Total Health in Midlife Episode #162: Why I Don’t Log My Food

food log

I remember the exact moment when I realized that my food diary had become my prison. Every calorie counted, every nutrient tracked, I was trapped in a relentless cycle where my self-worth hinged on my meal choices. 

Welcome to a heartfelt episode of the Total Health in Midlife podcast, where I take you through my transformative journey from the meticulous world of food logging to the liberating practice of intuitive eating. Together, we’ll explore how to break free from the shackles of the food diary and learn to trust our body’s natural cues to lead us toward a healthier, more joy-filled way of eating.

Throughout the episode, I dive into the hidden dangers of food logging perfectionism, weaving in stories of individuals like my client Jerry, whose struggle with habit tracking brought light to the necessity of self-compassion in our eating journey. 

We’ll discuss the power of adopting a beginner’s mindset and how to use food logging as a stepping stone toward greater self-awareness and growth, rather than a strict measure of virtue. I’ll guide you through the complex emotions that often accompany eating habits and share strategies on how to foster resilience and self-compassion as we navigate our relationship with food.

Join me as I discuss finding a sustainable balance in our food choices, where treats are no longer the enemy and moderation becomes our friend. I’ll share insights into the transition from rigid tracking to savoring meals and how to include the foods we love without an ounce of guilt. 

By the end of this episode, you’ll be equipped with the tools to cultivate a peaceful, satisfying eating experience that honors your health goals and celebrates the joy of eating. Unwrap those earbuds and let’s embark on this journey to food freedom together.

Chapter Summaries

Ditching Food Logging for Intuitive Eating (0:00:04) 

Food logging can negatively impact our relationship with food and self-worth, but intuitive eating offers a healthier, more balanced approach.

The Pitfalls of Food Logging (0:06:12) 

Nature’s moral compass: Avoid perfectionism in food logging, adopt a beginner’s mindset, and focus on internal satisfaction.

Food Logging and Mindset Shifts (0:20:58) 

Food logging can be emotionally challenging, but mindset shifts and photo tracking offer sustainable alternatives.

Finding Balance in Food Choices (0:34:37) 

A mindful and balanced approach to eating, including treats without guilt, trusting the body’s cues, and savoring meals with peace and satisfaction.

Are you loving the podcast, but arent sure where to start? click here to get your copy of the Done with Dieting Podcast Roadmap Its a fantastic listening guide that pulls out the exact episodes that will get you moving towards optimal health.

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode

  • Discover how keeping track of food affects how you feel about yourself and changes how you eat.
  • Learn how to reach health goals without writing down everything you eat, finding freedom in listening to your body.
  • Find out how being too hard on yourself when tracking food can make things worse, and how being kind can help.
  • See how you can enjoy your favorite treats while still eating balanced meals, breaking free from strict rules.
  • Start a journey to feeling good about food choices, where changing your mindset helps you make healthier decisions without stress.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Full Episode Transcript:

So, are you tired of meticulously logging every bite you eat, yet feeling like you’re not quite getting any closer to your health goals? And have you ever considered that your food log might be holding you back rather than moving you forward? What if I told you that there’s actually a way to achieve your health goals without being tied down to a food diary, or that guilty feeling about every meal choice.

I would love for you to join me today as we explore the hidden traps of food logging, the psychological impact of labeling food as good or bad, and my own journey towards a life free from the scales and obsessive tracking.

We’ll also uncover alternative stress free ways to approach eating that can lead to a healthier, more balanced relationship with food. Isn’t that what we all want?

This episode is going to challenge what you think it takes to be healthy and it will offer you a new perspective that could change the way you think about food and health forever. If you’re ready to ditch food logging for good and discover a more liberating approach to eating, you are for sure going to want to tune in today.

Let’s get started.

Welcome to Total Health and Midlife, the podcast for women embracing the pivotal transformation from the daily grind to the dawn of a new chapter. I’m Elizabeth, your host and fellow traveler on this journey.

