My Food Diary Revelations | | Middle Aged Mama blog


OMG it feels like I am keeping a journal or diary for practically everything these days!

I kept my food diary in a handy position on the dining table

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining …

Let’s see, there’s the orange diary which is where my A Sentence A Day blog posts begin. It’s also turned out to be surprisingly helpful to keep track of things, like, the fact that “certain people” haven’t bothered to visit in over a year. (If you are reading this, you can be 100% sure it is NOT you! I don’t want to give the game away but it’s nice to know I’m not imagining things when it feels like ages since any attempt was made …)

orange diary cover
This is where I take notes for “A Sentence A Day”

I’ve also upped my business coaching from group sessions to one-on-one sessions, and this quarter I am focusing on building my Confidence – Decisiveness – Assertiveness. This might seem like a strange thing to track for business coaching, but the fact is that “personal growth leads to business growth”. My task is to sit down every evening and write down 3 instances where I have practised being confident, decisive or assertive.

It’s been interesting – and has helped me find the courage to do and say some of the things that previously I was avoiding!

janet's journal
Janet’s Journal … learning to be more confident, decisive, and assertive!

And most recently, my personal trainer Sally has been asking me to keep a food diary. I mentioned to her that in addition to working on my core strength and flexibility, I needed to lose a couple of kilos to fit properly into my dress for Miss 23’s wedding (postponed to July 2021, thanks to Covid) – and as a first step, Sally asked me to keep a food diary to track what I was actually eating.  I was reluctant at first, but as Sally reminded me there’s no judgement, it’s just data.

This is a concept that is very familiar to me from my work. As an SEO specialist, before I have an initial session/chat with a potential client, I review their website and how it is currently performing in search engine results. I don’t judge them for it; it’s simply data – that is, information that I can then use, to see what needs to be done to improve things.

food diary
A sneak peek inside my food diary

What Keeping a Food Diary Showed Me

So I kept my food diary for a week, and when Sally and I sat down to discuss  it there were a few interesting revelations that came out of it:

  1. Some days I eat a lot. But there are other days when I actually don’t. So it kinda balances out more than I thought it would.
  2. I have a sweet tooth. Okay, that’s no surprise, but with a breakfast of cereal and coffee, and a couple of bikkies and a cup of tea for my mid-morning snack, we realised it was half way through the day before I put anything substantial/nutritious in my mouth.
  3. I don’t eat enough protein! Now that did surprise me. Our evening meal usually includes meat, and since the husbear has been working from home he tends to be the one that rustles up some lunch and being a typical man, that usually includes meat. This led to an interesting discussion with Sal. Where did I get the idea that I was eating too much protein? Was it due to environmental, or cruelty-free reasons … um no, I just “heard” that “we” all eat too much meat. Here’s a thought: protein keeps us feeling fuller for longer – so it could just be the key to curbing some of my cravings.
beef and roast pumpkin salad
How good does this look?! Lunch with a friend recently at a local cafe.

So what’s happening now? I’m going to be:

  • Trying a protein based option, one breakfast per week. I despise yoghurt so that’s out, but eggs and toast could work, and it’s really not much more effort than tipping up a box of cereal every morning …
  • Trying different breads. I’ve always been a white sliced kinda girl, which doesn’t offer much in the way of nutrition. This doesn’t mean I have to switch to the darkest, densest bread I can find, just that I am going to start experimenting with different types to see what appeals.
  • Working on my morning tea habit. I normally grab a couple of bikkies because a) that’s easy and b) sweet!!!
  • Having a firm conversation with the husbear. I am “naughty” plenty often enough on my own, but then there are times he will offer me a snack (coz he’s having one) – and he doesn’t take “no” for an answer. (That must be the Italian in him – food equals love!) How it usually plays out is that I can say “no” the first time but I usually end up caving. Sally helped me undertstand that will power is limited, and tends to renew itself each day. This means I’m usually able to resist more easily in the morning, it becomes harder after dinner when I am tired and my will power for the day is pretty much gone. And, he needs to respect my first “no”! (I have actually had this discussion with the husbear, so we will see how it goes ???? …)

The idea is that I will be eating a healthier diet, and less of the rubbish. When you add this to the 3 days of exercise now in my weekly schedule (walks on Monday and Friday, PT session on Tuesday), hopefully it will help me drop that couple of kilos in time for my girl’s wedding!

Have you ever tried keeping a food diary – and what did it reveal to you?


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