I'm ripping off a topic from my buddy over at Dixonthewall about the quest to drop a few pounds after the New Year
Men seem to have a stigma attached to idea of "dieting". Even someone so evolved like myself (sarcasm) associates dieting with something feminine. It's the reason that Coca-Cola branded Coke Zero with a black label and kept the word diet off the bottle. I'm guilty of it. I wouldn't have dreamed of drinking Diet Coke. It was a "chick's drink." But when Coke Zero came out suddenly I was okay drinking a zero calorie soda. Even one of my New Year's Resolutions as you can see from an older blog post was to "Eat Better." If someone asks me if I'm on a diet, for some reason I'll find it uncomfortable and ultimately say some derivation of, "Not exactly. I'm just trying to eat better and exercise more."
So all that being said, I am currently 9 days in to eating better and exercising more. The method I'm using is straight up calorie counting. I'm using the Livestrong.com website and iPad app to keep track and let me tell you, it is the most frustrating way to live. Eating becomes a chore. I'm the type of guy who associates football (especially playoff football) with eating and drinking but so far I've mixed Rum and Coke Zeros on a digital food scale, I've counted every calorie I used to cook a dinner, I portion controlled chips and dip while watching football, I bought Bud Select 55 so I can still have the feel of a beer bottle in my hand while watching sports and not have it "kill my day" calorie wise and the most annoying one of them all, just this morning I ate 30 M&Ms. That's right 30. I sat there and counted out 30 M&Ms! I'm going to keep it up for a few months but I don't want to live in a world where I do this for the rest of my life. I just want to get to a point where I get used to eating a certain amount every day.
One of the greatest benefits for me in using the Livestrong.com site is that it does all the calculations for you. I set my goal as a very modest 1 pound a week, it asks you questions and pretty much tells you how many calories to eat to achieve that. But what it also does it allows you to enter your exercise and how many calories you burned and adds them back to your remaining available calories for the day. Some sites discourage you from eating things. Like if you go to CalorieKing.com and look up a food like M&Ms, it'll tell you that for 1 ounce of M&Ms it'll take 16 minutes of jogging to burn those off. For me, I like to have some drinks from time to time so I'll now go running to justify that. I'll run and say burn 500 calories and in my head I'll now be thinking, "that's 5 guilt free Bud Lights!" And as sad as that is, sometimes that actually will be my motivation for going out for a run.
I just want to share an anecdote from something weird that happened to me last night while on my second run of 2012. I was at the tale end of my 2.5 mile run and this guy on a bike rides past me and starts motioning me to take my ear buds out for a second. Mind you, it's 8:45pm and it was towards the end of a run from a guy who just started running so automatically I assumed my breathing must have sounded like I was dying and he was going to ask me if I needed any help. But no, I take out my ear buds and he asks, "did you go to St. John's?" I was wearing a St. John's hoodie. I had to explain that no I did not but I'm a fan of their hoops team. He then proceeds to tell me that his sister goes there and the tells me to enjoy the rest of my run. Who does that? He completely messed up the rhythm I had going on my 25 or so minute miles I was rocking.