Hello and happy Wednesday and happy first day of August. Is it August already? Holy crap…this summer is flying by! It is wonderful to be here with you for another week. Have I told you guys recently how much I love this?! Because, I do!!! I can’t believe I get to spend my days connecting with you about food and life and being healthy and happy. It’s the best job I have ever had and I am loving every moment of it. Thank you for your continued support, conversations, and questions. I love it all.
So this is the week…the beginning of the rest of my life. Okay, so maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but this does feel like a really big deal for me. I have never, and I repeat never, felt like I could trust my body or my mind, for that matter, to regulate what I eat. I have always felt like the only way to eat healthy was to track every calorie (or point) I ate while dismissing my body’s and mind’s cues of hunger. There is something comforting about being given a set amount and staying within it. It’s more structured and easier for my mind to wrap around. Unfortunately, I have learned there is no calculation or equation that works for you, and me, and him, or anyone else. What my body needs isn’t what any other body in the world needs. I have done a lot of research on this (excuse my nutrition nerdy-ness) and depending on the article, paper, app., or site, I should be eating anywhere from 1,400 calories to 2,200 calories a day. That is quite the variance! How to know what is correct? With that kind of information, every bite I take is shrouded in uncertainty. Should I be eating more, or less? Should I be having more protein, more fat, more veggies? I find myself filled with stress and anxiety. That is the antithesis of healthy living. The more I read, the more I am convinced our bodies are meant to self-regulate and only it knows what is the right amount for me to eat each day. Once addictive carbohydrates, specifically sugar, are removed from our diet, our bodies are free to regulate as necessary and will communicate with us on how to fuel best. We just have to learn to listen.
Okay, so I am going to be real with you…I’m terrified. I think this very well will be the most difficult and challenging couple of months as I learn and adapt. I have spent most of the almost thirty-one years I’ve had on this planet telling myself I can’t be trusted. I don’t have control. I have to always worry, count, and obsess about what I eat because without it I might gain it all back. The ultimate fear for me, to go back to the person I was three years ago, 230 pounds, unhealthy and insecure. Those feelings, with roots deeply imbedded with almost thirty-one years of growth didn’t just let go and disappear because I made this decision. They are still there lurking, poking, and popping up just as I feel confident. I have been struggling all week to write this post because there is still a part of me that isn’t sure I can do this, even though the research says I can, and should. The truth is this, the only way to progress, to become the woman that isn’t bound by the food she eats, is to take this leap of faith and decide that I am capable of this. For me, it’s more then that though. This is going to be an exploration of self. Instead of hiding behind programs and counting, finally dealing with my relationship with food at it’s core. Confronting the feelings and cravings that have scared me for so long and coming face to face with their origin.
For me, this isn’t just about intuitive eating, but intuitive living. It’s not just the food I put in my mouth. Sure, that is important. I have this whole blog basically dedicated to fueling your body properly, but that’s only part of the equation. It’s about every part of your life, body, mind, and spirit. Without addressing every aspect, you risk not making permanent change. Jeff and I are moving into the next phase of our lives, hoping to become homeowners soon and start a family. I want to be the best version of myself for each of those moments and beyond. I know it won’t be perfect; I will be far from perfect, but I know there are some steps I can take to be better and that’s the goal I am always striving for… not perfect, just better.
With that in mind I am committing to journaling. Some may even call it tracking, but it’s not just focused on the food. Everyday I am committing to taking five minutes before bed and reflecting on my day in three main parts: food and water, activity, and general mind and body wellness.
Food and Water: Yes, I know, I know. “Tedi you just said intuitive eating, no tracking!” What I am talking about isn’t restrictive. This is notating…not controlling. I think being aware of what you eat and consume each day is so important to understand your health. This means journaling what I eat, not the calories but rather just what I consumed and when so that later, if I notice a shift in behavior or my body feels different I can look back, and see if there is a pattern correlating with what I have eaten. It is just as important to notate when I didn’t eat (fasting) so that I can see how my body and mind react to that as well.
