Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Calorie Counting And What Counts

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my worsening depression. Since then, in addition to talking to my doctor and adjusting my medication, I am attempting to improve my overall health through exercise and healthy eating.

While I am body positive, I want to lose the extra weight I've gained since becoming a teacher. How am I doing it? Calorie counting. In college I lost my "freshman fifteen" through calorie counting -- keeping track of the food I ate and my exercise. At the time, it made me more aware of my diet and my nutrients while also encouraging me to exercise to "earn" more calories.

Now, I'm trying it again. It's a challenging and often depressing path. My favorite high-calorie foods, like cheese and peanut butter, often don't make the cut. The first few days I was so cranky that I actually apologized to my students for my short temper. Worse yet, I rarely have the calories left at the end of a long day for wine (or any alcohol for that matter). My biggest victory occurred last week when I had enough calories for a margarita with my homemade, low-fat, chicken tacos.

On the plus side, I've added more vegetables and fruit to my diet. I've decreased my sugar and sodium consumption, while increasing my exercise. I use an app to keep track of everything, and I gain a strange amount of joy from scanning my food items and completing my daily calorie log.

Most importantly, I'm feeling better. Whether or not I lose weight, my true goal is to be happier and more confident. I'm sure more challenges await (Christmas!), but for now I'm feeling better and more in control. And for me, that's what counts.

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