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Tina’s Journey – Debunking the myth of the food journal

Tina's JourneyI read an article in a local mag recently that was touting the use of food journals as being key to success in losing weight. I am incensed by publishers that give writers free range to put out this kind of information when it is nowhere near the approach for weight loss. This kind of general advice seems harmless enough and I can understand how it could be perceived as being helpful but I take it personally when people suggest that my issues can be solved so easily.

If all it took was to write down everything that I eat, recording caloric intake as well as nutritional content, I would have done it a long time ago. Unfortunately, the things that make us rely on food for comfort or problem solving run deeper and more complex than that and in my case, focusing three times a day on my mealtimes with a critical analysis of each one’s contents would just trigger me with food cues MORE!

Not only that, but who has time to plan, prepare, eat a meal, and then record the entire meal. Food journals are purported to make for more personal accountability. The article criticizes and diminishes the overweight by referring to them as underestimating their intake, and panderers of their indulgences. What scientists who advocate food journals don’t take into consideration are all the social, personal and emotional issues that the person with a food disorder is up against. Taking a person who should be gentle with themselves, who should feel redeemed and appreciated and instead, making them feel less than, in light of all their former failures at weight loss, is hardly a solution that stands a chance of being any use at all.

Sure, common sense says eat aware, but what does that mean? Later this year, we will focus two of our newsletters on nutrition and healing where we will discuss trans fats and why they are to be avoided, and other ways of becoming more nutritionally literate, which is the fine art of how to utilize what’s available in your community that will give you the most bang for your buck, nutritionally, emotionally and creatively when it comes to your meals.

Counting calories has been encouraged as a part of weight management for a long time. CEDRIC teaches instead that this is irrelevant in the long run as if you are still in the place of your healing where you need to count calories and focus on foods in an accentuated way, you are still at a place of not being ready to move on because once a person deals with the complexities of issues they are up against, in a caring nurturing way, the need to crutch on anything becomes almost nonexistent.

I know from talking with Michelle that she has seen what happened to her happen to many clients who finally took responsibility for their own nurturance and healing and got to that place of no longer being adversely affected by the constant barrage of food cues that our world throws our way. Like a domino process, once a state of self understanding is reached, residual issues that seemed paramount fell away, and as a result, these clients discovered that their metabolism changed, they became more active, which led to craving new foods that were lighter in their process of consumption, which in turn, led to the person’s health not only stabilizing but improving. This, combined with feeling more active and getting out to do more gently, gradually brought their weight to where it should be for that person.

I’m only in the beginning throes of this but am avidly pursuing the process. I’m doing the work and reaping initial benefits as I have learned how to be more nutritionally adept, now tackling the challenge of completely altering my mealtimes WITHOUT dwelling on food. The other day Michelle looked at me with a quizzical grin as what’s going on for me sunk in to her.  She said ‘You really got thrown into the thick of things here, didn’t you?’ I had just told her about how crowded it was getting inside of me, what with the nurturing parent, the drill sergeant, my inner child and the self all vying for my attention now that I was doing the reading about them. I nodded and laughed. ‘I was just looking for a nice job’, I said… ‘innocently seeking employment’… and now here I am… this rollercoaster of self understanding and ignorance having its way with me as I sort out much more than the tasks of my position with CEDRIC.

So remember, when you see articles in publications that speak to you as a person of size with diminishing inflections that are designed to lower or shake your self esteem, remember that for every one of the people who think like that, there are more of us out there who are struggling to learn to respect and value ourselves, and who strive, like me, to develop the kind of critical eye that lets us see past the criticism, an eagle eye, if you will. Let those who are not yet ready to do the work that truly is what needs to be done, painfully catalog each calorie. I’ll be over here with the warm, loving, thoughtful people who accept me as I am now, celebrating my role in their lives, and who are willing to give me the emotional support I need as I follow the CEDRIC process to ultimate wellness in a significantly smaller body without beating myself up about it every inch of the way.

I rode my bike yesterday for the first time this year. Change is upon me. Good gentle, caring change.

Tina Budeweit-Weeks is a member of the CEDRIC Success Team in the role of staff writer and executive assistant for Michelle Morand. Her philosophy has always been one of self-nurturance and dignity. In support of the complex difficulties clients may experience around regaining a healthy balance, Tina’s writing is designed to sympathize, support, encourage and inform. Although there are many similarities in Tina’s process, she is not a client, but a hard working, behind-the-scenes member of the team, dedicated to helping the CEDRIC Centre stay current and effective.

Posted in: Relationship with Others, Relationship with Self, Tips for Natural Eating

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