Saturday, 7 April 2012

A Chocolate Dilemma: When To Use A Food Diary

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Girls, the most important thing that you need to know about Easter is that we don’t get any slimmer after stuffing our faces with chocolate.  

Today, I am a successful baker (believe me, it took me years to understand that baking equates precision), but alas, I am now faced with a rather monstrous devil’s chocolate cake and an equally luscious lemon drizzled gateau sitting on the kitchen table.

I had high hopes for the four day weekend.  I planned to run 9 kilometres daily in my local park and to eat ‘very healthy’.  My heart even skipped a beat as a vision of me in the sexy purple dress flashed across my eyes.

But, who was I kidding?  The minute I googled “Nigella Lawson’s chocolate cake”, I knew that my fate had been written and set in stone.

There’s a conversation that I keep having with myself that really has to stop.  I warned myself that baking one of Nigella’s delicious cakes would literally be death by chocolate.  And yet, somehow, the she-devil in me won.  I paused.  I thought.  And then I smiled.  “Of course”, I said to myself in confidence, “Of course I will eat only one slice”. 

Lies, lies, lies!

If you are having this same conversation, then stop right now!  A very good friend once said to me, “darling, a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”.  Out of the many lessons that I’ve learned in life with regards to looking good is that every woman suffers from the same fatal mistake – denial.  A calorie eaten but never spoken about out loud is a calorie dismissed. 

If this was true then why does my dress stubbornly refuse to get past my monstrous bottom?

There’s only one thing left to do.  The same vision of me in the tight purple dress flash across my eyes – only this time, my heart sinks.  But then I remember what it means to me to look and feel like a million dollars.  A chocolate dilemma today perhaps, but only a small (um, OK a rather large hiccup) in my weight loss plan. 

Girls, the only advice that I want to share with you today is, realise and acknowledge what you’ve done.  I reach for my food journal.  I cringe.  Yes, the precious and hateful diary.  The desire to lie is stronger than ever.  My heart races as calories and numbers get tallied.  “Was it one or two slices I ate hon?” I ask my boyfriend.  A great, GREAT mistake. 

An awkward silence later, I accurately record the actual amount eaten (which I cannot reveal to a single soul).  Uh-oh, here it comes.  I panic and am truly horrified as the total calorie intake is computed.  It has been 24 hours of carnage.  I blame celebrities (naturally). 

No pain, no gain.  Not ideal, but I set the alarm for a Sunday morning run.  You could say that I should just skip dinner and trade it for the morning run.  Lovely thought yes, but I am after all a health professional and the benefits of exercise taunt me (details to be discussed in a subsequent article). 

In some ways I am relieved that I have a plan.  It takes the pressure off from the actions of earlier today.  I am so glad that I am determined.  I believe that the vision of the girl in the purple dress is the catalyst to this inner drive.  The power of visualisation should not be ignored.  I have already shed one out of the five kilograms since commencing the food journal. 

As I recall, I’ve always used a food journal.  It’s one of my favourite but difficult things I use when I am determined to win this battle of emotional eating.  This is certainly not the moment to shy away from reality.  

Most women make excuses when I request that they keep a diary.  It’s easy to see why, but I find that this is one of the most effective tools for weight loss.  The journal will help you explore and nurture the much needed relationship between food and you.  If old fashioned paper diaries are not for you, then look into online journals or apps for smart phones such as ‘MyFitnessPal’ or ‘MyNetDiary’.

So, it may be a chocolate dilemma today, but I would be naive if I believed that any journey was hurdle free.  Soon ladies, I hope I’ll be “shakin’ my ting” in that purple dress.  That’s when I know I’ve really made it!

Please comment below, I really love and read all of your comments!