As a Life and Health Coach, I am intimately familiar with the changes and challenges we face during this stage. Shifting careers, changing relationships, our new bodies, and redefining goals and needs as we start to look to the future and ask, what do I want?

In this podcast, we’ll explore physical, mental, and emotional wellness, offering insights and strategies to achieve optimal health through these transformative years.

Yes, it’s totally possible.

Join me in this amazing journey of body, mind, and spirit, where we’re not just improving our health, but transforming our entire lives.

Hey everyone, welcome back to another episode of the Total Health in Midlife podcast. I am your host, Elizabeth Sherman. And today, I am going to talk about something that most of us, I think have done at one point or another in our journey to be healthier. And that is food logging.

Now, if you are like many of my clients, you might have a love hate relationship with tracking what you eat. It’s a common tool in the diet industry. And for a long time, it was part of my daily routine as well.

I remember meticulously weighing my food, noting down every single bite. Like there was a time that I was weighing everything on a scale. And I was constantly checking to see if I was on track. And it was a process that on the surface seemed like it was the perfect result or what was going to get me to my result, which was losing weight.

Because if losing weight is all about calories in versus calories out, and I knew how much was going in and by that time I had the wearable device that told me how much I was spending, right? That it was like the logical choice that would solve all my problems.

But here’s the thing. After a while, I began to notice that this habit of logging everything wasn’t just about keeping track of my diet. It was a way that I was proving to myself how worthy I was.

It was subtly shifting how I viewed food and more importantly, how I viewed myself. It became less about being something fun to do and interesting and like, Oh, I wonder what this is all about. And more importantly, how I could control things.

And dare I say a sense of worth tied to what was on my plate and what wasn’t. How good I was for eating these foods and not those. So, eventually, I took a step back and asked myself some really hard questions.

First, you’ve heard me talk about my approach. Did I want to be logging my food when I was 70 years old? No, absolutely not. So then, why was I food logging? If I was doing something that wasn’t going to get me to my end result, how was I going to taper myself off of it? How was logging my food helping me to become healthier or was it just another thing I was doing to prove something that I was virtuous by eating the right thing?

Yeah. And so, we’re going to talk about that. Also, did it make me happy or did it make me obsessed over every little detail that I ate? These questions led me down a path of figuring it all out. And eventually, to a decision. I had to figure out how to stop food logging.

And not only that, but I had to figure out a way of eating that supported my goals without logging. Like, was that even possible? Maybe.

Now, I understand that if you are someone who logs your food, if you’re someone who has times when you are on and logging, and then you’re off and not logging. The idea of not logging your food and reaching your health goals and maintaining them might sound like a foreign concept. Like it’s impossible, like an impossible goal, right? But it’s not.

And there are millions of people who maintain their ideal body size and don’t log their food. Think about that. It’s an idea called intuitive eating. And I didn’t actually even know about intuitive eating until well within working with clients.

It’s not only possible, it’s something that I help my clients with that I’ve been helping them with. And I had to figure it out on my own. And then, I found out about intuitive eating, and I was like, Oh, so funny.

But anyway, because I’ve been able to do it. And I have found just a ton of freedom in it. I want to bring that to you too. So, today, we are going to explore this decision together. I’ll share with you the insights that I gained from stepping away from my food logging and we’ll look at how this habit often seen as necessary can sometimes lead us down a path that we don’t intend to go down.

And we’re going to uncover the hidden pressures and the psychological traps that sometimes come along with tracking every single bite that you eat and why for many women, especially women in midlife. It might be time to reassess our relationship with food logging. And really learn how to manage our eating without having to do this.

I want you to listen to this episode with an open mind. Whether you’re a steadfast food logger or you’ve never tracked a meal in your life, there’s something here for everyone. And we’re going to explore the alternatives that can lead to a healthier, more balanced relationship with food and ultimately, yourself.

So, first, let’s talk about perfectionism. It’s a word that often sneaks into our lives, especially when it comes to health and diets. So, many of us approach food logging from this perfectionist mindset. We start with high hopes, expecting to log every single meal flawlessly, every calorie counted, every nutrient balance.

