And on the subject of writing (see yesterday’s blog, below). I’ll have more to say about Jonny Bowden in upcoming posts, but it’s never too soon to check the guy out. He has two terrific articles in IVillage about journaling that give me the boost I need when I fall off my journal wagon. See them listed below. The food journal article is particularly helpful for people who just don’t know what to write when they keep a journal. The diet letter is especially helpful for people who get blocked up in their journaling.
I don’t have a terrific metabolism. Few women over 40 who work on their butts can boast a great boiler. I do everything I can to keep it cooking (5 small meals a day, cutting way back on the carbs, lots of strength training). But my resting metabolic rate hovers around 1300 calories a day, with workouts. So losing weight, for me, is difficult.
I find the only way for me to lose weight is to keep track of every single thing I put into my mouth.
I’m a grown American woman with a family, a job, and a household to run. I multi-task. I operate in a half-aware, befuddled sort of race through my day, half-hearing most conversations while clinging to my unfinished to do list and reciting my next several steps through life as I approach them.
“Be Here Now,” is a big fat joke. At least for me.
Making it an absolute rule that I write down every TicTac, mouthful, or meal does three things for me: 1.) It helps me understand why I gain and lose. 2.) I think before I eat. 3.) I scan labels and look up nutritional values, constantly adding to my understanding of what foods wear well on me and what foods don’t.
Data are useful when kept well and consistently. So I try very hard to keep lots of useful data. It’s great to be able to go back over my weight loss history and see how much I lost by when, watch my heart rate and bp come down, and follow my waistline, especially that important ratio of waist-to-hip measurement change to the good over time. Data are our friends.
So, write it down.
Here’s what I track: Weight (daily), diet and fitness thoughts (daily), food and key nutrient measures (daily), waistline and hip measurements (weekly), blood pressure (monthly), resting heart rate (monthly), resting metabolic rate (monthly).
I’m not perfect. Some days are too busy. Some weeks slip by. But when my weight starts climbing, I know that keeping better data is the key to getting it back off again. No 10-day diet, no fat flush, nothing works as well as being aware and honest with myself.
Wishing you a cool blank notebook,