Yesterday I did a thing.
I threw away my food journal.
This may seem like a poor choice. Food journals are good. They help us think about the choices we are making. They help us stay accountable. They help us take a hard look at what we’re putting in our bodies.
The thing is… I don’t want to any more.
I no longer wish to think that hard about food.
I do not want it to have that power over me. I don’t want to agonize over what I eat. Sure, writing in a food journal sans any kind of calorie or fat count is much less restrictive than careful tracking, but for someone who has engaged in prolonged disordered eating in the past, it’s still a way of making food right or wrong.
“If I eat this donut, I will have to put it in my food journal, and that day will be ruined. I will no longer be able to look at Monday, September 14, and be happy about the nutritional choices I made. Never mind that I also ate yogurt, almonds, and avocado toast; I ate a donut and I can no longer consider this a successful food day. Well, I ate the donut. It’s in the journal. May as well have another; who cares at this point?”
I toyed with the beginning ideas of intuitive eating last year but I don’t know to what extent it really sunk in. Then the other day I ran across Isabel Foxen Duke’s intuitive eating site, and her posts really resonated with me. She says, among other many body- and mind-positive things, that normal eaters just eat. They eat what it feels right to eat when it feels right to eat it, and then they don’t think about it anymore. How that food makes you feel is information to be processed for future decisions. Beyond that, STOP OBSESSING or food begins to have power over you again.
Look, if you love your food journal and it makes you feel good, have at it! But I have spent far, far too much of my life freaking out about my weight and adjusting my food intake accordingly. The past five years have been spent slowly moving away from the mindset that there is something wrong with me that a 1,000 calorie a day diet can fix. Throwing away my food journal is one more way to distance myself from that idea.
Hokey question: What something you like about your body shape? SHAPE. Not, like, your eye color or something, which I’m sure is hella gorgeous but that’s not the point. Here, I’ll go first: I have strong legs and a butt that doesn’t quit!
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