But let me tell you, this pursuit of perfection in logging food is a dangerous path to walk on. And it’s one that often leads us into a trap. Let me share a story about my client, Jerry. So, Jerry is just an amazing woman. I love her. And she’s diligent and committed to her health goals, for sure, 100%.

So, she was religious about tracking her eight basic habits checklist. It’s a checklist and guide that I have the foundation of all of my work with my clients on. And you can get your copy if you want it at And so, the eight basic habits. Jerry had her habit sheet, and she was diligent every single day.

Without fail, she would tick off her habits, and she was like, I’ve got it going on. And she felt such a sense of accomplishment every single day, week after week.

But then, something happened, life. As it always does. And Jerry had family visiting and in the midst of all of the chaos and her family being there and having her loved ones around, her logging took a back seat. As it does, right? Like, we get out of habit, we get out of the swing of things, and we forget to do it.

When her family left, and things settled down, Jerry looked at her habit sheet. And instead of focusing on the time that she spent with her family, she was obsessed and felt really bad about all of the things that she had unchecked. And it wasn’t so much that the sheet wasn’t filled out, right? But she was like, Oh, I wasn’t doing all of these things.

And she realized how easily it was to slip out of that. She felt like she had failed. She felt like she had left herself down. The tool that she used to track her progress had turned into a weapon that she used against herself because she now had this sheet in front of her and she was like, I didn’t do any of these things. I suck.

So, her worth in her eyes was tied to the perfection of filling out her food log, of doing the things on the food log because that was how she could say, I am doing the right things.

Now, the story of Jerry is not unique, and it reflects a common story where food logging becomes the measure of our self-worth. We start believing that a perfect log equates being better, being healthier, right?

But here’s the catch. Life isn’t perfect, and neither are we. We are human. And expecting perfection from ourselves in something as variable as diet just is not realistic. And even if we were perfect in our food logging and eating what we were supposed to. Our body is not a math equation. It’s not exactly calories in versus calories out.

There’s a lot of stuff going on in our bodies that we don’t necessarily know about. And one of my mentors loves talking about our metabolism and what we eat, and how we move, and how we sleep, and all of those great things as a chemistry set, not a math equation.

And so, this is where the importance of a beginner’s mindset comes in. Instead of viewing food logging as a test that we need to excel at, that we need to ace, and get an A plus on. What if we saw it as a learning tool? And I think for many of us, that’s where we start out.

That using the tool as a way to understand our habits, our preferences, and our tendencies. And this shift in perspective can be so liberating if we can go back to it. It allows us to approach our dietary choices with curiosity rather than judgment.

So, when Jerry and I discussed her feelings about everything that she hadn’t done, we dove into the why behind her logging. And she realized that her motivation was external validation, feeling accomplished in seeing a perfect sheet.

But what she really missed was the internal satisfaction of doing the things on the sheet because they made her feel good, not just because she was checking off boxes on a piece of paper. And so many, me included, of my clients have this same mindset that we’re like, okay, if I just check off the boxes, then I’m going to be golden.

But the thing is that life will always come in and interrupt checking of the boxes. The perfectionism trap in logging our food is something that many of us fall into. And we start out with the best of intentions, but along the way we lose sight of why we’re doing it in the first place. It’s not about having a flawless record. It’s about learning, growing, and making choices that support our health and our happiness.

So, if you’re finding yourself getting caught up in the perfectionistic game, I invite you to take a step back and ask yourself why you’re logging your food in the first place. Is it to learn and grow? Or is it to chase this perfection ideal?

Health is not a destination. It’s a journey. And every journey has its ups and downs, it has its struggles. And we need to embrace them, learn from them, and most importantly, be kind to yourself along the way.

One of the most intriguing aspects of food logging is how it often transforms into a moral compass. Many of us consciously or not start associating the act of logging food with being good or bad. Now, this black and white thinking categorizing foods and our eating habits into moralistic terms can be a really slippery slope.

