Sunday, September 12, 2004

So I got curious about why I'm feeling flabby. And I looked it up on my favourite thing, the web:

As a 150-lb (actually, I'm not sure about my weight, but it's a round number that's close enough to what I weigh), 5-foot-7-inch woman, my BMI is 23.5. Just barely in the "normal" range.

Doing light activity, I should eat approximately 1600 calories per day to maintain my weight (calculated at The Beehive).

Let's look at what I ate yesterday (I'm getting most of this information from CalorieCounter):

4 slices bread : 280 calories
butter 2 Tbsp: 200
cheese (1 oz): 114
orange juice (1cup): 107
tea with sugar/milk: 35

Jet Fuel Coffee (2 cups of 1% milk?): 204

1 Grilled cheese sandwich (butter,cheese,bread): 300 (or more)
Deep n Delicious Cake (1/2 the cake, ugh): 800

Total: approx 2050 calories

Then, let's look at what I burned (I'm looking at Cool Nurse for info):

Walking 2mph (probably not even, as we were at the Cabbagetown Festival and we were sauntering) = 3.3/min = 390 calories

Watching TV = 145/hr? OK, seriously, this is no more strenuous than simply existing, so they MUST be talking about your basal metabolic rate and that's already taken into account in one's daily caloric intake. I mean, later in the page it says "sitting at rest = 1.6/hr". So I'm not counting this.

That means that I took in (and stored) 60 calories extra yesterday. It's as easy as that. And that's quite a normal food day for me (OK, eating half the cake is not normal. But if I hadn't eaten that, I'd have eaten something else). In fact, most days I'd say that I eat/drink much more than that (especially if I've gone out for drinks with a friend). But say I ate 100 calories too much every day (not tough to do). That means that I would gain 1 pound every month. (Info on calories-to-pounds). That's over 10 pounds a year!

Even if it had been a higher activity day, like if I'd played on my beach volleyball team for 100 minutes (and let's not kid ourselves that 6 people on the court is much exercise), I'd still have only burned 350 calories. Stll, better than nothing. And it means that I could eat an extra grilled cheese sandwich.

In this exercise of figuring out what I eat and exercise and all that, I've discovered that I'm not so bad, really. However, that's likely because I think about it from time to time and know something about it since my mom is a dietitian and drilled it into me as I was growing up.

But there are people who really think they're not overweight or unhealthy and they don't really pay much attention to what they eat or what they do in a day. Or maybe they do, but they have false ideas about what's good and bad for them. And that's how most of our population has gotten to be overweight. And that's how our healthcare system has become so overburdened.

Honestly, the number one reason/risk for healthcare problems is obesity. And I resent that I have to pay for people who abuse themselves, even in the face of so much public information on the subject. Same with smokers.

Genetic predisposition? Ya, I'm sorry for us: I have that problem too. I'm likely to develop diabetes as I get older. However, if I take care of myself now, the chances of this diminish.

I know I'm not perfect, but this is why I need to think about what I eat and how much I exercise. So that someday I will not be sitting in a hospital with a tube down my nose and an IV in my veins thinking "Dammit, I wish I'd taken better care of myself."

You don't have to be a neurotic person to care about your weight.

Now, take this exellent quiz and see what you actually know about weight loss. I thought I knew a lot, but some answers completely shocked me.


Anonymous said...

If you are concerned about your health, why aren't there any fruits and vegetables in your diet? Or, is today an anomoly?

Cathy said...

It was a low fruit and veg day due to availability at a friend's house. Note that on Monday, I ate 2 meals packed with vegetables. Also, I am not perfect. I mean, come ON, I ate HALF a Deep n Delicious cake! I'm just saying that it was so easy to overeat. In my real world, I'd honestly much rather eat the cake than the veggies, but I know that's wrong, so I make myself eat the good stuff, generally.

Cathy said...

Also, note that I said I'm not perfect. Sometimes one doesn't eat a perfectly balanced diet.

sarah said...

what bread do you eat? the loaves i get 4 slices would be 440 calories? bread is a calorie hog.

what the world doesnt know is that more often than not, you try to eat healthy. i can vouch. another thing the world doesnt know is i ate a bucket of bulgar pilaf for lunch, and a black bean burrito in whole wheat wrap for breakfast. fibre!