I realized this morning how much of my day is spent contemplating my next meal or two, snacks, and whether or not I think I will meet my daily caloric goal. Today, Beautiful suggested that I explain how much I need to eat just to maintain my weight, so here it goes.
According to a nutritional calculator at Mayo Clinic’s website, with my lightly active lifestyle, I should only need 1,900 Calories per day to maintain my weight as a 31 yr-old, 5′ 4″ male weighing ~120lbs. That would be nice! I also calculated Beautiful’s daily requirement as being 1,750 Calories. You’ll see the problem with that in a second.
If I go through a normal day of eating (pre-Fatboy) to just get through life without paying attention to eating enough, I’ll probably encounter 2,000-2,500 Calories and lose 2-3lbs by the next morning. If I make an effort to be sure I get enough to eat to get in the neighborhood of 4,000 Calories, I’ll break even. It’s not unless I intake 5,000-6,000 Calories that I can have any expectation of seeing the scale budge upward.
Few things are as frustrating to someone trying as hard as possible to gain a pound at a time as hearing someone say “I wish I could have your problem” or “I’d trade you issues.” Really? You’d better be careful what you wish for. When they say that, people are only thinking about how nice it would be to eat whatever and whenever they want, but there are other implications, such as eating when you don’t want to, not eating something you want at the moment because it’s just empty calories, and the constant threat of wasting away to a 98lb weakling again.
Throw in the cost of food today, and we’re looking at a complex and expensive issue. Food just for me and extra food to allow me to eat a bigger portion probably accounts for 3/4 of our food budget. Just my Boost Plus (store brand) drinks alone are 1/5 to 1/4 of our our weekly grocery bill!
A full-time job
Eating is actually my third full-time job, after running my business and going to college full-time. There are days where I know I would have gotten more done if I didn’t have to stop to eat. I have to eat a huge breakfast, eat a huge lunch before my second class, eat a snack if I can, eat another snack when I get home, and still try to eat twice as much as Beautiful for dinner after having eaten all that food already, and be sure I have a high-calorie snack before bed (if not a second dinner). That takes planning and a lot of specific foods to fit the bill.
Eating and family
Over our 4 years of dating, our eating lifestyle didn’t do a thing for my low weight, but it did affect her in a way she didn’t like. Our first year of marriage was no different, except I did manage to put on a very quick 10lbs, but that was just back to my “normal” after a very bad weight year. We have to carefully plan how to eat separately, but together in order to leave her feeling satisfied with what she needs to maintain her weight and for me to bring in 3x more than average and nearly 4x more than her in a day.
We have gone to great lengths to tailor our diets over the last year, with fantastic results. Whenever possible, I add extra calories after dishing up or by finishing the cooking in separate skillets so I can add olive oil or whatnot. She’s really my “little lady” now that she’s happy and I’m huge. I outweigh her by a considerable amount now, and that makes both of us feel great.