When I was a teen I started a diary. Every night or day I would (what I now call) journal. I would put my secrets, fears and hopes into this book. I would so carefully hide it under my pillow or dresser or anywhere I thought my older brothers wouldn’t find it. Nobody else read it but me. If nobody else read it then I felt safe and without judgment. Nobody would know that I wasn’t perfect and that I hadn’t figured out life as a teen.
Here we are today and my family and I have a HUGE task ahead bringing healthy back. We were all asked to keep a food diary. This is a tool that Dr. Hyman and his wonderful Registered Dietitian and Nutritional Director, Lizzy Swick could review. I thought this would be such an easy task after all it was JUST writing down what we ate, felt, etc . – how hard would that be, I thought.
Boy, was I wrong! First of all any parent knows that telling children (much less teenagers) that they need to do anything can be a hard task. Resistance is a common occurrence even if they want the end result of health. I needed to educate my kids on the importance (as Lizzy explained to me) of keeping a food diary. Lizzy and Dr.Hyman would have a hard time helping us over our bumps if they didn’t see our feelings, food patterns,etc. My children agreed and I told them when they turned in their journal, I would monetarily reward them to help them get started on the habit (hey, a little bribery never hurt anyone). I also let them choose how to journal. They could buy a new pretty book, they could find an app on their phone or they could design something on the computer. It was their journal and they needed to take ownership of it.
The embarrassing part of this whole scenario is that I, sadly, realized I hadn’t taken ownership of my own food diary. Lizzy had asked me multiple times to turn in my food diary and I had legitimate excuses (they all worked) on why I hadn’t. It was embarrassing, I was asking my children to do something I couldn’t even bring myself to do (or if I did journal couldn’t turn it in). The bottom line was this forced me to ask myself the question why?? What is the big deal about turning in the food diary??
Upon forcing myself to think about it I realized I was having issues turning it in because I was worried that Lizzy and Dr. Hyman would see all my flaws and fears. While it was a celebration of my eating and good choices, it was also an admission that in some areas I wasn’t perfect. Even though I knew in my heart Lizzy or Dr. Hyman would never judge me upon reading the journal, in my mind that was my fear.
This was my food diary and what I ate and most importantly my feelings were real and sometimes intense. It was hard to give that to someone else to read. It was like giving a friend my diary when I was a young girl. It would prove I wasn’t perfect. It would prove I had tons of work ahead. It would prove even though I was hopeful, I am also fearful and anxious at times. I know that sounds crazy because, of course, everyone knows in my current situation of diabesity I am not perfect at eating.
Bottom line, I realized that my feelings on this are raw and real and once again my mind is playing a game on me. It is an obstacle and I plan on overcoming it!! I will most definitely be turning in my food diary, just as requested (no matter how wonderful or bleak it looks) …I owe it to myself to do it.