Thoughts on Being Thoughtless

Hello.

My name is Heather, and I am an overthinker.

Thoughtful

And I don’t mean that in the paranoia sense of the term. I don’t always think that if someone chooses to end a text with a period that I’ve done something awful to piss them off (don’t pretend like you haven’t been there before). 😉

No, I mean more ESPECIALLY when it comes to food.

But I wasn’t always like this. It happened over time.

First I learned that fat was bad. And protein?…yeah, that’s the good stuff…we need LOTS of that. Oh wait, fat is good now…but only if it doesn’t come from this, this, or that. Yeah now carbs are bad…but uh, only after you subtract the fiber…and sugar alcohols…wait, what’s a sugar alcohol?

*Google searching…scrolling…clicking…scrolling*

What the h- Rainbows?!

Ok, sugar alcohols are bad. But so is sugar. And how much sodium is in this? A three egg omelette? No thank you, do you KNOW how much cholesterol is in eggs?! Um, how long have I been buying non-organic produce?! Grass-feed? Free range…cage free….
cage range…rage cange…wait, why are my eggs so angry?!

Oh dear God, I’m going to bear children with three arms!!

Yeah, so that pretty much sums up the last 10 years of my life in nutrition…aka, how to increase your blood pressure without even TOUCHING a egg! 😉

So obviously, I’ve been looking at nutrition labels for a while now. But even after all that I’d learned, the good…the bad…and the hydrogenated oil, I never really ever paid attention to calories…

Until last summer.

Last May, home from my fantastic weekend at Blend 2012, I started struggling with my snacking (I blame the truckload of swag…I mean, seriously? You guys saw that stuff!). I was constantly picking at things in ADDITION to my meals. I was unhappy with my body. Around that time, Fitmixer got their first bootcamp up and running and all of a sudden I was hearing everyone rave about My Fitness Pal…

My Fitness Pal Profile

So I figured, “what the hay”, set up an account, selected my goals, and was OFF!

The first few weeks were eye-opening for sure. I realized a “Heather-serving” and an “actual serving” were pretty far from the same thing. I also learned that I tend to feel more satisfied with smaller meals and snacks throughout the day. I had BEEN eating meals and snacks…but they had all been quite larger than I had originally thought.

I also started paying attention to the calories burned whenever I used the cardio equipment at the gym…and then I diligently entered my meals and my workouts into my handy-dandy calculator.

After a month, I’d lost four pounds.

After two months, I’d lost eight pounds.

And after three months, I had hit to my “goal” weight!

Jeans

It worked! I felt great…I was ecstatic…I was wearing jeans that hadn’t fit in a YEAR! I really couldn’t believe how amazing it was. I had never seen results so clearly (and so quickly). I was so proud of myself!

The next few months went great…I kept counting, I kept logging my exercise…I was so motivated, but then I ran into a few “speed bumps.” I met the man-friend (and as per any new dating situation, there were LOTS of dinners out, and then as the holidays were approaching, there were parties, and crackTONS of CRACK!

I gained weight. I felt like crap. I (felt like I) looked like crap and while up to this point, I had never gotten overly obsessed with tracking my calories before, after my holiday detox, I started getting stricter…

I went from “guessing” I had a cup of cereal to actually leveling off the measuring cup with the backside of a knife.

My Fitness Pal Log

I measured every teaspoon of mustard, tablespoon of ketchup, and practically abandoned nut butter…you know, because it just didn’t “fit” in my calories. I even counted out those frickin’ snap peas. And hello, ONE ginger chew has 16 calories in it?!

Then I bought a food scale.

And if my bowl of salad had 3.ONE ounces of spinach in it, you better BELIEVE I was picking out a couple of leaves until it was absolutely even!

Why you ask?

Well because obviously, I had lost control over the holidays. I needed to get that back and also, this was around the time that my knee started giving my problems…again, I lacked control. So I sought it out in the only way I knew how…and well, the numbers didn’t COULDN’T lie.

The funny thing is, I never recognized this reasoning before. I didn’t see what was happening. I was totally oblivious to the line I was crossing.

TO BE CONTINUED…

Do you count calories or pay attention to specific nutrients like fat, carbs, or sugar?

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108 Responses to Thoughts on Being Thoughtless

  1. Ohhhh girl I think I know where this post is headed and I am hanging on the seat of my chair for part 2….bring it :)!

  2. I sort of know where this is going but I’m scared as I can totally relate. I use fitness pal and I have a set if digital scales in my kitchen. Enough said.

  3. Well written post. Even though this is a serious issue, I like how you kept it light and funny. I have to be honest and say I always wonder where you stood on calorie counting and all that jazz… I guess I’m about to find out! :)

    I probably count calories once a week just to make sure that I’m getting enough. But other than that, no. I used to obsessively count for a few years, but I think I’ve finally made it past that for now.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Thank you Madison! Honestly, this is just the way I deal with serious matters…I can’t help but break up the monotony with a little humor…helps relieve a bit of tension and clear the mind! 😉

  4. Great post, Heather! I was using my fitness pal for a while when I was trying to build muscle. It’s hard to eat that much food for me to build! Now that I’m not anymore, I’ve stopped using it and it’s so much better. It’s so tedious!

