In an effort to lose the 15 pounds of steroids weight I've put on, I've been spending a lot of time at the gym and trying to eat healthy. I know, many of you will jump on me and tell me I'm fine, and although my weight falls in the "normal" BMI range, I know that my body just isn't where it should be. The steroids have COMPLETELY changed the make-up of my body--I've lost muscle mass and gained fat cells that just a few months ago, I didn't have. I'm trying to simply reverse the process: build more muscle, lose the fat around my middle, and hopefully drop a clothing size in the process. But it seems that, despite the extra time in the gym, I've been unable to really make any progress, so I decided to take things a step further and begin keeping a food diary. I wanted to see just how many calories I was really consuming in a day. So, I signed up for the Daily Plate program on www.livestrong.com, a free food journal that helps you track your caloric intake and expenditures.
My first day, after tracking everything I had eaten, I discovered that I had eaten more than 2400 calories--OUCH! The sad thing--I really hadn't eaten anything particularly awful or unhealthy, no french fries or hamburgers, nothing that would make me think I was about 800 calories over where I needed to be. But as I looked over my day, I realized that the steroids, that are notorious for causing people to insanely crave carbs, were wreaking more havoc on my diet than I had realized. It was an eye opening experience, for sure.
I've continued to track my calories, and let me tell you, the first day of eating only 1550 calories (which is my particular caloric need if I want to lose 1.5 pounds per week) was PAINFUL! I felt as if I was starving all day! I was eating regular meals and snacks, just cutting portions and swapping the majority of the carbs in my diet for protein or fruits and veggies, but still--it was painful. I think my body had become so accustomed to the carbs, it was punishing me for cutting back.
Several days into the new plan, I'm doing much better. I plan ahead, knowing that if we're having dinner out or something that is high-calorie, I have to scale back during the day. Brad laughed at me this evening when I obsessively tracked my meals and exercise for the day--and then jumped for joy when I realized I could "afford" to drink a margarita this evening. It has also helped me to make better choices--instead of a high-calorie, tiny snack that will never fill my stomach, I choose to eat a piece of fruit and a tablespoon of peanut butter and walk away happy and full. I know it borders on the obsessive for now, but it is my hope that after a few weeks of tracking and adjusting my diet, making these choices will become second nature.