Counting and Endless Equations

 “Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.” Albert Einstein

A friend of mine posted this quote, as I was inputting my eaten food into MyFitnessPal. It kinda struck a cord with my obsessive calories in and out tracking, and the amount of unhappiness and distress it has caused me for the last 20 years.

Screenshot of my food diary on MyFitnessPal

Screenshot of my food diary on MyFitnessPal

Since the age of 12, I have been bingeing and purging, calorie and exercise wise. For the last 6 years, I have maintained a 50 pound weight loss, but it has not been easy. At the end of the day, I miss being a size 0; the higher my size is, the more of a failure I feel. While I remember what I had to do to be a size 0, and realize how unhealthy it was, I still miss it the feeling of putting on a pair of pants in size 0, and realizing they fit. While I was in control of some things, some things were out of control.

Travelling across the world for 3 months, and being exposed to different lifestyles and meeting other people helped me to realize that there are more important things in life than being a size 0. My obsession with food, to maintain my weight and to indulge has been quite excessive to say the least. While some people starve, I have been analyzing, discriminating, and entering data bout each morsel of food that enters my mouth. In some cases, I have declined social activities with my spouse and friends to avoid consuming extra calories.

Most recently, J. and I decided to go do the Grouse Grind on a nice sunny day. Instead of leaving him behind, to race up to the to in less than 60 minutes, I slowed down and stayed with him for the entire climb. It was my 2nd slowest time, and probably the easiest due to the pace, but it wasn’t worth getting to the top alone since the goal was for us to spend quality time together.

Measuring my workouts with my Heart Rate Monitor

Measuring my workouts with my Heart Rate Monitor

While I am about 6 pounds heavier now, than when I was a size 0, I understand that working out 2 hours per day and starving myself was unhealthy, just like bingeing on junk food and being inactive as a size 12 was also unhealthy. I’ll do my best to enjoy being my current size, which is definitely not a zero, and not base my happiness and how my day will go on how my size 2 skinny jeans feel when I try them on daily. I also try to give myself a break an not always workout until I have burned at least 500 calories. A

If I know how all of this is silly, why is it so hard to move on?

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3 responses to “Counting and Endless Equations

  1. Oh Maxine…how I can relate. You’re really brave for putting this out there. I too struggle with very similar patterns. Over the past 3 years I’ve lost and gained and lost and gained the same 25lbs over and over. In fact I think we may have first made contact through MFP? I feel the same reaction – that it’s a silly preoccupation – but I can’t tell you how many hours, minutes, new opportunities I’ve missed over this obsession. For me, I truly believe it’s mostly about control. I too have those old size 24 jeans and as many times as I set them out on my dresser to be a visual reminder to “be good” I know that all I really want is to prove that I can control something that is visually apparent to everyone else. My mom was visiting recently & I was talking with her about this very subject & her advice was to stop being so intensely hard on myself and enjoy life a little more. I wish it was that simple, but I’d offer you the same advice.
    Give yourself a break, a pat on the back for all you accomplish in every aspect of life (not just food & exercise). You are beautiful :)

    • Thanks for the kind words and encouragement Candace; means a lot coming from you! Yes, you are correct, we connected on MFP. Your mom is so right and wise, we need to stop being so hard on ourselves. You are right that we need to celebrate accomplishments that aren’t just being under the calorie goal or the exercise goals!

  2. Great post Maxine! I love the Einstein quote you started with – I plan to incorporate that into my way of thinking too. Glad you enjoyed the Grind with J and you still burned more than 500 calories :)

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