Sunday, January 8, 2012

Living on a (Calorie) Budget - A "Do" and a "Don't"

This week: Lost 3.3 pounds!

Calorie Counting like being on a budget

The day after Christmas we went shopping with our two boys and their two cousins. Shannon's mom gave each of the kids $15 to spend as they saw fit. Each made their choices, and then they were done. My eleven year old son chose some small items so that he could buy a gift for a friend out of his $15. My nine year old son shopped carefully before finding a soccer shirt. I was proud of him, as he's learning to be less impulsive and make better decisions with money.

Then, we came across some handwoven bracelets. There was a whole display with names sewn into the bracelets, and one with my son's name had a bright color pattern mimicking the neon green warn by the Seattle Sounders FC soccer team. They were $7. He wanted it, and I wanted him to have it. What's $7 to make your son happy on the day after Christmas, right?

But, of course, my wife and I couldn't buy it. We have to teach our kids to live within their means, to postpone consumption until they can afford it.

Shortly into my first week of calorie counting, I noticed the parallel between calorie counting and living on a budget. Seeing calorie counting plainly as a normal fact of life, like living on a budget, helps me keep perspective and stay on track.

Pad Thai was up for grabs, but I was out of calories

A "Do" and a "Don't" 

DO skip extra calories that show up out of the blue. For me, the test was Thursday afternoon at work. To better manage my eating I split my day's calorie allocation, half for breakfast and lunch, half for dinner and desert. By 1:00 I had eaten lunch and used half of my day's calories. So I was done until dinner.

Learn from me and pass on the extra pickles. Trust me.
And then I got to my 1:00 meeting. There were leftovers from a meeting that had been held over lunch. Pad Thai noodles. Yum! We have excellent Thai food in Seattle and this is my favorite dish. Honestly, before the Pounds Off Playoff, I'd have had a heaping plateful, maybe two. But I passed on account of having already spent my calories.

DON'T eat ten pickle spears, just because they are only 5 calories each. You will pay in other ways. Trust me on this one. 


Tish said...

Good analogy. I'm hoping maybe you got back to pick up the Sonic colored bracelet for another occasion . . . .
I'll take your word for it on the pickles . . .
We survived a food-fest choir potluck tonight with not too much damage, I think.

Ewa said...

Good weight loss! Congrats.
I like your thinking and your focus. That's the way to go!

Caron said...

Good loss. You're doing great. :)

spunkysuzi said...

You are a wise man!

responsibility199 said...

Smart post. And a mighty fine loss for you, most excellent!

Jessica said...

Great loss and great post :)

Christina said...

Nice job, Alan!

Budgets are tough. You taught your boys a good lesson by not giving them extra money.

Pad Thai is my favorite! Nice job passing on it.

Christina said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mer and Mo said...

Awesome loss this week!!! You should be very proud! And good job on that left over temptation.


Bruce said...

Way to go Alan!

Love the World Series picture.

And lastly, who knew pickle spears could do you in!

Joy said...

Great lesson for your son! I too love the analogy! Thanks!

Keep focused!

Dr. Fat To Fit said...

Congrats on the weight loss! Good for you. I too run into those unexpected calories and it is always a struggle not to over spend.

Well......goodbye to college football for now. What a boring game and didn't LSU look terrible? I knew Sabin wouldn't lose twice to Les Miles. That would be WAY too embarrassing for the king of cool. Now on to the NFL playoffs. CAN YOU BELIEVE DENVER?? Me neither..can't wait to see it this week.

Andrew Opala said...

congrats ... I'm with you on the pickle thing.