Saturday, February 22, 2014

Now I understand why keeping track of food is so important

When I started the Options program, which is the six months of educational classes before bariatric surgery through Kaiser, I was open to whatever suggestions and "rules" I was going to have to follow.  Basically I was (and still am) willing to do whatever they ask of me because I know it's going to prepare me the best for a different lifestyle after having the surgery.

One of the first things we were told in the classes was that we would have to keep track of all of our food and then show it to our facilitator each week.  I have to admit, I inwardly rolled my eyes and thought to myself, Really?  You're going to make me show you what I'm eating, as if you don't believe me?  Each week when we go to class, we either turn in our written logs or show our app with all of our food, water and exercise documented.  I use the MyFitnessPal app (my screen name is MissKathyJean if you want to follow me there).  I love it because it's super easy to use and I can scan everything using my iPhone.

After doing it for over a month now on a consistent basis, I finally saw why it is so important.  It's one thing to write down the food you are eating or planning to eat but it's quite another to really see it.  Up to now, I had been noticing my daily totals and seeing that I haven't been eating enough.  Today, however, I got a huge jolt when I logged in my lunch.  I wasn't planning today, just sort of opened the fridge to see what might be good.  I decided on some salmon with stir-fry veggies over quinoa.  It was incredibly delicious ... until I logged in my food.  Quinoa - 110 calories for a half cup, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil - 120 calories, and a slew of veggies - 40 calories.

Then came the salmon - 340 calories.  Shit!  I had to look at the package again to make sure that scanned correctly.  When my dad was here, he bought this package of salmon from Costco because it was portioned individually, which I thought was a great idea.  I remember logging in my salmon the other day when we had grilled them, but I just did a generic salmon and didn't look up the specific details.  By scanning the actual package, not only was it 340 calories, but I discovered one portion was seven ounces, not the three to four that I would hope to aim for.

I really got to see that this exercise of turning in our food every week is not an effort in futility but really about changing bad habits into good ones.  I think it's very important to stay aware of what goes into my mouth or something I'm considering eating.  It brings to mind a commercial I've been seeing on TV a lot lately from a national pizza chain.  They keep talking about this new cheeseburger pizza that they're now selling.  To me, it's not something that looks even remotely appetizing because all I'm imagining right now is how long I'd have to work out to have just one slice of that stuff.  Out of curiosity, I looked it up online.  For just one slice of their original crust large size pizza, which is apparently 1/8th of the entire thing, it's 410 calories, 22 grams of fat, 950 milligrams of sodium and 38 grams of carbs.  Let's be honest - when is the last time you had 1/8th of a pizza??  It's usually like 2-3 slices, if not more.  I went to the lake today and burned almost 800 calories walking around it several times.  If I would have chosen to have that pizza, that exercise would have burned almost two slices.  Doesn't seem worth it to me.

I completely recognize my awareness is because I'm being forced to document all of my food.  Turns out that's a good thing for me after all.  It all adds up.  I'd be frightened to see how many calories I was ingesting on a binge.  I mean, honestly, if I had eaten a half of the pizza I mentioned above, that would be 1640 calories and that's just half.  That is slap you in the face reality right there.

I'm not done with my water for today, so I'll document how much I had tomorrow at the bottom of the post like usual.  I think I'll do that from now on so I'm not feeling as though I can't post before 11 p.m.


happyinca said...

Everyone I've talked to who as kept off their weight, logs their food. Thank God for apps. I've also started recording my shakes on MFP and plan to continue when I start eating food. I'm hoping it feels more natural with time.

Kathy said...

The app sure does make it easier, that's for sure. Now it's become a habit, hopefully one I'll continue as well.

Beth Ann said...

I hate that you wrote this because you are right and I need to be better about doing it. :-)

Kathy said...

Ha ha, too funny! It's amazing what's in food (and what's NOT in it, too).

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