Count Things That Make Life Worth Living, Not Calories

Saturday, December 19, 2015

I used to count calories like it was my job. I could tell you which brand of bread had the fewest calories per slice or how many calories a cup of spinach or half a banana had. I thought calorie counting was something to be proud of; a sign of a healthy relationship with food. I assumed knowing the caloric information for most of the foods I ate was a sign of education, not obsession. 

A lot of people use calorie counting in a positive way; as a way to stay on track or to make sure they're getting enough fruits and vegetables. For me, however, calorie counting was only negative. It wasn't a way to stay healthy, it was an obsession.

When I counted calories, my mind was always clogged with numbers. I was quickly adding the calories from my granola and the little lunch I packed in my head to make sure I stayed under a certain number. Food wasn't enjoyable anymore. It was only a number. There was a point in time when I couldn't even enjoy a dinner with friends without quickly searching the nutritional information for any given restaurant before we dined out. It was tiresome. It was emotionally draining. It was an endless hell.

In retrospect, the time I spent counting calories was silly. I spent my days counting something so trivial when I should've been counting things that actually mattered. I should've counted the number of times I smiled in a day, the number of "I love yous" and "good mornings" I exchanged with my mom and the number of times my dad and I ran around the same neighborhood loop. I should've counted the happy thoughts that crossed my mind or the moments that I never wanted to forget. 

I should've added up all the things that made life worth living, not insignificant numbers that will never define me. 

By definition, a calorie is a unit of heat energy. It's not something that determines if you're worthy of love or respect. It's not something that makes you a successful person or a failure. It's just energy. Nothing more.

If you like counting calories and can do so in a healthy way, more power to you. Otherwise, count something more important. Count the number of sunsets you watch or good books you read. Count down the number of days until Christmas and your favorite songs by Ben Howard.

Because your life is not defined by your caloric intake. It never has been, and it never will be.

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2 Happy Thoughts

  1. I love this, so true! The things that make life worth living should be counted, not calories!

  2. Amen. I can relate on so many levels. You are a beautiful woman with a beautiful soul ♥︎


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