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.)
Logging food for the week. Haven't done this in ages. Now I remember why: it's an activity that will drive you bonkers.
— Kerri / Diabetes (@sixuntilme) May 27, 2014
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.