To paraphrase a local TV station’s nightly curfew message, “It’s January 22. Do you remember what your New Year’s Resolutions are?”
One of mine was to create this blog. Check! Doesn’t that feel nice? I’ll admit that there have been a couple years where I’ve made lame-duck resolutions I knew I’d attain anyway (“Graduate college”) or just didn’t make any at all, because I’m not a big fan of failure. Nah, mostly I’m just lazy. But this year I decided to take a couple risks & make real resolutions. Like the standard pie-crust resolutions: “Eat better. Exercise.” Easily made, easily broken. I still haven’t made it down to the gym in our building once.
I’ve done a little better with that first one: eat better. Living so near to New York City, we’re definitely eating well, that’s for sure. But to balance out my gourmet pastry habit I resolved (that word seems so much stronger than the word “resolution,” doesn’t it?) to try to be more mindful of my everyday eating: more balance, less mindless snacking. A healthy mom is a happy mom is a great mom, right?
So to help me keep my resolution, I resolved (there’s that word again!) to keep a food diary. I had read about a study that found that people who kept food diaries lost more weight than those who didn’t. I’m not out to lose a ton or anything, so rather than focusing on exact portion sizes or calorie counts (remember, I’m lazy), I simply wrote down what I ate: “1 bowl hamburger-veggie soup.” “2 cookies.” The only new or different food I added to my diet was Kashi GoLean Crisp Toasted Berry Crumble for breakfast instead of the other cereals or oatmeal that I usually eat, because it had more protein, so I knew it would stick with me longer & help me fight the 10am (let’s face it, 9am) snack attack.
You know what? The diary works! It really does! I’ve still been baking treats & eating the same stuff. But being accountable for what I eat on paper has really helped me limit my portions & treats. If I know I’m going to have to write down that third brownie, I’m a lot less likely to eat it. I don’t know whether that’s laziness or embarrassment at seeing 4 brownie entries in my food journal for that day. But whatever’s driving it, I’m reaping the benefits.
How do I know how well it’s working? Because I saw what happened when I didn’t record a given day. One morning I was so exhausted from going to bed too late for too many nights in a row that, instead of cereal, I had a Fudgy Wudgy (that recipe will be forthcoming, don’t you worry). I immediately felt sick to my stomach, & made poor dietary decisions the rest of the day. Then last week my sister was in town for her first trip to NYC. We redefined the term “gastrotourism” last week. Let’s just say there’s a several-day lapse in my journal for that period. Which may have included trips to Carlo’s, Magnolia Bakery, a by-the-pound candy shop, & Max Brenner chocolate.
So write it down! It helps!