Friday, June 10, 2005

Blinded me with science

I remain fascinated with the simplicity of calories in-calories out. I am so freed by the tangible evidence, the tally at the end of the day of calories eaten and expended. Having that concrete information is making it so much easier for me to do the right thing just about every day. Or at least to make informed decisions instead of thinking, in my previously typical way, oh, it’s not that bad. It’s just a day of junk food and no exercise, or it’s just a piece of cheese, or it’s just whatever. I don’t know what I was basing that dismissiveness on, but it certainly wasn’t actual, scientific information.

Today, for instance. I took a day off work to prepare for my trip to Toronto (read: spend the day with Taco because neither of us can stand the idea of three days apart otherwise. We are sickening, I do realise this). Days off usually mean my healthy routine goes to hell. I don’t get out of bed and do yoga or pilates, I eat breakfast late, I forget to take my vitamins and supplements. I eat weird things I can’t account for, and I rarely get enough fruits and vegetables (at work, I easily down three or four fruit and veg servings out of boredom. Is it still ok to eat from boredom if it means you’re getting your fibre for the day? Discuss!).

Today could easily have headed in that direction. I got up late, but put on my workout clothes. But then did a few things (I don’t even remember what) instead of doing yoga, and then Taco made breakfast (eggs in an egg cup with toast soldiers, oh happy happy day, to which I added some kiwi and half an orange). So, breakfast was fine, but then once it was eaten, I realised I’d need to wait a few hours before doing yoga. And I forgot my vitamins. And a few hours later, it was time for lunch. Instead of just chowing on some cheese and crackers, the way I might on a weekend when driven mad from hunger because the day slipped by without me noticing, I took the time to make a veggie stirfry with vermicelli before we got too starved to think. And then I remembered to take my vitamins, because I realised that the weekend would probably get crazy, and I might miss a few opportunities and it would be stupid to miss too many of them, especially out of sheer lazy forgetfulness. And then Taco went to work and I did pilates, mainly because I was thinking about logging my food for the day, and how I was going to Toronto in a few hours and would probably eat some things that weren’t…you know, strictly on plan and all. And how it was sure going to feel a lot better at the end of the day to have a little exercise to put up against all that.

And I finally get it. I get that there are consequences…good and bad…to my behaviour. I get that if I do pilates, it makes a little room for me to eat a Reese’s peanut butter cup at the airport, if I want (and oh, believe you me, I did). I get that if I tally up what I’ve taken in and what I’ve put out for the day before I go out at night to see some music, I can see if there’s room to have a hotdog (don’t judge me! It’s Toronto, the street veggie dogs are goddamn good, it’s a frizzillion degrees here even at midnight. The hotdog seemed like the right thing—scratch that—the hotdog was entirely the right thing to do. As a matter of fact, eating it brought my daily total to the exact right proportion of protein, carbs and fat. I realise these results are not typical, yes). And if there is, if it looks like I can have it with 14 calories to spare, I’ve figured out that if I walk from the hotel to the bar and back (easily 15 minutes, maybe 20, each way), it gives me a little bit of a buffer. In fact, I’ve figured out that any opportunity I can get to move my body and burn a few calories here, a few there, is utterly worth taking. And what’s more, I have the energy now to actually, you know, take those opportunities. Go figure.

That’s not to say there’ll be peanut butter cups and hotdogs every day. Oh god no. Even before I started my little science experiment, chocolate and hotdogs were not part of the daily repertoire.

But how great is it that you can plan to eat street meat? Like, really plan. I feel like such a dink for not figuring this out sooner. For spending all that time feeling the dread and getting fatter. However, given that I’m working on staying in the moment, rather than dwelling in the past, we’ll just call it AFLE* and move on, shall we?

Good heavens, Ms Yakimoto, you're beautiful. Bee boop boo.

*another fucking learning experience


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