The food diary- Friend or Foe?

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To overindulge on good food can be one of life’s pleasures. After all, Websters defines “indulge” as to satisfy, to give way to ones own desires.
So how can that be wrong?

When our overindulgences are written clearly for all to see in a food diary, or perhaps a chart on the refrigerator, our  glutoneous habits become all too clear. If one were to drop dead on the kitchen floor, and the police arrive and stumble upon the friendly food diary, the list would speak for itself: 27 cookies, 68 grapes, 19 pretzels………

“But they were the SMALL cookies”, they’d  hear the voice from the grave, screaming “The little ones. And I had a really  Bad day”!

and food diaries have no pages for excuses.

I was never one to think that the simple act of  truthfully writing what I ate would bring upon such a lifestyle change. A pen, a paper and a whole new lifestyle. Cool.

Cracking eggs for an omelette, as I reached for egg #3, my hand paused, mid air, and I realized I would have to write 3 eggs. I opted for the 2 and had a wonderful breakfast nonetheless.

If you can  be brutally honest, you can change long engrained habits. Even a healthy food like a tomotoe , a pickle  or green bean looks ludicrously  like a suspect when listed as 4 tomatoes, 3 pickels or 62 green beans.

Real food, eaten by real people who may be 5 or 25 or 45 pounds overweight  does not look like the food you see in cooking magazines or even on cook shows, That gorgeous little sliver of meat, 2 new potatoes garnished  with 1/2 teaspoon parsley and 5 julienned carrots is hardly a meal for those of us used to heaping platters and overflowing bowls. Perhaps a fine medium would be beneficial to the general population.

Writing your food consumption  can be hard.  You need to carry a little book wherever you go. You need to know that if you stop at Starbucks, you have to write each and every calorie of that latte. Your new catchphrase will be “no thank you”. More coffee? No thank you. More ice cream ? No thank you. some cake? No thank you” I’d rather write down that I had a small salad and be proud of myself as my head hits the pillow at night, only to be awakened by a loud growling sound from my mid-section. 

When you add those calories in your food diary, the first few days or weeks may be very depressing. You will most likely reach your projected calorie consumption by 9:30 am.
and of course, you will be starving by 10:30. Oh,my what a life!

My suggestion is to go right ahead and buy that little dress, or pair of size 6 jeans, or whatever it is that is a concrete goal for you.  Try it on daily. Oh sure, the first weeks, you may only be able to get a fist in it, but eventually it may just glide right on.

ANd scales? I know we’ve all heard to throw away the scale, but not me. I’d rather hop on it 25 times a day, if it keeps me from overindulging. If the number drops, I don’t  dare mess with this fantastic downward spiral of amazingness, as I may throw the whole thing out of whack if I eat a morsal more. And if the number is up, well, then I can  hardly head to the kitchen , feeling like a tub of butter. Rather, I can indulge my other senses:a great book, some fantastic  blasting loud music to dance too, a scented candle and a bath…..

Back to the food diary, it’s also a gentle reminder to write down your mood with your food as so many of us are mood eaters.When you consistently see the words “sad  or stressed” on the pages where you ate 55 crackers, you will see the pattern. ANd though you may have known it in your mind already, the proff is now on the paper for all the see.

If you choose to create your diary on a paper hung on the refrigorator, be prepared. If an girlfriend is over and casually goes to help herself to a drink and reads “14 fish sticks”, you may decide that eating a bit more “dainty” portions does suit you after all.

So grab the pen,get some paper and hop on that scale with a confidence that in a few short weeks, you will see some small but amazing changes. Buy the jeans,  the bathing suit, the belt and do what it takes to make your body into that vision you hold in your head of a healthy strong perfect sized body.

 And then BURN that diary!!


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