There’s a simple, cheap, relatively easy tool to help with weight loss struggles. The slogan is, If you bite it, write it. Just keep track of what you eat, day by day. I really want to do this. I bought a small notebook just for that purpose. The notebook just turned two last week. It’s still a blank book.
Why is it so hard to write down the food and then record the calories? Almost every successful slimmer person has used this to keep track and to keep going after reaching their goal weight. Here I am, simply unable to make the first record in the book. Pitiful. The food journal below would be very helpful. Find it at Free Bee Mommy.
I’m thinking the reason I don’t do it is that the entries might look something like this:
Dear Diary, today I had oatmeal with blueberries, almond slices, and nonfat milk for breakfast. I managed to resist the whipped cream on top. For lunch, I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For a snack, I had a small apple and plain Greek yogurt. I went shopping and resisted driving through McDonald’s, Jack-in-the-Box, El Pollo Loco, and Tom’s #66. Rubio’s doesn’t have a drive-through. They do have lemon bars.
Calorie total before dinner: 1400 calories.
Dear Diary, I skipped breakfast and went to my writing group. They were out of oatmeal so I had to get a bagel with cream cheese. I felt extra hungry, probably due to walking from the far side of the parking lot. The brownies benefit a good cause. I cleaned the whole house so we are going out to dinner. The restaurant features farm to fork selections. Corn chowder, corn salsa, corn-fed chicken, German potato salad. Sparkling wine and to finish, a root beer float made with their own soda, gelato, and whipped cream with whiskey.
Calorie total: 2500 calories.
Dear Diary, I had my usual oatmeal for breakfast, apple and yogurt for lunch, and a salad for dinner with the book club. I had a frozen yogurt bar for a snack and after the book club meeting ended, went to the ale house and had a peanut butter chocolate bomb. I had a rough day, so I know I deserved it.
Calorie total: 2700 calories.
Dear Diary, one whole week of writing things down and I haven’t lost a pound! I’m so upset, I had donuts on the way home from the weight loss support group meeting. I’m putting this notebook in the trash and going back to the way I have always done dieting.
Calorie total: Who cares?
This may be an exaggeration, but some days feel just like this. Let’s look at some of the things that I actually know better than to give in to.
Why would a person with a weight problem have whipped cream in the house? Get rid of your weaknesses — peanut butter, ice cream, cookies, donuts, chips — and do not let them back in. They will try to jump into your shopping cart at the store, but don’t let them. Bring a support friend if you need to.
Fast Food should be called Fat Food. Almost none of the stores out there carry anything that is Farm to Fork. Everything is chopped, cooked, breaded, processed, and cooked again. Do. Not. Eat.
They didn’t have what I wanted. Always carry good protein bars, shake mix, or soup mix (coffee shops have hot water) so you aren’t caught unprepared. In a pinch, a glass of whole milk makes a great meal replacement substitute for Medifast program items. Plan ahead, know that not everyone is on your side in this and you will have to play hardball with your well-being.
Even Farm to Fork food can be high in calories. And when you add a rich dessert, you know you are in trouble.
I deserve it-itis. Poor baby, you couldn’t get the shoes you wanted in purple, so you had to have a dozen donuts to make up for the catastrophe. Don’t let yourself be this victim. So what if you had a hard day? Are you bleeding? Did you die? Did someone you love a lot die? If you answer no to all of these, skip the donuts and have a few cucumber slices with dill and yogurt dip.
The scale only gives you a number. It doesn’t know that you donate money regularly to animal shelters, that you excel in math and do taxes for college students. It also can’t show that you lost an amount of fat and replaced it with muscle. It’s a small device for showing your impact on gravity, and nothing else. Don’t lose sleep over it. Inches are more important, but again, just numbers. How do you feel?
Seriously, I am going to start writing down my calories and that means I have to measure things and that means I won’t have as much time for non-food prep tasks. But I will begin yet another serious attempt toward healthy weight which might let me live long enough to write half of my ideas into books or short stories. And that’s the bottom line.
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.