If you've been following the Diet Challenge assignments, you have so far created a timeline associated with your weight losses/gains and diet milestones, a food associations and memories diary, and a family health tree.
The final assignment is to make 2 lists. One list should include all the foods you love and feel you can't live without. It should include foods you can't control, in terms of portion sizes or foods that typically make you binge. The other list should be all the healthy foods you can think of that you currently eat or would be willing to eat, or that you like, but eat too infrequently. The idea is to see (a) if there are any foods that appear on both lists (b) if there are certain foods that rule your life (c) if food reality on paper will motivate you to make some food swap outs that will benefit your health. The idea is not to swear off all foods that you might consider unhealthy treats (and remember treats can fall in the protein, carbohydrate and fat categories), but to be mindful when you eat them, taking note of how often you eat them and whether or not you have just one serving.
What is the point of these assignments? To bring you some food clarity. Your weight issues and food issues and diet issues are very personal and specific. You have your own personal history with food. You bring to your personal struggles the food habits and eating examples set by your parents and your food environment as a child, teen and adult. You've then created your own personal way of interacting with food. Your health will depend on the family health history you've inherited plus the risk factors and disease your food and lifestyle habits encourage or discourage. Whether or not you choose to be active and exercise also plays heavily into how your body handles daily calories, and it can be the difference between gaining weight steadily and maintaining weight stability. These assignments can help to de-mystify why you are gaining weight and they can also help to stop denial. Maybe you really didn't have a sense of how often you eat treats, how often you celebrate with food as the all-important central theme rather than the social aspect of an event; how at risk you are for lifestyle related diseases; how food issues really dominate your daily life.
You have the power to change - you have to decide how much you want change, what you are going to change, the pace of change and your goals. Use your charts and lists as guides and keep them around so you can remember why you want to change. Down the road you can create new charts and lists and reflect on your new information and the changes that have occurred. It will be quite empowering.
Published On: November 04, 2009