So, let’s think about it. When you log a day of eating what you consider healthy foods, you might feel a sense of pride of being good. But what happens when you log a piece of cake or a serving of fries. Does that suddenly make you feel bad? Does it make you not want to put it on your sheet?

This is where we need to pause and reassess our approach to food logging. Because for many years that I logged food and for many of the clients that I had when I first started out, they would log their food. I would log my food Monday through Friday.

But then, Friday night hit, and I would start getting a little flexible with my diet, right? And I wouldn’t want to put it on the piece of paper. I wouldn’t want to log it into my fitness pal. I wouldn’t want to see those red numbers that said that I had gone over. I only wanted to see the green, right?

Food in its essence is neutral and it’s not inherently good or bad, it’s just food. It’s the meaning that we attach to it that creates these moralistic labels and those are all learned. You didn’t decide that ice cream was bad for you. You didn’t decide that chocolate was bad, or wine, or French fries.

So, when we use food logging as a mean to judge ourselves, we’re not really learning or understanding. We’re just policing our behavior based on arbitrary standards of good and bad.

So, I want to introduce you to a concept that I find incredibly helpful. And it’s what I teach my clients. It’s called the ‘food uniform.’ And I’ve talked about it before in other episodes. Much like a capsule wardrobe where you mix and match a few chosen pieces to create a variety of outfits. A food uniform involves creating a menu of pre designed meals.

These are meals that you’re probably already eating, and these meals are planned in advance. Ideally, the day before. We decide the day before, what it is that we’re going to include tomorrow. And they include a balance of nutrients and tastes. But here’s the key. They also allow for treats and events and for life’s unexpected moments.

So, the beauty of the food uniform is that it removes all of the moral judgment from food logging. It’s really important to step back and realize is that I include treats in my clients food protocols, their food uniforms.

And the reason why is because often, when we want to lose weight, when we want to get healthier. And those things are not synonymous. When we have a goal, we tell ourselves that we’re not allowed to splurge until we get to the goal, until we accomplish the goal, until we are successful.

And the problem with that is that if we eliminate treats from our diet until we are successful. When we are successful, we are then quote unquote, allowed to eat the treats. But then, we don’t know how to manage eating the treats. And this is one huge reason why so many of us struggle with maintaining our weight.

So, the beauty of the food uniform is that it removes the moral judgment from food logging. You are no longer logging to catch yourself being bad. Instead, you’re planning and logging to ensure a balanced, enjoyable diet that aligns with your health goals and life’s pleasures. It’s a proactive approach, one that celebrates the diversity of food and respect your body’s needs.

This method also addresses one of life’s biggest resistances to food logging. The idea that certain foods are off limits. We’ve been conditioned to believe that healthy eating means cutting out all of the foods that we love.

That we can’t have chocolate, or ice cream, or cake, or French fries, or pizza, or whatever it is until we get to our goal. Or that for some reason, we’re never going to have it again. Although, we want to be able to have it again, but as we go through life, when we eat it, we’re like, Oh, I was bad. I had pizza last night, right?

We’ve been conditioned to believe that healthy eating means cutting out all of the foods that we love. But healthy eating is about balance, variety, and actually enjoying your food. All foods fit into a balanced diet. By including treats in your food uniform, you’re acknowledging that all foods can have a place in your diet. And you learn how to include treats in your daily diet.

How does this shift our view of food logging? Well, it turns it into a tool for planning and reflection rather than judgment. It becomes a way to ensure that you’re getting what you need, both nutritionally and emotionally from your diet. It’s about understanding that your body, your needs, and your pleasures, and planning according to that.

The practicality of the food uniform lies in its simplicity and its flexibility. It’s not about strict adherence to a set menu, it’s about having a framework that guides your choices while leaving room for spontaneous eating and joy. It’s about making food logging a positive, supportive part of your health journey, not a punitive measure.

Now, in shifting away from this idea of food logging as a moral compass, we open ourselves up to a more compassionate, understanding, and enjoyable relationship with food. We move away from self-judgment and towards self-care. We start seeing food for what it truly is. A source of nourishment, pleasure, and celebration.

