50 by 50: Why Am I Counting Calories?

This year I started a list of fifty things I wanted to do by the time I turned 50 next year. (If you’ve been keeping up with my reading goals, you may already be familiar with it!)

Basically, I was inspired by the 50 states by 50-years-old concept but tweaked it to be fifty things I feel I’ve been neglecting. These are items that:

  • have been on my to-do list too long
  • a few long-time desires like getting matching ring tattoos with my hubby
  • and some personal enrichment, like craft projects and reading

Like many women with full-time jobs and families, one thing I’ve seriously neglected is my health. Having lung surgery was a serious wake-up call for me on how much I value the ability to move around freely. Now that I’m fully recovered, it’s time to address my weight and autoimmune struggles with Hashimoto’s Disease. Two of my top 50 x 50 goals are to:

  • a) lose 20 pounds (which I consider a reasonably realistic amount to lose in 6 months)
  • b) reduce the inflammation that plagues my body.

My secondary goal of reducing inflammation will hopefully be a pleasant side-effect of losing weight of the dietary changes I’ll be making.  I’m also currently using and investigating supplements to help me along this path, too.

For the more challenging piece, losing weight (if you have Hashimoto’s and/or are over 40, you understand how challenging this can be,)  I’ve come up with an approach that will hopefully help me lose weight while experimenting which dietary lifestyle will best suit my body and needs.

Important note:  I’m not a medical professional.  I’m not making any direct recommendations. I’m simply sharing my personal experiences along my journey.  I urge you to always conduct your own research.  Also, always consult your physician when changing your diet or working on weight loss. 

50 by 50: Why Am I Counting Calories?

Why I’m Counting Calories

Do you have problems sticking to a diet? Do you need a lot of structure? And most importantly, do you need a lot of variety to succeed?  Me, too!

I love structured dietary plans that deliver results but I also crave variety and find most “diets” too limiting.  However, I realize I need to taste some big steps in finding the dietary lifestyle that is going to lead to a happier, healthier version of me.

So, I came up with this “master plan” to try a new plan each week.  This way, I won’t be limiting my options and will be able to get a good idea of what dietary choices are going to help me the best in the long run.  I may find something I simply fall in love with along the way (which would be super cool!) Even so, I’m going to try to change things up every week. This way I can see what is hype, what is effective, and what I can ultimately live with in my next phase of life.

I’ll be experimenting with everything from Keto to DASH to Vegan to see what makes my body and taste-buds the happiest, what offers sustainable results, and what I can comfortably live with in the end.  This may wind up being a combination of dietary choices and habits… we shall see!

Note: I won’t be trying subscription diets or any diet that requires me to subscribe to get specialty foods.  I want this to be a realistic lifestyle choice, not one that has me eating pre-packaged foods in order to maintain a dietary choice.

Along the way, I’m going to share my results and struggles and hopefully, so triumphs with you because I know I’m totally not alone in facing these challenges. I hope that by sharing, we can empower each other to live our best lives and to lose some weight along the way.

The very first dietary “diet” style I decided to try is the time-honored system of counting calories.  I chose this for two reasons:

  • it’s a super simple way to begin that will not require a trip to the grocer for specialty foods
  • as I have to journal to count calories, it will help me get an understanding of what I’m currently eating
  • to start me on the journey of being more mindful of what I’m eating

To determine how many calories I needed each day to lose weight, I consulted a variety of online sources and came up with 1700 as a daily target goal.  According to calculations, this should allow for a healthy 1 to 2 pound weight loss per week.

What Else Am I Doing?

For full transparency, I will also let you know if I increase or add any physical activity throughout this journey.  Right now, I’m moderately active:

  • ride my bike a few times a week for a few miles
  • walk or hike occasionally
  • do moderate housework and gardening chores daily
  • enjoy visiting the batting cages (but they are sadly closing soon for the season!)
  • sit too much because I have a desk job but try to use my standing desk at least once per day
  • contemplating adding yoga to my daily routine

I currently use a variety of supplements for my health and well-being:

  • Tumeric Extract
  • Vitamin B-12
  • Fish Oil
  • Flax seeds (sprinkled on cereals and in smoothies)
  • Probiotic (Saccharomyces Boulardii + MOS)
  • Magnesium Citrate
  • N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine
  • Triphala
  • contemplating adding CBD Extract

Most of these are for digestive and inflammation issues that are related to my Hashimoto’s.

I also drink 1 cup of coffee per day and lots and lots of water.  Sometimes I add in a cup of tea to my day or a glass of red wine at night, on occasion.

If any of that changes, you’ll be “in the know” because of course, increased activity or additional supplements can certainly skew the weight loss results.

What’s Next?

I’ll be back next week with the full scoop on how things went counting calories.  I’ll include any weight loss results, what worked and what didn’t, any insights I have and what’s next on this week-to-week dietary lifestyle journey.

I’d love for you to join me!  If you need to make a big change and take off a few pounds, let’s do this!  Join me in any way you see fit, whether you want to follow along with what I’m trying each week or whether you just want some company along the way for your own personal weight loss journey, I’d love to connect and share.

Tags: health
Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, when she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s making tea and writing about country living and artisan culture.
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  1. Reply

    Good Luck and I applaud anyone who rides a bike. I count calories and measure my food when I lost weight. I was amazed how much I was putting on my plate. No wonder I couldn’t loose weight!

    1. Reply

      Thanks Grace!! It’s been an eye-opener so far, for sure! Has been a long time since I took this approach so it’s a super healthy place for me to start to get a handle on some of the things that are currently holding me back.

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