Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Food and Money

So, I'm reading Half-Assed, The Weight Loss Memoir and in it she talks about the similarities between spending money and gaining fat. She compares being overweight to being overdrawn in her checking account. I thought about this as I prepared my lunch and tracked my calories, wondering if it was weird to be tracking calories, realizing my lunch was only 200 calories and then going back in the kitchen, getting more things, going back to the computer to enter the amounts until lunch was around 450 calories.

But, it isn't weird, anymore than it is weird for me to track all of my spending in my Quickbooks account to make sure I don't get overdrawn. It is good to look at my checkbook balance before going into Lululemon, and to set a budget for myself and to exercise self control over my purchases. And it is good for me to set a budget for my food, and exercise self control and be pleasently surprised when a meal that seems large turns out to be less than I thought (it's like finding a shirt on sale at Lululemon and then getting another $10 off when you point out that a hem has come undone, which you can fix yourself.)

I used to live in complete avoidance of money. I didn't track anything, I left my bills in the mailbox for days (fine, maybe weeks) at a time until I was sure they were all late and then I would take them out and pay them with anxiety and a bad attitude. Finally, I realized I needed to grow up and practice gratitude around my bills. After all, wasn't I lucky for the education I got from my student loans? and my car came in handy, right? and if the credit card companies hadn't loaned me money to open my law practice I wouldn't have it, would I? So, I totally changed my feelings about money, which in turn changed my actions about money.

It's the same with food and exercise. For a long time I just borrowed calories from the next day, the next week, the next month. And now, the tracking and keeping them within my range and making sure I'm burning enough calories each day seem remarkably easy and I'm wondering what the heck took me so long to get here. In the past when I was fit, I had a little chart that I tracked everything on (walk, sit ups, upper body, lower body, weight, etc.) I know that is what works for me.

Exercise: 55 minutes walking at World's End.
Breakfast: oatmeal with almond butter and molassas and sunflower seeds.
Lunch: 2 cups chopped broccoli, 4.5 oz. shrimp, 1 tsp oil, soy sauce, crushed red pepper, 1/2 cup bulgar wheat, 16 Ghiradelli Semi-Sweet Chips.
Snack: Fage Yogurt with strawberry.

Total: 932 calories. Which leaves me between 558 and 908 calories for dinner at my Dad's tonight. I'll try to get some photos of the food.

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