Food (B)log

A few days ago I commented on Facebook that “better habits are built one choice at a time.”  Though this could have applied to any number of habits and choices in my life I was mainly talking about my relationship with food.

I have always been – how do I put it? – a large-ish person.  Not really large since, when it comes to shopping for clothes I fall at the upper range of what are “regular” sizes and the lower end of “big and tall.”  I am, you might say, at that awkward, in-between stage.  It tells you something about where we are as a society, genetics aside, when at nearly 300 pounds I fall at the lower end of “big and tall.”

Anyway, since I can remember, food has been a major player in my life.  Not just eating, of course; almost everyone does that (and if they don’t, unfortunately, they don’t live long enough to write blog posts about it).  I enjoy food – the colors, textures, aromas, and, of course, flavors.  I mean, really enjoy it.  Food is, and has been, a source of nourishment, naturally, but also a source of comfort and a distraction from other things.  All in all, not a very healthy relationship at all.  What’s worse is that I cook and I’m pretty good at it, so I end up spending more time with food.  But it’s not just that.  When I’m stressed, bored, or tired, I eat.  And it doesn’t seem to matter much what it is, I find something.

Over the last few years I have, from time to time, kept a food log.  I have also, at various times, kept closer track of how many calories I eat.  My doctor has convinced me that, aside from eating healthier foods, it’s all about “calories in , calories out.”  When I keep track of them, my calories in aren’t bad.  But that’s the problem, “when I keep track of them,” because it usually isn’t more than a few days before my level of fatigue, stress, etc., reach the point where I just don’t care and anything that doesn’t move (and even some things that do) better watch out.

For the last couple of weeks I have been trying to make more mindful choices about what I eat, when, why, and how much, and write it down in the little notebook I usually keep close by.  It’s up and down, and day to day, but at early middle age I have only a limited time (well, all of our time is limited, isn’t it?) to make a difference.  I was down five pounds at my most recent office visit; making better choices, one at a time, hopefully, will continue to make a difference.

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2 thoughts on “Food (B)log

  1. Good for you for deciding to make it a priority. Whenever I have tried to keep a log of what I eat, I have tended to (A) not keep it up for very long, and/or (B) write down a lot of lies about what I consume. Statistically, keeping a food log/journal is one of the top predictors of successful and sustained weight loss. The other big predictor is regular exercise. My problem is that I can, at best, do 2 out of 3 things even moderately effectively: I can eat better and exercise, or I can exercise and keep a food log (in which I record imaginary food intake). I have, for brief periods, managed to make better food choices AND keep a mostly-truthful food journal, but then exercise generally goes by the wayside. I’d like to say that it’s my ADD that keeps me from being able to do all three at once (and well), but I suspect it’s that I am conflicted about the whole thing on some level. Oy, I should probably discuss this (more) with my therapist. 😛 Anyway, I wish you well with your new commitment to mindful eating, and hope you’ll continue to share your thoughts along the way!

  2. Keeping the food log during the week isn’t too bad. Since I’m not home as much I find it often easier to deal with “portion control” issues. Weekends are another story, though. As I said, it’s definitely “one choice at a time.” Overall, better choices, but I’m not giving up on my love of good things to eat and drink.

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