Photo food diary
It’s been a long, long time since I’ve posted here, for no particular reason other than shifting priorities. I feel like I should write a lengthy catchup on everything I’ve been doing with fitness, but there’s not much to the story: I mostly did a lot of walking during the summer, being fairly sick of running, then I joined a CrossFit gym in September. These days I go to CrossFit around 3-4 times a week, and get my ass kicked each and every time.
Since I started working from home in the fall, I’ve had some trouble getting my eating on track. I do okay for a while, then I completely go nuts for a few weeks in a row. Over and over. Not from hunger, mind you—it’s linked to self-reward and comfort and the sheer pleasure of gnawing through a bag of chips. Every time I get in a junk food rut, I end up feeling miserable; every time I pull out of the tailspin I find that it’s a little harder to fit into my clothes.
It’s not as easy for me to lose weight as it used to be, maybe because I’m getting older. (37 in February, yo.) A week or so of strict eating doesn’t drop extra few pounds right off any more; it’s become apparent that I need to get control over these binge cycles before I outgrow all my clothes. And I really, really don’t want to buy new clothes—for one thing, I found an awesome, superflattering, supercomfy pair of designer jeans at Goodwill recently for like five bucks. No WAY am I paying over $200 to replace those fuckers.
So here’s my Current Thing: I’ve started a blog for the express purpose of tracking what I eat. I’d already been keeping a food diary in the Lose It app, which has been really helpful, but the blog takes things a small step further—I photograph every meal and post the image.
It probably sounds beyond OCD or self-obsessed or painfully neurotic or some combination of all three, but even with no one looking, it’s already changed how I eat. I think about my meal ahead of time, I don’t mindlessly eat remnants of my kids’ snacks, I’m better about keeping my goals in mind before I sit down to eat something.
I got the idea from the 4-Hour Body, which, by the way, is an absolutely fascinating read. The author mentioned how studies have shown people are more likely to succeed at their diet if they photograph their food, even more so than with a written journal (which on its own produces better success than dieting without a journal). At first I thought, how ridiculous! And then I thought, hmmmmm.
I use Tumblr for this purpose and it’s so, so easy. I just snap a photo with my phone, open the Tumblr iPhone app, type a short description of my meal, and hit post. Kerblam, there it is on my little website.
Anyway, on the off chance you want to follow along, it’s here: Daily Foodholery. So far I’ve noticed that everything I’ve been eating 1) is unappetizing to photograph, and 2) comes in a bowl.
I plan to try and be honest about documenting the less-than-stellar days (like for instance this Saturday, which is my planned Cheat Like Hell Day). Next week might be a little spotty since we’ll be traveling and I don’t want to interrupt Christmas dinner to be all, JUST A SECOND LEMME TAKE A PICTURE. But overall, I’m going to try and do this for at least a month or so, see if I can’t get rid of these extra five-plus pounds and, more importantly, curb the ongoing bad food cycle.