Isn’t it easier, sometimes, just to forget what you’ve been doing when it comes to your diet and habits and instead just say that “Starting Monday” we’re going to magically be amazingly healthy? How is that working out for you? When we do that we end up side-lining our efforts quickly. Instead, let’s get real with ourselves and figure out what is going on.
It was so hard to keep a food log, at first. It felt like some sort of deep dark shame, as if I was revealing to the world what I was shoveling into my mouth. But, that is ridiculous, because I was literally the only soul looking at my food log. Now, starting a food log is the first thing I encourage women to do besides drinking water, getting quality sleep, and weighing themselves daily. And, just like me, they have a very difficult time getting started. There is a lot of push back such as not having the time or not being able to remember. But, when I dig deep and ask questions I find that they really don’t want to do is have a record of making choices they wished they hadn’t.
I get it. That was me. However, I have to say, that when I wrote it down it only took a couple weeks to see that I was very wrong about what needed to change. It turned out that my meals were pretty healthy and my portion sizes were fine. What really undermined my health was this late afternoon habit of stress eating junk. Then, sometimes, I continued the practice after dinner. After looking at my honest food log, I realized that targeting those two times of the day would be the biggest game changer. If I could figure out how to handle stress during the late afternoon and evening without turning to food, then weight loss would be easier and permanent.
In John 8:32 Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” A food log is supposed to set you free. It will set you free from the lies you hear in your head telling you that you’re lazy, should be ashamed, and can never reach your goal. Instead it takes what is happening in your diet and brings it into the light where you can face it and do something about it.
I believed all the lies: That I was unhealthy, had no will power, and that my diet choices were a train wreck. It was so nice to realize that on the whole, I ate very healthy meals with great portions. There was simply a habit of self-soothing with unhelpful snacks that was keeping me back from my goals. It also meant that the real problem couldn’t be solved by just changing my diet.
When you keep a food log, you can also start asking for specific healing. We can approach Jesus, the Healer, and instead of simply asking to “get better” we can ask for strength at 4:30 when the kids get home from school or for direction and peace when you have a disagreement with a close friend, identifying the real problem, bringing it into the light,
Keeping a food journal is incredibly easy. You don’t need any fancy tools and in fact, the simpler the better. Using a calorie counting app or macro nutrient tracking software might distract and add extra worry or shame. I have found that when starting out, the best thing to use is a simple notepad or a notes app on your phone. Then, you write down what you ate and when you ate it. After a couple weeks, you can review the information and notice any trends.
After keeping a journal for a couple weeks, where do you notice yourself over-eating or eating when you are not hungry? What kinds of food do you see you eating too much of or too often. What do these situations and foods tell you about habits you have in place? What would you like to change?
Courage, my sweet sister. You can learn so much from where you have been and where you are now. In the weight loss membership, this is the monthly challenge we are doing together. It is a basic but priceless tactic. Hope it helps. Love you! Talk to you next week.
by Lora Armendariz
You Can Do It!
Do you want to fall out of love with a destructive habit? The first 42 episodes of this podcast are a resource for anyone who wants encouragement and information as they take a six week break from a habit in order to fall out of love with it.