We emphasize the importance of journaling at all times. Mind you, if you are losing weight and seem to have a good grasp of size of portions, and the triggers that make you eat and have these under control, you may not need to journal regularly. However, if you are struggling or off track, journaling is the single most effective way to get your self back on track.
Remember. There is no point in keeping a journal unless it is a genuine conversation with yourself – a confrontation, in which you can learn something about yourself.
The most important first step is to carry your journal (paper or notebook or phone if you use an app), and begin keeping a daily journal in which you write everything (I mean everything) down.
You might use a different colored pen to mark down ‘forbidden’ or ‘trigger’ foods and try to reflect on your mood at that time when you had these foods.
While journaling your foods, you should write also everything that seems important-not so much events, but feelings, or events that bring feeling into play. Do this every day, possibly before going to bed at night. One night it might be two sentences, another night it might be five pages. Write whatever seems natural and comfortable, but the important thing is to keep writing until something surfaces that feel important.
Some helpful question to keep in mind might be:
1. How do I feel about myself today?
2. How many things did I do that I hated doing-but enjoyed the outcome?
3. Did I comfort myself in any way?
4. Did I punish myself in any way?
5. How did other people treat me today and what did I do, how did I respond? Did they confirm my feelings about myself? Did I let them take advantage of me? Was I more concerned about pleasing others than meeting my own needs? Did their behavior surprise me in any way? Did anyone say anything that sticks in my mind-that seemed to have some special meaning or importance to me?
6. Did I observe anything, did anything happen, did I do anything that left a deep impression on me?
7. If I were to live this day over, how would I change it, and why?
Writing something down and then reading it makes it seem more benign-no matter how intense the original feeling may have been. We give up hope if we think that an eating binge can’t be stopped. Writing about it helps to slow it down.
Keeping a journal is simply a way of having a discussion with oneself.
Keep on working at it. Don’t ever give up. You can do it.