Oct 142008

Some time ago I have written about starting to journal everything I eat in an attempt to help me lose weight. And then, at the beginning of September, I pulled out a nice, small notebook and started my food journal. If you were to look through it you might be surprised that according to the journal I seem to not eat daily, and on the days that I eat, I seem very often to stop eating after breakfast.

Since I never do that (part of me still thinks that if I miss a meal I’ll drop dead) there’s only one conclusion to draw: journaling my food intake isn’t working. I did find journaling useful when I first started to become more conscious about my eating habits years and years ago but these days it’s not as much about the unconscious inhaling of junk food anymore.

As of this day I release myself from the task of writing down everything I eat.


So, now what to do about my size and weight? For the past year or so my motto has been “Eat more, move less.” with rather predictable results. Today in the morning before breakfast and dressing I weighed in at 79.2 kilos (174.6 lbs). That’s about ten kilos (almost twenty pounds) more than I feel comfortable with. Though I have to admit that when I was at that weight for the last time I still had the feeling of being too big. (My height is 1.74 m, a bit more than 5 ft. 8.)

In my head I’m still a lean person that’s just been a bit too heavy for a short time but if I’m more realistic I have to say that I have been overweight for about eight years now with a short intermezzo of being merely slightly too heavy for about half a year or so. In my head I have been on the verge of losing weight again any moment now. For more than a year. While constantly gaining.

And it’s not like I don’t know where it’s coming from, I am the one who, every single day, has “just one more treat”, “just one more sandwich”, or “just this snack”. “Just this once” is not helping me if it’s happening every single day. In the past few weeks there have been times when I stole my son’s candy, and when I broke every single rule about food that I ever made to help myself.

This is not about beating me up. It’s just my attempt at looking at the situation just as it is.

So. I’m heavier than I would like to be, and I’m not as fit as I would like to be. Is this really a problem?

No, really. What if I stayed at this weight for the rest of my life? It’s heavy but it’s not grossly overweight. I’m still fitting into regular sized clothes (thanks to stretch jeans). While I do feel a bit uncomfortable in my bathing suit that doesn’t stop me from going swimming. In fact, my weight doesn’t stop me from enjoying anything I like. The only thing is that I have put off buying a new pair of jeans for months now because I still hope to be able to fit into a smaller one. Any day now. It is as if I were secretly waiting for a visit from the weight loss fairy. One morning I’ll wake up and I’ll look the same as in 1996 again. And everything in between would have been a bad dream.

Why 1996, you might ask? Well, in the summer of 1996 I just had lost weight, and I was in the best physical shape of my entire life. I did step-aerobics, weight-lifting, and walking almost every day, and I weighed something around 65 kg. There’s a picture of me, taken at our annual summer party that year where I look really great. I had that picture of me on my fridge for years as a motivational tool, until I suddenly realized I’ll never look like that again, even if I weigh the same, and exercise the same, because I’m actually 12 years older now.

And that’s okay. This is not about turning back time. In fact I’m not so sure what this is about but I find that I don’t care about my weight or appearance enough to change my eating habits consistently. That’s the fact. All this talk about “I have lost a pound, hurray!” and “I have gained a pound, drama!” will amount to nothing.

My lack of fitness is the thing that bothers me more. I don’t like being out of breath so easily, I don’t like not being flexible, and I don’t like that beer cases and the groceries seem to get heavier every week. My current fitness regimen of a leisurely stroll every three days doesn’t really cut it. So, again, for about the hundredth time my goal is to do some moving every other day. Apart from my walks to kindergarten and grocery stores.

As for the eating I’m really tired of hearing myself setting goals and announcing the new shiny me only to revert to my old sluggishness immediately afterwards. On the other hand I was mightily impressed by another blogger’s account of how she quit smoking by just seeing herself as a non-smoker, and I’ll try that again.

You know, I don’t really care for sweets. They make me feel weak. And potato chips. Blech. Who would want to eat potato chips for dinner? I always feel so heavy and bloated afterwards. And really, I’m not that hungry. You know, I really have to move. If I don’t exercise for a day or two I’m going crazy.

Well, at least I’m trying.

  10 Responses to “The Food Journal”

  1. For a month now, I have been making an effort to eat more nutritiously and exercise for 30 minutes a day. My success has been spotty and there has been no change in my weight. A month. It seems like forever because nothing has changed. And yes, in my head I am still a size six. Funny that everything I brought home from the store last week says size ten.

    But I am not disheartened. I am ready to try again today and every day. I feel a bit more determined (not only about this subject, but about getting things done in the house).

    I also feel that my current desire to lose weight and get more fit is mainly about health and longevity and less about how I look. I can face it that I am looking old (older – I know I will look a lot more old before the end, God willing) and that my body, especially the texture of my skin has changed forever. But it makes me feel sad to think that certain activities may be out of reach if I don’t take care of myself. Lately I’ve been wondering will I be too fragile to teach my children alpine skiing in a couple of years?

