27 October 2012

Food Journaling

I want to talk about food journaling. I have a love/hate relationship with food journaling. I love the accountability factor of the whole thing. It's important to know exactly what you've eaten. Face it, most people who gain weight, serious weight, are in major denial about what they eat. I know I was. So the accountability factor is obvious and the part that I love. I just can not argue with what I wrote in black and white. But I hate doing it. I hate taking the time to remember to do it, many times I forget. I hate having to look up every single thing I eat. Mostly though, I hate getting sucked into the numbers and getting obsessive. And that is what I want to talk about.

I am a scientist. By definition that makes me not only nerdy and geeky, but detail oriented and obsessive about recording. Huh, maybe that's why I've had this blog for 8 years. I also have a competitive streak in me. Mostly I'm competitive with myself and I think that's even worse. Having done this time and time again, I have seen a pattern. I will start journaling and at first be all relaxed and casual about it. I will record what I eat and just keep track of my calories. Then I will have a really good day. The food will be perfect, I will feel energetic and thin, and all will be right with the world. So I will look at my journal and see what I ate that made me feel that way. Then I will repeat it. I will do that for a couple of days and things will go well. Then, as always happens, something will change. I will eat the same, or similar, things but I won't feel so awesome. I will then try to tweak things. I will try eating less or restricting something, or eliminating something completely. The next thing I know I'm feeling like total crap and throw everything out the window and have a binge. That is what I would like to avoid.

As I was typing the above paragraph I realized something. I feel good and then try to replicate it and end up chasing that feeling trying to get it again. Just like a junkie. The first time a junkie does a drug they usually get an unbelievable high. They feel so good and want to feel that way again. So they do the drug again. But no high is ever quite like the first high and they keep doing the drug and doing the drug, trying to get that feeling again. That's what I do. What a revelation. I'm trying to chase the "high" that eating right and taking care of myself gives me. Unfortunately, I think that feeling only happens in the beginning because once you get used to it, it becomes the norm and you are not going to feel that "high" again. It's going to become your normal.

Another part about being a scientist is that I have to understand. If I understand I can deal with just about anything. Now I understand my issues with food journaling, I think I can manage it. I want to journal my food because I think I'm eating more crap then I realize. A peanut butter cup here, a funnel cake there, it all adds up and I think it's adding up to more then I realize. So I want to start journaling again. Also, November 1st starts a paleo challenge at Crossfit and I would like to see where I am and what I need to work on for it.

So, I'm going to give it a try again. Now that I know what's going on in my head, I think I will be able to keep it together. I'm really going to try anyway.

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