What if you had a calorie budget?

I have been very hesitant to do any sort of calorie counting or recording. Too many people obsess about calories.

Photo Credit viaSimon Cunnigham

Photo Credit viaSimon Cunnigham

I see so many women who can’t enjoy a meal for worry about how it is going to fit into their calories for the day. And who wants to feel shame over something they ate? What a ridiculous, counter-productive waste of emotion!

On the other hand, it occurred to me today that keeping track of calories is really just a gathering of information. We do this in other aspects of our lives. We record our mileage on our car to determine when we need further maintenance. As an attorney, I keep up with my time at work. This allows me to know if I am spending too much time on marketing and not enough on client files or vice versa. We record our financial expenditures to keep our bank accounts healthy.

In all of this accounting, we are simply recording information. There is no emotional attachment to how many miles are on the car or the check we wrote at the grocery store. I realize it is hard to set a financial budget and stick with it. However, I don’t find we beat ourselves up or obsess about it the way people tend to with a diet. Sometimes, we spend too much money. We just can’t resist that new Michael Kors purse. (Love!) Well, it just means we’ll have to cut money from other areas of the budget or work extra-hours to make up the difference. To keep a budget is simply to record information so that we can make informed decisions.

What if we didn’t diet or “count calories” but just kept a Calorie Budget? We simply record the information so that we can make an educated decision on the next right step. It isn’t to obsess or micro-manage ourselves. It isn’t to guilt us into going to bed hungry. It is simply to know.

When we know, we have a choice. We can choose to blow the budget one day and tighten it up the next. We can choose to blow it every day and live with the consequences. But, at least we know. We aren’t mindlessly destroying our health. We aren’t running our bodies into proverbial bankruptcy because we weren’t paying attention.

So, this month, let’s just see where we are. Let’s be mindful of how we’re fueling our bodies. Keep a Calorie Budget and see how it changes the way we’ve been doing things.

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