January, Calorie Counting

Day One

Current Weight: 165.2 pounds

Current Eating Style: Calorie Counting with MyFitnessPal

I considered a lot of different possibilities for this first month and ultimately settled on calorie counting for a number of reasons:

  1. I need to make a habit of tracking what I consume and how it makes me feel anyway for this yearlong experiment to be successful. I don’t plan on counting calories for the whole year, but I do plan to make notes throughout the year about what I am eating and how it makes me feel. Starting with an experiment that is based on food tracking makes a lot of sense to me because I am not trying to build two habits at once the first month.
  2. I’ve had some successful weight loss with calorie counting in the past. Several years ago (like 8 years ago) I used calorie counting with a pen, paper, and the support of a personal trainer to lose a notable amount of weight. It wasn’t sustainable long term and it doesn’t necessarily equate to the best diet for health, but it would be nice to start the experiment with some measurable success.
  3. This will give me a basis for understanding the calorie and nutrient density of foods as
    I move forward with this year. I’m thinking it will be a benefit for the whole year to have a reference point for what a healthy amount of food is. Particularly following an overconsumption filled holiday season.
  4. I’ve got a lot of changes happening this month. Most notably, I am starting a low residency grad program (MFA in creative writing, poetry) on January 4th. This includes living on site for ten days while attending all day classes and workshops. Many of the meals are provided and I’m not sure what food options will be available. While I’m absolutely sure I could make a more restrictive plan, such as Whole30 work, I think it would be really stressful. I’d rather focus my energy on the grad program instead of worrying about whether or not there will be anything I am allowed to eat and feeling like the weirdo who only eats the salad with all the toppings picked off and/or brings all her own food to the meal.

Using the MyFitnessPal app, I entered my basic information, selected a moderate weight loss goal of half a pound a week, and set my activity level as “lightly active”. The result is a custom calorie goal of 1810 calories per day, although if I exceed an amount of activity that would be considered lightly active (as tracked by my Fitbit and determined by MyFitnessPal) the app will adjust my daily calorie goal accordingly.

I’m grateful that I’m doing something to improve my health and wellbeing.

Happy New Year, and here’s to day one.

My Resolution, My Rules

My New Year’s Resolution is simple:

  • Try a different eating style (what some might call a “diet”) each calendar month in 2018
  • Keep a written record of the experience on a daily basis
  • Blog about the experience at least once a week

That’s really all there is to it. I know it’s not going to be perfect, I’m not going to be perfect. Maybe there will be some experiments that I will want to repeat for additional months. Maybe some will be so dreadful I won’t even want to continue them for a single month. There are going to be more challenges than I can even begin to count.

But the feeling right now? Excitement. Hope.