Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Observation and Confessions

I always feel like the best thing we can do for ourselves is be honest. Somethings we really don't want to tell the world. In fact, many wouldn't ever tell you that I swept for the first since returning home from India. Yes that was over three months ago. (Sorry Mom. I know you raised me better... I do.). But that is the truth y'all. I swept AND mopped for the first time in 3 months this past week. It felt good. And now, everyone can feel better about themselves. You're welcome.

This is what my mother is doing right now. 
I just had to add this one. Because: Penguins.
But this isn't really what I want to talk about. I just wanted to break the ice. Show you how very human I am. What I wanted to talk about was my current journey. We are all on one. Most days I feel like mine is a journey between the loony bin and my bed (I love my bed.) But really, I am just trying to live my best life.

I've talked about how food and I have a long and complicated relationship. Our relationship is more drama filled than most soap operas. And I've really had this weird bungee jumper like attitude about food. I just stand on the precipice with my heart in my throat, and curse words running on a loop in my head trying to figure out how to jump. How do I take the plunge and just leave all the garbage behind?! And then I get so confused and scared that I ignore it. Take off my helmet, sit down a good five feet from the edge and indulge in a bag of marshmallows.

I decided that enough was enough. That I wasn't going to try and change anything, but simply observe. I read that the most effective health and weight-loss tool ever is a food journal. I decided I wanted to take my food journal to the next step. So, I am recording when I eat, what I eat, why I ate and how I felt before and/or after I ate (both emotionally and physically.)

There is no judgement involved. Last night, when feeling and recognizing all these emotions involved with food felt raw and open and overwhelming, I self-sabotaged. I didn't go to the gym like planned. I ate marshmallows and potato chips and pie. (Curse you delicious pie!). But I didn't judge. I just wrote it all out. How I felt when I went scrounging for junk food. How I felt afterwards.

And this morning, when I had oatmeal for breakfast and an orange and hot tea for a snack I wrote down those emotions too. When I am just observing there is no way to "fall off the bandwagon." I'm actually sitting comfortably in my bean bag watching all the bandwagons file by.

I don't have a lot of conclusions quite yet. I am noticing that I feel "good" or "bad" when I eat certain foods. I felt like I was "being good" when I had an orange as a snack. I felt like I was "being bad" or "breaking the rules" when I ate marshmallows. And this is something I want to break I don't want anything like my self-worth or ability to "be good" attached to food. I am both good and bad. I am human. I am imperfect and messy and trying my hardest. Food is just that: food.

For the first time I am not trying to change my eating habits to "be good". I am trying to give myself grace and love and the ability to process my emotions. I think that as I find and work through all the negativity that surrounds food that my eating habits will correct themselves.

I am sharing this because I know I'm not the only one who struggles. I know I'm not the only one looking for a way out of the food guilt and frustration. Keeping this food journal is actually easy. I have a little book and pen with me all the time. I use one word if possible to describe my emotions. So it looks something like this:

When - 10:30 am
What - hot tea
Why - feeling cold and low
Felt - warm, like I was "being good"

See, short and sweet and to the point. Some are even shorter than that! Sometimes I eat because I'm simply hungry. And after I eat I feel: full. No emotions were involved. Other times, I've ended up with a paragraph trying to figure out why I ate what I did in the first place. But it rarely takes longer than 1 minute. The most it has taken is 5 minutes.

I don't know how long I will keep this up. I don't know what the true and lasting repercussions are. I just know that I am giving myself permission to just be. And I'll sit back and observe. And maybe at the end of all this I will have let go of a lot of unneeded stuff.

Anyone is welcome to join me! Its easy. And you can keep it to yourself. On top of simply observing my eating habits I have one health goal, and only one, and that is to run 2 full miles without stopping by Christmas. Cause I want too, dagnabit! I've done it before and I shall do it again!

So tell me, what goals do you have for yourself? Does a food journal sounds like something that could be helpful to you?  I want to hear what you have to say!

1 comment:

  1. Keeping a food journal actually sounds like such an amazing idea. I know I definitely have those guilty moments after eating junk food. They happen A LOT. And I need to be healthier. Lately I've been eating so much my tummy's been growing a little food baby, and I need to get rid of it again. Ugh. Life is so hard. Maybe a food journal would help to a solution.

    The Life of Little Me