  5. lindsay says:

    i say this post should end with closing down that account. YOU are gorgeous and thrive for life. Love your over-thinking and that you can share with us. xxoo

  6. Jessie says:

    Looking forward to part 2… the suspense is already killing me (your lucky you are beautifulllll) :)

    && yes I do count calories. Never had until I was diagnosed with HA and now I need to make sure I get my 3000 a day. It’s just easier for me.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Wow, 3000 a day?! And you’re such a little person…how in the world do you make it all fit?! Lol

      Ps, I love you!

  7. Ack! This breaks my heart because it reminds me so much of exactly the same gradual process I went through, one which eventually lead me to an eating disorder :( Yours has a happier ending though… I know it :) So bring on part two!

    And no calorie counting or tracking macros for me. Did it for years… will never do it again.

  8. I’m loving these posts! (I saw Megs, and Sarahs!) I love when people open up about struggles like this! I’ve been working on my own post about this, actually! I can’t wait to hear the rest!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      It’s definitely been a long time coming. I just couldn’t seem to find the words until now…and I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous about really opening up for the first time on the blog. Kinda scary!

  9. Aly says:

    1. You are amazing and gorgeous and your recipes inspire me to “let go” every once in awhile, because…
    2. I’m exactly like that! I’m a perfectionist and it got so bad a couple years ago, I nearly had a break down. Now I’m slowly easing my way out of the “MUST TRACK EVERY OUNCE” routine and I only measure things that can be really dangerous (like bread & PB- sigh!)
    3. For me, stepping on the scale is what gets me amped up to start counting again, because I never feel like the number I see is low enough. So I hid my scale and I refuse to touch it. I know that with my perfectly healthy diet and exercise regimens, I will be fine and naturally even out to where I need to be.
    4. I admire you and your blog. They are an inspiration to me and show me what I can (hopefully) achieve with my blog someday. Don’t let those calories get you down! You rock!
    <3 Aly

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh Aly, you have NO idea what this comment means to me! To know I have even the smallest part in someone’s life…and a chance to better it, makes me happier than words can express! I can totally relate to the perfectionism thing. Ever since I was little, there was ALWAYS room for improvement…in ANY aspect of life! And I’ve definitely had a few breakdowns over the years (more than I care to admit to myself even).

      I’m so proud of you for taking a step back and realizing that you don’t have to let outside forces govern your life…it may seem scary at first and you may falter a bit, but in the end, you will only be STRONGER for it! I swear, it’s unbelievable how much I’ve learned about myself over the last few weeks…and continuing to learn every day. I’m still trying my best to process it all, but it feels so good to finally have a sense of “freedom” from so many months of control!

  10. Emily @ hungry delights says:

    I have been there!!! Luckily I just sat myself down and gave myself a stern talking to. I am much less restrictive on myself now and I haven’t gained any weight!! It’s all about learning what your body needs. I am sure p2 will tell a similar story. Thanks soo much for the cliff hanger! Gahhh

    Xo Em

  11. Girl, you are freaking GORGEOUS and the fact that you recognized WHAT was going on, is the first way to start FIXING it. Looking forward to hearing more. Regardless, sending you love!

  12. Oh man can I relate. I am trying to stick with MyFitnessPal but it is a struggle. I find that I am either all in or all out. I’m still working on the balance thing. :)

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      I totally understand. I definitely have the “all or nothing” approach when it comes to…well, anything in life…and calorie counting was no exception. But honestly, that’s the thing about the allure of the numbers. It sucks you in…and if you have any math sense at all, you just feel “compelled” to make everything add up! Just listen to your body and do what you FEEL is best for you…not what you THINK will make you feel better, look better, perform better. Ya know? :)

  13. Great Post! I use to struggle with obsessing with calorie counting, and taking pride in being wayyy under my target calorie needs. I knew this wasn’t right, and even though I am still a stickler for counting calories everyday, I blame it on my type A-dietitian personality. I enjoy the “treat” foods more often now with less guilt because I always think “The holidays are one time a year, but I can exercise ANY day.” That is usually reason enough for me!

