Sunday, March 11, 2007

should my food journal be for my eyes only?

I'll admit it, I've always been a little neurotic about food, and especially about people judging what I eat. I wasn't a fat kid, exactly, but I was a normal little girl with a little girl pot belly, and we spent a lot of time around the swimming pool. My mother, my aunt, and some of my adult cousins were thin and looked very cute in their bikinis as they slathered themselves with oil and roasted in the sun. The women in my family who were overweight spent a lot of time putting themselves down about it. Men in my family were pretty open about their appreciation for thin, pretty women and their disdain for fat ones. We were always warned not to get fat because men don't like fat women. I remember one day in my bathing suit, my grandmother looking at me while I was eating and saying, "You sure have a healthy appetite," and knowing it was not intended as a compliment. I love my family but I definitely got a lot of my neuroses about food and my body from them.

Lately I've been sharing my food journal online with a few friends. Even though I've been pretty happy with my weight loss up to this point, I have been sloppy with my food lately and I feel really embarassed about it. I have been going over my points a lot of days, not just a little but by double-digit numbers, for the last couple of weeks.

I'm not sure whether the group journal has something to do with that but sometimes I feel a little defiant when I decide I'm ordering Chinese food for dinner, or going to have the Cheez-Its at the party because I anticipate them shaking their heads at what I'm doing with food. It's not necessarily that they say anything negative, but I supply the dialogue in a lot of the situations where I feel people are judging my food.

I have been very good about journaling for the last three months, journaling everything, even the screw-ups, honestly and counting the points. So I'm starting to wonder if I'm gaining anything by putting it out there for other people's eyes or if it's just adding to my level of insanity. I know where I need to improve. So I'm starting to think I might need to go it alone for a while.


  1. I think you should do what is comfortable and feels best for you. Sharing a journal should be a thing of choice. My guess is that the others are not looking at your food list and saying or thinking anything negative - but if that's going on in your head because you post it, then you should stop. At least for a while and see if it makes any difference.

    We are the only ones who hear and are influenced by those voices in our heads. For me they are old tapes that are on continuous loop. Since no one else hears them, we are responsible for dealing with them. Find your way and just do it.

  2. I'm pretty sure that none of the people reading your journal are being judgemental...if anything, they are probably thinking how bad THEIR food was or things they could have done better.

    Your feelings of defiance is very understandable; it's one reason why I really didn't want to log points.

    I agree with Anne, find your own way. Maybe a break would do you some good.

  3. I think that what you do should give you a positive feeling about your food choices - if you need to keep it private for awhile than that is what you need to do. The only person you need to be 100% honest with is yourself and it sounds like you are doing a great job. Lady Rose

  4. I think accountability is a big factor in keeping a food journal and making it public. I used to keep a food log, and even though it was a helpful tool, it fell to the wayside because I found it to be incredibly tedious. I have other forms of accountability in place--I'm participating in a hospital program for weight management, and I have to weigh in and meet with one of their medical professionals weekly. I also paid for this program out of pocket, which is a big motivator! I say do whatever works for you. It helps people like me to read blogs like this, and to know that I'm not the only one out there experiencing the same issues.

  5. I'm with Lori. It's unlikely that people are scrutinizing your food as seriously as you are. But, it does sound like an ideal setup for triggering some of those old family issues that you've described. If that's the case, and if it leads you to make decisions differently than you otherwise would, I'd say go private for a while and see what happens. The wonderful thing is that in spite of your "indiscretions," you continue to lose weight. I think this is a testament to the power of knowing your body and of doing what works.

  6. I think you should be very proud of yourself and what you've accomplished!
    I also think it's great that you are sharing with everyone, that takes courage and you are motivating others by doing it.

    Remember that noone is perfect, how many people say they want to loose weight but never does anything about it. You have! So what if you have a take away one day or some doodles?! I don't think anyone will judge you for that but you.

    I enjoy reading your blog so I hope that you don't stop logging.

  7. I want my kid to be healthy but again and again I read things like the "you have a healthy appetite" comment and I am just... floored. I would never say something like that to a child.


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07