Remember when I told you about a new kind of blog post I was planning on doing? Called Hashtag Habit? No?
It was a long time ago because life kind of got in the way. But you should go read it again here because this post is allllll about my first Hashtag Habit.
And it’s about … food-logging.
I know what you’re thinking. Not the most riveting thing, but stick with me because I’m finding it’s a super useful one.
If you’ve read my intro post to Hashtag Habits, I’ve been feeling bogged down by all the stuff I want to do but haven’t made time for.
And like I said before in that post, we deserve to make time for things that will help us to show up in the world stronger, more confident and just plain happier.
Which is exactly what this new habit of food-logging is going to do … (hopefully).
I only just started food-logging again this week because we had a holiday and I might have eaten this …
… plus a few other insanely delicious treats.
But I didn’t decide to start food logging because of guilt about eating that dessert monstrosity. #definitelynotsugarfree
It actually came from having pretty bad, correction: horrendously painful stomach aches.
Let me give you some context …
On and off for the last year I’ve been having debilitating stomach cramps and I can’t figure out why.
They feel like someone is wringing out my insides like a damp tea towel and then punching the cavity to try and make everything fit back in. It’s excruciating.
They’ve left me not eating properly for days or hunched up in bed crying. They seem to happen randomly and the pain completely incapacitates me.
It makes socializing hard because I don’t want to be that super picky person who accepts a dinner invitation but then turns down every restaurant suggestion.
Or the girl who goes with friends to dinner but doesn’t order anything and makes everyone feel awkward …
Because talking about diet or anything to do with stomach issues is never an easy topic to broach.
Everybody has strong emotions about food and healthy lifestyles. It can easily be a messy situation where someone ends up feeling judged.
Not my goal.
Plus if you say you have to watch what you eat because of stomach cramps then everybody assumes it’s about poop.
Even if you tell them it’s not, (which it’s not, I swear I’d tell you. As proof of my honesty, one time I had to store a jar of poop in the freezer. It wasn’t even my freezer. I had no choice … ) they probably won’t believe you anyway.
It’s still awkward to tell people you have to be careful about what you eat, whether you’re on a diet or whether you have a crazy stomach.
But if I don’t want to sacrifice the entire next day to mind-numbing pain, then unfortunately I just have to be that person who brings up the topic of health.
Or I just don’t go out.
Both options suck.
Anyway, back to the habit …
This is a habit I’ve attempted doing in the past, but haven’t been successful in.
My first attempt at food-logging was in San Francisco to try and figure out if it was an allergy that was causing me such stomach grief.
But because I often forgot to keep my little black Muji book with me, I forgot to write down what I ate.
If I didn’t do it straight away, I’d forget every little thing I’d nibbled on throughout the day as soon as I ate it.
But I’ve decided to start it again. This time though to help me keep track of my diet, (as well as stomach pains).
Not in a calorie counting strict regime — although if that’s your thing to keep you sane and healthy go for it — but to help me feel more in control.
How does it work?
You know when someone has something super delicious and you want it because you’ve seen them blissfully eating it? And you get food FOMO?
But then you also feel like you shouldn’t because of the strict “72.5 essential dietary rules” you read on Pinterest last night and are now trying hard to follow?
Well, to help combat the raging hanger / fomo / gimme-all-the-cake feelings, I’ve decided to keep my food-log in the notes on my phone.
Because writing it on my phone has already made it wayyyyy easier; I always have that with me!
So whenever I eat something, I type it into the notes on my phone. And to keep myself from going crazy from FOMO or feeling restricted by rules I’ve incorporated “scheduled” treats. Sounds health-nerdy as hell, right?
I get it.
But by keeping in mind on Saturday there’s a delicious slice of cheesecake waiting for me from my fave coffee shop, it keeps me from impulse buying the fun-sized snickers on Tuesday afternoon.
It helps me balance feeling unrestricted by rules but also in control. Because really I wouldn’t actually enjoy the Snickers, they’re kind of a meh chocolate bar IMO.
This desire to track what I’m eating is also coming from a place that wants to strengthen my body and build it up the best I can.
Food-logging comes from a place of self-care and accountability.
I want to make sure I know what I’m putting into my body is going to help me physically and emotionally. Because let’s be real, sometimes you do just need some chocolate to help reign your emotions in.
Plus, if after all my hard sweat sessions in the gym I can’t see any progress, I can take a look in my food-log. Maybe I’ll see a hard truth that I actually didn’t do too well on the nutrition front the last few weeks.
Which while hard to acknowledge in the moment, I’m positive it’ll make me feel less disappointed in my efforts to workout. It means I’m more likely to not give up.
Like I said, this is the first week back doing this again. I’ll check back in and feedback what I’ve learnt, how I’ve slipped up or succeeded and share those insights with you.
But for now I’m stoked with my decision to keep in touch with my body, get in tune with my hunger and plan to eat things that I KNOW I will actually enjoy as a treat.
If you decide to try this too, give me a shout! Because we can be study-buddies and remind each other to actually note things down. Too nerdy?
Wellllll, we can just chat about what we’ve found out from our own research. Because its kinda cool to be able to tap into the science on your own body.
(I’m sorry, I tried to water the nerdiness down, I just can’t … )