  14. I, too, am such an overthinker and perfectionist! (My science and geometry teachers will testify…) While they work for some people, I’ve come to the conclusion that calorie counting/tracking/meticulous-scrutinizing weight loss tools and websites do more harm than good for “us” and that we can’t let that obsessive side of us dominate such a vital aspect of our health. I lived like this for a year and I think I developed an eating disorder known as orthorexia… :( rock bottom in my life, measuring EVERYTHING, only cooking from recipes with calorie counts, thinking about food and calories constantly instead of friends or school or side projects…it’s quickly a downward spiral. But I’m back now.
    I anxiously await Part 2 of the series, and hope this was nipped in the bud much sooner than the stage I let myself progress to! You’re awesome!!!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      “…and that we can’t let that obsessive side of us dominate such a vital aspect of our health” < - oh my gosh, YES!!! I could not have said it better myself! It's such a slippery slope...most of the time you don't even notice until you've already begun to slide...and it's really hard to stop once you've built up so much momentum. So glad to hear you were able to put on the brakes and take your LIFE back! :)

  15. I’m struggling with that right now — I’m trying to lose a few pounds, so I’m just counting calories, but I know the intake of certain things is more important than calories, so it’s a struggle!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Exactly how I started…I knew (I mean really, we ALL know) that all calories aren’t created equal. That’s where the overthinking got started…but believe me, you’re body knows BEST! You just have to learn to trust it. Remember, just because something doesn’t balance out for the DAY, doesn’t mean it doesn’t balance out in the bigger picture…you just have to step back to see it. :)

  16. Unrelated, but I love your navel ring. :)

    I think you are perfect just the way you are. But yes, I weigh. Gotta make sure I’m feeding the BEAST. But you know when I go out for a cheat day, all bets are off. Go big or go home!

  17. Ahhh the suspense is going to be killer! Love the post!
    This entire post reminds me of myself so much. Counting calories has become the “thing” to do to lose weight- and I can say that yeah it works, BUT from my experience, the weight I lost came back when I decided not to restrict myself from foods.
    Can’t wait to hear part 2!!!

  18. Girl, I think you’re going to be BLOWN AWAY when you see how many people were in your EXACT SAME SITUATION. I’ve BEEN THERE AND DONE alllllllll of what you’ve shared throughout this post (p.s. super proud of you for sharing – I knew you were not sure if you would or not).

    You’re going to do an amazing job with this IE challenge. Jamie’s emails will help you each day AND I AM HERE TOO <3 seriously, ANYTHING YOU NEED & I am here :)

    We can be partners in crime if you want to call it that <3

    I know you already know life is so much better without MFP! I just still cannot get over it, though 😀 I just finished snacking because I was ACTUALLY HUNGRY and I feel so much more energized and I'm not even worrying about "omg what are my macros at now!?"

    YAY 😀

    Love you missy

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      YES!! Oh Meg, that makes me so happy to hear! The changes you’ve made in only a few short weeks are nothing short of remarkable! You are a strong, brave, and GORGEOUS woman and should never have anything in life bring you down or try to fit you into a mold! I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there for me over the last couple of weeks. Just knowing I had some support from someone who had been through it all first hand made me feel that much more sure that I had made the right choice.

      I am SO excited to start the challenge…AND to tell everyone about it! Jamie says I’m already ahead of the curve since I’ve been doing my own little “experiments” but I hope to learn as much as I can through this, grow, and come out on the other side that much stronger!

      Love you to the moon! 😀

  19. I’m literally tearing up right now. Bc this is me. 100%. And I’m just so glad that you wrote it. Bc it’s my problem and what I’ve been struggling with for awhile now. I’m with ya girl, this is tough and it needs to stop.
    We need to talk more. You and me. Bc we totally are so much alike.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh girlie! Remember that post you wrote last year about measuring and weighing? Well, of course you do…you wrote it!! Well, at the time, I saw it as sheer brilliance, but since then, as I finally became aware of the path I was taking, I started thinking about you…and wondering if you were going through the same thing. Please, please, PLEASE feel free to email me anytime! I think we can relate on so many things and although I’m still in the learning process of it all, I’d love to help you in any way that I can! xoxo

      • OMG that post. I think about that post ALL the time. Because I wrote it wanting to help people and knowing that it helped me lose weight…and now I’m stuck in this hole that I’ve been in for 2 years. And restaurants used to be scary, until I started getting so specific in my ordering that I might as well jump back there and make the food myself (which is why my fiance finds it annoying for us to go out to dinner…he’s so scared they’re going to put too much oil on my food and I’m going to get upset). And I cut out nut butters (my precious nut butters!) to the point of one teaspoon a day (as a “treat”) and fruit (yes, seriously)…anyways, I’ll email you! You have no idea how happy and “free” I’ve felt ALL day just because you wrote this and I feel like I’m not alone. And I’m so ready to be done too.

  20. Ahh its so easy to fall into the trap of obsessively weighing; i used to count all the time because i was obsessive and wanted to make sure i didnt go over my calorie amount for the day (pre eating disorder)..now i weigh to make sure im getting enough fat and enough protein to fuel me at the gym..i never used to go near fat now i love the stuff.
    I do agree though there are so many confusing messages out there on what to eat/not eat!

  21. Counting calories was my thing–it became obsessive.. I had to quit. Nowadays, I try to eat what I feel like my body needs. I will measure things out so I’m not adding too much of something, but counting was not for me!

