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I was really struck by the question on the cover of this week’s WeightWatcher’s guide. It asked “What do your food choices say about you?”
Here’s what I can tell you — from my earliest childhood, I can remember being criticized for what I liked to eat. Over the years the voices got louder and more critical until, sadly, they became internalized. By the time I was in school, I’d learned to be very ashamed of the foods I ate.
Yet here’s the thing. In WeightWatchers meetings, the number one thing that “losers” love to talk about is keeping a good accounting of what they’re eating. There are lots of ways to track (on paper, online, in one’s head) and no single “best” solution. But again and again I hear this truth: tracking leads to weight loss.
If I think about the weight graph that I posted yesterday, I can tell that the times where my weight was low and steady I was tracking. The times my weight was rising or yo yo-ing where when I wasn’t.
And this is the revelation I had: tracking healthy food choices is a reward in itself… so what I really need is to reward myself for being willing to write down the not-so-healthy stuff.
Instead of that internal “you shouldn’t have eaten it” voice, I can tell myself “kudos to you for writing it all down, every last morsel!”
So, since I’m tracking on paper right now, I decided to take all of my saved up Bravo stickers, and then place them in my food record, any time I write down foods that seem “bad” or “wrong.”
This week I’ve given myself bravos for pizza, “a huge cookie”, a chocolate bar, and some regular-fat popcorn. It’s funny, but seeing all those stickers in my tracker actually works. There is something both silly and satisfying about writing “1/4 cup of granola … BRAVO!”
Not surprisingly, since tracking this way I’m eating less. But I’m enjoying it a lot more!