Whenever I get to the journaling portion of a healthy-eating program (and there is always a journaling portion), this internal dial tone sets in. Is it not enough that I am portioning out my whole grains by the 1/4 cup? Must I also carefully note it and process my feelings about it?
And yet, this year I resolved to keep a health journal. (If you happen to know me in real life, you are laughing too hard to keep reading. I'll wait until you recover.) I did it because I've been reading Consciously Female by Dr. Tracy Gaudet (of our own Body + Soul), and it's a terrific, nonjudgey book about how you can get healthier in every way just by -- wait for it -- paying attention to yourself.
So I decided to start paying attention. At first I felt self-conscious in a Samuel Pepys-ish
way, nattering on about my flu and my mucuous membranes. But as I kept going, I realized why people journal in the first place: Writing things down makes you notice them.
I'm not sure why I didn't know this before, since for a living I write and notice, and edit people who write and notice.
One thing I've noticed is that after dinner I like to feel nice and full. For instance, last night after I finished my sensible meal (brown rice, chicken, crispy green beans), I was feeling healthy and virtuous, but that isn't quite the same as nice and full. So I went picking at the leftovers I'd been saving for the next night, and several forkfuls later I realized that it is a very fine line between "nice and full" and "Violet Beauregarde."
This must have been my M.O. for some time now, but I don't think I'd have noted it if I hadn't noted it.
The Benefits of Keeping a Journal ,,,