  22. Great post & I feel your pain. I lost over 50 lbs back in 2008 using calorie counting & measuring/weighing my food. I still do it. Sometimes it drives me nuts, sometimes it keeps me sane & in-line. It’s a slippery slope, but if I didn’t do it, I know that for me personally, I’d overeat & blow up again. I just love food too much & don’t stop eating.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Honestly, that’s what kept me doing it for so long…fear of gaining all that weight back. That’s why I’m so curious to learn more about intuitive eating…which I’ll touch on more in tomorrow’s post. It takes a little while to adjust at first and to learn to trust yourself (especially around what I like to call “dangerous” foods…you have those?), but I feel like I am finally getting to a point where my relationship with food is a genuine love and appreciation…and not an addiction. Make any sense?

  23. I hope this is going where I think it’s going :)

  24. Um. Did you just write my story for me here? This EXACT same thing just happened to me a couple months ago. I started tracking to teach myself about serving size and to finally end my binge/restrict cycle. It worked really well at first, but I slowly started getting obsessive. Restaurant meals became a source of anxiety. It all spiraled down from there, and I realized I had to give it up.

    I’m so glad you caught yourself here. But the next steps are hard, I’m going through it right now. It’s SO incredibly liberating to give up the trackers, but it’s definitely a process.
    I can’t believe how similar your story is to mine – shoot me an email if you ever want to chat more! (or just muse about weird food tendencies) <3

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      I said the EXACT same thing to myself when I saw your comment on Sarah’s blog yesterday! Did you see my response to it?

      I’d love to hear more about where you are on your journey back from it…besides, since I’m there myself, I know it’s a good time to rally as much support as possible! Expect an email from me shortly! 😀

  25. Heather, I could have written this myself a couple of years ago. It’s a slippery slope with the calorie counting and weighing. Not only for the health implications but also for just a quality of life reason. Eating out became “scary” and “unknown”, as did having meals at a friend’s house. And while I experienced the same excitement at first, it quickly became not fun. I’m so glad I’ve learned to move away from all of it, and get back to enjoying life. In the grand scheme of things, there are so many MORE important things to not let pass you by.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      “Not only for the health implications but also for just a quality of life reason.” < -YESSSS! So true! I only NOW can look back and see just how ridiculous it was how much time I spent scrolling through that app on my phone trying to find something that best fit what I ate at a restaurant that didn't provide menus with nutritional calculations. Then I got to the point where I didn't want to go out at all...because it was just easier to stay at home and weigh EVERYTHING! I'm just glad that I was finally able to see what was going on and that things needed to change. And I'm SO happy that you were able to step away from it as well. Like you said, there are SO many more important things in life! :)

  26. Emily says:

    Isn’t it scary how easily we fall into the trap of obsessing over numbers? I’ve been in the same position you were, multiple times. When all else fails (and I lose control) I turn to controlling my food and exercise. But, I truly believe that seeing the problem and understanding what sparks the obsession is the first step in freeing yourself from it…and it sounds like you’re doing just that.
    I can’t wait for Part 2!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      “I truly believe that seeing the problem and understanding what sparks the obsession is the first step in freeing yourself from it.” <- SO true! I think that's why it took for me to finally make the change. At one point, I started to see how much time it was taking from my life and how meticulous I had gotten, but I was determined to stay in CONTROL...only I didn't realize IT was controlling ME!

  27. YES!!! I’m so happy for you opening up on the blog. Remember, you can always e-mail me if you need to…no matter how long or short or random. I wouldn’t be able to survive the changes without having friends to just check in with. :)

    LOVE YOU!!!!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Yeah, I just felt like it needed to be said. I’m guessing it’s around the same lines as your reasoning for “coming out” too…it just feels good knowing that I’m being honest with myself…and that made me want to share it…especially if I’m able to help ANYONE out there with the same issues! I am so glad I’ve had you to be my sounding board over the last few weeks, girlie! I can’t even begin to tell you how much your emails have meant to me! Love you soooooo much! :)

  28. I definitely feel your pain with this one Heather! MyFitnessPal can be useful for some people, but it definitely allows us to fall into the ‘count every calorie’ trap. And it’s ridiculous – I was definitely doing the same thing for a while. It made me anxious and made me feel bad if I wanted something that didn’t ‘fit in’ to my allotted budget, which is just ridiculous. I struggled with it both in my eating disorder, and again fairly recently. So glad that you’re seeing the light, and I can’t wait to read part 2!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      “It made me anxious and made me feel bad if I wanted something that didn’t ‘fit in’ to my allotted budget” <- I totally get what you mean with this...I would feel so bad OR I would skimp on everything else to try to "make room"...which honestly, NEVER ended up working out! You said you've struggled with it again recently? I hope things are going ok now...if you ever need to chat, just know I'm only an email away, love! 😀

  29. Tracey says:

    I have been counting calories for over ten years now and have kept off 50lbs! After a while, you sort of get a better feel for portions and stuff. I don’t feel a slave to it though, I think it’s a wonderful tool. The key is to find what works for you, and keeps you happy and sane. I think calorie counting is super helpful, because left to my own devices..I usually eat more then I need to. I think of it as having the gas gauge in a car..if you didn’t know if you didn’t have it..how would you know if your tank was full or empty. If you feel like it’s taken you over, just reevaluate why your doing it. For me, it’s my little weight-loss helper:)

