November 22nd, 2016 Banana-Gate
I just found out today that just about any day where I've eaten a banana in the last two and a half years, I've likely exceeded my calorie budget.
This was at first, very disturbing to me. I didn't realize it. It wasn't intentional.
I've been using a MyFitnessPal entry labeled "Bananas (raw) by the ounce" for the longest time. I've found entries that include "by the ounce" or "by the gram" tend to be the most accurate. EXCEPT in the case of the banana, obviously.
This is banana-gate.
Twitter follower Tony Pakeltis (@tonypakeltis) noticed the discrepancy. Once he called it to my attention, I found an entry "by the gram," and sure enough, Tony was on to something.
The good news: Clearly this inaccurate entry hasn't had negative effects on my weight loss and now, for the last year, maintenance mode. But--for someone like me who takes pride in maintaining the integrity of a calorie budget, it's challenging. I know, I know--it's bananas, literally!!!
The challenge for me is to let it go. It's okay. It's not a big deal. I didn't know. And really, I've said it time and time again--this isn't perfect nor is it meant to be perfect. When I guesstimate amounts at a restaurant, there's no way it's spot-on accurate. I know it's very close--but it's never to the gram or to the single calorie precise. And it's okay. I make the best, most honest assessment--log it and accept it as logged.
The difference between it being okay and not okay is found in the honest intention. I spent many many years in denial about the amounts of food I was eating. It was enough to maintain a 500 pound-plus body weight--but had you asked me back then, I would have said something like, "Yeah--I don't know, I really don't eat that much." Had I added the words "...in front of other people," it would have been more accurate. My food plan today and the boundaries I've created keep my consumption in line with reality.
This isn't exclusively about maintaining an accurate calorie count. It's about maintaining a consistent certainty that I'm maintaining the integrity of my budget, to the best of my ability and honest belief. So much of this comes back to how we feel about ourselves and what we're doing-- and when I'm hitting the pillow and I know I've maintained my plan for the day, it provides a nice measure of confidence, calm, and certainty. And as long as I can honestly believe I did the best I could possibly do and I was as accurate as I could be--with consumption logged in line with reality...then I'm okay even if every banana I've consumed in the last two and a half years was actually 20-30 calories more than logged.
It reminds me of when I first started losing weight over eight years ago. I walked this trail every single night. I started super small--only 5 minutes, but kept going a little further and further and after a short time, I was up to what I thought was one mile. I walked this "mile" for nearly a year before the city posted a sign stating the actual length of the walking trail was .86 mile. Did it matter? Not really. I still lost over 200 pounds that first year. I was still super-consistent with my plan. And even though I wasn't, I honestly believed I was walking one mile every single time. And when I made it to my first 5K walk sometime in the first year--I truly believed with all my heart and soul that it was 3.1 miles-- but it wasn't--and it didn't matter, because my perception, although statistically inaccurate, was my reality--and all of the positive benefits of accomplishment danced in my head, regardless.
Our perception is our reality. And when our perception gets realigned, our reality gets adjusted. And we move on with new information.
This will be the first time in nearly two and half years that I haven't included the tweet stream on my blog post. I do not plan on stopping the Live-Tweeting anytime soon--but in an effort to freshen my approach on this blog, they're gone from these nightly posts. The Tweets are featured in real time along the left-hand side of the desktop version of this blog. And of course, you don't need a Twitter account to visit www.twitter.com/SeanAAnderson
Today was long, very busy and very stressful. I finally got home a little before 5pm. This happens before every major holiday---it's about getting everything normally accomplished in a week, crammed into two or three days.
I'm behind on so many projects. And that's stressful, too. I'll take a deep breath, get some rest, and do the best I can do, tomorrow.
Today: I maintained the integrity of my maintenance calorie budget. I remained abstinent from refined sugar. I met my daily water goal. And I stayed well connected with great support.
I did well. And I didn't slip on the banana peel.
Thank you for reading and your continued support,