One thing I know for sure… we all have dirty little dieting secrets. What is a “dirty little dieting secret?” Well, it has many definitions.
It could be:
- The dieting tactics you turn to to lose weight because they have worked for you in the past and continue you work for you when you’re 100% compliant.
- Example, cutting out carbs or counting points on Weight Watchers.
- A new extreme fad diet you’ve decided to try because you’ve read about it online or heard about it from a friend. The results may seem too good to be true but you’re in a place of desperation and you’re willing to try anything.
- Example, the cabbage soup diets and master cleanses of the dieting world.
- A simple standard diet you decide to start but don’t want anyone to know about in case you fail. Or because you don’t want anyone tracking your progress or saying things like, “you can eat that on a diet?”
- Example, you bought Isagenix through a friend on Facebook
- Any time you make a meal change that you think will help you lose weight that you don’t feel comfortable sharing or you don’t want to be known as “that girl that’s always on a diet”
- Example, casually ordering dressing on the side when out to dinner with friends
So why are these “secrets?” Because let’s face it…everyone has an opinion when it comes to weight loss. And people can be very judgmental when it comes to weight loss.We can even anticipate the response people are going to give us when we tell them, I’m doing XYZ to lose weight. They are also secrets for very vain reasons. We don’t want anyone to know the extreme measures we are willing to go to in the name of weight loss. We don’t want anyone to know how much we care or think about weight loss. We want to appear as the casual gal that accepts her body no matter her size. Wanting to lose weight makes us vulnerable. It makes us feel flawed. It makes us feel exposed. It makes us feel fragile. It’s empowering when we succeed. It’s devastating when we fail.
Today, I decided today to share my “dirty little dieting secret” in the hopes it may help you! Friends often contact me for weight loss advice. Naturally because of my blog, my personal history, my current grad schooling and my profession I feel quipped to help and I feel happy when people contact me. Even if I just serve as a set of listening ears. A little over a year ago a good friend of mine contacted me venting about a binge she was having. To help, I suggested we email each other our food journals everyday for the next couple weeks to help stay accountable and get back in control. Shockingly, we’ve been doing it everyday ever since. We may have taken a month or so hiatus at one point, but got back. It’s become second nature to us both. Every night or morning we rattle off an email to each other simply stating what we ate the previous day. The same way we scroll social media without thinking every morning, we send our food logs when we open our phones. It’s interesting how it stuck AND how much it has helped us maintain/lose/not gain. Even during the pregnancy I believe this simple tactic has helped me stay in control with my weight gain.
Neither of us have ever wanted to share with other people that we do this because we kind of felt crazy. But recently, she encouraged me to share because we literally think it’s something everyone should/can do. The funny thing, I don’t see this friend very often yet I know everything about her life simply because I read her food journal. I know if she was out, I know if she was on a date, I know if she was in a bad mood at work and vice versa. Food tells a story that no words or actions can.
Now one thing everyone knows about keeping a food journal…when things are bad, no one wants to be held accountable. No one wants to stop down and write the ridiculous amount of food they may have consumed. No one wants to feel the embarrassment and see the actual damage in writing. Yet, surprisingly, this has helped more than anything. When you write it down, the slate is clean. You’ve owned up to your food failures and you can move on. It becomes reality, you can transcend shame when you are accountable to yourself.
Anytime someone has ever asked me for dieting advice I always want to tell them, just send me your food journal every night. Don’t think about it, just do it. Don’t try and change your eating, just try to write down everything you eat every night. Even if there are days my friend doesn’t respond to me, it’s not about her reading what I wrote, it’s about ME reading what I wrote. It’s about me subconsciously being able to see during the day where I am and knowing I’m going to be putting this in writing later today.
It’s a powerful tool that I never knew could have such an impact. I will continue to talk about food journal-ling this year. I think it can change the emotional eating world <3
Now friends and readers, Monday Dieter has this email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can’t find a friend to send your food journal to everyday, let me be your friend. I promise i’ll read without judgement. I’ll only read with sheer pride and compassion for how hard it is to be vulnerable with yourself regarding what you eat everyday. And remember, it’s not about me, it’s about you.