I have always had a love-hate relationship with food journals.
I love them when I’m eating well and hate them when I ‘go off plan’.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve kept an accurate food journal until I eat something ‘unhealthy’ and then decide to stop journaling. I then proceed to tell myself something like this:
- Food journaling is crazy
- I don’t want to micromanage everything I eat
- This doesn’t work for me
- There’s got to be an easier way to do this
- I don’t think this is really effective
And so it goes…
The problem is never really the food journal.
I would pretend the problem was the food journal but really it was my unwillingness to be honest with myself. The food journal wanted to shove the truth in my face. I didn’t want to look, so I didn’t like the food journal.
Or so I thought…
We can’t change something that we won’t accept or acknowledge and in many ways I didn’t really want to know what I was doing when I was eating ‘bad’.
I was so busy judging myself for eating ‘ off plan’ that I would never actually take the time to step back and observe my behaviors around food with kindness and curiosity, interested in what they were really about and how I might be able to change them.
The truth is that keeping a food journal when you are sticking to the plan is great BUT you have the best opportunity to learn about yourself and why you do what you do when you are ‘blowing your diet”.
As I work towards my strongest, healthiest, leanest, self in 2013 I have recommitted to my food journal. I have made a deal with myself that no matter what I eat, the good, the bad and the ugly, I will write it all down and use it as a tool to know myself on a deeper more intimate level.
I’m a work in progress. Keeping this journal shows me that I can often be very judgmental and super critical of myself. It also reminds me that I like to use food when I’m tired, stressed, or anxious.
These are all good things to know. They show me where I have work to do and are helpful tools that will help me move towards my best self.
Do you keep a food journal? Why or why not? What has been your experience with food journaling?