Thursday, April 7, 2011

Food Journaling...the "bad" days

Opinions are like....what? How does that phrase go? Anyway, everyone has an opinion about food journaling and I have to be honest and say that my opinion has changed over the last few years. Do I think food journaling is a good idea? Yep. But for reasons different than I used to.

I had kept a consistent food journal for years. It never gave me grief, as it was simply a gathering of data. In addition to food intake I would also journal my daily bodyweight, bodyfat %, and any exercise I did that day. Interestingly, once I stopped I gained weight....around 20lbs! That's quite a bit of bodyweight. Did I gain weight because I stopped journaling, or did I stop journaling because I gained weight? Hmmnn.....

I suspect the latter.

No one wants to journal the "bad" days! Easy to journal the "good" days, but somehow even though no one is looking, or cares, we leave out, or get lazy, when it comes to writing down what we would rather forget. Funny thing is that for some crazy reason we think that if we don't give any attention to it it never didn't "count".

I have been food journaling, again, for the last few months and the only time I don't is when I've been traveling....that's a different blogpost, lol! But, my point is, I have been logging the data, "good", or "bad" for months, and even now, knowing what I know, I still find it hard to follow through my journaling on "bad" days.

This is what I know. Food journaling is NOT about judgement, nor is food journaling about accountability. If you find yourself judging, or policing yourself, then it will not serve you in a positive way.

Food journaling has great value if you can divorce yourself from the judgement. "It is what it is". Another phrase that is overused, but let me offer something different. "It is what it is, until it isn't". Reality changes. Speaking of divorce. You aren't "married" to eating too much, you aren't "married" to being or staying overweight. You can change it anytime, at any moment.

Journaling the "bad" days are important for change....not that you don't already know you're eating too much food. I knew I was eating too much food to lose weight because I wasn't losing weight! That's the first clue! No matter what shoulda. coulda woulda, if you aren't losing weight then you are eating too many calories. (or you have a medical condition way beyond my diagnosis)

Food journaling is important if you are perplexed as to the reason why you are trying, but not losing weight, if that's your goal. Figuring out what is keeping you, or making you, weigh more than you say you want to starts with an accurate look at you daily caloric intake.

You are not just calories. You are not just your bodyweight. You are so much more, but take responsibility for your starting point. It's just a starting point. Input and output....simply put! If you take in more calories than your body needs it is stored in the form of excess...fat. Now I didn't need to tell you that, did I?

I know how to maintain my current bodyweight of around 140lbs. I train alot, I eat alot. I know how to lose weight, train less, eat less. Hmmnn.... I don't want to do either....right now....until I do! I'm not "married" to this decision, and I can change my mind any day of the week. I'll let you know if I do. In the mean time, lucky me!

I thought I would share with you some of my "BAD DAYS"


7:15 Bikram yog

coffee/cream 175
almonds 60
dried cherry tomatoes 140
sm cabbage salad w/tuna and brown rice 350
apple 100
avocado smoothie 500
tomato soup, brown rice and lamb 450
raisins 300 (I may have eaten more, but I didn't measure and I think I may be wishing it was this amount and no more, lol)
mag and C 40



extra coffee w/cream 250
raisins 150
lentils 150
celery / pnb / raisins 400
cheese 300
almonds 150
wine 600

9:00pm for some reason (it must've been the wine, lol), I decided to make a big pot of oatmeal w/brown sugar, yogurt, raisins and....Wheaties! Seriuosly! Wheaties? (I stole them from my son Gabe. I never buy cereal) 700-900 calories!



9:30am bikram yoga

extra coffee w/cream 250
lg apple 120
butternut, cottage cheese, spinach smoothie 400
almonds misc. 100
lentils / raisins 300
chicken liver pate/crackers 400
grapes 160
califlower soup w/chicken 400 (extra large soup)
2 suckers 160


And these are NOT my "cheat days"...these are miscellaneous weekdays! I like to keep my calories under 2000 during the week. I don't journal my day off, which is Saturday, because it I'm not on a weightloss diet right now. I'll write another blogpost about the "day off" another time.

Today I when I went to yoga, the receptionist complimented me on my muscularity....I was wearing long sleeves! I said "Can you tell that I have muscle? And then I told her that it was a huge compliment considering where I came from. I told her that my husband and I owned the Kettlebell studio on the corner and she told me how she had read my story in the front window. She was thrilled to meet the woman in the magazine article she had read while passing by!


Diana said...

I should keep a food journal, I haven't really done that throughout all my journey.....
having to pay attention to the times I think "I have to...." and "I can't...." even though these statements aren't literally true, they are, in my mind, inescapable stress. I, unfortunately, at times allow my social system to keep me trapped in things I know I don't want to be trapped in....

Tracy Reifkind said...


not sure about what you mean

"I, unfortunately, at times allow my social system to keep me trapped in things I know I don't want to be trapped in...."

I think the only thing I'm suggesting is to not take it too seriously. If you don't know where you are starting from then how can you map out where you are going?

A food journal is just the road map to your help you be your best...or not!