How much candy have you had so far?!? I don’t buy halloween candy until actual halloween. Not because I’m above it, but because I would eat it all, and then I’d feel like a loser if I didn’t buy more for the actual kids that come to my house to get it, and then before ya know it, I’ve spent $50 on halloween candy – About $25 for Daniel and I, and $25 worth for the kids. I dunno how you parents do it, because I’d be eating allll my kids candy up. We won’t be home tomorrow, but I’ll still leave some candy out. That way it looks like we still tried to give the kids what they want.
I didn’t have a whole lot of motivation to throw out there today. BUT I wanted to share with you, and whoever else is listening, a little about what I’m learning about all things fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Or…. Macronutrients……Or Macros for short. Or flexible dieting, as some people call it.. although I’m not a fan of the word “diet,” but I get it. So, if you have no interest in any of the above, don’t waste your time 🙂
And before I get started, this is somewhat of an apology to anyone I’ve offended along the way when it comes to this sometimes touchy subject. Although I’ve lived off of Zone, (where you are essentially measuring and tracking your food, eating the right amounts of macros, but just organized into “blocks”) and tried to jam it into everyone’s brain, I’ve sometimes second guessed people who counted their macros because I’ve watched some people eat crap while doing it, and I’ve watched some people eat when they weren’t hungry — all to reach a certain number — which made me feel weird. AND last but not least, someone tried to help me with counting my own macronutrients awhile back, and I got frustrated because I always went over in my protein… BUT I didn’t know how to make it less without drinking my shake. AND you better believe that I’m going to have my protein shake. #SHAKELIFE #GAINZ.
So, this is my public apology if I have ever offended you or discouraged you from this route if you were trying to make your life the healthiest and best you could. Nobody has the right to do that if you are ultimately intentionally taking steps to make your life better. We all just need to keep the main thing the main thing: and that is not letting food control us, but instead, forming healthy habits and a healthy mindset around food. It’s such a touchy subject, and in my short 30 years, I’ve had some pretty unhealthy habits, as well as a crappy mindset about food, especially up until a few years ago. So, first things first- food should be seen as fuel to power up that MACHINE that is YOU 🙂
Now that we’ve addressed that…
After I had surgery, I gave myself a couple of weeks to just chill. And I had awesome friends bring me everything from fudge brownies, to literally 8 pints of Halo Top, to chocolate drizzled, pumpkin spice popcorn, to doughnuts, to homemade chocolate chip cookies, to cupcakes with cookies n cream icecream filling, to gummy bears, to reese cups, and all kinds of good meals. And ya know.. I just accepted it – with JOY, open arms, and an open belly – and ate it up. And then my birthday came, and kind people once again showed their love with all kinds of sugary sweets.
And admittedly, and humble bragging (of course) when it comes to eating, I do pretty well most of the time. I’m pretty basic too, eating a lot of the same foods because they contain a lot of the nutrients I’m looking for, and they work for me.
BUT if I get going for awhile with eating crap every day, it’s hard for me to break out of that funk, unless I actually do something about it.
…Like actually take the time to measure and list out what I am eating, which is something I have somewhat started to drift away from overtime.
I haven’t been able to workout as hard lately – with practically no weight, and absolutely no lifting….for a lonnngggg while. And I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t scared about losing the muscle that I’ve worked for awhile to put on. Everyone has their own goals. Mine don’t currently involve weight loss. I really don’t look at weight. I just look at muscle. So, I want to do what I can to maintain that muscle. Because muscles help me do some cool things. And one way to maintain that muscle mass is by getting enough protein in my diet. And how do you know if you are getting enough protein? You track it.
So….bummer. I knew that I needed to go back to measuring my food, but I didn’t know which way of tracking would be best for me.
So, I battled for a week as to what I should do to form some healthy habits back. Daniel is doing RP, and is loving it, but honestly, I don’t like being told that I have to eat at certain times (although I believe I should do this). I just want freedom in when I can eat and how much at certain times based on how I’m feeling. For example..I’m weird and I don’t eat first thing in the morning (like I should) or right after I workout (like I should) or….lunch before 2 pm (like I should). <—–obviously, there is still a lot of room for growth haha.
I thought maybe I would do Zone again, because it worked really well for me almost two years ago, and gave me a great base before I put on a lot of muscle. But I wanted to actually SEE what I was eating, and even keep up with things like sugar, fiber, vitamins, and other micronutrients… Zone is GREAT! But if I ate some eggs for breakfast, I didn’t want to just count them as protein blocks. I wanted to know how much fat I was taking in as well.
SO, I started using MyFitnessPal. And it is the bomb. You prob already know this, but it’s a free app on your phone. I’ve tried to help people use it in the past, so I’ve had the app forever, but I’ve never really done a whole lot with it. It’s free. I was able to put in all my deets – weight, goals, etc, and it established my “suggested macros” for me. I love food, and I really am not interested in losing weight. So I just selected “maintain.” I was then even allowed to change my percentages. I love that in “Zone” 40% of what you’re intaking is from carbohydrates, and then proteins and fats make up the other 30% and 30%. I adjusted my macro breakdown to that, because that is what worked for me in the past. And from there, I can just look up what I’m eating, or scan the barcode if it is in any sort of package or wrapping. It saves it all for me.
I reached out to a couple of friends to make sure that I was on the right track with my numbers, and I’ve been tracking for a week now. I still have a lot to learn as I go, but overall, I love it. We have a little scale that we bought when Daniel started RP, for like $11 at Publix, and it allows me to measure in ounces, grams, or whatever I need. Everything I eat gets saved in the app, so I can put it in over and over again. I’ve once again learned that even when I thought I was taking in a lot of carbs, I unfortunately wasn’t taking in what I want to be eating. I also eat too much fat. Unfortunately, 3 spoonfulls of almond butter before lunch is a no go. Bummer. But I’m willing to keep changing things up and see what happens.
Some may say that counting macros takes away from freedom found in eating and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. And I’d argue that it’s just the opposite. Do you think I am able to follow it 100%? Haha, one week in, and I already messed up and didn’t count a few things. BUT I know that because I’ve measured and counted for the other 95% of the time, I have the freedom to treat myself when I forget how good pimento cheese is at the gym during the halloween party, and I almost eat the whole jar. Or, I don’t feel like I have to track my dinner on a Saturday night when some friends offer me a burger and tater tots, and another friend offers me the BEST beer I’ve had in a long time. I know that I’ve done well for my other meals, so it actually makes me not stressed at all.
And the more I practice, the less brain power or time it takes…just like anything in life
I want to be able to help people with all things fitness, food, and overall health, and hopefully the more I learn about tracking and measuring, the more I can help other people who want a little bit of structure in their lives as well. Because some people need more structure than others.
And hopefully, after some time, I can form some good habits and go back to not having to measure my food again. But for now, it’s great to see it all laid out.
With all that said, I still believe that the best way to get started with making healthy changes in your life, is to start by eating real food. You don’t have to track, measure, and break down where your food is going in order to be healthy. I think people give up too quickly because they go ALL IN at once, and they get discouraged, fall off, and quit. If you want to make changes, start by eating real food – as in lean meat, or other protein sources, mixed with A LOT of veggies, and some good, sustainable carbs that fuel your body instead of spiking your blood sugar and then crashing really quickly(I’m pretty sure I wrote a post about this one time…) BUT, if you’re looking to fine tune some already good habits, or if you need a little more structure, then I definitely recommend playing around with this. You may not get it right away, but just like everything else, the more work you put into it, the more freedom you have. Because nobody should be in a place where they feel bad about what they are eating.
Hope you have a great week! And as always, message me if you have questions!