Calories

Want to know a surefire way to feel lethargic, grumpy, freezing cold, and constipated? Restrict your calorie intake. Take it from someone who, unfortunately, has been there.

I remember thinking that the 2,000 calorie per day FDA recommendation was the law. And if that was the law for “normal” people, then I wanted to be “special” and eat less. I am sorry to say that I wasted so many precious minutes of my life calculating calories and then fanatically logging them into an online tracking app. At the time, I thought counting calories helped me control my anxiety around food, when in reality the practice was controlling me. It ended up digging me into an even deeper hole of anxiety that was very, very hard to escape.

While I no longer count calories (praise the Lord because that took up a LOT of mental energy that I can now use for more worthwhile endeavors), I am certain that I eat way over the seemingly arbitrary 2,000 calorie “recommendation,” and I feel approximately one million times better than I did in my days of restriction.

Calories = energy.

Restricting calories/energy from your body restricts its function and performance. That’s why so many people with eating disorders have thin hair that falls out in clumps, dry skin, brittle nails, low body temperature, and the list goes on. During my path to recovery I had to remind myself multiple times a day that the more I ate, the better my body was able to function. In fact, I still remind myself of that often!

When you find yourself stressing over calories, take a step back and remember that you need them to function optimally. You need calories to be healthy and happy. Honestly, the stress that comes from obsessing over calories is probably going to do more damage than just eating whatever it is you’re stressing about! So try to reframe your thoughts. Your body knows exactly how to process the food that you give it. Calories = energy = happy body. 🙂

6 responses to “Calories”

  1. Yes!! Completely agree! Calories are essential to life and nitpicking over every single one won’t make a difference – that’s what was freeing for me! There’s so much room for flexibility!

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  2. I’m catching up on all your recent posts – I thank you for all of them. I am stuck in the throws of calorie counting. I do it without even thinking. It’s just like this habitual place my mind goes to anytime it has a free moment. It’s some way of easing my anxiety. Or maybe it works to distract me from my more difficult/emotional thoughts. Anyway, I just don’t know how to stop my mind from doing it. But I would so love to not have it be part of my life any more.

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    • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I’m so glad these posts have been helpful for you. I used to be in that SAME mindset and thought that tallying calories in my mind helped ease anxiety, but in the long run it created so much more for me. I started small (ie not counting at one meal) and just tried to take small steps forward as much as I could. You’ve got this!!

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