Better Than a Food Journal

Recently, my friend Heather, or MOSY as she is known in blogging circles, wrote a wonderful piece on having Gratitude.

She beat me to the punch.

I had intended, ever since Mother’s Day, to write on the same subject. It was on May 12th that I started a Gratitude Journal, one in which I would write down three things I was grateful for, every day.

So far, so good.

Keeping a gratitude journal is easier than keeping a food journal (which I have failed at twice) and is a million times less depressing. After all, who wants to admit in writing that they ate bad things or try to keep track of every single thing that went into their mouth? It’s a lot of anxiety-inducing work and I don’t have a desire to try again, even though some experts say it helps with diet and nutrition. Whatever.

Instead, I have chosen to keep track of the positives, whether I’m having a bad day, cleaning up cat puke or mad at the stupid weather.

Hence the entry on June 13th of “SUN!” (Because I think we had 20 minutes of it.)

You will note a few special entries:

  • A wet cat nose (Gibbs) that greets me when I get home. It’s like a kitty fist pump. “Hey mom, you’re home! Now you can feed me and pay special attention to me and sit on the couch with me. You’re awesome!” Yes, I am awesome and I’m grateful Gibbs tells me so in a warm fuzzy, nose-butting way. Meanwhile, Ziva just runs around, cackling for me to stop paying attention to him and get on with the business of food. She’s grateful for food.
  • Finding a beer/biking bucket list. Yeah! Did you know there are 12 breweries located along or near Wisconsin bike trails? That’s what I’m talking about, people. There are geniuses in my home state that decided this would be a good idea. I am so grateful for their spectacular idea of putting two things I love together. If only it would stop raining and warm up so that I could research these places, I would be eternally grateful.
  • SUN!ย It bears repeating.
  • Fridays! Faith! Fun! God, how I love Fridays and fun. No, really God, I’m very humbled and grateful that You’ve given me a life that has both. If You could make every third day a Friday, that would be swell.
  • Not being crazy…I think. Some days I swear I am losing my mind, but then I leave work and all is well.ย  As long as I don’t have a conversation with the cats in which I answer for them.

Oh, wait…

There have been days when I felt I was writing something down to simply finish or get it done, but there remains a plus in this. It encouraged me to count my blessings when I wanted to count the irritations instead. It made me think about the positive, no matter how trite or forced it felt. It reminded me that I am standing upright and breathing in a life that really is pretty good.

Right Heather?

So, I shall continue on. I’ve made it longer with this gratitude journal than either of the two attempts with a food journal. It’s because I can fill myself up with grateful “goodies” minus the anxiety of knowing that I ate too much sugar the day before.

Which reminds me to put “stevia” on the list for Monday.

What are you grateful for today, my dear Peeps? Do you keep a gratitude journal? Have you tried the food journal thing? Or is your slim and trim figure and positive attitude enough? I’d like to know!

43 responses to Better Than a Food Journal

  1. Thank you for the shout out. I’m grateful for kind friends. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    A gratitude journal has been one of those things I think I should do but never quite get the momentum going. It’s a great exercise though and well done for sticking to it. And I agree. Some days I’m just grateful to be upright and breathing.

    As for a food diary…. never have, never will. Life is too short for that level of anxiety about food.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      You’re welcome Heather! You’re wise to not think about the food journal. Enjoy what you eat because you’ll only run it off later.

      I’m determined to keep at this for some time or at least until the SUN shows up for more than a day. ๐ŸŒž

  2. Love this idea. Food journals I’ve done and abandoned, even though they paid off. This exercise, I think has only upsides.
    Thanks for sharing.
    And I hear ya about the sun – three cheers – oops, it’s gone again.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Ha! I published this post, then quick went for a walk. No sun, but no rain either. Grateful I am dry, Maggie!

  3. Dan Antion says:

    It was heart warming to see the image of your gratitude journal. It’s great to hear about it, but seeing it, I can almost imagine that wet cat nose greeting. I don’t keep a gratitude journal and I would not ever start a food journal. The closest I come is tracking my blood pressure. I do have a lot to be grateful for.

    The notion of bike trails running past breweries is intriguing. I hope you get some sunny weather soon, so you can give that ride a try. I look forward to your report.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Tracking your blood pressure is important, Dan. Keep up the good work!

      I have made it to the Bare Bones brewery off the Wiouwash trail. Unfortunately, their summer strawberry jalapeno beer was the only one I cared for. The rest…meh. On to the next one!

  4. J-Dub says:

    I am grateful I found this post. I have kept a gratitude journal in the past but have become lax about entering daily. I need to start a food journal stat to assist with finding a cure for what ails me. Food journal-ling would have zero to do with my once fit trim body. Most days my positive though sarcastic attitude makes up for everything.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I understand the food journal in your case, if you’re having issues. Have you thought about a food sensitivity test?

      Positive sarcastic is a very special attitude. Be sure to write about it in your very special sarcasm journal. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‰

      • J-Dub says:

        I had not thought about a food sensitivity test. I might have to go that route though. Sounds like a very good idea.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        My friend had one done and found out she was sensitive to many foods. You just have to be prepared for the results.

      • J-Dub says:

        Easier said than done I am sure. Yet at this stage, I am prepared to give up anything to feel better again.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        Then do it. My other suggestion is to see a naturopath or holistic doctor for a second opinion.