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      That is so awesome, Tracey!! I truly admire your dedication. I am so thankful for what calorie counting taught me about myself and portion control…unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me for the long haul. I thought that if left on my own, I would consistently overeat…and thus gain all that weight back (which is why I never really wanted to turn away from it), but since I started looking more into intuitive eating, I see that I can learn to trust myself around food and so I can be my own gauge and know when my body is nearing my full or empty mark! :)

  30. I have an idea where this is heading. I have lived it for a while and am still trying to shake it when it creeps up on me. When life feels out of my control, the numbers are the only thing I feel I can. It’s scary, it feels lonely and for some it leads to many other dark roads, ones I don’t want to go back down again.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      So true, Sonia! Funny how hard it is to see that fine line between US having control and the NUMBERS having it, isn’t it? I hate that you had to go down that road to see it, but I hope you know that you are most definitely a stronger person for coming back from it! :)

  31. Kat says:

    I seriously love you. Can we be long lost sisters?

    I, am not so great with the calorie business. After years of torturing myself with counting cals, I finally just said enough is enough and gave it up. I was so obsessed with it. I mean it literally RULED my life. I couldn’t eat out. I couldn’t even eat cookies my youth group kids baked me. If I didn’t know the calories, I wouldn’t eat it.

    And that to me, is NOT living!! But hey, I know calorie counting DOES work for some people, so Im not one of those people who hates on calorie counters. I get it. I mean, we’ve all gotta figure out what the hay works for us right?!

    And to be honest, because of my love for food AND my obsession with calorie counting, I’ve kind of come to a nice balance. I don’t actually NEED to know whats in the food, because I can pretty much figure it out. Sometimes I want to figure it out, and other times I just say screw it, Im eating this plate of nachos!! 😉

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      “…and other times I just say screw it, Im eating this plate of nachos!!” <- Haha, LOVE IT!!! And we can most DEFINITELY be long lost sisters…I mean we're both gingers, so that's a start, right? 😉

      I'm right there with ya…not gonna hate on any body who finds success and is able to keep it up with the whole calorie counting thing, I just know that for me, it isn't the best. The thing is that I KNEW better…I just KNEW my mind would take over because back when I was running, I just HAD TO KNOW my distance, my time, my pace…everything had to be just so. For some (?!) reason, I thought calorie counting would be different. Ha!

  32. Erin says:

    I loved your post and cannot wait for the 2nd installment! I too am an overthinker and I recently deleted My Fitness Pal account. I became obsessive with it. I decided that having a healthy relationship with nutrition is what I really needed. Now, I eat 3 meals a day, cook with fresh ingredients and listen to my body. I feel great, less bloating, already slimmer and have so much energy!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      That’s incredible, Erin! I hope you are darn proud of yourself because I know, it is not easy to admit to yourself that you can’t handle the obsession…that’s what I struggled with for a while…I just KNEW I was in control…NOT the numbers. So happy to hear you’ve got that balance back in your life and are feeling great! 😀

  33. It can be so easy to overthink things – especially when people have such strong opinions. With everyone saying “SUGAR IS BAD AHHHHHHH!” it’s no wonder why so many of us think we should do the same – but you know what? When I eat mostly natural sugars, I’m going to munch on that chocolate bar or put real sugar in my muffins because it tastes really good – if someone thinks that’s poisoning myself, they obviously haven’t eaten real chocolate in a long time ;P

    As for carbs, I always thought I was a carb-lover and then my doctor told me I wasn’t getting enough?! (Cause for celebration, I think yes?) so it’s one of those things where we really just need to go with what WE need – and not with what other people think we need. Wholegrains and tonnes of vegetables may be healthy for some – but my stomach can’t handle rough vegetables like broccoli or cabbage – that doesn’t make me unhealthy, it just means I’m different. Every single one of us have different needs – so it’s so hard to fit yourself into a box that is simply a guideline.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh Kristy!! I was nodding my head after EVERY SENTENCE!! You’re words couldn’t speak more truth! People tend to forget that we are all individuals…and like you said, we can’t all fit into the same “box”. And (as said as it is given my blog title) I know exactly how you feel with the broccoli! Cabbage I can seem to do…as long as it’s not TOO much, but just a couple florets of broccoli and I am doubled over in pain for HOURS! I don’t like to depend on it, especially since it’s not natural, but honestly, Bean-O has been the only thing that helps. I chew a few pills right as I did into some broccoli (or cauliflower) and I’m good to go! :)

      And seriously, life is TOO short not to enjoy some REAL chocolate every once in a while!

