Journaling for Success

This weekend I had lunch with a dear friend I met online through Weight Watchers several years ago. Since then, our friendship has extended well beyond the realms of dieting and weight loss, and I’ve come to consider her a really awesome friend.

We got to talking about journaling and, knowing that — weight loss, maintenance, or gain, I’ve been a diligent journaler — she asked if I still kept a food journal/tracked my Points. Continue reading “Journaling for Success”

My Therapy

Though I was an early talker (are you surprised?!) and still love to talk, writing has always been the most therapeutic form of self-help for me.

I began journaling in fifth grade, chronicling nearly every day of my life — and I haven’t stopped since.

Traveling with me from my childhood bedroom in Vernon, NJ …  to my dorm room at American University in our nation’s capital … to my first apartment (and subsequent apartments!) … to my first home have been the two dozen or so spiral-bound notebooks filled to the brim with words and experiences, etched forever in varying handwriting styles and a wide array of ink colors.

I’ve been both lovingly teased for my “chronicles” and admired for my commitment to journaling … but I don’t do it for laughs or praises; I do it because it’s what works for me — and because I love the idea of a living, breathing biography … Continue reading “My Therapy”

Balancing the Checkbook

A friend and I were discussing whether or not we’ll need to count Points (or calories, etc.) forever. It led to this short little analogy I wanted to share today.

I said to her, I don’t know if you’ll necessarily need to count forever … but to me it’s like a bank account. I hate balancing it, but it’s part of my life. Some people have lots of money in the bank and don’t need to worry about it … others need to  live paycheck to paycheck. In the proverbial sense, I need to live “paycheck to paycheck.

I very much think of food like money; if I don’t have an idea of what’s in my checking account, I’ll no doubt go on a “shopping spree.” Continue reading “Balancing the Checkbook”

Day One, Success

Help me out here …

What defines “success” when, in a nutshell, you’re someone who started out dieting, developed humiliating disordered eating behaviors as a result of OCD/Type-A/perfectionist tendencies, conquered most of said behaviors but got lax, gained a little weight and still struggles with emotional eating?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially since my über-cathartic posts this week. Continue reading “Day One, Success”

Calm Friday

new_logoIn spite of feeling like a raging PMSing beyotch as I usually do right before my period arrives, I’ve actually felt a resolute calm for the past three days (today being day four).

The reasoning — what I’m about to say — will probably disappoint some of you who really were rooting for me to love intuitive eating, but I’m not one to lie, so … here’s my confession.

Intuitive eating just doesn’t come naturally to me without journaling; I’m just not there yet, and don’t know if I’ll ever be.

So instead of feeling frustrated at myself for giving in to emotional eating, I decided to work on my behaviors and, more importantly, my thinking. And in doing so, my anxiety levels are at a bare minimum. Hurrah! Continue reading “Calm Friday”

Jivin’ for Journaling

IMG00008I’ve mentioned before that I have a personal journal and a food journal.

Well, this past weekend I found the cutest matching journals — one big (for thoughts), one small (for food/exercise) — in Walmart’s clearance section, of all places!

There’s nothing more exciting to me than a new journal. Truth be told, not even my new Coach bag was as exciting a purchase. I love, love, love to write.

I’ve been writing since sixth grade almost every day, starting at age 11 with silly fights with my sister or crushes on a certain boy who shall remain nameless … to details of friendships and budding romances, high school antics with the gang, unforgettable college memories, heartbreaks, studying abroad, my sorority life, body image issues, new purchases, the heartache of a long distance relationship, 9/11, travel, buying my first car, engagement, marriage, moving, new jobs, new friends … you name it, it’s in there. Pretty much my whole life is documented for our future children to see. Continue reading “Jivin’ for Journaling”

A Challenging Weekend

Today’s a confessional post. No, it’s not about midnight eating — I’ve been in the clear for a while.

I am struggling with my journaling on Sparkpeople. Not the act of journaling — I’m a pro at that. But rather about a pickle I’ve gotten myself into. See, my caloric range is 1270-1570. Not terrible, provided I stick to it; it’s a perfectly acceptable range and most days, totally do-able.

I’ve discovered on WW I was eating too much to lose. I lose when I’m in the 1400-1500 range with my usual exercise (which would be basically WW target points plus a couple Flex) but the past two weeks, after a kick-ass first week back on Sparkpeople, I’ve simply not been able to get it together.

What I mean is, I had one high day two weeks ago, and I’ve been “buying calories” for the next day ever since … Technically this isn’t cheating, as I am not going above my limit for the week, but it’s cheating because I am not in my range that one day.

And I gained last week — the same 1.4 I’d lost the previous week. Sure, it could have been a fluke (I hadn’t weighed in all week and didn’t this weekend, either) but I am sure eating at the high end of my range isn’t helping me any. Continue reading “A Challenging Weekend”

… And a Bit of Rejuvenation

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

The only time I’ve seen results in terms of weight loss was last winter/spring when I was journaling on Sparkpeople, when I was doing something “different”. Still journaling, just paying attention in a different way.

And so I see a couple reasons already why journaling on Sparkpeople, instead of Weight Watchers, is going to benefit me. Continue reading “… And a Bit of Rejuvenation”

Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

lemonade12So it’s no secret that I’ve gained some weight this fall/winter; I’m about 5 from where I was last summer and about 10 from my comfortable weight.

I can see it in pictures, in the mirror … it’s there, and there’s no denying it.

So before 10 becomes 15, I would like to capitalize on my hardwiring as an anxious person and use that anxiousness to make lemonade out of lemons.

I’m still a loyal online WW member and have been since 2004 … which is even more perplexing as to how I’ve gained without going over my Points — the only culprit I can think of is the wrong choices within my points, since I am still working out the same and not even eating those APs I earn.

But I digress.

I’m not here to ressurect the past, only to look ahead to what can be done going forward. Last winter/spring, I lost about 7 lbs. by continuing on WW and also journaling on Sparkpeople.com, a free weight-loss jounaling site that actually shows you the nutritional breakdown of your foods in terms of calories, fat, fiber, carbs, etc.

Now, this summer I quit Sparkpeople cold turkey because I was journaling there, plus counting Points, plus keeping a spreadsheet that would make even an accountant cringe, it was that nitty-gritty.

It was obsessive to the extremes, and it just made me more fixated on food. Continue reading “Making Lemonade Out of Lemons”

Weights & Measures

heartmeasureslgYesterday Lee over at For the Love of Peanut Butter (one of my favorite blogs about one woman’s amazing recovery from her ED) raised some really insightful and thought-provoking points about the dilemmas surrounding weighing and measuring food.

She notes that, as a former restricter, once she was out of her treatment, she initially weighed and measured meticulously, wanting to be sure she wasn’t going over what was recommended by her meal plans. Naturally, there was still that fear of eating too much.

Then, as time went on, she has gotten to a happier, calmer, more comfortable place where she feels she can eyeball some foods and simply doesn’t want to/need to rely on the tools anymore.

She doesn’t want to be tied to measuring cups and spoons and food scales, and she wants to trust her body — not rely on a measuring spoon to say, “too much PB today”!

I admire her a ton for her honesty and her insight, and say “Way to go!” for her determination to find freedom through leaving her utensils in their respective drawers.

Yet as a devoted Weight Watcher (who has admittedly never dealt with true restriction — Weight Watchers has minimums and I have never came close to those Points values), I’m mixed on how I feel about this approach for me. Continue reading “Weights & Measures”