      • J-Dub says:

        Thanks Mary! Very helpful. I was stuck in analysis paralysis. Now I am forming a plan.

  5. Claudia says:

    I don’t keep a gratitude journal but I do make a point of thanking God or the Goddess or Spirit for allowing me to wake up one more morning, to be able to drive to work and for my grandkids and my family and for the pineapple upside down cake that’s sitting on the table. Maybe at my age I’m more thankful than I used to be!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thanking your God every morning is a great way to start the day feeling grateful.

      Pineapple upside down cake? Oh boy, can I come over and be grateful with you?

  6. joey says:

    Thatโ€™s wonderful! Iโ€™m so glad youโ€™re enjoying your commitment.
    Pets and weekends are high on my list, too!
    I kept a food journal for two years. Additionally I tracked my joint pain and skin reactions to determine the relationships.
    I kept a gratitude journal from 2010-2013, although my commitment waned after the first six months. I found that once I moved home I regularly FELT more gratitude and I would thank God I was home 10-20 times a day on top of anything else. Didnโ€™t need to record it, it became habitual, a good use of OCD. That bounce in gratitude taught me so much about what really matters to me. I still say and pray and announce how grateful I am to be home.
    I hope you keep the practice of gratitudeโ€” I cannot say enough about how much itโ€™s changed my life.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      That had to take a lot of commitment on your part to keep a food journal for two years, although you had good reason to. I would guess that it helped, same as being home and writing your gratitude down helped. I intend to keep at it. I can be a negative Nellie from time to time, so it will be a good practice for my positivity.

  7. Array says:

    I’m not a stranger to keeping journals. I kept logs of my daily workouts and nutrition when I was training and actually still keep a log of sorts of my physical activity. For the last number of years I’ve been trying to ensure a minimum of 1000 minutes per month. Some months it’s a lot harder than others so the goal and log help keep me honest about what I’ve really done vs my perception of effort.
    Gratitude journals however have always been a challenge for me and they’ve ‘failed’ almost as soon as I’ve started. Now that I see a photo of your journal, I think I know why. I like the neat precision of your journal without any need for explanation. I was always approaching each item of gratitude as a small essay. UGH. It was painfully time-consuming. I like your approach a LOT better. Time to rethink this journalling thing!

    • bikerchick57 says:

      I never would have started this gratitude journal if I had to write paragraphs or explanations of everything I’m grateful for…unless the mood strikes and I feel a need. I’m trying to keep this simple and clear enough that I won’t wonder what I was writing about 10 years from now.

      I had an exercise calendar taped to the bedroom closet door for two years. Right in front of my nose. Do you think I would remember to write on the calendar after physical activity? Nope. I gave up on that form of tracking. My problem has always been feeling motivated all the time, so perhaps what I need is a big boot rather than a journal. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Joanne Sisco says:

        I was used to track through an online app linked to my coach which is where she posted my workouts. When I stopped racing and tried to make the switch is a paper-based journal, it just didn’t work for me. I now use an online tracker which works better for me, although t’s true that sometimes I’m posting an entire week at a time ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • bikerchick57 says:

        After another rainy weekend, I hope to take a bike ride after work. In the SUN! It will be going in my jounal in capital letters if that happens…

  8. leendadll says:

    food journaling is the worst!! i believe it helps people lose weight solely because they don’t want to log the crap food… but I simply didn’t log the crap food (still ate it).

    once in awhile I do a gratitude journal but I’m more partial to my “Q&A a Day” book. They’re good for 5 yrs and I’m on my 2nd one!

    • leendadll says:

      ps: if it’s any consolation, I live about 2.5 miles from the ocean in SoCal and we haven’t had much sun either due to a deep marine layer nearly every day since early May.

      • leendadll says:

        Temps are peaking around 70 right now… but still a marine layer a little sun (but warmer & sunny inland). It will be sunny and 100+ soon enough… I’m in no hurry!

      • leendadll says:

        That’s the actual title of the book. 365 short questions at the top of each daily page with lines for 5 yrs of

      • leendadll says:

        … of responses. So you just restart the book every Jan 1. The Jun 18 Q is “What’s the last meal someone cooked for you?” Tomorrow’s is “What is the last personal letter you received?”

        The book is well made/bound and easily holds up to 5yrs of wear. I keep mine on my nightstand as a reminder to answer it each night.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        That’s very cool. I might look into it if I decide I need something more than a gratitude journal.

  9. Shelley says:

    Aw, this is awesome, Mary – way to go! How Gibbs made the list is heartwarming. And a beer/biking tour…YAY!! That sounds intriguing.
    What am I grateful for? Your honesty, your humor, your love of Wisconsin even if it lacks sunshine – and your blog that always entertains and gets me thinking! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Thank you so much, Shelley! I’m also grateful I have a Wisconsin blogging buddy.

      There is a microbrewery in Eau Claire, near the Chippewa trail. If you haven’t already checked it out… ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿšดโ€โ™€๏ธ

  10. JoAnna says:

    I’ve made lots of gratitude lists. The most helpful one was all the things I appreciated about a family member I was temporarily mad at. A food journal helped me years ago and was a big eye-opener, but I didn’t keep it up for long.

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