  34. Lee says:

    I’ve been doing Weight Watchers so yes, I count. For some foods, like peanut butter or hummus, I do measure, but then if I’m going out to eat, I just sort of estimate and I’m sure I’m estimating low, but I don’t really care. I can definitely see how easy it is to become obsessive about it, but I think that counting can be a good tool for weight loss.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh, I agree! I would never for a minute bash someone for calorie counting! It’s proven…it works! It’s just not for everyone and as much as I tried to convince myself that it was for me, it just wasn’t. I’m really happy that it’s working for you though…I’ve noticed you seem happier now and that makes me happy! 😀

  35. amy says:

    congrats on getting to your goal weight-it aint easy! i started using that app too and my portions and snacking is out of control yikes. i gotta use a scale!

  36. Oh my friend, you are so not alone with this. I think we all go through it from time to time. It’s completely normal…well, our kind of normal. I do count calories. I do watch my nutrients and keep track of where my fuel is coming from. I lost A LOT of weight when I found out I had a tumor. I was horribly depressed, scared and in pain. I am 5’2″ and before I went in to surgery, I weighed less that 90 lbs. It was awful! I started counting calories when I needed to gain weight. I LOVE fruits and vegetables. I could easily live on them…or so I thought. I track my food to keep me in a healthy range. I’m not embarrassed at all by it. I do it to stay healthy. I went for some time where I was a little crazy about it. I had family members talking behind my back thinking that I had an eating disorder (which I did not, I didn’t mind gaining weight, but I wanted to stay healthy and learn where that healthy level was). I have since, become certified in fitness nutrition and changed up my diet. For where I want to be…strong, healthy, energetic and happy, I now know how to fuel me. The hard thing for most people to understand is that what fuels me well, may not fuel you well. I think it’s important for all of us to find what works best for us. I always suggest a journal to my clients to track what they eat in the beginning. It gives them a good place to start. Then we tweak things to find what works best for them. So, yes, I am a food tracker. I can’t wait to see where you’re heading with this. I love your honesty and the heart you put out there!

    Side note, are you going to BLEND this year?

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh Sarena! I never knew you were sick! When did all this happen?? I’m so happy to hear that you’ve been able to had such gains…in your weight, your health, and your knowledge in what works best for you. That is something I’m trying real hard on now to figure out for myself. It’s so easy to be influenced by what you see on blogs and sort of lose “sight” of yourself through it all.

      I AM going to BLEND! Are YOU?!?! Omg, please say yes!!!! 😀

  37. I keep my sugar & grain intake to a minimum because I’m prone to crazy blood sugar highs, crashes & cravings – and I just feel/look crappy when I regularly consume them. I also eat a high fat diet (probably 50-70% fat? It sounds crazy but it works for me) and feel my absolute best when I’m feeding my brain lots of its favorite foods (eggs!!!!).

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Sugar is still probably the ONE thing I still feel the need to focus on…but only because I seem to be so hypersensitive to sugars. I went to the Asian market the other day and thought about picking up these taro cakes, but when I noticed that they had like 30g of sugar per cake, I realized that if I HAD brought them home with me, more than likely they would have been too sweet for my tastes. And I wasn’t about to blow five bucks on a handful of sugar that I’d have to pawn off on somebody else! Lol

  38. Heather, I can’t remember if you read my post on intuitive eating vs, calorie counting, portion control & stats that I wrote not too long ago. For me, I have always had weight issues so I did the whole calorie counting & portion control & actually knowing all the stats too because I feel that some calories settle different on my bod than others even at the same calorie count.

    I wrote how I was glad I did this because with age, all hell breaks lose & knowing this has helped me keep control as the hormones try to attack me. :)

    I know intuitive eating works well for many & especially for people with eating disorders. In my humble opinion though, if a person is not losing weight & gaining as well & they fight the tracking thing well.. maybe they don’t want to know that they are eating too much and/or the wrong things.. IMHO.. it tells all if you right down the truth.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh no, I totally understand that point, Jody. I think there are some people out there who would rather live in a state of denial than to own up to the decisions they make when it comes to food/fitness and how that compares to the goals they have in mind. There truly is no “quick fix” out there yet some people still wait around for that “miracle”

      Like I mentioned in the earlier part of the post, I love how much I learned about my current (at the time) eating habits once I started counting…I really had no idea how much I was eating before I put “pen to paper” so to speak. But that also shows me how out of touch I am with my inner Intuitive Eater…so out of touch that I could never recognize my satiety cues to know when I was truly satisfied with a meal. I’ve been a chronic overeater for years now and while tracking helped me to reign in those meals and get me used to smaller portions, unfortunately, I just let the numbers get the best of me in the end.

      • My let the numbers drive them crazy Heather… I never was as crazed with the tracking as some. I knew portion sizes & things like that & measured a chicken breast by the size of me hand, things like that but did not get into the OCD part of it. 😉

        I notice that you & a lot of others put a lot of fun things on top of the healthy foods & although healthy, can add up. I could not do that – I would gain & even when I was younger I could not do that… I have to be beyond careful at my age & when I was young, it was tough for me too. Sometimes those extras on top of things add up to more than we care to admit.. :)

        I am glad you are finding your way!!!!

