in five weeks if we just ran that little bit further and ate that little bit less. I talk about it lightly, something I feel entitled to do as I was there, but it was a really big problem. Really big. And we all knew it. I’m also aware that some of my friends from school will be reading this and thinking ‘ugh shut up’ so I apologise to you too.

Despite its presence on my phone and constantly in the conversations thrown around the room, I never really got the hang of it. It was too picky and I was just not in the mood to count every drop of milk I had in every cup of tea. Hats off to those of my friends that did. Commitment right there.

Instead I focused on Weight Watchers points. Now, I never actually went to a single meeting. Instead I downloaded a point counting app onto my phone (I wasn’t going to pay for the subscription, come on…) and worked around my intense love of fruit that way. Weight Watchers is brilliant because you can eat as many fruits and vegetables as you like as long as you stick to the 26 points you’re assigned a day for ‘other’ foods. In less than six months, like everyone else, I lost two stone.

So why, when I swear by WW, am I now talking about calories? Well, I’ll tell you. Lately I have begun to dabble. My Garmin Vivofit measures my day in calories, it measures my exercise sessions in calories, everyone else seems to be having great results with calories. It just kinda made sense to me to use them too. All my friends used to manage – surely it can’t be so hard?

Oh. My. God. How do you do it?! Like, I get it. I get how many I’m supposed to eat but my God is it restricting?! With WW I could eat as much as I wanted – sometimes like two whole boxes of grapes after dinner – and still lose weight because I was sticking with my 26 point limit. Going from that to literally never eating fruit as a snack because calories has quite honestly torn me apart.

I write this post on a drizzly Friday evening, having eaten what I would count as ‘very little’ all day. Apparently what I have eaten today is enough for my 5 foot 4 frame but I am starving. Really damn hungry. It’s 9:30. This is not cool. It’s not good. I can now see why everyone seemed so miserable at school. (I was always quite content with another box of grapes.) Calorie counting makes me obsessive, it makes me confused and it just makes me down right depressed. I am not a fan.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this post. I think it’s turned into a rant about how hungry and frustrated I am.

I can’t go on seeing bananas and apples as an enemy. And I really miss my evening grape feast. Fruit made me a healthier, happier person and I have been denying myself that in favour of bigger, ‘more filling’ meals to try to get me through the day.

I’m going to miss knowing exactly how much my exercise has given me back but its a small price to pay. I’ll still measure it using my Garmin but log it using the WW point system (intensity/time) but that’s going to be a bit of a blow. It only really works with cardio – lifting is a bit of a WW enigma. No matter.

But hey, I’m just me. I know that others love calories and would be put off by another system. I admire you if you are one of these people. I’m going to go back to what I smugly told all my starving friends I was doing, you continue to do what works best for you! I just can’t do it any longer.

Keep safe, and keep healthy.

 

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  • Martha Jane says:

    Owh I’m so glad you’re not going to continue! I don’t know much about weight-loss programmes, but I’ve watched so many of my friends suffer terribly because of calorie counting. I’m a huge advocate for exercising lots and eating plenty of the right foods. I think WHAT you put into your body is far more important than how much. Just my two cents! Good luck, and stay healthy! x

    Martha Jane | http://www.marthajanemusic.com

    • Imii Mace says:

      I completely agree and have always said exactly the same! Its really important to think of our bodies as more than numbers in and numbers out. Healthy doesn’t mean low-cal at all! x

  • Katie Louise says:

    Oh, I cannot do calorie counting either. I’ve never really been obsessive over it though, I just can’t keep it up. You’ve just got to listen to your body, like you’ve said, it’s not all about the numbers in/out.

  • Kirsty McManus says:

    See, I’m the opposite and I wish I wasn’t. I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t counting calories, I can remember using SparkTeens when I was 12 (kids version of fitness pal from years and years ago) to input every bowl of cocopops I had. Even if I’ve not been dieting, I have always tracked what I’ve eaten, even if it’s not restrictive, just because it’s became part of my life. I’d have loved to have been in a time where the calorie content of her food did not matter, after all, calories are literally just energy, units of heat, now, they’ve became so much more!

    Kirsty
    x
    http://www.trackingtwenty.co.uk

    • Imii Mace says:

      Don’t worry, I’m the same. I say I can’t count calories but I do count WeightWatchers points every single day without fail, even if it’s not to be strict about it. I just have to know! It sucks that they’re such an ingrained part of people’s lives and I’m really sad that you have never really been free of them 🙁 I guess as long as it isn’t a problem for you then its okay! Thanks so much for commenting! xx

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