Eat, Drink, Write, Think
May 02, 2014
This is a really something of a ‘reminder’ blog... a gentle nudge in the direction of your Weight Loss Journal.
I know that most of my fellow WLR-ers log their food and exercise on a daily basis in order to stay on track. The calories consumed and the calories “cleared” by exercise. They are great tools and really do make you thing about how much you eat and how much you move.
But I do wonder how many of us actually fill in our daily journal. I have a book beside my bed and I write in it every day. It is properly documents my day from a “headspace” perspective.
I write down my thoughts and feelings about how the past twenty-four hours have unfolded. I write about the things that made me laugh or cry; I vent my frustrations about difficult situations (from the “day job” to being stuck in traffic on my way to an evening poetry show). It records my highs and lows, and for me it’s invaluable as I make my way along the weight-loss route.
I’ve discovered connections between my state of mind and the state of my WLR day. Reading it alongside my food and exercise logs I can see when patterns emerge; I can see direct connections with comfort eating and drinking. The other thing that I’ve realised is that it makes me focus on my “reactions” to situations. I’m now at the stage where as I’m writing about what my day has held for me, I’m consciously seeing words and phrases that I know, in terms of my feelings and emotions and “headspace” generally have, in the past, been the triggers for eating a litre of ice-cream; an entire packet of ginger nuts; or a family bag of my favourite nachos (with accompanying full tub of dips). It’s made me far more conscious of how my mood can affect how successful my WLR day has been.
Looking back through the journal and diaries I get a complete picture my day which provides a detailed account of everything concerned with my ‘eating, drinking and thinking’. It really was a surprise to see just how easily my “comfort eating” tendencies could be triggered.
But now it is well and truly on my radar and so it’s no longer happening on a “subconscious level”. I’m aware of it and can make a very conscious effort to avoid my past default setting of reaching for food or wine to console me after a terrible day.
Another great tip is, when something is troubling you, (be it WLR issues, personal issues, the daily grind of 9 to 5), write it down. Just grab a pen or your keyboard and just let the words “spew forth”. Then park it. Leave it. Let it be... until you’re ready to review the situation. It could be two hours later; two days later; two weeks later - just whenever you’re ready to re-read it.
You’ll be amazed. Writing things down releases the “pressure cooker” of emotions that we experience with something “that matters” - but then in the middle of something “that matters” we lose focus and clarity. By writing it down and then reviewing it you become the “third person”. It’s as if you’re reading something written by somebody else... and because of that you remove the emotion and can be detached and analytical about the words in front of you.
Think of it like a friend coming to you with a problem. When it’s a “third party” you can be impartial; you can “weigh up the evidence” and view it with a balanced eye.
That’s why the journal here on WLR is so important. Not only does it document your “physical” WLR journey, it also records your emotional and intellectual journey; it allows you to “vent” all the joys, woes, frustrations and successes at a specific point in time; it allows you to record your journey; and it allows you to revisit the daily steps of your journey and view them through “clear eyes”.
If you do nothing else today – resolve to fill in your journal... with anything and everything that comes into your head; the good, the bad, the ugly... include everything. It’s a great record of your life and it’s somewhere to revisit when you’re having a fantastic day or a bad day, and just to want some way to clarify your thoughts. You may well be amazed at the power of your thoughts and your words. Your journal really is an incredible tool which can help you pick yourself after “bad” days. It can give you a reason for a big gold star on “good days” and might give you an insight in the feelings and any fears or frustrations which sometimes accompany us on our WLR journey.
Have a FANTASTIC DAY!
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