Skinny Daily Post


(Far less grumpy today, folks. Sorry for my rant yesterday. It wasn’t fair at all, as it turns out. At the end of the day, I found one lovely smoky little internet cafe near the train station, in the square, with a laptop desk and fast pipes, and a very kind young man who sniffed at my old Dell laptop, but nevertheless got me online quickly, making my deadlines, picking up emails. This with just 20 minutes to go before my bus left town. I’m alright now. But I won’t get into Galway every day, so SDP will be patchy, I’m afraid. Please bear with me.)

My diet has shifted around a great deal over the past week. Where hubby and I have no problem managing a lower-than-average carb, higher-than-average protein diet while eating at home, on the road it’s another matter altogether. Right now it’s not easy for us to cook many of our own meals, we left our protein supplements at home, and for restaurant food all over the world, but especially in Irish pubs, starches and beer sweep up a good deal of the caloric percentage of any feeding.

Between the fried spuds and the Guinness, I’m having a hard time keeping to my calorie count.

Granted, I’m making up for it in extra energy out, hiking the Burren, running in the mornings, wandering the cities and towns while getting my bearings.

I think I’m making up for it. I’m fairly certain I’m making up for it. I hope I’m making up for it.

I did pack my tightest jeans, and will use them to them gauge my success or failure at keeping my calories under control. Frankly, if I put on a few, I don’t care. I’m on vacation. Putting on a few on vacation is practically a requirement, a badge of honor. So long as I can take it off again when I get home. But home is several weeks away. I can do a lot of gaining in a month’s time. And it will take me several months to lose it again. So I’ll be careful.

What I’m really worried about are all those other things that go wrong when my diet goes off, the breakouts, migraine, indigestion, fogginess that come with suddenly eating more grains and dairy and beer.

Did I mention the beer?

It’s great beer. I’m not much of a beer drinker back home, but here, I sympathize with beer drinkers better. I’d been forewarned that the pub culture in Ireland presents a great challenge in the obesity battle. I’m estimating 200-300 calories per pint, and two pints at night, if I’m good, in the pub, where everyone gathers, always. That’s up to half my calories in liquid form, at night, when I don’t need them.

Hmm. That’s not going to work for me. I could try something smaller than a pint, something lighter than a Guinness. But then, would I really be here? Now?

So why aren’t the Irish fat? Among women and men, it’s very rare to see the degree of obesity we regularly see in the States. In fact, so far, I haven’t seen anyone as heavy as I was. So how do Irish people deal with all these calories?

Well, the men here take their local sport very seriously. They don’t reach adulthood to hand sports completely to the pros in this part of the world, but keep some of their enthusiasm for the local teams and games, passionately playing well into their 40s and 50s. And the men look great for it. Red noses from drinking, hard bodies from hard play. Until they reach a non-playing age, and then the little belly pot sets in.

The women here, like women everywhere, work their fannies off juggling work, home care, children.

And then there is all the shivering. Stone houses with radiators and north Atlantic winds? I believe they shiver through extra calories in these parts. I believe they gather in pubs to share body heat. I believe the beer culture is another effort to warm up, from the stomach out. They do a big trade in sweaters and tweeds around here. Which came first, I wonder, the constant chill or their ways with sheep and wool?

Since I’ve arrived here, I’ve been preoccupied with, well with getting back online. But when I’m not thinking about that, I’m thinking about getting warm again. How to gain warmth, sustain warmth, preserve warmth, share warmth. I’ve purchased wool, down, and microfleece. I’m layering madly. I’d be typing in gloves if I could right now. The sun is out, I’m a little burned from wandering over the Cliffs of Mohr today, but I’m cold. It’s a wet, bone-grabbing cold that is gone only when I walk into O’Brien’s and pull up a tall glass of Blonde Biddy.

All this heat-seeking has to be burning off calories, doesn’t it? Isn’t shivering a big calorie burner? When your body works hard to stay warm, it’s burning more calories, right? Wouldn’t you think?

Or possibly it’s just that the Irish don’t overeat. It might be that simple.

Okay. I didn’t plan carefully for this vacation. I should have considered bringing along my protein powder, long underwear, and mittens. I’ll nurse smaller beers at the pub. And hit the grocery store for more produce and protein.

I’ll work it out. A little more mindfulness, a little less throwing caution to the wind, slightly less beer, and I should be feeling good and staying comfortable in my jeans the whole month long.

No, I’m not buying bigger pants while I’m here. I won’t do it,


O’Brien’s Pub
Calories in Guinness cf orange juice or milk
Shivering burns calories?

Want to discuss today’s Post? Vist The Skinny Daily Forum at

Want to discuss today’s Post? Vist The Skinny Daily Forum at

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