Every Last Bite

I mentioned yesterday how I’m trying once again to get into shape, or at least a shape not quite so round.  Part of that has entailed using a calorie tracker to count how many calories I eat a day in an effort to keep it at a certain level conducive to losing weight.  So in the past few days, I’ve gotten a good look at the nutritional values of the things I like to eat and drink.  And have come to the conclusion that nearly everything I put into my body is out to kill me in some fashion.

Honestly, about the only thing not looking to do me in is water, which my tracker tells me I’m not drinking enough of, thank you very much.  My goal has me at just a shade under 1500 calories a day.  1500 seems like a lot.  Until I finished lunch on Thursday and saw I had all of 400 calories left for the day.  So much for my mid-afternoon snack. And much of what I had planned for dinner.  Exercise can buy me some extra calories, but to do anything appreciable with it, I’d have to quit my job and work out all day.  At best, I can manage to balance out the equivalent of a couple of slices of pizza a day.

And the stuff that’s not high in calories seems to want to kill me through sodium overload.  I’m allowed the seemingly ridiculous total of 2500 grams of sodium a day, but I swear it feels like just breathing knocks off a thousand all on its own.  I had a bowl of cereal — CEREAL — for breakfast that had nearly 500 grams of sodium in it.  I had what I thought was something healthy — a mixed vegetable medley — and that kicked in 600 grams. Everything I like just seems to absorb sodium right out of the air or something.

Ironically, the one thing I like that seems to be doing me the least harm is Coke Zero:  no calories, no sugar, only 55 grams of sodium.  But that’s bad for me in plenty of other ways, so no win there.

I’ve drifted into a sort of min/max game.  Walk for an hour so I can have pizza on the weekend.  Make sure I do a workout to buy myself a beer or two with dinner.  Half a glass of Sprite instead of a whole one so I can have a snack before I go to bed.  It’s madness.  But it’s also been revealing and sobering and more than a little depressing.  I thought I wasn’t taking in all that much, and it turns out even on my good days I was probably overdoing it.  This has been a pretty big wake-up call.

So now that I’m awake, I have to keep up the vigilance.  Made easier thanks to the mobile app I use, but that’s just bookkeeping.  The hard part’s going to be walking past the vending machines and the snack aisles and the beer taps.  And walking in general.  Especially if my damn back keeps acting like a jerk.


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