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Food Journals

7 Jul

I finally started watching “Weight of the Nation” (streaming free on This video will put the fear of god right into you. The first episode is all about the dangers of obesity and being overweight, the second all about how to lose and keep the weight off. Two women who have successfully lost 100lbs a piece discuss the journey of weight loss. The narrator (in text form, rather than in voice) discloses how rigorous these women must be in their calculating and tracking of calories- as if it were in some way a miracle of hard work and magic.

I’m here to say- It is not. Don’t be frightened of calorie trackers or food journals. Write down every item of food or drink that passes between your perfect lips. I suppose it can seem on the outset as if this takes focus, will power, determination, but all it takes is a decision and possibly thirty seconds to a minute of time looking up nutritional information and writing it down. If you don’t think you have thirty extra seconds to punch “calories in a banana” into Google, then truly I say to you: Don’t Be Ridiculous.

If you’ve lost some weight, you know what I’m talking about. I don’t mean to deprive you of any sense of immense self control and work. Weight loss does take self control and work. Weight loss does require focus an effort. But this focus and effort has surfaced within you in so many other parts of your life. Take a second and think about what you are proud of. Do you have a job you love? How about an apartment or home? How about long-distance friendships or a piece of art work or anything, really, that gives you joy and pride. These things did not come to you overnight with no effort. You did not wake up one day and have all that you currently have sitting in front of you. You already HAVE focus and willpower and intelligence enough to work towards weight loss. Just apply it. You can do it, you already have. Start with a food journal.

On my part, I track my food every day. All food, every day of the year. Sometimes I slip up and go over my calories (how many calories do you need a day?) but I know when that is happening because I keep track. Knowledge is power, and all that. ¬†Look, weight loss is not easy. But neither was that degree you earned, or that job you love, or anything worth having. I’ll keep at it and I’ll find challenges and successes. You and I can only fail if we give up, so we won’t.

Now, I need to go find a workout for this afternoon. Any suggestions?