        • kissmybroccoli says:

          Oh I know EXACTLY what you mean! I totally got caught up in the “decorate my bowl of oats” trap when I first got into blogging. And of course that only went to further the portion distortion in my mind. I would see all these girls making HUGE bowls of oats with half their pantry as a topping and would do my best to create my own little oat “masterpieces”…that was probably the first thing I noticed when I started counting…all those nuts, chia seeds, dried fruit, granola, etc…like you said, it all adds up, even though it IS healthy! At least that is one positive thing that I can take with me from the calorie counting experience…I know it wasn’t all in vain, but I’m glad to be on a different path now that I feel is more suited to my personal needs. Thank you so much for your support! :)

  39. jodie says:

    Reading this from my room in an eating disorder treatment facility. I am anxiously awaiting the next post. When i started seeing you rationalizing so many condiments, I thought something was wrong. I know you like them but some things just aren’t normalized eating. I hope you are able to pick yourself up. The life of so many numbers is exhausting. And you should delete your My Fitness Pal account 😉

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh honey, I had no idea you were in treatment! I hope you are doing well!

      I’m not sure what you mean about the rationalizing of the condiments…I was never using condiments to replace other things in my meals. I was just meticulous in measuring them for fear of going “overboard” with the sugar, sodium, etc. that I was always obsessing over.

      And I haven’t been tempted at ALL to log into MFP since I quit counting. The only reason I haven’t totally deleted my account is because I have some recipes that I need to write down first! :)

  40. I’m so glad you wrote this post, and like Meg said, I know that there are so many others that can relate to it. I don’t count calories or macros but I did at one time and I have never felt more free or relieved than when I stopped. When the numbers start to consume us. I feel like that’s when we need to take a big step back and trust ourselves. I have found in the past few years that my body is really pretty darn smart and knows exactly what it wants and needs and so it has become easier for me to listen to my hunger cues and feed my body properly without sticking to any time or food “rules”. I can’t wait for part two, girl, I know that this is going to be an amazing step for you and cannot wait to hear how you are feeling!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      “I have found in the past few years that my body is really pretty darn smart…” <-YES!!! I swear for so long, I just assumed I HAD to tell my body what it wanted/needed...I mean, how on Earth would I function otherwise?! I mean, it's not like our ancestors knew what they were doing! Lol

  41. Oh pumpkin I’m so sorry you were/are going through this. I had no idea, although your comments a few weeks ago let me know something was up. I’m pretty sure I told you something along the lines of you need to love yourself for who you are right now, not who you want to be, otherwise you won’t be able to get there. Right now, you are beautiful, vibrant, hysterically funny, ridiculously talented, extremely brave and even a touch naughty, which I love.
    I can’t wait to read part two, and if you need anything or I can help in anyway, just holler…preferable something inappropriate.

  42. I’m going to comment on this in the morning because I’m tired and feel like I’ve been hit by a truck right now. I don’t even know why I’m reading blogs right now… I need sleep lol.

  43. Maria says:

    Good for you! So happy you have realized that something needs to change in your life and you are taking the steps to do it. Besides how can food be any fun when you have to take the time to measure it out first?

    Best of luck and wishes to you :)

  44. I used to count calories and go through stages where I still do. I too participated in Fitmixer and loved myfitnesspal. I still use it from time to time but focus more on eating healthy well balanced meals than on calories. I do need to cut back on my sugar intake and will be joining in a sugar detox on Monday!

  45. This is such a good post and what so many can relate to. I used to record all of my calories and measure my portions, being very meticulous like you. After doing that for about a year and a half, I got tired of it and started just listening to my body and practicing more mindful/intuitive eating. I’m trying to focus more on the quality of my food, eating whole foods, healthy fats, lean protein, etc and not worry about the calorie content, but it is still SO hard. It is nice to know that there are others who are struggling with the same thing.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh hon, you are SO not alone! And seriously, you’d think it would be so easy to just pick back up on our innate ability to be mindful when eating, but the pressure/messages we absorb throughout our lives truly make that a difficult task. And even putting all of that aside, sometimes it just seems like we’ve lost the sync between our bodies and our minds, doesn’t it? I swear there have been a couple of times over the last few weeks that I’ve had absolutely NO CLUE what I want to eat, if I’m even truly hungry, or when I’m full (until I reach that level of discomfort I TRY to avoid)! Hopefully I’ll get a bit more direction in the coming weeks with the IE Challenge because it IS hard!

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  48. Ok I’m feeling less zombie like after a relatively good sleep lol. Anyways, what I wanted to say last night was that I love your honesty in this post! Calorie counting is so “taboo” in the blog world, so it’s really great to see someone being honest about it. And you’ve definitely described something here that a lot of people are dealing with or have dealt with in the past. I can relate to how easy it is to spiral out of control (or rather, too much control!) after you start seeing positive results like weight loss. I’m anxious to read part 2! :)

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Thank you so much Chelsea! This was definitely a difficult post to DECIDE to write…I contemplated it for weeks! It is a taboo topic and the thought of negative comments/judgement kept holding me back. Surprisingly though, once I started typing, it just seemed to “fall out”…my fingers could barely keep up…and I honestly feel so much better now. I’m being honest with myself and by sharing it with all of you, I am holding myself accountable now!

