Wednesday, March 13

The rude awakening

This has been quite an interesting season of eating for our family.

It started sometime in the fall and revved up significantly every weekend in January/February, thanks primarily to cheer competitions and volleyball tourneys where the typical fare includes pizza, nachos, ice cream, and free hotel breakfasts.

Along the way, we've picked up some bad habits, like eating larger portion sizes. One day last week, I finally became curious about the amount of calories in my "normal" portion size.

Holy. Smokin'. Toledo.

I feel incredibly naive. Mind-blowing for this poor girl.

I'm a visual learner, so it helped me to actually count out chips to document the tragedy. Let's take a look at a pictorial, shall we?

140 cal, 13 chips. For real? Before guacamole?
Before buffalo chicken dip? Unfair.
Also 140 cal, 1/3 cup. I wonder how many thirds I consumed in
one day with the last bag ...
Love me some butter in just about everything. But that little
tablespoon is 100 cal. Say it ain't so.
You see, I always knew I was pouring too much cereal into the
bowl, but I didn't know it was 2 portion sizes worth. Truth
be told, I usually pour more but I ran out for my test. Oops.
Ooh, a snack I can handle at 110 cal. Wonder what chocolate
would add to that count? I dream of sweet and salty.

So obviously I am not a diligent eater. I really like food so I don't over-think it. I would venture to say many of us eat like that. But now I am thinking about it -- not in a "I will never touch this food again" kind of way but in a "I don't want to be naive anymore" kind of way. Now if only my grumbling tummy will cooperate when I don't feed it the usual amount. The test is on.

On the flip side, here's the other problem: When I am training to run a race, I struggle with knowing how much more to eat to give me the most energy/recovery from long runs. Apparently there is a formula for this, but I've never been good at math. My formula goes something like this: I'm starving x look, there's a muffin! / hey, i ran today = eat.

I just eat, usually more often and usually whatever I want because it can be justified by a long run. This exercise has caused me to re-examine the quality of the calories I consume. For example, a trip to Potbelly's after an 8-miler may not be the best choice. I mean, once in awhile it is. Maybe even twice in a while, because I love it so. But if I want to achieve any sort of results, I should probably consider some vegetables.

And can I just say to those of you who have been more closely monitoring your portion sizes and calorie counts -- well done, friends! You are way more aware than I. And if I have cooked you dinner in my home lately, let me apologize for serving you high-calorie meals laden with butter.

At least you knew how much you should take, right?

Eat well, friends.

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