Think Small

I’ve never been very good at math.  Or maybe it’s that I’ve never invested much time into math.

There is, however, one equation that I am very invested in.

The ol’ calories in vs. calories out.

My body started to “store” a little extra over the last few months.  Not much but I notice every pound-plus or minus-on my 5’3/4″  frame.  I knew it was happening; a little more food, more drinks than usual, and a little less exercise.  Like I said, it’s basic math.  My eating habits didn’t take a dramatic turn and it wasn’t like I was suddenly laying around all day everyday.  Just a little more in and a little less out.

Starting at the beginning of November I reversed the pattern in a small way.  Yep, a small way.  I started walking a little more, making my exercise sessions just a little harder, and being more conscious of what goes in my mouth.  My calorie intake probably only shifted down about few hundred a day, max, but it was enough to tip the scales and say “so long” to those pounds.

I know that this is easier said than done and easier done when it’s just a few pounds that you are contending with but the math is the same no matter what.  And so is my belief that making changes comes a lot easier when we think small.  Small shifts, rather than huge overhauls, won’t turn your life end over end, leaving you to try to figure out which end is up.

This is especially important this time of year, when food is plentiful, drinks are flowing, late nights full of parties are standard, and the days are short, dark, and cold. This is not the time to make drastic changes or big lifestyle decisions.  During this time especially I like to think of exercise and healthy eating as nourishing little gifts to myself and my loved ones, because the better I take care of myself the more pleasant I am to be around!  Not to mention that making healthy, nourishing choices can be the gift of a positive influence to those around you.

Pounds are not [just] a vanity issue.  Extra pounds increase the risk for many types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, sleep issues, joint problems, and hormonal imbalances.   It doesn’t take even take that much extra for a lot of these, I notice a few excess pounds in my knees almost immediately.

What are your favorite small shifts to eat better/less/more consciously?  How about to get moving more?


  1. I couldn’t agree more!!

    Small changes make such a difference! I tend to pick at things when I’m cooking or I’ll grab an extra handful or two of cereal from the bag before eating what’s in my bowl. It just so happened that I put on a couple of extra unwanted pounds during the early fall, so I decided to pay more attention and nixed those little extra handfuls while pumping up my heart rate a little more during my workouts. Those pesky pounds diminished and I never ever felt deprived in any way at all.

    Great post! And very timely, considering the holidays. 😀

  2. My latest plan (I’m always trying something to create a calorie deficit) is to not snack. Three meals, one serving only, and no snacks. It’s hard in mid- to late-afternoon, but not in the evening.

    I’m quite sure I’ve reduced my intake doing this – how could you not? At my age, though, it hasn’t resulted in any weight loss. I figure I’m doing really well at maintenance. Heh.

  3. I cling to my extra 3/4″ too. 😉 I love how you point out this is the time for small changes. Mine is sort of silly, but I’ve decided it is worth investing in some GOOD (ie more expensive) cold weather clothing/coats/active wear, so that I might actually enjoy brisk walks or hikes with Eisley this winter & am more likely to get out & climb or try cross-country skiing this season.
    I’ve been thinking about the whole pounds/vanity issue lately & am really happy over the point you made.

    • gracefulfitness

      GOOD cold weather clothing is key! I am still working on mine for this winter. Luckily, the weather has been crazy mild here and I haven’t had to worry about it too much yet!

  4. Annelies

    I really love your blog, Faith. It is so inspirational. It is really cool how you approach things and how you think beyond the conventions. Greetings from Brussels!

  5. Aggie

    Great post Faith!
    The worst thing for me is the mindless eating. The handful or handfuls here and there of chips, crackers, cookies etc. when I walk in the door from work or while cooking. My strategy to combat this is to to not eat out of the box or bag but to put a serving in a small bowl so I see how much I am eating. It really keeps me in check.

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