So, let’s keep this in mind as we move forward throughout the rest of the episode. Food logging shouldn’t be about tracking or moral worth. It should be about learning, growing, and finding joy in the way that we nourish our bodies.

One of the more challenging aspects of food logging, and perhaps the reason that many shy away from it is the stark mirror that it holds up to our eating habits. It’s not just about noting down what it is that we eat. It’s about facing the reality of our choices. And for many, this can be super uncomfortable. Right?

The discomfort often leads to avoiding food logs altogether. But in doing so, we’re essentially shunning accountability and putting our head in the sand. So, let’s be honest, nobody really wants to write down that they ate 10 Oreos in one sitting. I get it. Right? And it’s not just about the Oreos themselves. It’s about what we believe that means about us.

This is a story that we tell ourselves, that eating 10 Oreos is bad. And then, by extension, we are bad for doing it. So, we choose to ignore it. We gloss over it. And we pretend that it didn’t happen. But in avoiding this acknowledgment, we’re also avoiding taking responsibility for our actions.

It’s super easy to forget when we stand on the scale and the scale doesn’t reflect what we think it should. That oh yeah, last Saturday I ate 10 Oreos. It’s a form of victimhood, a comfort in not facing the reality of our choices. And it’s easier to say, I don’t know why I’m not reaching my health goals, rather than to admit, I ate in a way that doesn’t align with my goals.

And that right there, I ate in a way that doesn’t align with my goals. That is the power of coaching. That is where I go in with my clients and find out, why not? Why did you eat the 10 Oreos? What were you feeling that made you believe in the moment that 10 Oreos was going to solve the problem and make you feel better? And did it, right?

Again, this isn’t about the 10 Oreos. Who cares? Doing that once a year isn’t going to make that big of a difference. But this resistance to change, to facing the truth, keeps us stuck in a cycle of unfulfillment and frustration. I’ve totally been there myself.

There was a time when I would avoid logging certain foods or meals because I didn’t want to confront the fact that I was straying from my health goals. It was easier to live in a state of confusion or denial than to acknowledge that I was the one that was in control. And perhaps, not making the best choices for my health.

But here’s the crucial realization. Negative self-talk is optional. You do not have to beat yourself up after you eat 10 Oreos. It’s totally a choice. And if we ever want to reach a state of food freedom, we need to address not just what we’re eating, but also the mindset shifts necessary to stop being harsh critics for ourselves. It’s about working on our eating habits and our self-perception in tandem.

When we log our food, it should be from a place of curiosity and self-improvement, not from self-flagellation. Like writing down what you eat every once in a while, and logging your food just to find out like, Oh, I’ve been eating this salad for the past few weeks and it’s really good. I wonder what the nutritional breakdown is.

So, writing down that you ate 10 Oreos isn’t an admission of failure. It’s an acknowledgement of a choice that you made. It’s a starting point for understanding why you made that choice and how you can make different choices in the future if that aligns with your goals if you want to.

This mindset shift is crucial for breaking out of the victim mentality. Instead of seeing ourselves as victims of our cravings or circumstances, we start seeing ourselves as active participants in our health journey. We begin to understand that every choice is a new opportunity to learn and grow, not a reason to berate ourselves.

Moreover, this shift allows for a more compassionate approach to health and wellness. It opens up the space where we can be honest with ourselves, without being judgmental. It’s about acknowledging our human tendencies, understanding them. And then, making informed conscious decisions moving forward. This approach also fosters resilience.

When we stop seeing every unplanned food choice as a disaster. We start building a more sustainable and forgiving relationship with food and ourselves. We learn that one choice doesn’t define us or our journey. And this realization is empowering.

The journey towards food freedom and health isn’t just about what we eat. It’s about how we think about what we eat. It’s about moving away from a mindset of victimhood and self-criticism to one of accountability, learning, and self-compassion. It’s about understanding that our eating habits are within our control and that we have the power to change them, not through self-punishment, but through awareness and kindness.

