Sunday, April 18, 2010

Journaling My Way to Thin...

This past week at Weight Watchers, we talked about tracking our food intake again. We all know the importance of tracking what we eat, right? We all know that if you journal what you eat, you're more likely to lose weight.

So why don't we?

I know I don't.

I have been doing this for so long that I just know the points value for the different foods I eat. Or if I don't know, I have a pretty good idea. So I just calculate it all in my head as the day progresses. Mission accomplished, right?

Well... I'm not so sure.

I've been thinking about this all weekend and I think there's a difference between knowing what you are eating and seeing it. I have my food journal sitting on the desk in front of me as I type this blog. It's been there for months. I still haven't written anything in it. And why not? I've got it all figured out in my head.

But I think there's got to be something to actually seeing the food written down in my journal. It becomes a permanent record of what I've eaten at that point. It has become proof of exactly what I've eaten--good or bad. From day to day, this might not be that big of a deal, but give it a couple of weeks or a couple of months when that day comes that I gain for no apparent reason, then the written proof of what I've eaten should come in handy. Or when the gain turns into a series of gains or a series of break-evens. Then the months of writing down what I've eaten will come in handy.

But it has to be thorough. I have to write down exactly--exactly--what I've eaten and exactly how much of it I ate, no matter what. Along with writing down my food consumption I need to start writing down my daily events. Like, today I had a carefree day of an early rise with hubby, to breakfast at our favorite spot, to a movie, to lunch with the in-laws, to a trip to the book store (wait til you find out what I bought!), to a relaxing evening of blogging and watching TV (and hopefully a half hour on the treadmill).

I think it matters what has happened during the day as much as the food that was consumed. Because at the end of the week, if I end up gaining or losing, I can look back and see my stress levels from day to day and know for certain exactly why I gained or loss.

Most times, it's not what we ate, but what we've been through that particular day or week or month. After all, we know how our bodies react to emotions, we can retain water, get knots of stress in our neck muscles, feel fatigue in our legs, etc. All these things effect our weight as well.

So I'm challenging myself--and you-- to journal EVERYTHING this week. Write down, not only what you eat, but exactly how much of it you ate, even if it was WAY too much. And also write down a small synopsis of each day's events. I want to see if this will make a difference in my weight loss and yours. I think it will.

So what do you say, are you with me??

If so, leave me a comment so I can check in with you throughout the week to see how its going. And please feel free to check in with me. We can keep each other accountable in our tracking and journalling. And I'd be interested to see how it helped.

Now, I just have to dust off my journal and start journaling in it again. :]



dynagrrl said...

Hi Cara,

I am a total tracker. I do the tracking on-line, and some days, I shake my head at the number of points I ate, but I am proud that I just keep tracking! I hit my goal weight this way and I don't want to go back! So I am with you! Track all week!!!!

Dutch said...

I was tracking every day for 3 months and then the last 2 weeks I haven't been feeling well and I stopped tracking. I went to my meeting on Friday & we talked about tracking. I did do it Friday and today. I really love the 3 month tracker and I think I need to get another one. I know not feeling well is not a good excuse but that is just how it has been for me lately.

--cara said...

Wow, dynagrrl, first of all, great job on tracking to consistently! And 2nd of all, CONGRATULATIONS for hitting goal!! I'm hoping to be as dedicated to tracking as you have been.

And, Dutch, that has happened to me so many times. I start off great and then quit for some lame reason and then never do it again. I'm hoping I can start journaling for the last time. :]

Janna said...

I'm in! I was going to blog about that very same thing tomorrow :)

GOOD LUCK! We can do it!

spunkysuzi said...

I have to admit that journaling keeps me accountable. It's also easier to see if i'm eating too many simple carbs or not enough veggies!
So i'm definitely with you on journaling this week :)

Physicallee Fit said...

I don't have the patience to track points or calories, but I really like being accountable to my blog to "journal" my food. It makes it easier.

Blue~ said...

I am not one who can eyeball food...I dont trust my eyes. They lie to me. The say that I cut 50grs of cheese, when in reality I cut 150...sigh.

I cant track after the event either, what point knowing after I ate too many calories - that I did it. I prefer to 'plan ahead' and run a day's menu through my tracker first thing - or the night before. Sure it prevents spontaneity, but thats no bad thing - being spontaneous around food is what got me where I am. I have planned my food every day since Jan - and now have a great resource to dip into - takes me no time to do these days.

I also journal on here everyday - and sometimes I read back and think - wow you sound so altogether, and other days I think - you sound really down in the dumps/anxious/up yourself..too often I think that lol...but it is a good record of what was going on at the time.


Donna said...

I have lost 55 lbs in the last year and a half and I had to laugh when i read your post. I would love to lose 5 more lbs and yet everyday I tell myself I am going to be on the straight and narrow and write everything down. And of course you know what happens, I dont and then the next day I start again. I am starting today!

MaryFran said...

I'm in!! I usually track my food, but I don't track my feelings and activities. It really does make sense that we should!!!!!!!

--cara said...

Ok, so I journaled my food today. Did you?

I didn't do it til the end of the day and I was finding it hard to remember everything. I must stick the journal in my purse so I can jot down as the day goes on.

Mad Woman said...

I'm in! This was a component of my challenge that I started last week and so far so good. Like you said, I can look back over my week and see what the triggers were for eating badly, or where i managed to do well. It works, it really works!

Karyn said...

I so agree that actually writing things down makes a huge difference! I, too, can keep track in my head but for some reason, it is not as effective as seeing it in 'print'.

I think it is a good idea to also track what was going on that day. I sometimes keep track of the number of hours I sleep, but I've not written down what may be stressors.

I've been writing things down again for about 2 weeks.