snapshots of an idle mind

July 22, 2007

counting calories

Filed under: exercise,family,food,life,party,Uncategorized — sassinak @ 10:14 pm

oh yeah, i’m having a birthday bash august 11th, if you’re reading this and haven’t been invited yet please email me cause i’m a fuckup!


i had this revelatory experience at the gym a while ago while i was belaying my climbing partner.  there she was climbing the walls and there i was observing the people around me while paying huge amounts of attention to the rope in my hands.

beside me was the woman who is my climbing idol at the gym i currently climb at, her climbing partner and her niece (who i thought was her sister but that’s a whole other story) and her niece happens to bite into a sandwich.

i don’t catch this bit but the niece must make some kind of face or something because her aunt says to her ‘you don’t like it?’ and she shakes her head no and aunt then says ‘so don’t eat it!’

climbing partner chimes in with advice about where to get better food in the neighbourhood and what niece can do to get something else and niece starts to smile a little but still looks uncertain.  looks, in effect, like all of us do when we’re feeling guilty about food that we think we’re supposed to eat.

and that’s when it happens.  one of them says to the young girl “don’t waste your calories on food you don’t want” and MY life is changed forever.  such a simple statement but so profound for me.

don’t waste your calories on food you don’t want.


it’s not about wasting food at ALL!  it’s about wasting the calories i can eat in a day without bloating my body and making it unhappy and fat!

so off i go with my newfound revelation about food and head into my life… and almost immediately it has an effect.  i actually push food away from me and don’t finish it repeatedly that first week.

not every time of course because well, i still need to eat a lot but the times when i would ordinarily just tough it out and finish my food i don’t do it.  i push it away.

i lose five pounds without trying.

i tell my mother my experience with this revelation about making it about my calories rather than about wasted food and she tells me her recent and similar revelation.

she says to me “well you know, i figure i can throw food away now instead of carrying twenty five extra pounds around on myself until i die and they throw it out anyway” and while i cringe at the morbidity of the image it too has an effect on me.

i suddenly get it.

it’s not about the food i am supposed to eat it’s about how much food my body actually WANTS and if i just listen and push the plate away i’ll stay thin for life.

or as my friend shane would say “put down the fork and pick up the bike.”

don’t waste your calories on food you don’t want.  thanks for that one ladies.



  1. I like this story too. In a round about way I think we’ve known this all along, that whether we eat it or throw it out, the food is wasted if we don’t need it.

    I just tossed the apple danish that I don’t need, and in fact didn’t really want either. It’s tricky when someone offers you something as a treat. Like any sort of gift, you feel obliged to accept. But you’re not. Leave it for the next guy. Maybe somebody else would like the apple danish.

    Comment by Handsome Jack — July 23, 2007 @ 10:08 am | Reply

  2. Now I know why I like you: You’re a Leo!!!

    Great advice about food… I will try to remember that, and use it in my daily life.

    Comment by Jim McKee — July 23, 2007 @ 11:25 am | Reply

  3. eh … we all die sometime … might as well die a little younger but with many more lovely, delicious, gluttonous meals had in ample quantities.

    … said the fat guy … lol

    Comment by DZER — July 23, 2007 @ 12:19 pm | Reply

  4. I have those revelations. But then I see the cheese and ice cream (not together) that I want and the calories that go with them and there is no statement strong enough.


    Comment by Natalia — July 23, 2007 @ 7:28 pm | Reply

  5. What about all the dark chocolate I’ve been eating for the past 6 months? I didn’t know that 4 squares of the stuff can be almost over even over 200 calories!!!! Yikes. No wonder there’s a thick layer of lard hanging off my abdominal region. No more chocolate for me… This is ridiculous.

    Comment by gabi — July 24, 2007 @ 4:48 am | Reply

  6. I count calories. I pretty much started after I began working desk jobs. There’s a big difference between working 48 hours a week in a factory vs. sitting on your rear end all day staring at a computer. I wasn’t burning the calories I was used to eating, so I began packing it on. One day I had a wake up call and began to monitor my intake. It’s amazing how many calories one can eat in a day and not even realize it. A little snack here, a bit of candy there and the next thing you know you are way over your daily expenditure. So, I began watching the qualities and quantities of what I was eating until I found the balance point between what I can get away with before my body begins to store it. I don’t deprive myself of any foods, because I think that is one of the biggest causes of fad diet failures. You say you won’t eat any carbs, but then 3 weeks later you start deep-throating whole loaves of french bread. Same with desserts. You can have a bit of sweet from time to time, but you can’t have a whole 7-layer cake for dinner. If you deprive yourself you will just end up craving it more. I truly believe it when they say that if you want to change your life then you have to change your life style. Thanks to regular exercise and eating right, I took off those 25 pounds I put on and have kept them off for almost 4 years now. People see me eating fruit instead of doughnuts on my work breaks and say that I don’t have to worry about counting calories. I tell them that because they believe that is exactly why I do it. ‘Cuz I know the truth about those 25 pounds. They’re not lost, they’re just missing. They’ll find their way back if I break down and show them the way.

    Comment by John — July 24, 2007 @ 9:48 am | Reply

  7. Just remembering that food is fuel is a good start for me. I lost 50 pounds that way.

    Oh, and my invitation must still be in the mail, cuz I haven’t seen it yet.


    Comment by balloon pirate — July 24, 2007 @ 12:07 pm | Reply

  8. i don’t even bother with food i don’t want. there’s just too much food i DO want… ;)

    but perhaps my body would prefer it if i pushed the good stuff away more often.

    and damn, i wish i could make it to your b’day bash! i’m sure it will be a blast.

    Comment by terry — July 25, 2007 @ 10:03 pm | Reply

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