2015 Goal Number 3: Calories

(I really really really don’t want to offend anyone with this post. My eating situation is NOT a psychological illness, and I deeply sympathize with those who struggle with them. Neither do I want to belittle the weight-loss journeys many individuals in this community are currently on; I admire the strength those struggles require!)

I’m sort of a perfect storm for bad nutrition.

  1. I’m a strict vegetarian (always have been).
  2. I’m an athlete, and am active outside of my sport as well (running, standing desk, walking in the sunshine).
  3. I’m extremely picky. I honestly think I have overactive taste buds or…something. To me, plain spaghetti, spaghetti with butter, and spaghetti with Parmesan cheese are three completely different meals with different tastes and textures.
  4. I don’t have much free time and I don’t enjoy cooking.

These four facts combined mean that I don’t particularly like to eat; I’m a bad, unhealthy vegetarian who doesn’t like to experiment with food and who naturally burns a lot of calories. Of course this leads to side-effects – like disregarding hunger until I’ve made myself sick. Or like not having enough energy to ride through a course or lesson.

(One of my big takeaways from my first season of showing with Robbye was that I needed to pack a lot of food and MAKE MYSELF eat it, even if I didn’t notice any hunger.)

This isn’t a comfortable way to live, not to mention the fact that it’s incredibly unhealthy. I know this is bad for me and I think about it a lot, but I don’t have a solution yet.

I know fixing it is probably going to be a process.

That said, my third and final goal for 2015 is to

Count calories in and calories out.

I actually am only planning on doing this until the end of February, when I’ll re-evaluate. I’m not sure if I’ll want to continue tracking for another month, do my own research and modify this goal to eat healthier, or consult a nutritionist.

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It’s bad. The red line is maintaining my weight (115 @ 5’6″), which I already consider my “rock bottom”. I’d love to gain weight in muscle. Which, from this graph, doesn’t look possible.

I don’t know anything about nutrition and will gladly and gratefully take any help you would offer. Does anyone else struggle with eating enough? Has anyone else consulted a nutritionist?

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7 thoughts on “2015 Goal Number 3: Calories

  1. Sometimes I struggle with eating enough simply because I’m lazy (or busy, but usually just lazy). The way I get around it is by making huge batches and eating leftovers for a couple days. My crockpot has been amazing for this- I can make a week’s worth of soup/stew/whatever and the only “dinner prep” I’ll have for a week is tossing it in the microwave. I’m sure there are tons of vegetarian crockpot recipes!

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    1. I KNOW that I should do this, but the idea of a stew of crockpot food is just really unappetizing to me. I just have this vision of soggy beans, onions, vegetable stock, overcooked noodles…nothing sounds tasty or worth the work I’d have to put into cooking.

      I know I’m being silly, but this is just another aspect of the perfect storm I’ve whipped up for myself. Ugh.

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      1. I totally agreed with you before I got the crockpot, and it definitely took some experimenting to find some favorite recipes- soggy and overcooked happened more than once before I found something that worked! I don’t think it’s silly, food should be something enjoyable 🙂

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  2. My roommate consults a nutritionist fairly regularly, but she also suffers from IBS and other digestive problems. She found it really helpful when she was making the switch to vegetarianism to help keep her energy levels up. I totally support seeing a nutritionist, especially because you are an athlete and you do need to make sure you are well fueled for your work!

    I think Hellomylivia’s suggestions above about crock-potting are great, and unless you want to eat a lot of processed/prepackaged food (not that good in my opinion), you might need to start cooking a bit more so you can have good, healthful food that you won’t feel like you’re choking down to keep yourself going through long days. To gain muscle, you’re definitely going to need to increase your protein (and probably even fat) intake — whether through protein-rich vegetables (beans, lentils, cheese, etc.) or protein supplements (I’m personally not a fan of protein powder).

    I think the fact that you’re aware of this is a great first step, and I can feel your pain. I too sometimes fall into the trap of not eating (usually more laziness or business since I LOVE eating and food and cooking), and it’s never had good results. Good luck! Keep us appraised of your progress.

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    1. Thank you so much for the support. For some reason talking to a nutritionist seems really dramatic to me…I’m embarrassed that I can’t seem to take care of myself, and it’s humiliating to ask for help! I know I need it, though :/

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  3. You definitely shouldn’t be embarrassed about it. Depending on how reactive you are to food in general (how picky) will determine the best plan. I think it would be super for you to talk to a nutritionist- it’s not any more dramatic to be on the other end of the spectrum from those who are seeking help trying to lose weight (and this is a HUGE amount of people, myself included).

    It could be helpful to make a list of foods you generally like and all the ways you like them prepared (so you can take into account preferred textures/flavors). Then you can more easily identify gaps in your overall nutrition. Maybe you would be okay trying similar foods to your list that fulfill different nutritional needs.

    If it’s less about food aversion feelings and more about forgetting to eat, not enjoying planning or preparing meals, then having a set time each day or each week to prepare lunches or plan dinners might help. Also, I had a teammate on my basketball team in high school with similar trouble keeping weight on and she used to set a watch alarm to have a snack at regular intervals- small, easy stuff like granola bars, nuts, etc.

    If inspiration is also part of the problem then I would say check out places like tastespotting.com or, yes, even Pinterest. If you like potatoes, for example, search for easy potato dishes. I often get stuck in a rut eating the same things even though I am very adventurous with food and love to cook. It helps me a lot to look at recipes to get more variety and incorporate new foods.

    I agree with Nicole, I think you’ve done the hard part already- making the decision to try and improve your diet! No shame in consulting someone who studies that crap for a living 😉

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    1. Thank you SO MUCH for all the tips and support. I’m slowly starting to form a plan in my head and I think that consulting a nutritionist really needs to be on there. You, Nicole, and Olivia have convinced me!

      Thank you again. I really really really needed to hear this from others, and I so appreciate the support ❤

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