A bit more than a year ago, I gave up my food journaling. That’s a pretty big no-no in most diet circles, but I stand by my decision. At the time, I wasn’t using the tool properly. I was basically trying to figure out new and creative ways to stuff more junk into my face, and then getting frustrated with the results. The full post on that is here: Link.

To make a long story short, my reasoning in dropping the food journal was that I wanted to try changing my thinking from “I deserve treats” to “I deserve to feel better”. And for a long time it worked. My doctor was happy with my progress and I was feeling great! I’ve worked enough of the weight loss programs to know what and how much I should be eating and how important my exercise is to me.

In the last few months, I haven’t been feeling so good. I feel dumpy and slow, my clothes aren’t fitting quite right and I knew something was up when I caught myself choosing what to wear based on what was easiest to hide behind (again).

With my work volume piling up the way it has been, I wasn’t really surprised. Stress can do some unkind things to the body, but when I sat down and gave it some serious thought (over a big bowl of cheesy pasta, no less), I had to admit that I haven’t been paying attention. One of my realities is that whenever I get busy, the first thing that goes out the window is diet and exercise…which is extra stupid as those are two of the biggest things your body needs to cope with pressure successfully. Clearly, something had to change.

So I dug out my old journal and started writing it all down again. Sure enough, quite a few bad habits and cheatie-sweeties had snuck back in to my daily routine, but the truth of that wasn’t the cold shower I thought it would be. At this stage, having it all down in black and white again has been reassuring. I can see what needs cutting and/or improving, there’s no denying it and it makes finding the solutions and keeping to them very easy.

The conclusion I’ve come to is that there really isn’t one right or wrong way to take care of yourself all the time and it never hurts to get a little help. What worked for me a year ago isn’t working now, but what worked two years ago is, and neither may be the thing that works best for anyone else. I honestly believe that your body will tell you what it needs, (which is not necessarily what it wants, hello fudge pops). If you’re at all like me, you just have to pay a bit more attention sometimes, to hear it.