Thirteen Years After WLS And Still Journaling

by sandi on June 28, 2017

WLS And JournalingI am 13 years and 1 month Post-Op.  My weight loss surgery has afforded me a new, healthy life which I am grateful for every single day.  Wouldn’t you think that after 13 years of eating “right”, exercising regularly, staying hydrated and taking my vitamins, I could put my food journal away and just “live” my life like a “normal” person (whatever that is), and quit journaling my food?  For me, the answer is NO! 

I sure do envy those folks who can maintain their weight at goal without paying attention to what they are consuming.  I have a tough time accepting this, but there really are folks who can do this.  Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my surgery type, maybe it’s my metabolism, maybe it’s just me and my habits.  After all I was living one particular way for 54 years before having surgery and sometimes old habits keep popping their heads up to bite us in the rear.

WLS And JournalingI know some folks think journaling everything that passes these lips might be a bit obsessive at times.  I would consider it so if I brought my food scale and measuring cups and spoons in my purse with me to every dinner out.  I don’t do this.  When out I try to make the best choices available, and perhaps even order a glass of wine or a cocktail.  Out for dinner is where moderation is most important considering most restaurant foods have hidden calories/fats added to them.  That’s what I do when I am out- I use moderation when selecting from the menu.

WLS And JournalingWhen I am home I plan and prep the majority of my meals so I know exactly what has gone into them.  I weigh and measure the ingredients and then determine the appropriate portion size to meet my calorie and protein needs.  This may sound like a lot of work.  It’s not….When I created the habit of weighing and measuring my food what happened automatically was that I began portioning it in “my size” portions.  For example I made chicken burgers last night from ground chicken with lots of other ingredients.  Before I made the patties I added up everything that went into them – one column for calories, one column for protein.  I then saw that 6 burgers would be about right- 161 calories and 19 grams of protein.  That’s how I divided them and how they were cooked.  I had 1, hubby had 2 and the leftovers are lunches.  One burger with some sautéed zucchini and onions was a nice plate for me and satisfied my hunger.  Had I made the burgers larger I would have possibly hung out at the table until I could consume the larger one.  I didn’t.  I got up when I was done eating and wrapped the leftovers and put them away. 

Journaling and meal prep and planning not only has me aware of the calories/protein I have consumed so far each day, it also helps me with portion control and recognizing satiety- when I am done.

I don’t have to wait for the soft stop, or worse yet, the hard stop to tell me enough.

WLS And JournalingJournaling also lets me make adjustments in my day.  For example if I did have a cookie I can look at the calories and decide what to change in my meal plan for the day if that’s possible.  Since I am not obsessed with the numbers, just shooting for around 1200 calories and 80-100 grams of protein daily if the cookie “took me over” I also would not beat myself up about it.  It is what it is and I move on, even on those occasions when 1 cookie (or whatever) became 2 or 3 or even 4.  Guilt only leads me to continued self sabotage.  Stopping and reassessing my day/my choices allows me to see what I did, why I did it and how I might do better.  It allows me the freedom for my next choice to be better with no self-recrimination attached, and no throwing my hands up in the air and surrendering to old habits.

The point is to remain aware and in the present moment when I eat – to be mindful of everything I am putting in my mouth and to do it by choice, not by chance as can happen when I eat instead of feeling an emotion.  That is how I have improved my relationship with food, my relationship with myself and my response to stress.

Journaling keeps me aware and present in the moment.  Do you journal?

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