The dreaded food journal can be your best friend and accountability partner when it comes to implementing a healthy nutrition program. I have heard it all when it comes to fitness and food journals and the love/hate relationship that keeping track of food intake can cause. The problem is really not the food journal, but it is the issue of not being honest with ourselves. When life is going great and our program is on track, we gladly write down every healthy morsel placed in our face with a smile and will even share the exciting events that are producing the positive results.
On the other side of that coin is the need to hide or even toss our journals to the curb as temptations to go “off plan” creep into the program. It is almost as if we convince ourselves that being unhealthy is not happening if it is not written down in the journal. Believe me, you can run but your body will not hide the consequences of unhealthy choices. The fact is the food journal wants to know all the dirty little secrets whirling around in our heads: our thoughts, if we are having triggers, cycle approaching, crappy day, or anything else that may send us into an unhealthy eating pattern. Often times using the food journal as an emotional outlet helps to resolve behaviors that may occur, and allows us to get back on track sooner than later.
Giving our food journal the stink eye for poor food choices is not where that stare should be placed. Living a healthy lifestyle is a personal choice and responsibility that we all need to realize. If our fitness programs are off track that is on each of us and we need to own the consequences of those choices. Keeping secrets from our food journal does nothing to help in a positive way, and in fact will prevent us from reaching the goals of a healthy body.
We can come up with all kinds of reasons to not journal our food intake: pain in the ass, waste of time, it’s not working, controls me too much, refuse to feel micromanaged, and the list goes on. The food journal needs to stop getting the bad rap for our poor food choices, and the fact that it is not working is about the dishonesty that is occurring when we cheat on the journals. Studies have shown weight loss success and overall health improvement when food and fitness journals are in place. It is our unwillingness to take our health seriously that prevents us from reaching our goals. When we cheat on the food journal we only cheat ourselves and it is true “what we eat in private, we wear in public”. Also, we are walking bill boards of the type of life we live, healthy or unhealthy.
We have the choice to view the food journal as friend or foe, and that choice will determine how serious we want to reach our goals and live a healthy life. If we view the food journal as a friend that will always be there and never let us down, the success rate of weight loss and overall health improvement would increase by a great margin. I believe it is time to do what we can to be accountable to a healthy lifestyle and although it may be difficult to see the real stuff behind our choices when we journal, it is necessary to make the changes that will get us going in a healthy direction. Friends should be able to offer constructive criticism and have it be accepted in a positive way without defensiveness. The food journal is there to do that very thing: show you what has gone wrong, where you can improve, and ultimately help you make better choices for living a healthy lifestyle.
|Heather Agnew Photography|
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