Until recently, sugary snacks seduced me before doing any big task, even writing essays. After last week’s realization that I must moderate my caloric intake if I can’t exercise frequently, I started counting calories again, which is more useful for me keeping a rigorous structure to my eating habits than numbers-based metrics. Until I find a good way to quickly and accurately track my calories, I’m borrowing an accountability idea from my daily writing schedule.
I have to write 500 words here, minimum, daily.
Ideally, this means I publish an essay daily. Currently, I have 6 essays in my backlog. Yesterday I didn’t have the time, today I didn’t have the energy, but tomorrow I will need to dedicate the time to get that number down so I can keep a consistent publishing schedule.
I have to consume under 2000 calories, maximum, daily.
I was tracking these numbers well enough the first few days, but as my mind scattered through a new job’s list of new things to learn and the fatigue of that sensory overload, I became fatigued beyond the ability for me to go into each day’s entry to track the calories.
Documenting the exact numbers is proving difficult.
An online chart might be a good way to track the raw numbers and might be easy for adding new numbers, but numbers don’t mean much to me. An app might work well, but I’d have to deal with learning a new interface. My Trello board option was too cumbersome.
So I’ve been using that 500-words idea for 2000-calories.
There’s a large portion of my brain dedicated to ensuring that I write 500 words daily. I used to track these numbers but after publishing two essays where I tracked the numbers and wrote about how I turned the habit into a daily discipline, I stopped “counting.”
I just write 500 words daily. I find the time throughout the day.
I might need to track the numbers until it’s a daily discipline, especially when going out to eat one meal could reasonably be over 1000 calories, if not 2000, so this won’t be as rigorous of a structure. I consumed over 2000 calories one day this week just due to stress.
I am seeing the progress, though.
I’m attempting to fast more during the day. I’ll eat a good breakfast, and if I can, skip eating until dinner. If I can’t exercise for now, until I buy a new rower or figure out how to make going to the gym more effortless than it has been, then I must control what I can.
Decrease calorie intake or increase calorie output.
Ideally, both. Burning more calories has usually decreased my appetite, but over the past few years, I’ve been loose in counting both. I wonder if I’ve been too worried about tracking what I’m eating, rather than tracking the numbers in and out? I thought about that.
Then I made this chart: Calories Eaten, Calories Used.
I feel like this could have been the “app” I was looking for…
|Sources: My fitness experiences.
– This week’s weight: 235.0
– Last week’s weight: 238.5
– Difference: Three and a half pounds is great! Hopefully, this chart will further help me reduce my boredom eating.
|Inspirations: I’ve been sharing out my Google Docs and have only recently learned about the Sheets portion, so between writing about fasting and counting calories, I figured: Why not build something?|
|Related: Past weekly column entries.|
First: My downsizing process, showing an empty column of shelves, like the empty calories I would have otherwise consumed.
Second: The sheet.
Third: A wide-angle shot of my apartment, showing the cassette tapes and the computer cables I’m sorting through now.
|Written On: May 26th [30 minutes, plus about 30 or so to build out the sheet]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft for the Internet.|