Last July I started writing down everything I ate in a food journal. It was a fascinating 5 days.
The food journal is back. Only this time it's in a pretty bound pink and green psychedelic journal instead of a cheap Dollar Store spiral notebook. This, I am convinced, practically assures me success.
Monday of this week was go day. I started keeping track of everything I ate. The first few days were fun. I carefully printed every morsel of food that entered my body, using cheerful, curlicue handwriting. As the week's gone on, however, the writing had deteriorated into my standard "Is that an 'h' or a 'z?'" scribble.
But it's working. Writing down what I eat and, more importantly, when I eat it, has been a huge help in controlling the food grazing aspect of my personality. I've also caved and am doing what every diet doctor recommends and recording my feelings (bah, humbug!) when I eat or when I'm craving food. It's no surprise I'm a stress eater. But I'm also what I would call a procrastination eater. If I have a project due or a phone call to return, I'll typically head to the kitchen first for half a sandwich or a handful of almonds. This is problematic on days when I have 5 projects due or 20 phone calls to return.
What's been the hardest thing for me is giving up reading while eating. My habit is to read the paper over breakfast and a magazine during lunch. I've stopped doing this and instead just sit and eat my food. It's boring as hell, but I feel 10x more full when I get up from the table.
The first couple of days I took a snack onto the back porch and just sat and listened to the birds and enjoyed the day. It took me about 20 minutes to eat the snack. Yesterday I read a magazine while I ate the exact same snack. It took me 6 minutes and I was still hungry when I finished eating.
The not-reading thing is going to continue to be a challenge for me. But if I record my battle in my oh-so-pretty notebook, I'm sure I'll have a fairy tale ending. Or at least make it 6 days in this go round.