Weight Loss Tip: Taking Photos & Keeping A Journal
Posted Aug 17 2009 11:14pm
When it comes to weight loss, keeping the motivation going to eat healthy and to refrain from eating food that is bad for our health, leaves us moody, depressed and lethargic can actually be a lot harder than it seems. This is because, as discussed on this blog, food is addictive. When we wean ourselves off food that is full of addictive substances like opiods and heterocyclic amines, it can be hard. We almost have a come-down. In fact when you stop stimulating the body with substances from junk foods, it can leave you tired for days. But we hold on to that taste sensation like it means more than anything else - consequences don't matter and we soon are eating something processed again, which makes us feel better and the cycle begins.
So how do you break this? How do you make weight loss easier and more motivating? One tip I would like to share with you today is something I have found that has helped me when I was first starting out on the healthy eating path. First taking a before picture is a great motivator. When you take this, you will feel motivated to look better in 6 weeks times. Take a picture of your back, sides and front. Then do the same in 6 weeks time. If you lack motivation you can always take a picture to see your progress a little earlier on. If you are making quite dramatic lifestyle changes you will see results, even if you don't lose weight (potentially because you are gaining muscle) your shape will change. So keeping a before photo and logging your progress is a good motivation. It keeps you set on your next goal (e.g. slimmer arms) and gives you a pick me up in times of struggle with a healthy lifestyle. It also shows you that you are serious about making this work.
Some people choose to make this change a public issue. Some even start online blogs to keep themselves accountable. If you are brave enough then this may be a great idea but I don't reccommend. I don't recommend it because changing your lifestyle can be quite tough. It can feel embarrassing if you can't stick to your new diet or if you don't lose weight or if you simply slip-up. Writing a journal can be great to help you through these times but it will be much better for you to keep this private. There is less pressure on you to get to your goal meaning you won't panic, give-up or slip into a bingeing session.
So keep a journal but keep a private one. Journals are great. It can also be helpful to log your eating habits for the first few weeks. You don't need to be obsessive over it but logging your meals will make you more conscious of your eating which is a great thing. Many of us have wandered through life mindlessly eating. Some days we probably couldn't have recalled what we have eaten. The more aware you become of your eating, the more aware you become of how food makes you feel. If you document it you will be able to see links between moods and whether you eat for emotional reasons. For me this method opened my eyes to how particular junk foods left me sluggish and tired for the rest of the day. Making myself aware of this also helped me to stop eating those foods for good and helped me create a healthier relationship with food.
Most people do not have a healthy relationship with food. As a society it is caught up in emotional eating. We eat for celebration, mourning and loss, for socializing, dating - the list is endless. Life seems to evolve around food! So if we want to break that connection and start eating for nutrition and pleasure without pain, we must become more aware of our eating habits and how food affects us.
So if you are struggling with your weight loss - taking photos and journaling your eating habits for a few days maybe the motivation you need to progress and take your health seriously.