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Overcoming Barriers To Keeping Records

Tools To Use As You Figure Out Your Patterns


A food diary or journal is like a treasure map; a tool to help you learn.

1.      It helps end denial, “Oh, it’s not that bad!” and fosters honesty with yourself.

2.      It helps you see automatic, unconscious patterns of alcohol use, drug use, foods, and observe how people, places, and events influence you and your choices.

3.      It helps you develop compassion toward yourself, and gratitude towards others who have helped you along the way.

4.      It helps you see how baby steps, over time, have make a HUGE difference. Just like the evolution of the sun from winter solstice’s short days to the splendor of summertime’s long days: it's barely noticeable (a shift of 1.2 minutes a day) but  adds up over time to a big difference.

 If you find yourself experiencing barriers to keeping records--not wanting to do it, many people find it is helpful to explore the pros and cons. This will help convince you of the value of doing it. Perhaps explore the Change? Who Me? How? section to explore the process of making lasting changes in our behaviors.


I don't keep a food/activity record because:


I don't want to do it! I want to eat whatever I

want, not exercise, and avoid giving it another



I can't remember to do it. I can't find my

record or a pen.


I forget what I've eaten. It's also too hard to

figure out how much I eat when I eat from

packages, in restaurants, watching television,

when I cook, clean-up the kitchen, in the car,



I believe I get enough exercise and I don't eat

that much. Keeping a record might give me

information that I don't want to admit.


The weekends (or holidays) are for fun and

indulgences, not writing in a record. It doesn't

really affect my weight since these days are

so rare.


I would like to avoid revealing in my record

the times when I reward myself with a "treat,"

followed by either starving myself or

disregarding my plans.


Writing in a record is the last thing I want to

do when I'm sad, tired, angry, anxious, or



Someone might see me writing down what I

eat or look at my record.


I don't want to write down "bad foods" or

what I eat during a binge. I don't want to

record the times I skip exercising.


I'm not motivated to keep a record because it

takes too much time, it's boring, and/or it's

too much work.

I can choose to:


Remind myself that studies show that people

who keep records lose more body fat. I can do

it because it works. I can make it fun.


Keep my record and my pen where I eat as a

visual reminder.


Record what I eat as soon as I eat it. Since

bites and tastes can add up, I can put what I

eat on a plate and really enjoy it. I can

measure my food or use images to estimate

my serving sizes.


Care enough about myself to honestly look at

what I am doing so I can identify any problem

areas and possible solutions.


Courageously examine my choices through

record keeping. Awareness on most days

helps me keep off the weight I've worked so

hard to lose.


Make a gift to myself to look for patterns and

trends in my records. I can decide if I'd like to

try something kinder and more effective if I

discover a problem.


See the links between emotions and behavior

with my records and find better ways to

handle my emotional needs and stress.


Do my recording privately or I can choose not

to worry about other's opinions.


Use my records to be objective so I can learn

from my setbacks instead of criticizing



Find the time and energy because I know

records are invaluable. I can switch the type

of record I use if I'm bored.




Chart is © 2004, Kaiser Permanente Northwest Health Education Services, Freedom From Diets Curriculum

             Copyright © 2001-2018 Bob Wilson BS, DTR  All Right Reserved. Articles are for personal use only. Please request permission for other uses. Thanks!