I'm back! Did you miss me? I missed me. But I'm back, for real. And, for real, I'm not going anywhere in the foreseeable future.
So I'm back on the treadmill again. The last time I ran was March 1, 2009. (I was pregnant and sick -- don't judge.) And then Miscellany was born, and I ran a few times a month ago, in February. This time around, though, I am committed. And it feels good. I am amazed at the mood stabilizing effects of exercise. There really is something to those endorphin thingies, I guess. After a run, I just feel better -- about everything. I can handle my children. I can handle my life. I actually like my life. And I feel somehow . . . faster. I unload the dishwasher, or fold laundry, or clean the bathroom, and my whole body is awake, present and participating in the activity. I walk taller. I work better. I breathe deeper. And I'm happy.
To capitalize on all this exercise, CPod and I have also been counting calories. Being the nerdy people we are, it goes without saying that we're approaching it scientifically: calculate your basal metabolic rate, decide how much weight you want to lose, factor in exclusively breastfeeding a 4 month old baby and estimate your activity level (how many calories does it burn when I chase GDog around the house trying to enforce a time out?), blah blah blah. Suffice it to say I do not enjoy 120 extra calories of Co'Cola unless I've done one thing or another to earn them. To that end, I record everything I eat, as does CPod, and I have noticed certain . . . disparities between our lists.
Take, for example, lunch. CPod's list is pretty straightforward:
-onion roll with three slices of ham, mustard, lettuce, NO cheese
-a handful of cocoa roast almonds
-water, water, and water.
My food list for the day is slightly more complicated:
-3 pringles (I assume, when you add up the surface area of all 17 crumbs I managed to grab)
-the peanut butter left on the knife after I made three other sandwiches
-1/4 of a pear, plus 2/3 of 1/4, plus 1/2 of 1/4, plus 1/3 of 1/4 (even for a math nerd, that's more computation than I want to do just to record my calories)
-2 animal crackers
-half of a juice box (also leftover)
-1/2 serving of pineapple in lime jello (the rest thrown back in the refrigerator so I can eat it after refereeing a squabble between the twins)
-one slice of ham, as I put away what CPod left out when he made his lunch (because he thought I would use the same ingredients to make mine)
I think I spend more calories recording the food I eat than I actually consume. I mean, surely the 35 calories worth of animal crackers are burned as I fend off the interlopers who try to take over the computer and play pinball every single time I sit down to add another food to the list! Don't they cancel each other out?
Do I have to count the seven goldfish in a little baggie I found when I was cleaning out the car? How about the one peanut butter cracker left in the pack in ConMan's preschool snack? Or the chocolate covered raisins I found inside MayDay's stacking cups?
The Mommy Diet? How about the Homeless Foragers diet? The Cinderella's Mice diet? The One-Sixteenth Portion Diet? Whatever it's called, I can't believe the weight isn't just falling off of my bootylisciousness.
Oh, wait. There are some things I consume in whole portions. Blue Bell Almond & Pistachio ice cream, with a light drizzle of Hershey's syrup? That, I savor slowly, after my children sleep, whilst enjoying a book, a blog, a brief conversation with beloved husband, a bad singer on American Idol.
Dinner with my girlfriends? I can finish off three days worth of leftover calories in one fell swoop: spinach salad with gorgonzola, applewood smoked bacon, craisins, sugared pecans, and mustard-honey emulsion; or New York-style pizza with fresh basil and house-made mozzarella; or the best fried shrimp ever with cole slaw and roasted sweet potatoes, topped off with warm chocolate chip bread pudding doused in pure, unwhipped, unadulterated cream.
Have I said before that I love food? I do. Truly. Sometimes I think I do all this calorie counting and exercising just to keep myself from getting fatter. The thing is, I'm totally okay with that. I run, and it feels good. I eat, and it feels good, too. And this body? It's not half bad. I think I'll keep it.