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The No Good (Sort of Good) Food Diary.

It was easy to avoid food logging because, on the whole, my blood sugars aren’t a disaster.  I bolus for the foods I’m eating, and I don’t graze much so stacking insulin doses isn’t as much of a problem as it has been in the past.  But the other night, when 9 pm rolled around and I was asking Birdy for the fifth time why she isn’t ever tired ever, I realized I’d had six cups of coffee that day.  Technically, it may have been seven cups of coffee, because one of them was an iced coffee and those don’t follow any rational serving size.  And I couldn’t remember if I had eaten more than a handful of almonds as a snack earlier in the day, and did I end up actually sharing a doughnut with Birdy at the coffee shop, and I know I had a wrap sandwich at some point but some grapes ended up in the mix somewhere and where the hell did that glass of wine come from??

My schedule throughout the day doesn’t afford for much consistency.  Each day is pretty different from the previous one, and sticking with a set schedule is challenging on the days when I’m both working and playing with Birdzone.  Not that it can’t be done, but it isn’t usually done.  I’m becoming more scatterbrained as time goes on, to the point where I am actively forcing myself to take certain actions in order to reclaim and make sense of my days.

Which is why I decided to start logging food for a week or two, because it’s clear that I have absolutely no frigging idea what’s actually happening each day.  (I’m using MyFitnessPal for the time being, until it frustrates me and I revert back to keeping a list in my bottomless basin of a purse.)

I don’t like it, though.  It’s a level of accountability I don’t joyously embrace.  (“YAY!!  Writing down everything I’m eating?  So that I’m now tracking blood sugars and exercise AND food intake so that I can feel both powerfully informed and terribly guilty about every single choice I’m making all day long?  OH YAY!!!”)  I don’t like having to be honest and log that, yes, I ate chicken and green beans for dinner but yes, I also went berserk and had a big, fat slice of banana bread for no reason.  I don’t like looking at the food log and noting that less-than-healthy food choices really toss the calorie count for the day up into the air and then out the window.  I don’t like logging anything (read: blood sugars), and keeping a food diary is no exception to my pre-established log loathing.

But … big, reluctant sigh … it’s useful.  (bah.)

After only a day of logging foods, I realized that my coffee intake is abysmal.  Way too much.  Blood sugars don’t seem to care, but the caffeine influx makes for trouble sleeping, and I’m in no position to sacrifice sleep.  After three days of logging foods, I realized that my willpower and organizational skills are top notch in the morning and afternoon, but around 7 pm at night, I lose control over what I’m thinking/doing/eating and I consume most of my unneeded calories at night.  And while I don’t like writing down every healthy (and otherwise) decision I make during the day, the food diary does hold me accountable for my actions.

Fine. I’ll curmudgeonly accept that logging foods for a week or two is useful.

I’m already looking forward to stopping the food logging in a few days, but I know it’s a good way to realign my brain, and my schedule … and my stomach. I have already seen for myself that there are choices I can improve and decisions I can pat myself on the back for. And it’s confirmed, officially, that I drink way too much effing coffee.

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love MFP. Seeing as how I’m too lazy to add up my carbs, I use it to get a total. It helps keep me under my calorie goal and keeps me from pulling SWAG carb figures out of the air all the time. 🙂 Add me, I’ll help cheer you on.

    05/28/14; 10:34 am
  2. 1) The rational dose of ice coffee is a schooner, as in enough ice coffee to float a schooner, aka “sailing ship with two or more masts, typically with the foremast smaller than the mainmast, and having gaff-rigged lower masts.”

    2) The idea of food logging is evil. But if you are gonna try I will too.

    So far today 1 schooner of ice coffee, 1 not particularly healthy nature valley sweet and salt almond ice coffee accessory bar. That ‘ice coffee accessory’ status may prove problematic.

    05/28/14; 11:54 am
  3. ria #

    De caf………..
    I know, it is NOT coffee
    ( I have a 7/8 full can of it in my cupboard from 19?? that I have used once)

    05/28/14; 3:25 pm
  4. If this is a warning of things to come, I sure hope that Decaf Kerri (or Half-Caf Kerri) still has all the fire and spunk of the 7-cups-a-day girl we’ve grown to love. To see you slow down would be a real shame. (For us. But what really matters is what’s good for YOU! So do that)

    As far as logging goes, it’s way too stressful for me. From the decision-making of “should I write down that there was a slice of tomato on my sandwich?” or “do I really have a clue HOW MUCH mashed potatoes I ate” to the shame of seeing my awful handwriting (and being unable to read it back), I just can’t handle it.

    I wonder if photo-logging my food would be easier…

    05/28/14; 4:54 pm
  5. Deanna Lilly #

    I hear you. It’s the 7pm until I get in bed, at whatever crazy time that ends up being, where I find myself mindlessly eating whatever I happen to come across! Trail mix, chocolate and peanut butter, chips, oh and a couple glasses of wine. Ugh, and I wipe out all the exercise and good choices I make throughout the day. Food log, here we go!

    05/28/14; 5:53 pm
  6. Nicole Henderson #

    I hate logging food. I already have to count and do so much other stuff plus I am a mommy to a 5 year old and 4.5 month old. The one thing I do well is counting my carbs, I even measure everything out. I eat the serving size on the boxes when I cook from a box. I don’t count my calories which I really should because I am trying to loose weight. I do run but I do graze a little. My sugar levels seems to stay better when I eat more times a day with smaller meals though. 🙂 I don’t have to much trouble since I am on a pump now, it is easier. Even though I dislike food diary keeping since I have done it so many times over my 12 years of living with type 1, you have inspired me to do it again. I have not lost as much of the baby weight as I would like and keeping a food diary while not exactly appealing might lead me to some insights as to what I am eating and when. Maybe it will get me on better track to get the weight off. Thanks! I enjoy your posts! 🙂

    05/29/14; 12:43 am
  7. Amy #

    I pretty much refuse to write anything down. I hate it that much.
    I do loads better in the evenings if I front load my calories and eat much more than I “normally” would at breakfast and lunch.
    Just gotta watch the carbs as insulin resistance is higher at breakfast and lunch.
    Always a fight. Always. 😉

    05/29/14; 1:41 am
  8. I hate writing things down and prefer to remember things visually. So I find it easier to log food by taking photos with my smartphone. Lately I’ve been experimenting with Evernote Food. It automatically records time and date. I can add notes and tag the meal or snack however I want. When I review what I’ve logged it’s like looking at a photo album.

    05/29/14; 2:36 am
  9. I’ve thought about food logging, but then I thought how much obsessing it would take. Too much. I exercise, watch what I eat, etc,etc. Eat everything in moderation and check pretty much all the time. Would food logging be too much? For me it would.

    If my A1Cs are good, and all my other vital blood work looks good, I’m happy. But, I commend you on your diligence.

    05/29/14; 9:56 pm

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