Diet & Nutrition
Journaling: The Inexpensive Cure for Emotional Eating
by Jeffrey Wilbert, PhD, for iVillage
I realize I'm an emotional eater, and I've had a weight problem for many years. I'm ready to do something about it, but I don't have the finances to seek counseling. What can I do to help myself?
Let's talk about two of the most powerful self-help tools around: pen and paper.
Research studies show that those who are most likely to succeed at losing weight and keeping it off utilize a technique called self-monitoring. What's self-monitoring? Simply put, it's keeping track of yourself. It means tuning into your thoughts, feelings, goals and strategies. It involves charting your progress and rewarding your successes. It's also a way to engage in healthy self-expression, which is a key ingredient to changing a long-standing emotional relationship with food.
There are many specific ways to self-monitor. One of the oldest (and most frightening!) is to keep a record of daily caloric intake. Almost all traditional dieting strategies involve some form of this technique, so most of us are sick of doing it. Although burdensome, it is a way to become accountable to ourselves, and if we stick with it, it can be a potent method of staying on track with weight loss goals. However, most emotional eaters need to broaden the age-old food log and turn it into a "food and feelings" log, because it's not only important to tally how much you eat, but also why you eat it. Identifying the feelings and issues that trigger and accompany overeating is a crucial step toward developing healthy eating patterns.
Another powerful mode of self-monitoring is to keep a daily journal. Writing is therapeutic! Studies have shown that those who write about their feelings tend to improve not only their emotional health, but their physical health as well. In fact, one study showed that arthritis sufferers who wrote about traumatic life experiences showed a decrease in joint pain! A journal can be a private place to express your innermost thoughts and feelings, a place to get some perspective on what you're dealing with and a place to identify issues that might be in your way. Journaling is also an effective way to keep track of your changing inner self, as progress usually takes place in bits and pieces of insight that accumulate over time. Your journal can be a way to look back at where you were so you can appreciate how far you've come.
If you decide to keep a journal, you're doing yourself a big favor. How should you do it? It's an entirely personal decision. Let it be your own creation. If you want to use a fancy bound book of blank sheets, fine. If you want to use the computer, also fine. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, though; the important thing is that you allow yourself freedom to express your uncensored thoughts and feelings. Remember, any form of self-monitoring will help you win your war with weight.
I did a spinning class this morning OMG I am sore now. I also did a fitness test with my LEAN trainer before the spinning class and as usual it was poor but my something or rather was up from last time and that was a great sign, because of being 35 and my weight for my age I am going to have a poor for quite some time I reckon but the percentage up is a good sign she said hmmmm not that I understand any of that.
She said that as from Tuesday she is giving us an exercise routine to do other than the LEAN classes on Tuesday and Thursday. Woohooo as I get a little bored when I am not doing it with the girls that is for sure and this way I will keep on track.
I have also got a deal with my trainer in regards to my nutritian and I have to email her every night with the days food and we are going to work on that as well. OMG that is so good of her to help me like this as it could cost heaps with a Dietician etc and Weight Watchers is great but sometimes I really need the extra help with the food too. Not that I am being bad but only because I need other alternatives some times.
You know it is amazing that apart from paying the gym membership the LEAN course is only $15 a week approx and it is sooooo much cheaper than having a one on one trainer but in a way we have that anyway. We get to meet other people as well and if you got a personal trainer they can start from $30 an hour OMG.
2 plain bread
Boiled egg mashed yummmy
WW Savory Snacks
WW recipe Bacon Pasta....
With a little chiretzo (spelling hmm a little hot sausage but not a lot)
I know today I had a little to much bread and not enough fruit but things were just so hectic and I need to sort out the choices and have a better breakfast. But I am finally looking at my food and thinking about it instead of thinking oh well did bad and that is it.
Anyway enough thinking for me tonight.