I have never been very good at food journals. Flashback to my years of failed diets and I can see that it didn't work for me. I can remember one time while doing Weight Watchers, I started off really good with the log and then went to a meeting to be weighed. I would sit there baffled as to why I didn't loose anything that week. I would look through my little book and at face value everything looked right, but was it really? NO! What happened? Along the way, I started not being honest. My mind would start believing that if I didn't write that cookie down in my log, then I could stay below XX amount of points/calories. I would write down all the good choices and "forget" to write the bad ones. So when my poor counselor would try to help me figure out why I wasn't losing, she would be dumbfounded. Who was I cheating really? Not the counselor, she had lost her weight. Not Mr. Scale, he sure as hell wasn't fooled. I was cheating myself. I was playing mind games with myself. Trying to stay below their silly point allotment.
In December, with no movement on Mr. Scale, I decided to try journaling my foods again. It worked so well for many banders and I figured why not? I figured at the very least I would see right there in print, what I did wrong. I gotta tell you, I feel guilty as all hell when I log foods that are not band friendly. I make myself log it, but that is not preventing me from eating that cookie. What it does is make me feel like a loser because I caved in to my craving. Let's be honest, the cookie was grazing. I wasn't hungry, I just wanted something sweet. Afterwards all those negative thoughts, (wrong, guilty, not band friendly) pounded in my head all night and I was still thinking about it this morning.
After reading one of Gen's post, I felt so happy for her. Those feelings of guilt, self loathing and being a failure are gone for her. So now I have to figure out how to find those same feelings of peace within myself. I am very early in this lifelong journey and I have plenty time to sort through what works and what doesn't. I know that journals will not work for me in the end. It brings back too many memories of failure. At the same time, how can I stay on the right path without something to guide me along the way? Reviewing my food journal over the past weeks, I see which days I made poor choices.
An article in Sparkpeople today talked about our Battle Scars from dieting. This small part is giving much to think about: "Food is not the enemy. We are. Break the cycle of dieting and replace it with loving yourself enough to make good choices about your diet. Examine your eating habits this week. Are you honoring your body with your food choices? ........Take steps towards defeating the natural compulsion or craving that might take you down a path of regretful eating. "
Am I making bad food choices because I don't love myself enough to make good ones? I will be the first to agree that I have self-esteem issues. How do I fix a self-esteem deficit anyway? One thing I do know, degrading myself because I made poor food choices in the past, will not fix my self-esteem issues. I find it amazing how I can be such a success in my professional and family life and yet find it so difficult to solve my eating issues. The real answer that I need to look for, is what to do with this knowledge I get from my journal? Those poor choices are in the past, I cannot undo them. We all agree we cannot go through life looking in our rear view mirrors. The path to healthy is in front of me. I have to use the information from my food journal to help me in the future. Learning is power and I am going to find some books to enlighten me on this subject!
P.S. I am off to my fill appointment today. Hopefully I will get some relief from not being hungry all the time!