I received a phone call from my dear friend, She Who Shall Not Be Named, the other night. Now, if you’ve read my earlier posts, you are probably thinking, “Oh, this is going to be good!” because something funny usually surrounds She Who. 😉 If that’s what you are thinking, then you are not wrong. *snicker*
Back in October, She Who got really serious about healthy eating, weight loss and getting fit. She didn’t advertise, and pretty much flew under the radar for the past twenty weeks. She’d enlisted the help of a personal trainer friend, cleaned up her diet, ditched her favorite ice cream and beloved potato chips, and stocked her fridge and cabinets with healthy ingredients and snacks.
“Kale, Jules,” she told me. “I even have coconut water in my fridge, if you can believe it!” I smiled, because I was really proud of her. She went on to tell me that she had gone from about ten minutes on the treadmill to a straight ninety over the past twenty weeks and was planning on picking up her free weights in the coming days, using the power cage I have been secretly coveting. She proudly reported that she consistently worked out 3-4 times per week, with the exception of four weeks peppered within the twenty due to illness.
She’s been logging all her food and beverages to keep track of her calories, protein, fat, carb and sugar intakes. Based on her goals, she and her trainer came up with a wonderful nutrition plan to help her succeed. She was shooting for a 421 calorie deficit per week, 1542 carbs and 224 sugars per week, and as logged, she found she was coming in at 208 grams of sugar weekly. Sounded to me like she was doing everything right.
Except for her weight. She’s been yo yo-ing since she started her plan. She dropped an impressive 4.4 pounds after her first week, but then, over time, she was finding her weight going up and down and overall, had lost somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-5 pounds over the past several months, and wasn’t sure why. Granted, she was also losing inches, but not at the rate she thought she should have been.
She’d all but stopped drinking her favorite diet soda, but out of sheer frustration, she poured a glass, popped a piece of Double Bubble in her mouth, sat down and contacted her trainer. The two of them went over her food diary and workout logs with a fine tooth comb and could not find anything amiss. On paper, she was well within her calorie and macro limits. They were both stumped.
During their conversation, She Who Shall Not Be Named would take a sip of soda and inadvertently pop her gum.
Her trainer asked, “What was that?”
“I’m drinking a diet soda,” replied She Who.
“No. That other sound!”
The light came on. Her trainer asked her what kind of gum. She Who told her that it was Double Bubble. (We all have our little addictions. She Who’s was Double Bubble bubble gum. Maybe y’all remember what happened when she visited the ENT some time back?)
Her trainer asked her if she had the nutrition information for the demon gum. She Who sure did. The package, based on ONE pack, read as follows: 280 calories, 112 grams carbs and 112 grams of sugar. And how many packs was this addict going through in a given day? Only about three or four. Per day. That’d be up to 28 packs per week. Turns out that in gum alone, she was consuming 6860 calories per week (good-bye, calorie deficit; hello, surplus!), 2352 grams of sugar and 3136 grams of carbs. In gum. ONLY gum.
Is it wrong that I am still, two days later, stifling giggles as I type this? Was it wrong that I literally howled laughter when she gave me the numbers the other night? She called because she KNEW I would want to post about this…In fact, the voice mail she’d left me earlier in the day stated that she had something really blog worthy for me, and it included GUM. Y’all, that was all I needed to know.
Seems that She Who Shall Not Be Named has unknowingly been in the neighborhood of maintaining weight and is exercising so that she can have gum. I’m guessing that her gum consumption is going to be darn near zero in the coming weeks.
So the lesson here is this: If you are counting calories? You have to count every single thing (yes, even gum) that passes through your lips. I am just as guilty of not counting gum, because honestly? Gum’s innocuous, right? Ok, maybe not. Who knew?
Until next time…