This morning I started to count calories, something I’ve never ever ever done (and said I’d never do) in my life. It’s apparently a year of firsts, as I’ve also begun on a treadmill. Turns out I like it better than walking outside in terms of getting exercise (as opposed to fresh air or something to do), because it’s a level, springy surface that has about zero chance of hurting my knee. In fact, the more treadmill I do, the less my knee hurts.

In any case, I was talking about calories. I was at a website that gave what calorie count you’d need to maintain your current weight. Right now it’s 2000. I put in my target(ish) weight and it said to maintain that weight, I’d need to have a net calorie count (ie intake minus exercise) of 1800. So I’m aiming for about that much per day (but I won’t cry if I go over).

Now, there’s no way in hell I’ll be counting every single thing I eat, but I do need to get a handle on portion control, so today I counted everything. Well, everything except vegetables, because I’ll be damned if I count veggies in a number that might make me want to try and eat less. I’ll aim for 1800 a day with a pile of veggies and fruits on top, and if I find that’s not working, I’ll figure out what to cut out of that 1800. Besides, some veggies are negative calories – they burn more calories in self-digestion than they were in the first place.

So I figure I had about 400-500 calories at breakfast (bread + peanut butter + hot chocolate). I’m unsure what to do there, I totally love my toast and pb, but it seems high – but at the same time, I need energy for the day and if I have something else (like cereal or a smoothie) I’m starving by 10:30. Hmm.

For lunch, I had a completely delicious wrap: sundried tomato tortilla, low-fat peppercorn ranch dressing, three leaves of romaine, three thin slices of smoked meat, plus red onion, red and yellow pepper and a handful of sugar snap peas. To DIE for, let me tell you. I’ve been eating the same thing for three days and it just doesn’t get old. Minus veggies, the wrap was about 300 calories (tortilla + meat + ranch), and very fulfilling.

I drink 100% juice, and this week I’m sick so I’m drinking way lots more. Juice is surprisingly full of calories, but it’s helping me be healthy so I don’t care – however, I’ve probably had 200-300 calories from juice today.

For supper I really wanted nachos, but I also needed to make sure I didn’t over-do it. I had about 1100 calories in the day if you count the juice, so I wanted to make supper about a 500 cal deal. I counted the chips as I laid them on the plate (10 multigrain and 20 low-sodium rounds, which was slightly fewer than I normally use = 385 calories!); measured the cheese (1/3 cup = 110 cal) – I debated putting more cheese on and just counting it, but decided to try the smaller amount to see if I liked it; and then I covered it in red onions and red/yellow peppers and nuked it for a few minutes.

Of course you can’t have nachos without salsa and sour cream! Hello! Salsa is 25 cals for 1/4 cup, and fat-free sour cream is 25 cals for 2 tbsp. I didn’t measure but I figure it was another 100 calories for the condiments. Grand total approximately 600 calories, AND it was totally delicious. We’ll see if I’m hungry later! If I am, I think I’m allowed to have a cookie!

I don’t want to be one of those numbers-junkies, but I think I’ll do this for a bit to get a handle on my portion size. I really need to measure and then see and then eat to get a real grasp of how much food I actually need – which is clearly less than I’m currently eating.

Also! My bento-style laptop lunchbox will help! It’s on order (along with a couple of resuable grocery bags which fold up to be this small) and I’m pretty excited to get it. I’m also trolling through the thousands of images on the Flickr Laptop Lunches Pool to get ideas. Some of it doesn’t appeal to me, some of it’s in the “duh” territory, but there are huge amounts of “what a great idea!”s as well. Yay the internets!