Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Still Small Voice

I am a very conscious eater... I painstakingly plan out the meals I prepare for my family, I labor over healthy cookbooks and recipes on foodnetwork.com that look simple, healthy and delicious. I chose ingredients diligently at the grocery store or farmers market – often examining 2 or 3 pints of strawberries before I find one with uniform berries of the right shape, scent and ripeness. I keep a variety of healthy snacks on hand, I do my best to buy local and organic when possible. I'm good at these things, I take pride in them. Until I don't.
On a whim, or strategically planned outing where I'll happen to pass by the drive-thru Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, I'll grab a Large White Chocolate Iced Latte. Conscious thought, yes, conscious eating, no. I unconsciously just consumed 490 calories.
This is why I've chosen to keep a food journal, it forces me to be conscious, present and accountable  for the calories I consume. I'm currently using an ipad application calorie counter which I've nicknamed Jiminy Cricket. It is a very helpful tool, when I utilize it. For the last two weeks I haven't had access to my food journal and you'd think I'd lost my damn mind. I've been eating things I would never eat if I had to write them down – what like if there is no record, it didn't happen? The problem with Jiminy Cricket is that he can only help when he's around to get you out of trouble. I can't use my food journal as a crutch, it has to be what it is... a tool. A tool designed to help me be a more conscious eater. The thing is, when food is your problem, the way it is for me, it is also the solution. It will save me or it will kill me. And I'm not necessarily talking about death in most disastrous of ways (though it will do that too) but I'm saying that feeling bad about myself, feeling fat and undesirable and useless and tired and ugly and lumpy and gross kills me. I'm embarrassed about the way I look and feel and the poor choices I make – consciously or unconsciously. So Jiminy Cricket, you ain't my crutch anymore. I may use you, but I will not rely on you. You are just too damn flaky.

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