When I say water, I really mean any non-alcoholic beverage as basically everything can be hydrating to your body. You know how I feel about hydration. Check out Blog post The 1 Think That Changed My Keto Experience and the 8 Things I learned Along the Way for more information on this. This portion also includes tracking what supplements or medication I may be taking and how that affected me overall. Lastly, I do track macro % of fat, protein, and carbs. Not because I feel the need to stay within anything, but I do think that it could be a good bit of information to use. Maybe I feel better with more protein, or more fat, or even….gasp…more carbs. I find this percentage by logging my food with the CarbManager app. This is something I log throughout the day so it’s easy for me to glance at before bed. I don’t have the calorie tracking or anything enabled. This just allows me to see the percentages easily.
Activity: I am going to have a big post next week about activity and the amount of it we should be doing, so keep a look out for that. This section is all about taking a moment to acknowledge the activity our body was able to endure that day and highlighting any goals reached or progress made. Sometimes the weight doesn’t come off, or the inches don’t just melt away, but logging this data allows us to tangibly see our progress and enjoy it. It is also about, and maybe even more importantly, notating how our bodies felt during and after our workout. Maybe we went a little too hard and will need to adjust for tomorrow, or maybe we felt amazing because we had a new breakfast or had a carb-up the night before. Whatever the change, it’s data towards finding the best you.
Mind and Body Wellness: If I had to pick a most important section, this may be it. Mind and body wellness is what we are ultimately striving for and tracking changes in behavior and mood can help us better understand how the other components (food/beverage and activity) affect us. This section is split up into two parts, Mind and Body. In the mind focused section, I am going to rate my general mood for the day and notate if I practiced any self-care (yoga, meditation, got a pedicure etc). I know how important practicing self care is but I often don’t take the time to do it and I am hopeful that tracking the changes that occurs on days I do it, will force me to see the importance of it daily. I also will write down general notes, like I was productive, or I couldn’t focus at all, or maybe something stressful happened that day and I was filled with anxiety. All of these things are important to acknowledge. I find that the act of writing them down is a way of letting them go. I also want to take a moment each day to continue a gratitude practice. I went through a period where I did this, writing down what I was thankful for each day, and I found that it was a wonderful exercise that had me feeling lighter and happier. I stopped because…well you know, life, but I am starting back up with an easy, three things I’m grateful for each day. Nothing crazy, just a moment to recognize life and it’s wonder.
The last portion is paying attention to how my body feels. Again, a basic one to five scale of how my body generally felt that day and then some notes to explain. Maybe I was sore from the workout the day before, or maybe I had a bit of a headache or bloating. Again, this could coordinate to something you ate, or didn’t eat, or possibly a workout that was a bit too much or not done with the right form. Two more things I will notate. If I do a ketone test, when and the results. Again, just information to use when looking at the whole. And for me, and this is totally personal, but I will notate how many days without a binge episode. It’s important for me to take each day that I get through without any episodes as a win and to be celebrated, but also, if there is a slip or something gets to me and I give in, this gives me more data so that my armor can be a little thicker next time around.
Alright, so you are looking at this and going…”five minutes?! No WAY! This is going to take forever to track all of this.” I am NOT a journal-er. I never have been, not even as a young girl. I know the benefits of it, but writing about myself, to myself, doesn’t really interest me and takes too much time, so I had to devise a simple sheet that I could go through and easily jot down ALL of this information in five minutes or less. If it couldn’t be done in five minutes, I knew I couldn’t keep to doing it. So….I took some time and designed a sheet to easily fill out that I call The Everyday Feast’s Keto Life Diary. Below is an example of what yesterday’s looked like for me.
As you can see, it’s laid out in a simple way so that I can quickly jot things down and then move on to the rest of my life. I am certain that this daily reflection is going to make me more mindful but also teach me so much about myself. Although this whole thing is pretty scary…it’s also super exciting.
So this is the plan, because I like goals, I am going to do this every single day until the last day of September. That is a full two months. Each day, I will post the previous day’s Keto Life Diary log on my Instagram Stories, make sure to follow me @theeverydayfeast, to not only keep me accountable, but so that you can see what each day looks like for me. At the end of the two months, I will be getting a body scan and will write a post about the changes I saw from doing this practice.
Do you want to do this along with me? I would love that. I actually have a digital copy of my Keto Life Diary available for sale in my store (more items to come). It’s only $5.99 so you can print your’s at home and journal along with me.
I am so excited about this process and the next two months into the rest of my Ketogenic life and I am beyond honored and thrilled to be able to do it with you by my side.
Keep a look out for Friday’s post…it’s a sweet one!
Until then, Happy Feasting!