So, I think that it’s really important to acknowledge that traditional methods of tracking every calorie and nutrient might not suit every person out there, right? Doesn’t really make a lot of sense that there’s one size fits all.

This realization opens the door to alternative approaches. Ones that ease the burden and bring a bit more joy and simplicity to the process. One such approach that I find intriguing is photo food logging. And there’s a really great tool for this called ‘ATE.’ It’s an app for your phone.

Instead of writing down every detail of your meal, you just take a picture of it. And this method is incredibly straightforward, yet super powerful. It allows you to visually track what you’re eating without getting bogged down in the minutia of calories, grams, and percentages.

Now, the beauty of photo food logging lies in its simplicity and its immediacy. You eat, you take a photo, and then you move on. Or I guess it’s the other way around, right? You take a photo, you eat, and then you move on. There’s no need to search for food items in a database or weigh your portions.

This ease significantly reduces the time and mental effort required for traditional food logging, making it more sustainable and less intrusive in your daily life. Another advantage of this method is that it provides a visual diary of your eating patterns. So, over time, you can scroll through your photos and get a clear, honest picture of your dietary habits.

This visual feedback can be incredibly insightful. It’s one thing to know intellectually, that you’ve been reaching for snacks more often than usual, it’s another to see it visually represented.

So, the app ATE, A T E, also introduces an element of mindfulness to the process. By taking a moment to photograph your meal, you’re creating a pause. A brief opportunity to be present with your food. To look at it, to take it in, to enjoy it. This act can subtly shift your approach to eating, making you more aware and conscious of your choices.

However, the key to making any food logging method work is personalization. What works really great for one person might not be the best fit for another, and that’s why I encourage you to experiment. Try different methods, mix and match techniques, and find what works for you.

Maybe it’s a photo food log, or maybe it’s a brief note in a journal. Using pen and paper, or perhaps it’s a combination of several approaches. It’s also super important to remember that the goal of food logging in whatever form it takes is to provide insight and understanding, not to serve as a tool for self-judgment.

Whether you’re using an app like ATE, a written diary, or any other method. Approach it with a mindset of curiosity and self-care. Experiment in how you log your food and that can also extend to what you log.

So, for example, instead of just logging what you eat, you might also note how you felt before and after eating it. Or the circumstances surrounding the meal. Did you eat because you were hungry? Or was it because you were bored or stressed? How did you feel after eating? Did you feel satisfied? Did you feel overly full? Did you feel energized or sluggish?

This broader approach can provide valuable insights into not just what you eat, but why and how you eat.

In exploring these alternative approaches, we’re not just looking for more manageable ways to log our food, we’re seeking a deeper connection with our eating habits and ourselves. We’re looking for ways to make food logging a positive, enlightening part of our health journey, rather than a choice or a source of stress.

If traditional food logging has felt burdensome or unhelpful for you, don’t be afraid to step outside the box. Try something new. Be it, again, food logging, or photo logging, or another method, and see how it feels.

The right approach is the one that will help you to understand and enjoy your relationship with food more deeply without adding unnecessary stress to your life.

One of the most pervasive issues that we encounter is the moral value that we assign to different foods. It’s a dichotomy deeply ingrained in our culture and our mindset. Chicken and broccoli are good. Well, brownies and burgers are bad, right?

This simplistic categorization not only oversimplifies the complex nature of nutrition, but it also impacts our relationship with food in very profound ways.

So, let’s break this down a little bit. We label certain foods as good. And these usually include vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Then, there are the bad foods, often the sweets, the fried items, anything that’s considered indulgent, right? Anything that’s marketed as guilty.

And amidst this black and white labeling, there’s also this huge gray area where foods like avocados, Nuts, eggs, steak, cheese, where those reside and they’re constantly shifting back and forth between good and bad based on the latest diet trend or the nutritional study.

This moral labeling of food creates a problematic mindset. When we eat something good, we feel virtuous, proud, right? We get this like little ‘puff’ in our body. And we stand up a little bit straighter, I had a salad today.

