I Tried Counting Calories Again and I Didn’t Like It

I am currently typing this in a lawn chair in front of my house!

sun

The sun finally came out to play this weekend after a rather gloom and doom week. I’m just trying to keep my laptop from overheating and keep myself from spazzing out every time a bug flies past my ear. I’m also (hopefully) getting a nice tan on the front half of my body. #twoshadesofAlison

What’s been shakin’ since I talked to you last?

On Thursday night I took Pop out to dinner for his birthday! He chose a local Italian restaurant, where we ate copious amounts of {delicious} dairy and salt 🙂

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bread and olive oil to start // to share: burrata salad + field greens salad with gorgonzola, bacon, and walnuts // my entree: grilled swai with sautÊed spinach and rice pilaf

Dessert was my favorite, as is often the case.

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warm apple tart a la mode with a side of birthday singing

‘Twas a joyful celebration indeed!

Unfortunately, one thing bothered me while eating this fine dinner. For the first time in a long time, I thought about the number of calories I must have eaten during that meal. I didn’t let the the thoughts affect how much I ate, but they definitely made me quite anxious.

I’ve eaten several big dinners in the past year yet never worried about calories. Why was I anxious all of a sudden? I suspect that it was because of the fact that I’m not exercising nearly as much as I was just a few weeks ago, so I feel guilty eating that much, even though the guilt is completely unwarranted.

I keep reminding myself that I need to eat a lot right now, and that’s what I’ve been doing. For the most part, I very happily do so! Like on Friday when I met up with my beautiful friend Fiona at the mall. I had a tasty late lunch at my internship, shared some of Fiona’s fries, devoured a cup of Cold Stone ice cream, and then ate dinner at home, despite being kinda full from ice cream.

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I don’t know what the peanut butter supreme Quest bar tastes like, but it’s not peanut butter

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mint Oreo is my go-to amazingness

Some people like to track their calories when they are recovering from an eating disorder or gaining weight for health reasons (like me!). In all honesty though, I’ve had no interest in counting calories in order to make sure I’m eating enough. I’m trying to eat as much as I can and as densely as I can, but I have no idea how many calories I eat every day.

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overnight oats smoothie: oats, Greek yogurt, milk, cinnamon, chia seeds, peanut butter, frozen banana, greens, topped with lots of trail mix

The reason I don’t want to count calories is pretty simple: I counted calories throughout my eating disorder, which led to restriction.

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night snack: full fat Greek yogurt, berries, cinnamon raisin WB Kitchen cookie, spoonful of pb

Of course, my mindset is in a much healthier place today. This weekend, I figured that I should probably gauge the number of calories I was eating on a given day to make sure I was eating enough. Thus, on Saturday, I counted my calories, keeping in mind that I want anywhere from 2500 to 3000 calories per day.

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Saturday breakfast: big toast with sunflower seed butter, peanut butter, banana + full fat Greek yogurt with berries + almond coconut milk

So I went about my day analyzing the portions and calories I ate after each meal and snack. If I tried to count before eating, I knew I might be tempted to hold back. I didn’t feel anxious throughout the day fortunately. By eating completely freely, I actually ate about 2800 calories— right in the range.

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afternoon snack smoothie: almond coconut milk, half a banana, big spoonful of pb, and Quest strawberries and cream protein powder // and then another spoonful of pb after

It was helpful to know that I’ve been eating enough, and I feel at peace with how much I’m eating, but I still didn’t like counting calories. First of all, it’s time consuming and tedious. Secondly, it reminded me of when I counted calories during my ED, and I feel that if I did it consistently, I might fall into stupid guilt again, just like I did at my dad’s birthday dinner.

My main points: It’s good to have a general idea of how much I’m eating, but I don’t want to overthink it by counting calories. I don’t think I ever want to count calories again if I don’t have to. It works for some people, but I’m not one of those people.

This was Saturday’s dinner, loaded with delicious and {mostly} nutritious calories.

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I used this recipe for slow cooker pulled pork, and it was heavenly. We ate it on top of sweet potatoes with a side salad dressed with homemade honey mustard vinaigrette.

It was also one of the easiest things to make ever! The slow cooker is one of those pieces of technology that deserves all the praise it gets. Also, the satisfaction of the pork falling clean off the bone as soon as I took it out of the slow cooker— everyone must experience that satisfaction.

Alrighty. It’s time to grab a snack and then go for a walk before this sunshine goes away.

Hope you all have a beautiful day! Do what works for you, whatever that is.

P.S. I made a vlog with Daliza this weekend. Coming soon to a post near you.

So tell me:

Calorie counting— like it or leave it?

Do you have a slow cooker? Any favorite recipes you like to make with it? 

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