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31 Days - Make a Journal - January 8

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Today, Spark encourages us to:

Start a journal. This can be a simple notebook or a computer document. Use it to track your progress, record your successes and learn from your mistakes. When you have a bad day, use it to
remember why you chose these goals and how far you've come

If you're a reader, and if you've been on this journey for a while, you've seen this piece of advice a whole lot. I agree that a journal is a wonderful tool, not just for the journey to health on which I (we) have embarked, but also as a means of tracking our emotions, our lives, what makes us tick. For purposes of weight loss, I'm pretty sure there is nothing more important than marrying the food tracker to the journal..because within those two tools lie the real reasons that we eat, overeat, can try to devise strategies to control what we eat. It's one thing to record in your food tracker that you ate a pound of M&Ms, it's another thing to then read that on that day, you had a fight with your spouse, you got a call from your child's teacher telling you something bad, your employer was doing layoffs and you didn't know if you were on the block. I'm not saying emotions are the ONLY reason we overeat, because culturally we are an eating society. I'm from a Lebanese/Italian heritage, in my family, we eat for every possible reason, and I doubt most other ethnic heritages are much different, it's only a question of whether we're eating pasta or beef stew or sushi.. But it's less about those celebratory or commiseratory eating events and more about our responses to the every day events in our lives and whether we are driven by them to food..

Of course, knowing that we are is one thing, changing that behavior is another. The most common advice is to recognize the trigger point, then replace food with something else: a book, a bath, a hobby that keeps our hands and minds occupied.. Sounds great, but I can say from personal experience, it's not nearly as easy to do as the words make it seem.. For example, my solution is not to replace, but to avoid entirely..the experts will tell you "that's not healthy," I say, well, perhaps it's not, but it works for me..

But aside from finding those stress eating triggers, the larger view, and the one I think Spark is keying on with this tip, is to grow and learn during the journey. To force yourself to put in writing what is going on inside your head, the good and the bad, and to grow emotionally from the experience. And I think you can, if you are inclined to introspection, and not everybody is.

So I think what I take away from this tip, and any other tip that this or any other credible source of information on this topic of weight loss, exercise and healthy living, is that not every single tip is for every single person. What works for one person doesn't work for another. As if this journey isn't difficult enough, I guess I'm suggesting we have to add the discernment of tips to the many other things we have to figure out: what works for us as individuals and what doesn't. And don't accept the judgment of what's "right" or not of others, because we are unique and really do have to find our own way.

Have a Sparky day!!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I've been using the Notes section on the food tracker to start indicating the "why" when it crops up during the day.
    3612 days ago
    What great insight! Thank you Tina!! I'm so good at writing down what I eat, but not "why" I ate it. Have a great Saturday!
    3612 days ago
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