But when we indulge in something quote unquote bad, guilt and shame will often follow. This guilt in turn affects our relationship with food and leads to a cycle of restriction, craving, indulgence, and guilt.

In a previous episode of my podcast, episode number 80 called, ‘Why It’s So Easy to Overeat,’ I discussed how our priorities influence how we view and choose food. There are four different priorities that we all have differently.

How do we prioritize health when it comes to food? How do we prioritize calories or being, a diet food or not? The cost associated with the food. Is it high priced? Is it low priced? So, what’s the value? And then, what’s the convenience factor of the food? Those are a few different things that we consider when we choose to buy food at the grocery store.

And often, we are bombarded with messages that don’t align with our personal values or priorities, leading to confusion, and internal conflict. So, how do we navigate this landscape?

The first step is to challenge the moral value that we assign to food. Food is just food. It’s a source of nourishment, pleasure, and social connection. And when we strip away from these moral labels, we can actually start to see food for what it really is and make choices based on our individual needs and preferences, not guilt or societal judgment.

So, I encourage you to include treats in your food plan without guilt. Yes, it’s totally okay to plan for that slice of pizza, or the occasional burger, or brownie. These foods can be part of a balanced diet. And the key is mindfulness and moderation. And also, being aware of how your body feels when you eat these foods and in what quantities. So, it’s about paying attention to your body and eating in a way that your body wants.

By consciously choosing to include these foods, you’re taking control and making decisions that align with your desire for enjoyment and satisfaction along with your health. And so, this approach often requires us to look at the psychological aspect of our resistance to certain foods.

Often, our reluctance to include treats stems from a fear of losing control or deviating from what we perceive as the right way to eat. But remember, flexibility and balance are integral to sustainable and enjoyable eating. Restriction often leads to cravings, which can then spiral into overindulgences and guilt.

It’s also important to consider the context of our food choices. Why are we choosing to eat a certain food? Is it for nourishment? Is it for comfort? Is it because we’re celebrating? Or maybe I’m just bored, or I’m stressed?

Understanding the why behind our choices can help us make more mindful decisions. I will tell you; I still emotionally eat occasionally. But the difference is that I’m doing it from a conscious place. I don’t unconsciously eat. I don’t unconsciously go to food and then wake up a little bit later, I say wake up. And ask, what was that all about?

So, finally, let’s talk about priorities. What matters most to you in your food choices? Is it nutrition? Is it taste? Is it convenience? Is it cost? It’s okay, whatever those things are but they’re going to be ranked in a certain way.

And so, there’s no right or wrong answer here, but being intentional about it, being aware about your priorities can help guide your decisions and make your food choices more intentional and satisfying.

So, by challenging the moralistic view of food and embracing a more balanced approach, we can overcome the resistance and guilt often associated with eating. It’s about finding what works for you, honoring your body’s needs, and enjoying the wide range of foods that life has to offer.

Now, my journey away from food logging was not an overnight transformation. It was a long and gradual process. And it was filled with self-discovery, introspection, learning, and most importantly, a desire to find a sustainable way of eating that felt right for me.

For years, I was meticulous about logging every single thing that I ate. I had my food scale, my measuring cups, and my tracking app. And I used them all diligently. I used them to ensure I was on track.

But over time, this practice started to feel more like a burden than a tool. Because again, it wasn’t something that I saw myself realistically doing when I was 60, or 70, or I just didn’t even want to be on my death bed thinking about food logging. Like I just wanted food to be a non-issue.

And it began to dawn on me that my relationship with food had become more about these numbers and trying to control and less about nourishment and enjoyment. Which is what food is supposed to be about.

The first step in my journey was recognizing this imbalance. And so, I asked myself, what am I truly gaining from logging my food? Is it enhancing my health and happiness? Or is it just adding stress to my guilt?

The answers were not black and white, but they nudged me towards reevaluating my approach to food. I decided to step away from the scales and obsessive tracking. Now, this decision was not easy. In fact, it was freaking scary.

