Memorial Day weekend came and went with a bang. After being so sick all last week, I was ready to have a great time in North Carolina with Billy and my future in-laws. I was still a bit sniffly when we arrived but nothing could stop me from enjoying the activities. We spent Saturday lounging around the house and commenced the day with a cook-out honoring Billy's sister Hanna's birthday. Sunday, we went to church and after the service, met with the family pastor to start working out the details of our wedding ceremony. Sunday evening, we went to yet another cookout and Monday we headed home after a nice day of shopping with the girls.
I wish I could say I spent my weekend eating healthy versions of holiday food, but I did indulge in the real things...hot dogs, ice cream cake, you name it. Hey, at least I walked my dog a few times in the sweltering Carolina heat. When we returned home (and saw that I had gained about three pounds) I decided it was time to start up a food journal again, something that really helped me when I lost thirty pounds two years ago. It's amazing how much you can cut back once you physically look back and see what you are eating all day. The key is though, writing down everything you eat. And I do mean everything. During my first real attempt at weight loss, the food journaling was fairly easy because I worked a "normal" 9 to 5 job. When you have the typical schedule it's not so hard to eat real meals and snack every few hours. Plus, I used to take my dog to work so we would always walk during my lunch break. Sitting at my desk, I had no excuse not to jot down every morsel of food I put in my mouth. Plus, I always planned my meals the night before each workday since I knew that I couldn't afford to go out to eat all the time. My, how life has changed.
I currently work as a deli manager and cook at an organic market. I arrive very early and get straight to the tasks at hand. The only time I sit is during my rare bathroom breaks, and I am usually so slammed throughout my shift that eating a normal meal is almost unheard of. I am now your classic "picker". I pick at whatever I am cooking. I taste my soups to make sure they will be fantastic for my customers. I almost never get time for an actual meal, and when I do, I often don't feel like preparing it. And instead of walking my doggie on a break, my exercise comes from running up and down the stairs to fetch produce, or hopping on and off the little stool I use to tower above my prep counter. By the time I get off work and home from the gym, I am so tired it's all I can do to make a meal for my mother and I. As I've discussed in previous posts, having her around motivates me to eat at night, but there have been many nights when just the thought of more food makes me want to gag. I liken it to an accountant coming home at the end of a long day and doing her husband's taxes. Boo. And as for planning meals for the next day, well, why bother? I cook food for a living, so what's the point in spending my precious minutes preparing food for a Tupperware container when I have everything I need at my fingertips during the workday? Now, if I could only make a point to actually take advantage of this awesome privilege more often! This is where I hope the food journal will come in handy.
Journaling forces me to think about what I eat more deeply, and it gives me a sense of accountability for my choices. It will also help me to see how the foods I eat affect my weight, mood, and general well-being since I also like to take note of those things. It's also easier to avoid (or seek out) certain foods once you start recognizing the patterns that they might cause. So I picked out a nice purple journal and wrote some of my favorite words on the cover for motivation. It says, "Food, Love, Healing, Nutrition, and Health". I started writing in it on Tuesday and included everything I ate plus how I felt and what I did for exercise. I will also keep track of my weight as well as fatigue levels and anything else I find interesting. I know that it will be difficult to stay focused on this in light of my hectic schedule, but I hope that by doing this, I will regain some control in an otherwise chaotic world of food and choices.
Published On: June 08, 2010