Count Blessings Not Calories

I underestimated how long it takes a fully-grown adult female to dispense with the fifteen pounds she picked up in the land of cream and denial. 

by Ellen Lambert • More.com Member { View Profile }
Photograph: iStock

Those who have known me longer than 11 seconds accept that I am entirely devoid of left-brain skills. This impacts every facet of my life, including dieting. Which is why, instead of embarking on the labor-intensive, track every calorie you ingest and enter it into an on-line monitoring system, I would be better served by some sort of home-delivery methodology that brings scrumptious food to my door with a note reading “Bon appetit!” 

All the estimating, calculating, logging, and accounting make me grumpier than the calorie restrictions. I didn’t want an algorithm. I was hoping for a waist! 

But the “lose it” system I’ve adopted and followed since October 17th has done one thing for me — other than chase the same freaking four-point six pounds around the calendar week after week — it’s made me mindful.
 
It has helped me recognize and own up to the fact that I have seriously underestimated my food consumption these past two years. I always wondered how that innocent little nightly dish of Blue Bell coffee ice cream I woofed down six months running could possibly have wrecked this much havoc. As the governor of our state likes to say: “Oops!”



I also underestimated how long it takes a fully-grown adult female to dispense with the fifteen pounds she picked up in the land of cream and denial. It takes a lot of work, and it’s a challenge I’m perfectly capable of meeting. I just like to whine and write about it a lot.
 
My point being, and you just knew I had one, being mindful isn’t such a bad thing. As I prepare for the Thursday feasting, I want to go into it with my eyes wide open, conscious and cognizant of my options and choices, so I can make the very best decisions for myself and not totally undo the positive progress I’ve made thus far.

 I turned to the experts — those cool analytical folks at www.walking.about.com. They are all about mindfulness. They let you run down a checklist of the popular food goodies we’re likely to ingest a couple of days from now, and then they are thoughtful enough to provide an estimate of how far we’ll need to walk to work off what we’ve eaten.
 
See? They make it so simple. Calories in, calories burned, easy as — well, pie’s on there too. And the answer is?

 Seventeen point four miles. How’s that for mindful? 

Even though I’ve been working the program for more than a month, my brain never picked up on the fact that it takes about a mile of walking to burn around a hundred calories. In simpler terms: Want the butter? Walk the mile. That sort of puts in all in perspective, huh?
 
So, I’m thinking I’m going to run down that list again and see what I might want to leave at the bargaining table come Thursday. Then I can get down to the real business of Thanksgiving, which is not about counting calories at all; it’s about counting blessings.


Now that’s mindfulness. 

  

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