The Sound Of Inarticulate Shock

We at dinner at a Red Robin yesterday – it’s a burger place, sort of like Applebee’s but 90% cheeseburgers instead of desperate attempts at relevance. I hadn’t been particularly great with my calorie budget yesterday (thanks to grabbing breakfast from a drive-through) so I looked over a menu full of burgers topped with chili and cheese and pulled pork and other burgers, and spotted a basic bacon cheeseburger. “How bad could that be?” I said to myself. “Nice and simple.”

You probably know where this is going, don’t you?

The bacon cheeseburger was 1,020 calories. The steak fries that came with it were 450 more calories. Dinner was 3/5ths of my daily calorie budget.

Next time? Check first, order second.


The Sugar-Laden Aftermath Is Prelude

Trick or treating was a blast! My son teamed up with s group of kids around his own age, which led to me escorting two 6-year-old boys as they sprinted from house to house (and occasionally applying the brakes so that everyone could catch up). I didn’t think to set my FitBit to track just that portion, but I know we must have walked at least two miles. Maybe more. Because I was at about 5.5 miles when we started and I wrapped up at 7.72, and I don’t think the post-trick or treat stag-spinning I did skewed my results that’s much.

So, yeah. Good time.

And now it’s November and the inexorable slide into the most calorie dense month of the American calendar -Thanksgiving to New Years Day. A time full of complex carbohydrates and desserts and opportunities to snack. Also, the period of time in which I’ll be trying to get my calorie budget back on track after kicking it to the curb while studying. I’ll need to do some strategizing, and I’ll need to try and figure out a substitute for some of the calorie dense…

Calorie dense…

Right, right, who am I kidding? I’ll be better off coming up with a strategy now, and sticking with it. And with getting back to regular exercise to complement the walking.

This can be done. I just need to be smart about it.

I Really Need To Be Sure And Brown Bag It

Thanks to fatigue and poor planning on my part, I didn’t make my lunch last night. Which means that, while I packed my breakfast (homemade breakfast burritos, stashed in the freezer) I didn’t pack my lunch. I mean, be honest here. I’m occasionally glad I’m organized enough to remember to shave at 4 am. Lunch isn’t happening, if I don’t pack it.

So, I bought lunch. A fairly high-calorie lunch, it turns out. Not as bad as it could have Ben (lunch wasn’t a 5-pound bag of M&Ms or anything stupid like that), but high enough tat I have no confidence that I’ll hit my calorie budget today.

It’s just another example of an interesting phenomenon, really. If I cook at home, my calorie cost for food is way lower than if I eat out. Even on apparently comparable items. Breakfast, for instance. My two breakfast burritos (for my Hobbit-like first and second breakfasts) set me back 740 calories. Sounds pricy, but that’s four eggs with bacon and cheese. It’d be more like 900 to get the comparable item from McDonalds.

Did I mention that homemade usually tastes better, too? It does. Which means that, recapping the central idea of this post, I really need to pack my meals more consistently.

The Key To Health

It turns out that 230 calories of fruits and vegetables isn’t all that much. I ate one red delicious apple (90 calories), a large orange (90 more calories) and a largish side salad (which turned out to be 80 calories), for a total of 260. I wrapped up the day thinking “hey, maybe I should step up the goal.” I don’t think I will, not yet anyway. The purpose here is to set up a habit. And clearly, after one day, I don’t have a strong habit of eating my fruits and vegetables yet.

Also, about halfway through the salad, I started thinking. And what I thought was “well, that’s 230 calories. I can stop now, right?” Which, as you might imagine, totally goes against the intent of the goal. 230 calories is a minimum threshold, not a deadline. So, clearly, I’ve got a long way to go with this.

On the up side, I hit my walking goal yesterday. It’s significantly easier to do that, when you get enough sleep. Also, it helps if you have a bunch of household chores that [i]have[/i] to be done, because you walk around a lot when you’re picking up and putting away and getting ready to wash dishes. I got about a third of a mile in just walking back and forth putting stuff away.

In other words, the key to health is plenty of vegetables and being sloppy enough to have to spend time picking up at night. I’m sure my wife will love that.


MIssing Goals and FitBit Frustrations

The good news is that, as promised, I hit my walking goal yesterday. 5.46 miles to be specific, and I feel pretty good that I followed through. Particularly since, once again, I was tired enough that I considered not hitting that goal in favor of falling asleep.

The bad news is that I missed my calorie goal, eating 3,083 calories out of a budget of 2,400. I was going to type something like “I blame the largesse of my employers for this”, but really I blame myself. See, my department is super busy right now – that’s why I’m working three hours of overtime a day. Well, that and the fact that I could use the money. But, by way of showing appreciation, the department bought lunch. Pizza, to be precise. Tired and hungry and not paying attention, I ate four slices of a large pizza, which carried a hefty 1,200 calorie punch. Combine that with going to Firehouse Subs for dinner (with their 780 calorie medium “Club on a Sub”), and you see that I ate a touch more than I should have. My fault. I could have had something smaller, or only eaten two slices of pizza.

A small sliver of good news in all of that is the fact that I burned 4,444 calories. So, even though I went over, I didn’t eat more than I burned. It’s still a somewhat weak bit of good news, but I’ll take it.

Oh, and the FitBit issue? So, at my first lunch (how Hobbitlike, right?), I ate two slices of pizza. Then, three hours later, I ate two more. So I went into my FitBit app and updated the servings from two to four. An hour after that, I had to update the servings from two to four again. An hour after that, I had to update the servings from two to four again. Then when I met my wife and son for dinner I – stop me if you know where I’m going – had to update the servings from two to four again. And then, this morning as I was checking my calorie count from yesterday I had to – say it with me – update the servings from two to four again.

This is a distressingly common problem I’ve had with this app, ever since the most recent update. And it’s far more irritating than the whole getting forced to log on randomly issue. Logging on just slows me down a little. Failing to track my calories accurately makes it bloody damn hard to know where I’m at. Time to email customer service again*, and see what happens.