Did I get your attention? Just wait until you realize there are old awkward photos. Then I’ll really get ya!
I often get the question why I don’t post calories on my recipes. The most honest answer: errr…because I don’t count them.
It’s true calories in minus calories out does equal weight loss. That’s true and simple science. But spending years counting calories, points and grams, I felt like I was chasing my tail.
I studied nutrition for over 6 years before working in a weight-loss clinic for almost 4 years. All during school and even after graduating with a Bachelors and a Master’s degree in nutrition, I couldn’t lose any weight. I counted calories. I worked out at 7am (which few college students do) and I didn’t drink alcohol. You can ask any of my Pi Phi sisters- right ladies?!?!
I knew all about metabolic processes. I knew all about counting calories, fat, carbs and protein. I knew how to eat before I went out with friends. I knew how to keep a detailed food journal. I knew how to focus on brown rice, whole grains, fruits and 100 calorie packs.
I felt trapped. Embarrassed. Who wants to see a dietitian with a weight problem?
My first job out of graduate school was at a wonderful place in Edmond, Oklahoma. Many of you know me from there: WeightWise Bariatric Program. I could write a book on the stories of walking with hundreds of patients to lose thousands of pounds. One of the best gifts I received while I was there: I finally lost some weight.
My philosophies of weight and food changed dramatically even in the first few months of my new job. Don’t count calories. Cut out starches. Go for a walk instead of a run. Some of these things sounded way too good to be true. And some sounded awful: wait, say what about starches??!
Starchy foods- breads, pasta, rice, potatoes (even whole wheat) trigger the body to use carbohydrates for fuel, which triggers hunger, and increased overall calorie intake. For those of us who struggle with weight, our bodies love to store carbs. We eat them, store them, crave more. (Enter terrible picture…..)
So…it IS calories in versus calories out. But I stopped counting them and ate lean meats and vegetables. After the first few days, I was less hungry. Less hungry meant I ate less food. Not less often! But less food overall.
From my heaviest, I lost somewhere between 40-45 pounds (because I stopped weighing myself at my heaviest…) and I’ve kept it off for almost four years. And I haven’t counted how many calories I ate in the day in about, well, four years.
It’s not easy to cut out starchy foods. I’ve gotten used to this way of life, but I also slip up and eat…ohhhh…I don’t know…let’s just say…hypothetically…maybe…some cookie dough out of the fridge? Heh hehhh. But I remind myself that there “is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) Weight loss takes a lot of prayer. And grace that only Jesus can provide. I found freedom first in him, and then from breaking up with calorie counting. This journey will never be over for me. And you know what? I have that in common with every single person I’ve walked this journey with. It’s not over for any of us.
Not even the overly-blogging dietitian who loves making and talking about healthy food. Not for her either :)