Letting go of something that had been part of my routine for so long that I relied on felt incredibly risky. What if I wouldn’t be able to do it? It was almost like stepping into unknown territory. I didn’t know anyone who had gone from where I was to where I wanted to be. But it was a risk I was willing to take for the promise of a more balanced life.

The transition was gradual. First of all, I stopped logging my food, and I started planning my food. Okay? Then, I started by allowing myself days when I didn’t log, slowly increasing them over time. And figuring out, like, how do I feel?

I began to trust my body and my intuition more. I learned to enjoy food for its flavors, its textures, and the joy of sharing meals with people that I loved. I learned. to eat just enough and not too much. Rather than viewing it merely through the lens of calories and macros.

Instead of saying, okay, this is the portion that I need to eat because that’s what the food log is telling me that I should eat. I started trying to eat the bare minimum and asking how did I feel afterwards.

So, today, I live a life free from scales and obsessive tracking. It’s not a life of unbridled indulgence. So, I eat everything that I want. I just don’t eat everything that I want. And so, it’s a life of balance and mindfulness. I eat healthfully most of the time, but I also enjoy treats and try not to have guilt about it.

And I start to notice when those treats become more frequent and my response to them. So, I start to notice when I start to have cravings for things that aren’t attached to hunger. I listen to my body. I eat when I’m hungry. I stop when I’m satisfied. And most importantly, I savor every single thing. At least I try to. I try to be mindful.

This approach has brought me more peace and satisfaction than any meticulously logged food diary ever did. And I share this journey with you not to say that food logging is inherently bad or unnecessary.

For some, it can be a really valuable tool for awareness and change, especially if you’re starting out. It can be really super valuable to understand, Oh, that’s where all of my fat is coming from in a day. Or well, that food had way more calories than I thought it did. Right?

So, it can be a really super valuable tool for awareness. But if you find yourself where I was feeling burdened and restricted by it, know that there’s a totally different way.

If you want a life free from the constant tracking, weighing, and measuring. If you want to enjoy food without the guilt or stress. If you seek a balanced approach to eating that aligns with your lifestyle and brings you joy. I am here to guide you.

Through my years of experience and my personal journey, I have developed strategies and insights that can help you to find your own path to food freedom. And I want to invite you to reach out to me. Let’s have a conversation about where you are in your journey and where you’d like to be.

Together, we can explore a way of eating and living that feels freeing, satisfying, and healthful. And it’s tailored to you, your likes, your dislikes, your body, how it wants to be fed.

Remember that your relationship with food is deeply personal and ever evolving. It’s about finding what works for you at this moment in your life. And having the courage to adjust when you need. You deserve a relationship with food that’s nourishing, enjoyable, and free from unnecessary stress and guilt.

Let me take one minute more to reflect on the key points that we’ve explored today. We began by discussing the perfectionism trap in food logging. Recognizing that striving for flawless tracking can lead to self-criticism rather than self-improvement. We saw through Jerry’s story how this pursuit of perfection can turn a helpful tool into a source of stress.

Then, we challenged the notion of food logs as moral compasses, understanding that labeling foods as good or bad oversimplifies our relationship with eating and can lead to guilt and unhealthy eating patterns.

I introduced the concept of the food uniform, encouraging a balanced and planned approach to eating that includes all types of foods. And I dove into the psychological aspects of food logging, discussing the resistance to accountability, and the comfort of playing the victim.

We acknowledged that it’s okay to notice our choices without judgment and that self-compassion is a key to a healthy relationship with food.

And finally, I shared my personal journey of moving away from obsessive food logging and invited you to consider if a similar path might be right for you. It’s about finding balance that works for your body, your lifestyle, and your happiness.

Thank you for joining me on this journey today. This has been such an amazing episode, I think. I hope you’ve enjoyed it just as much as I have.

If my story resonates with you, and you’re ready to explore a new path in your relationship with food, please don’t hesitate to reach out. And together, we can start this journey towards a happier, more joyful life, that’s balanced.

That’s all I have for you today. Have an amazing day, everyone. I’ll talk to you next time. Bye-bye.

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