Sunday, January 17, 2010

On Counting Calories

Diet Coke and pizza please

Kate Moss once said that "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels", and I had this concept in the back of my mind while on this Squish-loss quest. I kept mental tabs about my happiness re: appearance, physical exertion, and food choices. At the end of my fitness experiment I came to the conclusion that the only good part about semi-intense exercise was how good stretching felt at the end, and that following a Very Healthy diet make me intensely unhappy.

I had mixed feelings about the few physical changes I had. My face was almost imperceptibly thinner, which I think made me look more my age than like the high schooler I occasionally get mistaken for. I was slightly less depressed about the number the scale was showing me. My ab muscles were actually getting used, therefore my squishy abdomen was lifted up, making me look "effortlessly" better in some of my clothes. My arms were gaining definition, which I felt made them look bigger rather than less-flabby. I was sleeping less (which, in the grand scheme of sleeping 10+ hours a day is an improvement).

In essence: after time had passed and effort was made, I was happier about my body when I looked in the mirror. I also took more showers by virtue of sweating profusely 5-6 times a week.

Once personal training was over and I no longer had to create food logs to show to a judgmental PT, I was immensely relieved. I didn't have to eat food I found bland. I didn't have to stress over whether I was getting 30 billion grams of protein a day. I didn't have to feel guilty about ordering buffalo wings or having peanut butter toast for breakfast. And so my rapid descent into PTSD (post-training sloth disorder) began. My last training session was just about a month ago, and I think I've made it to the gym about once a week since. Surprisingly, I'm feeling guilty about it, as well as feeling pangs of guilt when contemplating unhealthy food choices.

So while it turns out that TGiFriday's green chile sauce and brownie obsession, Spicy Sweet Chile Doritos, and really good bleu cheese dressing do, in fact, taste better than being skinny feels, losing that good-skinny feeling due to relaxing ab muscles and increasing scale numbers feels worse than a 100% tasty but erratic diet and the guilt that goes along with staying on the couch watching crime drama instead of going to the gym. So it seems some sort of compromise is in order, because seriously; life is not worth living if Applebee's french onion soup is off-limits, but I really don't want to sabotage all of the hard work I put in over the last few months.


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