Rarely a month goes by I don’t sneak in a couple bakery quality muffins, bagels or even a couple-three chocolate donuts. Maybe multiple of the above. That’s all in addition to the overeating of dehydrated fruit, chocolate milk (low-fat!), and snack crackers I do on a weekly basis. Habit for years. Decades even. Still have all my teeth. Regular CBCs show only the occasional spike in fasting glucose; even then rarely meaningfully above the recommended levels. Never put more than a moments thought to it before semi-carefully grabbing the palm sized waxed paper, carefully opening the plexiglass doors and selecting whichever indulgences happen to be the most odorific of the day. Habit for years. Given my semi-dependent, semi-quarantined, semi-autonomous, semi-vain and semi-pissed off predicament I started using a food tracker a few weeks ago. A calorie counting, nutritional (or lack thereof) value flashing and fun hating tracker-app at my age and with my generally overall positive habits. Changes ensued and continue.
I have an old digital scale that I normally hop on weekly or so. See above reference to vanity. Challenge I have now is I’m guessing it requires both feet to properly register so I’m unable to hop on for awhile. Up through most of this past week I’ve been (some might say) overly sensitive to calories; my weight. That changed after some personal research (lots of free time) early in the week and a subsequent followup with my surgeon late in the week. I learned the post-surgical healing process requires a high level of energy–calories. It may seem counterintuitive, me sitting on my comfy recliner couch all day, reading, writing, napping, occasionally crutching a few meters to let out the dogs and refill coffee. Repeat. Who needs any calories for that, right? Turns out I need a lot. A few quick DDG searches easily debunked my lesser-is-better while on my butt theory. Naturally I brought up the topic in my follow-up visit late in the week and while the two docs weren’t exactly conversational about it; the most telling comment was, ‘This is not the time to be going on some crazy keto or other diet. You need calories.’ I was sold.
From the depths of the www to my surgeon’s mouth I’m now in the process of reframing my daily food and drink intake. I did limited research on food recording apps settling instead on one that was
- easy to understand
- easy to update
- somewhat compatable with my other existing apps and devices
A lot of options exist but the field narrowed rather quickly when I settled on my parameters. My Fitness Pal (the free version so not an endorsement) won the contest and for the last 32 days (the app tracks how many consecutive days of entry) has served my needs well. Similar to most apps one can get lost in the bells, whistles and buttons but I’ve chosen to be fairly simplistic about its use. Log my intake and keep the cumulative daily results in mind before every subsequent snack and meal. Long gone are my days of inhaling pretty much anything I want. Almost zero measurable activity (difficult to measure calories burned from healing) means I’ll have some work to do once I’m able. Most importantly I now have a better understanding of the garbage I’ve been subjecting my body to over the past many years.
I’ve learned I’m not low on water, I’m way, way high on sodium (and I salt just short of nothing), high on the added sugars and perhaps a little low on natural sugars. About where I’m needed (again, based on low-adjusted daily caloric needs) with fiber and a few vitamins. More often lower than needed with potassium, iron and some others. More changes needed. Some painful, others simply requiring a little more shopping and/or preparation time. A little hokey, perhaps. Valuable, yes. I am still somewhat stunned I’m actually taking the time to make daily entries. I do find value in both the time spent as well as information learned. One thing I’ve learned is I could toss out a bunch of my preferred food choices and substitute with a certain type of chocolate milk and about any type of salmon. Combine the two and I’ve got a super protein and carb to calorie and sugar ratio. I believe I’ve found both the main course for Christmas dinner as well as my New Year’s drink!