  49. Ahhhh you tease- leaving with that cliff-hanger!!
    My dear, I love this. And I think SO many of us relate to every single thing you’re saying. I have definitely had my share of obsessive food habits, and to this day, food has a bit too much control over me- but it’s A LOT better than it used to be.
    I have a “eat what I want” attitude to a degree- because MOST of what I eat is “healthy,”- but yeah- I had to look at those portion sizes big time, which was a huge eye opener.
    While I don’t track EVERY single bite (I guess-timate when it’s okay to), I find that for ME, tracking food helps with weight loss, because it makes me less likely to go crazy and overeat. But, I am lucky in that I have found a really good balance and for once, don’t feel deprived.
    Bravo to you for “coming clean.” For some of us, it’s always going to be a struggle- it’s just about finding a way to deal with it without letting it run your life!
    And so you know- you have always been SO beautiful no matter what. :)

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      You are the absolute sweetest, Lauren! Thank you so SO much!

      “…it’s just about finding a way to deal with it without letting it run your life!” <- So completely true! And I'm really happy for you...that you've found something that is teaching you about yourself and helping you to reach your goals. While tracking isn't for everyone, it IS for some and the fact that you are approaching it with a balanced mindset is great! You are a strong and SEXY woman and I'm so proud of you!

  50. I don’t count a damn thing, but I love my kitchen scale . . . for measuring out flour for pizza crust and muffins.
    My fitness pal pissed me off when I had to input the 7th new recipe in 3 days . . . it is not set up for someone who routinely cooks from scratch new recipes all the frickin’ time.
    I do love Map My Walk, though, so all the walks the dog drags me on get added up and I get to share something with Meghan’s Week In Review.

    I apparently sound very angry right now, which is my clue that I need to actually eat today, because I am becoming Mrs Crankypants. Looking forward to #2 . . . I mean the next post.

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Haha! Oh girl, you always make me laugh! Hope you fed your pants…um, I mean your stomach! Preferably with some of those orange cherry muffins Meghan keeps raving about! 😉

  51. Gabrielle says:

    oh how I can relate…for me though the ending was being diagnosed with anorexia and almost hospitalized after going from 150 lbs to 104 lbs (I’m 5’9”) in less than 8 months… Im recovering now and trying not to count everything and deleting the calorie count app on my iPhone helped but I still cant help trying to be within a certain range for the day and its still dictacting my life. Hopefully one day I’ll be free! I’m happy you recognized you were down the wrong path :) Good luck with everything xx

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Oh wow, sweetie, I’m so sorry! I can only imagine how hard that was to go through. It truly takes a strong person to commit to fighting and coming back from something like that. One day you WILL be free from it all…and you will be SO much better for it having learned so much about yourself in the process! xoxo

  52. Lisa says:

    Such a beautiful and honest post Heather! I truly appreciate how you talk about this issue, it’s a larger topic these days and something I really struggled with in the past.
    When numbers consume and take over our lives, I think that’s really eye opening and a point where we need to reevaluate our thinking. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to do it than say it.
    Through recovery, I’ve learned a lot about trusting my body, but honestly I’m not completely better. I still measure and count calories, and get anxious about food. One day at a time!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Thank you so much, Lisa! One day at a time, indeed! It’s ALL about the baby steps…if you rush things, you’ll just end up feeling overwhelmed and want to go back…back to where it began…with the false comfort of “control”. Just remember that the only there is a fine line between us being in control of the numbers and the numbers being in control of us! If you ever need anything love, or just need a chance to vent, just know, I’m only an email away! xoxo

  53. This is such a slippery slope! Meg and I were talking about this yesterday in fact. It is so easy to take this overboard. Oh girl… I can’t wait to chat and get together soon! We have so much to chat about!
    By the way… you are GORGEOUS!

  54. Lucie says:

    Girl!! I can SO relate on everything you say, you know that. Having control makes me feel ‘safe’ and ‘better’ at least that’s what I think but I am sure I would feel so relieved when I could let it go – and I will someday! I am with you and can’t wait to hear more of your story. You are so string, wonderful, adorable and beautiful and smart – there’s no way some stupid numbers can dominate you! But I know how hard it it when you are soaked in the trap to find the way out again. I am here, anytime!!

    • kissmybroccoli says:

      Aww, Lucie, my doll, thank you so SO much!! I think I just finally realized that what I was doing wasn’t right…for me. I think, for so long, I had subconsciously been following the lead of others…being influenced by what they ate, how much/little they ate, how much/little they worked out…that I just lost sight of ME! It’s funny, how much I have changed in the last few weeks…funny and amazing and motivating…so motivating! I really can’t wait to learn (and SHARE) more! :)

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  59. This describes my situation almost o a T….I lost weight, the holidays came…I ate too much….felt guilty…then was injured and felt like the control was out of my hands….leasing to stress and anxiety and worrying wayyyy too much about food.

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