but last week i decided i wanted to do 40 clear days. kind of spontaneously actually. i texted my bff and told her and she immediately signed up. ("signed up" means she said "ok, i'll do it too!") over the course of the next few days before i started, a few other friends committed to their own variations of the theme.
and then, last night, right before i started, i added a challenge: a challenge that is way scarier than going to dinner or bars with my friends and watching them drink; way more horrifying than feeling left out of a social situation; much more terrifying than fomo. i decided that i'd try to stop counting my calories for the next 40 days.
counting calories is something i've been doing some version of for 25 years. i don't write everything i eat down anymore, and i don't keep track of each day's input and output now, but i still keep a running tally in my head every day. i know that my usual breakfast has 450 calories. i know i usually run 6 miles a day. i know i usually have -250 going into lunch. i check my daily mileage tracker regularly to see if i get to count extra calories as "burned." i try to fit extra activity in where i can and automatically subtract it off my total consumed for the day. ...the math is constant.
|harlem street food, exhibit 1.|
so i decided to experiment with letting it go--since i was getting clear.
today: i had my usual breakfast. so i knew how many calories there were without having to do any work. i ran an hour, and i knew how many calories i burned, so i didn't have to do the math. it wasn't working.
so for lunch, i skipped usual options and went rogue. i went to a cart on the street and bought a falafel pita: something that would've taken me several attempts and re-attempts until i decided which calorie total was closest to the truth.
while i was eating it, my brain actually tried to start adding things up. SEVERAL TIMES. so i pulled up an article and focused really hard on reading it while i was eating. and then went right to the next task and kept yelling at myself: DO NOT THINK ABOUT HOW MANY CALORIES WERE IN THAT WRAP.
|very occasionally, cat is calm.|
i ate dinner watching tv. i kept quieting my mind. but writing this is still quite an effort in non-addition.
however, it's 1am and i don't know my daily total. i don't know if i'm "over" or "under" for the day. the mental energy to not add, subtract, and re-calculate all day was almost equal to the amount of energy i would have expended doing so. i assume it will be easier tomorrow.
and, if it isn't, i'll just scratch cat behind the ears and think about how much a glass of wine would help me forget about counting calories.