Keeping a food log - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 05-10-2009, 09:08 PM
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Hi everyone. This is kind of awkward for my first post, but I don't know where else to ask this. If this is inappropriate (or potentially triggering?), I'm really sorry.

I've been keeping a food log/diary for the past year or so (when I went vegan after 11 years as a junk food vegetarian). I've recorded everything I've eaten everyday. At first it started as a way to make sure I was eating a balanced diet, not eating ice cream three days in a row, etc. It seemed like a good idea. Weight loss was NOT the goal, but I did lose weight. Admittedly, I liked that. My diet also got a lot better, and I'm generally a healthier person than I was last year.

The problem is that my food journaling has become a bit of a compulsion. The only time I stopped logging was for a 10 day vacation, and it felt wonderful to walk away from my logging for a while. I was still doing it in my head, but it wasn't practical for me to write it down. The day after I got home, though, I started back up again with the journal.

I'm not measuring my food, nor am I really limiting what I'm allowing myself to eat, but having to write it all down does make me think about food constantly, and I hate that. It just doesn't feel right to me anymore, but I can't stop. I've gotten it in my head that if I eat more than 4 times a day, no matter what it is, I'm "cheating." I've made up arbitrary rules, and I get mad at myself when I break them. I have a touch of OCD anyway, and it's really manifesting itself here.

My question is whether this behavior is indicative of the development of disordered eating. I don't want to go down that road. Has anyone dealt with something similar to this? Any recommendations for how to stop thinking of food like this? Even if I stop writing it down (which I'm vowing to do), I know I'm still going to be keeping my food log in my head. It's such a habit now. I want to quit doing this, but I'm also sort of afraid to lose all of my discipline and gain back the 27 pounds I lost.

I'm sorry I rambled so much. Any advice or commiseration would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 Old 05-11-2009, 05:38 AM
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If you don't want to keep a food log anymore then just go with your vow to stop writing it down and eventually you'll stop doing it in your head also. I don't think though, in my opinion, that it's a bad habit. More people should have a food log going on in their head lol
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#3 Old 05-11-2009, 05:22 PM
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I see red flags flying here.

I've been down this path. I've been trying to recover from an eating disorder for four years now. But I also had a strange relationship with food most of my life.

If you feel like something is off, you are probably right. What can you do instead of thinking about food? What might distract you? Try making a list: reading, writing, walking, taking a bath, a favorite tv show, singing, etc.

Stop recording for awhile and see what happens. If you cannot move your thoughts away from it seek further help. It might not be an eating disorder, but the sooner you steer clear of that path the better.
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#4 Old 05-11-2009, 06:28 PM
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Yeah, I definitely think you need to stop keeping track. I can relate very well, as I have been there before. That is no way to live your life. Yes, for some people it is good to keep a food log, but in your case, you need to take a break from it (even in your head!) as it seems to be driving you crazy, and you don't want it to spiral into further and worse issues. It may help to talk to a professional too, whether it be a dietitian or a psychologist. I do believe this is a kind of disordered eating. People on the outside don't take it as seriously though because you're not starving yourself or puking up your food - but it is still serious. It is not normal to be constantly thinking and worrying about food and setting arbitrary rules for yourself.

I am glad that you recognize that this is something you need to get under control. Best of luck
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#5 Old 05-13-2009, 07:42 AM
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i really like food logs and agree that more people should keep them, i do them often especially if im feeling icky or that ive gotten off track with keeping a healthy balance.

i can see how they can cause problems, especially for minds that tend to obsess. an alternative to a food log is menu planning. make a menu for yourself at the start of the week and try to stick to that, or "order" off of it when your hungry. i do this for saving money on groceries, but it does help with making sure we aren't eating junk for days straight too. i write down the meals i have ingredients for on sundays and during the week just pick whatever sounds good. hope this helps.
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