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A Love/Hate Relationship with Food Journals

Melissa HenriquezToday’s guest blogger is Melissa Henriquez, a 20-something, married, PR professional and blogger on the side. Tying together her passions for writing and social media, in July 2008, she began her blog, Tales of a Disordered Eater, to help her overcome disordered eating issues. Between traditional therapy and blogotherapy, she’s been an advocate for women struggling with similar challenges.

Keeping a food journal has been a double-edged sword for me.

Without it, I never would have lost 35 pounds four years ago, and I probably wouldn’t have kept the majority of them off. Journaling has kept me honest, held me accountable, helped me plan my day. It enlightened me about portion-control and taught me how to make more nutritionally-sound food choices.

But as I maintained my weight, diligent journaling also generated disordered eating behaviors – a taboo phenomenon seldom talked about, yet one that impacts so many people on their weight loss journeys.

food journalAlthough journaling was an asset when I was losing weight, as I tried to keep my weight in check, I became unhealthily obsessed.

Food became all I thought about. What I’d eat, when I’d eat it, how much I could have, the trade-offs I’d have to make if I ate this vs. that, how much time I’d have to spend at the gym if I wanted “X”.

One could say I was being a “good dieter.” But there’s a fine line between “dieting” and a food journal dictating your life.

I crossed that line.

It took two years of obsessive behavior before I acknowledged my problem this summer, when I “came out” about my disordered eating via my blog, TalesofA(Recovering)DisorderedEater.

Food journals are still touted as one of the best weight loss and management tools, and I don’t disagree; I still journal every day. However, I’m less obsessive now about it, viewing it as a tool, not the be-all, end-all.

Through therapy and blogotherapy, I’m proud to say I’m managing my disordered eating behaviors. But it hasn’t been an easy road.  So my advice to anyone embarking on a weight loss journey would be simply this: tread with caution. Even the best of intentions can yield frightening results.

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January 30th, 2009

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swan

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posted Aug 4th, 2009 3:56 pm



   
 

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