Me and calorie counting are done: Part I

I made the decision on Sunday that I was done with calorie counting.

I set out to try to lose 17 pounds in 18 weeks — my in-between marathon training time — after the MDI Marathon.

It’s been 30 days of almost completely faithful calorie counting. Everything I ate, I recorded in MyFitnessPal. I stuck with it for one month. And I’ve decided it’s not working for me.

Now, I’ve lost 3 pounds — from 158 post-marathon to 155 — but that fluctuates every day depending on what I’ve eaten, so I think the weight loss is minimal. But that’s not why I’m quitting.

The last time I lost weight, I did it using Weight Watchers. And I wasn’t even really a strict points-counter. I would check in with the points I was eating for awhile, but most of it was a laser focus into putting maximum nutrients into my body. I substituted the junk snacking for healthy snacking. I didn’t necessarily limit the quantities of foods that I ate. And I trained for my first 5K, 10-miler, half-marathon and marathon in that time. I really thought about everything I put in my mouth: Am I really hungry? Do I really want to eat this? And if I was hungry, I ate it. No matter what else I ate that day.

This calorie counting sucks. I found most days that I would have only 200 calories left by dinner. That was not enough to eat dinner. So then I would eat a healthy dinner and then blow the rest of my night with snacks.

It sucked on my energy and it brought down so many other things in my life. I was moody. I was miserable. I thought slower. I had a couple runs that were only 20-30 minutes long and I felt DEAD after them.

I knew I could NOT eat 1300 calories the day before a 2-hour run. So I would eat more on Friday and feel guilty about it. It was a bad system.

I understand why I did not want to do this during marathon training. It’s hard to put in good training days on a calorie deficit. And I just don’t want to give up running. So I am going to eat in a way that doesn’t pile on the pounds but gives me enough energy to let me run how I feel.

I don’t expect to lose another 15 pounds without doing something, but I wasn’t going to be able to lose another 15 pounds and keep it off calorie counting.

To be continued … 

Pattie Reaves

About Pattie Reaves

By day, I'm the User Experience and Audience Manager for the Bangor Daily News. By night, I'm a soon-to-be first-time mom and renegade fitness blogger at After the Couch. I live in Brewer with my husband, Tony, and our two pugs, Georgia and Scoop.