Our modern lives are filled with information. We carry the answer to every question in our purses and pockets: for most of us, our smart phones are always by our side. If it’s not our phones, a computer is close by as well.
Any search engine can provide diet, workout, and nutrition tips in seconds, and that doesn’t even include the health magazines we may have downloaded to our phones or follow on Twitter and Facebook. Messages of what to eat and not eat are everywhere.
By the time we finally open the refrigerator, cupboards, or go to the nearest deli on lunch break we can’t even remember what it is we are supposed to eat.
Journaling is not just that thing we did in junior high to purge our feelings for the cute boy who sat in front of us without having to tell our mothers. Journaling or writing, whatever you want to call it, is a way to slow down and organize all of those thoughts jumbled up in our head.
You may be familiar with the analogy describing the difference between the brains of men and women: men’s brains are like waffles and women’s brains are like spaghetti. Disclaimer, I didn’t mean to use delicious starchy foods to offset your diet goals; that’s just how the saying goes. But, as women we tend to not compartmentalize our thoughts. This goes with eating. Eating is part of the greater picture of our day, not so much a task that we check off a list.
Especially for those who are not numbers people, diets like the 40-30-30 meal plan may not be the natural way to think about eating.
A food journal is a great way to not only jot down the specific foods we put into our bodies each day but a place to write down goals and specific diet and nutrition tips so they are someplace safe. We all know that many things that merely go in our memory, and not down on paper, can be lost forever.
Writing is also more than a way of remembering things and organizing our goals. It is a powerful way to release our feelings and creativity. Instead of using food for comfort, take a piece out of your notebook, and write whatever comes out. Once the writing starts sometimes thoughts and feelings we didn’t even know we had come out. Once on a roll, that urge to eat may be long gone.
Writing empowers us. It gives our thoughts validity. It makes us feel like we have something important to say and share with the world. It creates self worth, and leaves us feeling human. It’s the reason that writing remains a standard form of communication even though it has changed mediums over time.
The next time something becomes overwhelming, eating most likely will not make it go away. Don’t allow the overwhelming aspect of what to eat and what not to eat take over. Instead take a few minutes and write down a couple of things: what you plan on eating for the day, and whatever is on your mind that day.