Monday, January 16, 2012

Food Journal Recap

One of my monthly goals was to keep a food journal this month, not necessarily to change what I am eating, but more so to figure out why I have such a hard time changing. Or something like that.

I will admit, its a little difficult to record everything you have eaten. My food journaling has most of the time consisted of pulling balled up post it notes out of my pockets before I throw my clothes in the hamper and then transferring the chicken scratch into a notebook. But the results are pretty enlightening, nonetheless.

First off, I don't eat nearly as much as I think I do.

Years ago, when I had to record what I ate for some nutrition class or something, I would astound people with the sheer quantity of food that I consumed every day. I remember in 7th grade for a nutrition module in school (with the then-state-of-the-art computer program to analyze your dietary intake) my teacher thought I had made some kind of mistake and had me record my food intake twice, over a week long period. Results were the same. Topping the scales at 59 pounds, I averaged between 5000 and 6000 calories a day. Yes, that was 5 THOUSAND calories a day!! At age 12, I could have eaten Michael Phelps under the table.

Same in college, though I had reeled in the eating a bit, since I was no longer a competitive gymnast with two and a half hours in the gym. Only 3000 or so calories.

Even up around age 28, when I was teaching aerobics in a gym and they had a class for nutrition. I was ashamed of my horrible eating habits...I ate three candy bars a day. Every day! When I decided to get with the program and cut out the candy for more nutritious snacks like nuts and veggies and fruit, I dropped 7 pounds in a week. (and felt like crap) So I added some candy back into the mix. Seriously. I had to pick the most high calorie food I could get my hands on to keep all 106 pounds on.

I no longer weigh 59 or 106 pounds. Those days are long gone. But this belief that I am an eating machine lingers. I feel like I am still eating like I did when I had the metabolism of an adolescent boy on cocaine.

But I'm not.

What this food journaling goal has shown me is that I really am not eating as much as I should be. And in turn, when I make bad food choices, its usually because I am famished. So I've been trying to pack lots of snacks and grab little bites or handfuls when I breeze by my desk to pick up and drop off charts. (not candy bars)

The other thing that is jumping out at me (like a leopard getting ready to pounce) is what a stress eater I am. When I feel like I have no control over a situation, I either grab some chocolate and scarf it down, or chug diet coke. Both of which have a heroin-like effect on me. I'm a food junkie, when you come right down to it. This is going to take a bit more work than packing extra snacks, but it's not exactly a surprise to me, either. I'm working on it.

Who knows? Maybe if I eat more, I'll get back down to 106?

Journal THAT baby!

1 comment:

Carolina John said...

wow, that's nuts! Now when 12 year olds eat 5000 calories a day it's all in one meal at mcdonald's. all processed crap all the time. And they don't stay at a reasonable weight. We're even kind of guilty too. My niece was 13 years old and 5'7" weighing in over 250 lbs. I didn't buy her groceries but I know that ain't right.

fwiw, I used software to log all of my food and workouts. It crunches your data into some nice graphs and lets you know the over/under for your calorie burn on the day. good site.