It’s broken and the only way to fix it is to ignore it. At least that’s how I feel about my diet. Well, not ignore the diet, per se, but to ignore the food journal. I found a wonderful journal at the big box bookstore on the clearance table. It beckoned me, softly whispering my name. And I gave in, bought it and it sat unused for a few weeks. My plan was to start on a Monday.
I finally pulled it out from under a stack of Tosca Reno books and began to use it for 3 weeks straight. You know what I figured out? I ate more when I had to write down my food. I got anxious over my caloric intake. I set my bar at 1700 and successfully overate.
Then I went to Bar Harbor last week for work. I also finally read my last 2 issues of Self, including the Drop 10 articles. And it must have been the cold weather, the deer roaming the streets or the fresh air, but it kinda clicked... I’m eating too many meals and eating too early. Since moving to the West Coast, my new job starts at 630am. Man, that’s freaking early for me. Although I try to remind myself that it’s 7am Central time, the fact remains that I’m up at 5am. So I’ve been eating breakfast as soon as I get in the office (or between 630 and 700am). While keeping the journal, I actually made notes on some of my entries that I would eat around 130 or 200p out of boredom (duh) and then and found myself ravenous at 4 or 5pm and snack on crap at home (usually chips), go workout and come home to dinner without monitoring how much was going on my plate. My weight went up to 171.8 lbs. For those counting, that’s an 8.4 lb gain since moving to California Feb. 28.
Um, that’s all kinda ass backwards.
So I tossed the journal in my backpack and haven’t picked it up since. I looked at the meal plans in Self and noticed the recommendation was for 1 snack. I’ve been having 3 (yup – 3 snacks). So I’m cutting back to 1 snack. I’m also not eating breakfast until 745-815am. For the past few days that seems to be working because I’m not trying to eat the fridge door when I get home. I also remembered the best advice from the Eat Clean books – each meal should include a complex carb AND a protein. I’ve been slacking on my protein at breakfast and only eating oatmeal. This week, a boiled egg sits alongside my Best Oats (these are so darn yummy for instant oatmeal) in the morning. The last tweak I’ve made is ditched the flavored creamer in my coffee. I know - another duh! But I thought “hey, I’m not using THAT much creamer”. Well, not only does each calorie counts but it’s the TYPE of calories that matter. So soy milk is not taking place of the creamer.
I probably will use the journal to track my fitness (maybe), but as for the food diary – that just doesn’t work for me. I will not obsess over the amount of calories I eat, but I will be more mindful of what goes on my plate and in my mouth.
So as of today, the scale is down to 167.8. I’m not thrilled with that, but I am happy to see it going back in the right direction.
I still have not found a good substitute for chips and other salty snacks.
What small changes have you made to get you back on track?