    It should be so simple. It’s only common sense that eating right and exercising the body are the best ways to live a longer, healthier life. Who doesn’t want to do that for herself? Why then, isn’t it simple and easy?

  2. I think you should also remind yourself that it took time to put the weight on, so give yourself time to take it off. Realistic time. Because if you don’t remind yourself you’re entitled to time, that it’s a process, you’ll just get more discouraged.

    Hang in there

  3. Funktioniert das tatsächlich, sich einfach selbst überzeugen, “Ich bin jetzt sportlich”?? Ich meine, wenns mit Rauchen geht…

    Ich fühle mich dick seit ich ungefähr zehn bin. Ich habe keine Ahnung, wie ich mit zehn aussah, aber seit ich ein tatsächliches Bewusstsein dafür habe, dass dieser Zellhaufen mein Körper ist, wünsche ich mir, dass er anders aussehen soll. (Vermutlich ist meine Mutter daran Schuld, die seit unserer Geburt versucht abzunehmen – undiszipliniert und komplett vergessend, dass sie ein krasses Schilddrüsenproblem hat. Ihre Schilddrüse existiert nämlich fast garnicht mehr. Aber das nur am Rande hier.)
    So ziemlich einmal pro Saison nehme ich mir entweder vor, ernsthaft Diät zu machen, oder wenigstens die Süßigkeiten wegzulassen, oder ein großes Glas Wasser vor allen Mahlzeiten zu trinken, oder regelmäßig Sport zu treiben oder wenigstens abends Sit-Ups zu machen.
    Mein momentaner Stand ist, dass ich alle drei Tage einen Schokoladenanfall kriege, zu wenig trinke und entschieden habe, für Schwertkunst keine Zeit zu haben. Die Sit-Ups habe ich tatsächlich eine lange Zeit durchgehalten – und dann schlicht vergessen.

    Ich frage mich nur, warum das immer so ist? Wollen wir unterbewusst garnicht abnehmen? Oder glauben wir, diese Maßnahmen sind “Bestrafungen”, und versuchen denen zu entgehen?

    Ich weiß nur, dass ich Sommer vor zwei Jahren hervorragend abgenommen habe, fünf Kilo – weil meine Eltern im Urlaub waren und ich zwangsläufig selbst kochen musste, wofür ich teilweise schlicht zu faul war.

    Soweit ich mitkriege, ist das “Problem” bei dir ähnlich. Würde es vielleicht helfen, wenn wir uns zusammentun? (“Nein, die Schoko ess ich jetzt nicht, sonst krieg ich Ärger…”)

  4. I’m a very healthy eater and, since I prepare all the meals, my family eats well, too.
    I suppose the way you feel is much more important than the way you look. Besides, when you feel good, you generally look good.

  5. I can NOT keep up on a food diary. I don’t think i’ve ever made it longer than a day and a half.

    “beer cases and the groceries seem to get heavier every week” That made me smile. I think you may have identified part of the problem.

  6. Babe. i could eat chips for dinner every damn nite.

  7. I suffer from this too. I recently realised that the thought that bothered me most was being one of those old women who creak when they stand up and can’t bend over to pick things up off the floor. So I went back to yoga. It’s working for me so far…

  8. Wie lustig, der Text könnte eins zu eins von mir sein…. (“In my head I’m still a lean person that’s just been a bit too heavy for a short time”).

    Ich bin 1,72 groß und habe Mitte der Neunziger (mit ca. 25) 69kg gewogen und mich zu dick gefühlt. Mein Laufpensum lag bei ca. 30 km in der Woche. Unvorstellbar heute. Dann war mein Studium und das unstehte Studentenleben vorbei, der Berufsalltag nahm mir die Zeit, der Umzug die geliebte Laufstrecke und die Kantine lieferte die Kalorien. Mein Höchststand war im Frühjahr 2005 nach einem längeren Großbritannienaufenthalt bei 88 kg – Schlachtgewicht! Aber irgendwie habe ich mich gar nicht sooooo dick gefühlt. Diese Jahr im Januar hat es dann plötzlich *klick* gemacht und ich habe abgenommen. Knapp 4 Monate habe ich mir dieses unerträgliche Weight-Watchers-Geschwafel angehört und Punkte gezählt, aber ich habe 12 Kilo abgenommen. Über den Sommer habe ich nun geschludert, aber 10 kg weniger als am Anfang sind es immer noch. Wenn ich mich dazu aufraffen kann, möchte ich noch 4 kg, aber wenn ich das nur mit Quälerei halten könnte, würde ich mich nicht darauf versteifen. Du bist also ganz normal. :o)))

  9. I think we all suffer from this – I hope one day I will magically wake up and the pounds are lost! 🙂 Every day is a new day, we have to start somewhere! I think you have a great plan!

  10. I struggle with this one as well. Two months ago I joined a yoga class. I loved it. Then I just started forgetting to go. Sigh.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.