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Scattercals at Three Months

Three months and change into my stint of assiduous calorie-counting, I'm learning a lot about natural eating--a subject heretofore completely alien to me.

When I say calorie-counting, I mean eating what I want and counting the calories in it. My goal was not to "go on a diet" or restrict my intake. It was to develop body-awareness, to learn how eating X-number of calories feels at the end of the day.

And it's working: I can now guess accurately to within about 150 calories how much I've eaten in the day, based on how I feel when I go to bed at night.

(NB: This would NOT be true if I were eating "cooked freight". Experience has shown me that 3000 calories of cooked freight feels like 2000 calories of food.)

The act of counting, while not restricting me, has made me conscious, and consciousness has caused me to eat better foods. The better the food I eat, the more trustworthy my appetite becomes, and the more naturally I eat only as much as I need. It's like a miracle.

(click for bigger)

Those blue dots represent my daily caloric intake over the three months. I expected the highs and lows to even out and start clustering nearer the centerline by now, but so far they remain firmly all over the map. One day I've got very little appetite, the next day I'm extra hungry. One day I indulge, the next I'm feeling abstemious.

The key is that my average over the whole period (magenta line) remains at around 1960, right where it needs to be to maintain my natural weight of 154.5.

Am I losing weight? Yes. Slowly. I figure in a year I'll be sort of "normally overweight for me". It'll take two years to approach my destination, and three to arrive.

But the beauty is, I'm already free. Everything else is just--well, gravy. The icing on the cake. (In moderation, of course.)



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 28th, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC)
that's fantastic!

love your charts. it really makes it easier to visualize...
May. 29th, 2008 12:07 am (UTC)
Hee! Thanks. I'm a complete geek for charts and graphs.
May. 29th, 2008 06:35 am (UTC)
Woohoo! Glorious chart! I'm still drooling over your ice cream description, not to mention the hot cocoa you described. You should have your own cooking show on TV - although the processed food industry would probably put out a hit on you. I finally kicked my softdrink addiction to the curb - and I'm pretty sure that's why I've lost some weight over the last few months. I'm now down to 185 lbs (from 203) and maybe now I'll be able to walk around the highschool track after work without my feet blowing out. I meant to ask you - what's the deal with corn? Is it all sugar? I know I can't digest it - always gives me gas and a bloated stomach.
May. 29th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
Hey, good for you! Lots of people I know have lost considerable weight just giving up soda. That's excellent.

The thing with corn doesn't have a LOT to do with delicious sweet corn that's used as more or less a vegetable. That stuff isn't all that nutritional, but it's delicious and more or less natural, I guess.

The problem is with industrial corn, the stuff that's genetically modified to withstand Roundup applications, and hybridized to be almost 100% starch. It's the stuff that's manufactured into high fructose corn syrup and all the other corn-derived ingredients in cooked freight.

I highly recommend the documentary "King Corn" if you want to get the whole picture. They roam the aisles of a convenience store, reading labels, and there is not one single thing in the whole place that doesn't contain a corn ingredient.

High fructose corn syrup has the calories of sugar without the same sweetening power, but it's cheaper and that's why it's become the main ingredient in processed foods. It takes much more of it, calorically, to create the sweetness you'd get with sugar. So stuff made with it messes with your appetite, your insulin reaction, and your weight.

Avoid it at all costs. That's the message of "King Corn." I've taken it to heart, and it's made a big, big difference in my life.
May. 29th, 2008 04:28 pm (UTC)
Whoo Hoo! You go girl! I know what a miracle this transition has been and how hard you have worked to make sense of it all. I am so excited for you and it's so wonderful to see the progress you are making. And, really? Three years isn't bad to be at your perfect weight. It took many more than that to get here. I'm right there with you on the freight food hidden calories. It's all the corn syrup, MSG and other preservative chemicals. No nutritional value but huge calories!

Interestingly, I was listening to the radio the other morning while driving and heard one of the DJ's talking about an experiment with marshmallow Peeps. She apparently wanted to see how long it would take them to decompose outside, thus proving that they must never really decompose in our tummy's. She placed three or four of them on skewers in the yard back in March. This week they were still identifiable Peeps except that a raccoon or something had torn one off, dismembered it and left it UNEATEN on the ground. That's the part I got a huge kick out of! Imagine, a food that even the raccoons won't eat but people will give to their kids!
May. 29th, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
Peeps are pretty disgusting. That's a great story. It's right in line with what Michael Pollan says about white flour in In Defense of Food: that refining the stuff takes out anything that rodents (or bacteria) would be interested in eating, giving it a much longer shelf life. If wild animals won't touch something, maybe we should avoid it too.

(Accordingly, I'm making as many of my bready things with at least half whole-wheat flour, trying to work my way into more whole grains.)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )



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