"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

Reflections on Keeping a diet diary

Lisa Cutforth - Saturday, May 02, 2009
Wow, it was an interesting month for me keeping my diet diary on line. For those of you that did manage to sign up, I hope you got lots of useful ideas and tips from following my eating habits. The experience really put me back in the client's seat again and it was an incredibly rewarding and insightful experience for me. I was reminded first hand of how time consuming it can be, and how disciplined you have to be to record it daily, otherwise you just can't remember what you ate, even the day before. What was also interesting is how accountable you feel. I really was mindful of everything I was putting to my lips, knowing that I would have to "confess it" later. Generally I have a pretty healthy diet, so I am on autopilot and like most of you have a routine and a few habits of eating that I have developed over time. What was particularly interesting and useful for me in this exercise was to be able to reflect back on some of the not so great habits, or the triggers I have which might lead me to over eat or bring me to eat foods I wouldn't ordinarily choose. I realised how much of my time I spend in coffee shops or in meetings, and how if I wasn't careful how easily it would be to overindulge or get caught in the trap of "eating because its there". In most instances, I was able to make a healthier choice, and it is these little choices and behaviours that will be health promoting. AND, when I suffered from an unpleasant symptom I was able to look back over the last few recordings and get a pretty good idea of what had made my nose run, or my ears ring or my stomach bloated, or make me feel suddenly exhausted or suddenly giddy. I was reminded of how advantageous planning ahead is, how often I am driving around or out and about and how wonderful it was when I was rushing or not able to have a meal, to eat the fruit or nuts that I had taken with me to snack on and keep my energy levels up. Everything in moderation, including moderation! And importantly I realised that I very much live by an 80% of the time principle: do the "right" thing 80% of the time, choose healthy options most of the time, as and when you can, and then let your hair down or give in some of the time! Which reminds me of another great quote: "Nothing is more detrimental to your health, than an overcare of it!"

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