Jul 5, 2011
"Learning Days" & Food Journals
There are NO "mistakes", there are ONLY "LEARNING DAYS". When we attempt to make a change to our disordered eating patterns, it's like initiating a break-up. There will be resistance. Mixed emotions. Messiness. Tears. Don't forget, we've been using food for lots of GOOD reasons. It's been our buddy. Our confidant. Our true and trusted friend. It's been there for us , comforted us in our times of sorrow, soothed us when we were afraid. So why would breaking up with food would be easy? It won't be! We can't expect "perfection". We can't expect immediate change. In fact, expecting a simple, easy, pain-free process will set us up for failure. And to be clear, by "failure", I do NOT mean days of overeating, slip-ups or weight gain. In fact, with the RIGHT mind-frame, all of those aforementioned "failures" could in fact, potentially serve as pathways to SUCCESS - to liberation. What do I mean? I mean that the journey to weight-loss, and/or freedom from weight OBSESSION will NOT be a linear process. We are GOING TO mess up, fall off the wagon. PLAN ON IT! Because it's part of the process buddy. And guess what - it is NOT a "failure". It is instead, an OPPORTUNITY to learn, make new connections, put together pieces of the puzzle.
The key is - DO NOT PANIC! Do NOT berate yourself, feel bad, call yourself a failure, or otherwise attach any sort of unnecessary negativity to the event. Most importantly, DO NOT GIVE UP! It is quite simply an OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH. A learning day. An opening for self-reflection.
Ask yourself - what happened? How were you feeling? What was going on in your heart, in your mind? How did you react? How did food assist you through it? How did food get in your way? What was the meaning of your hunger? Where did you feel it in your body? Often, we have such anger and frustration surrounding food, we forget to notice and acknowledge what it has done for us - how it has assisted us - how it has helped us through the ups and downs of life. When we acknowledge this and accept it and respect and appreciate the role food has played in our life - in turn, we become better equipped to, finally, LET IT GO. To make room for a new, improved HEALTHIER relationship. To replace it with new, improved healthier habits, coping mechanisms, and constructive proactive life changes.
The BEST, POSSIBLE tool for changing a disordered relationship with food, THE BEST POSSIBLE tool for "success", and for eventual weight loss is most DEFINITELY keeping a full-on comprehensive FOOD JOURNAL - a journal that includes not only EVERYTHING that you consume - but also your thoughts/feelings/activities and hunger levels before and after eating.
There is ONE rule when keeping these journals - and that is to SUSPEND JUDGEMENT! QUIET THE INNER CRITIC IN YOUR HEAD. This journal is meant to SAFE PLACE. A SANCTUARY. A SHAME-FREE SPACE where you are free to express your innermost thoughts and feelings without fear.
THERE ARE NO FAILURES!
It is purely a TOOL for INQUIRY. Reflection. Growth.
THERE ARE NO MISTAKES!
ONLY LEARNING DAYS.......
So, what do you think? Are you interested? Have you used a journal in this way before? Did you find it to be helpful? I've been thinking about creating a journal template online - shared or private - perhaps even as a part of #PROJECTAWESOME. If you're interested, plz let me know. I would love to hear your thoughts & reflections...
With love & light,