Friday, April 01, 2016

Counting Calories

Counting calories is hard.
Sure, it's manageable IF you're eating food straight out of a box, with a nutrition label that tells you how many calories are in it.  But that's not the best nutrition.  Nor the best taste. 

Daughter1 told Daughter3 about her discovery:  
The website harnesses the power of the internet to do all sorts of figuring for you.  For example, if you type in "banana," it will offer you choices of a small, medium, or large banana (with lengths to help you figure out size), and then it adds in a calorie count.  It has restaurant food in its search engines.  It has brand names, so you can look up Aldi spaghetti sauce or Starkist tuna or King Arthur flour.  

Best of all -- you can add recipes and it will figure that calorie count for you.  One time, Andrew had a project at school to evaluate his diet; it was far too difficult to eat the real food he was accustomed to.  Instead, he spent a few days eating instafood and fast food.  During that project, his goal was that all food come with a label listing the calories, protein, fat, etc.  But with LoseIt, we can record what went into the stirfry or casserole or salad, and the program figures up how many calories there are.  Maggie can also have "recipes" for things she eats regularly (such as the sandwich she frequently takes with her on school days) to simplify even further the record-keeping.

Maggie is motivated to use this.  She finds it easier to avoid the junk food when she knows she'll have to admit it to herself and watch the calories add up on her daily tote board.  She finds that exercise is easier when she enjoys the reward of typing in how far she walked or how many minutes she rode her bike, and sees her day's calorie-budget increase.  She set herself a goal of 2# loss per month, but she's far ahead of that for her first month.  

After a month of using the program, an added [math] bonus is that both Maggie and I are getting much better at estimating weights, volumes, and calorie counts.  

By the way, this program would be way easier with a smart phone, but LoseIt works just fine with a desktop.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Old Navy

I have a pair of jeans.
I would like another pair of jeans.

I am tall.  My legs are so freaky long that it's hard to buy pants.  I haven't had to buy pants for quite a while because I had been wearing dress-up clothes for work and church.  Every few months I've been doing some online shopping, trying to find a pair of jeans. 

Why is it so difficult to find jeans without spandex?!
Why doesn't anybody make plain old sturdy jeans, cotton jeans?
Jeans that you could wear in the garden or in the woods or on a hike?

Because of the ridiculous shoe heights that are popular right now, apparently the jeans are extra long right now.  My daughter told me that Old Navy sells really long jeans.

I hate shopping.
I hate clothes shopping even more than other shopping.
But I bit the bullet and stopped at Old Navy yesterday.

The background music was loud.  It was awful.  It had songs with the f-word.

The store was over-crowded with customers and not enough staff.

The clothing was in disarray.  It took forever to find something to try on: jeans in size 4, size 16, size 12, size 14, and size 8 were all in one stack.  It made me wonder if some trouble-makers had come in and surreptitiously spent hours rearranging the jeans to make all the stacks completely chaotic.

I finally resigned myself to buying jeans with spandex.  When the gal rang up my bill, it came to $31.68.  I didn't have a ten or the correct change, so I handed the clerk $42.  She was confused and handed back $1.  "It's only thirty-ONE sixty-eight."  Right.  I tried to explain about the 68 cents.  She argued with me.  She did not understand.  I finally told her, "Just type $42 into the cash register.  It will tell you how much change I should get, and then maybe you'll understand."  She then figured out the $10-bill easily enough, but she had trouble figuring out how to make the 32 cents. 

Left the store.
Noticed a men's clothing store next door -- a store that specializes in work clothes.
Went in.
Sure enough, they carry a few women's jeans.

Dang it -- they're all spandex too.

Decided to start trying on men's jeans. 
Because men's jeans come in durable COTTON.
Bought a pair.
They will need to have tucks in the waist.  But if that's what it takes to get real jeans instead of silly little fashion jeans, then okay.

Went back to Old Navy to return the spandex jeans.  Stood in a long line for the cash registers again.

Two twenty-something girls were in front of me, killing time on their phones, laughing and joking together while they waited.  One of them came across a video on her phone that she wanted to show her pal.  Held it up between the two of them.  It so happens that everybody in line behind them could see clearly too.  It was a porn video. 

I ought not say I will never set foot in an Old Navy again.  Something may force me to shop there one day.  But right now I can't imagine what level of desperation it would take for me to shop there again.  It was a cruddy two hours.

And some people think shopping is FUN.