I can’t thank you guys enough for the amazing emails and comments you wrote me in response to my blog a couple of weeks ago about 5 Ways to Lose Weight Naturally and Truly Love yourself. The more I go on in life I really believe that one of my callings is to share with others my journey of giving up dieting, finally loving myself, and finding my natural weight.
Honestly…I’m not joking when I tell you you can lose weight, keep it off, and actually love your body for the way you look right now without going on an extreme diet or exercise regiment. I never thought the day would come when I wouldn’t want someone else’s body but it’s here. So I wanted to break down each of the 5 steps in my original blog to give you more detail of what worked for me. Over the next 5 weeks I’m doing just that starting with the FOOD MOOD JOURNAL.
A food mood journal is a journal you keep to track how food makes your feel and how your body and mind responds after eating. For years I did mobile app food trackers of everything I ate…I counted calories just like the diet book told me but not a lot changed. In fact most of the time I would lie to myself and only log certain food or meals. In order to lose weight naturally you have to have the freedom to eat whatever you want when you want. I believe that minute a diet book tells you can’t have something even for just 30 days our minds and bodies become fixated on getting that.
Start by keeping a food mood journal for one week. Write down everything you eat and how you feel while eating it, just after you ate, and how you felt about an hour or two later. You have to do this without judgement just become aware of slowing down and noticing how your body feels. That can take awhile because when I first started my journal I hated myself for eating anything that wasn’t salad. So notice that…write words of encouragement to yourself. I’m doing it…I’m giving up dieting, I’m figuring out my body and in time I will be my natural weight.
Here’s an example of an entry from my food mood journal:
Lunch 12:45 – 1/2 pita pocket warmed, hardy scoop of hummus, hard boiled egg, some spinach stuffed in the pita, and a clemetine. Feeling rushed while I eat this…really hungry so eating way too fast. The food tastes really good tho. Love the hummus and the clemintine is nice and citrisy.
Just after eating…feel good. Not to full and not still hungry. I’m also feeling happy with the choices I made. Something healthy.
One hour later – Still feel good. Energized…I’ve had water in between so satisfied ready to go for a walk.
This is a typical food mood journal entry for me now but take a look at one of my entries from a couple of years ago when I was just starting mindful eating.
Food should make you feel energized, light, focused, calm. Food should not make you feel panicked, crazy, bloated, gassy, acid reflux, tired, and depressed. Your journal is going to be your guide. But there’s one important thing that will make your journal effective and that is AWARENESS. This is key. You have to take time with you journal and record everything from how the food tastes the first couple of bites to how the food tastes that last couple of bites. Does it still even taste like anything? The more you become aware you will realize after about 4 or 5 bites of anything it loses it’s flavor. That is key.
Also, for me food always made me tired. I would binge on large servings of pizza, burritos, sandwiches, and then top it off with something sweet. A cookie, cupcake, endless handfuls of peanut butter cups but an hour after eating I couldn’t move. It was like Thanksgiving day for me all the time ready for a big nap. Once you become aware of this you can concisously change the cycle. Ask yourself do I really want to feel this way? Do I want to binge late at night on food and wake up the next morning with swollen hands, feeling bloated, gassy, and still full? Probably not. You start to see the pattern.
Your journal doesn’t have to be about giving up any particular food. For example say you love cupcakes like I do but you discover from your journal that when you eat two you’re sluggish…you get a headache…you can’t focus. Ok…try one. Slowly eat it. How does it taste after 3 bites, 5 bites. Are 4 bites really enough because after that it doesn’t taste like anything anyway? Keep going. Take lots of notes. Review your journal. Being told by a diet book not to eat carbs is not going help you lose weight long term and keep it off. You have to feel what it’s like to eat too much, you have to discover on your own what food really tastes like and how it’s effecting you. A food mood journal is the first secret to losing weight naturally and loving your body.