Day 292, Why Resume My Food Diary and Detect Cognitive Distortions?

Day 292, Why Resume My Food Diary and Detect Cognitive Distortions?

Just because I haven’t logged a calorie doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.
A calorie counts whether I count it or not.
All of the calories I log count.  All of the calories I don’t log also count.
Calories count whether I log them or not.  Logging brings them to my awareness and helps me to eat mindfully.  Mindful eating allows me to reach my goals.
~KaeLyn Morrill



Food Diary

A few days vacation from keeping my Cronometer log derailed me.  I gained about one kilogram total, which sets me back about two months.  (I can lose about one kilo in two months.)  With my unbounded appetite, I developed severe indigestion and intestinal blockage that almost necessitated a call to 9-1-1.  However, I vomited, and the force of the vomiting unblocked my intestines, much to my relief.
Why Is It So Difficult For Me To Regulate My Food Intake Without the Aid of a Food Diary?
I researched the effect of my medication, Risperdal. It binds to the D2 dopamine receptors in the nucleus accumbens of the brain.  Because of that, my body requires more food to get the same amount of reward, increasing my appetite.  My appetite demands more food than my body needs.  Other factors may affect this too, such as leptin and insulin resistance.  I have worked to reduce those factors, but they may still be present.  I have taken Risperdal for 20 years and lithium for almost 35 years.  Lithium also causes weight gain. Fortunately, I have managed to keep from becoming obese.  However, it has taken a great deal of effort and the use of a food diary.
I wonder if my readers may have difficulty regulating their appetites.  Basically, my appetite does not shut off until after I have eaten enough food to make myself sick, not to mention gain weight.  Is this a common problem?  It could also be that my body has a large number of partially filled fat cells from being overweight in the past.  Each of those cells begs to be filled.

Let Me Just Accept That I Need to Use a Food Diary

For now, let me just accept that I need to use a food diary for reasons I mentioned in my ebook, Joyful Vibrance:  Transform Your Body Image, Energy, and Mood!, and the additional reason of avoiding indigestion, which I discovered this past week.  Sometimes, when my life becomes chaotic, I have difficulty using one.  However, that is not most of the time.  I will do what I can.  I am not going to say I should use a food diary.  I am simply going to observe the effect of not using a food diary versus what happens when I do.  Yesterday, I ate well, and felt much better.  Here is my food log for yesterday:

Here is the nutritional analysis:
I kept the macro-nutrient amounts in bounds and the nutrient balances in the ideal range.  I lost .15 kilograms last night, which is a step in the right direction.  I could not do that as consistently as I do without the help of a food diary.

Doctor Visit

I went to the doctor on Friday.  The health coach said I had excellent blood oxygen at 99.  My blood pressure was ideal, and my weight was at a healthy weight.  My eyes, which were my concern, were able to track normally.  The nurse practitioner said my heart sounded great.

Cognitive Distortions

Though I lapsed on my food diary, I am practicing the detection of cognitive distortions, a practice I now have in full swing.  In addition to finding distortions in my own thoughts, I am finding distortions in things people tell me, which allows me to tag them with a degree of uncertainty, rather than just believing them like I would typically do.  This practice has spared me a lot of depressed feelings.  I may get depressed before I do the analysis, but after getting through it, I feel a sense of relief.  I believe that much of my depression in the past has been caused by believing too much.  Now I can attach an uncertainty rating to many thoughts instead of believing them 100%.
Here is an example of one of my analyses, which I do in The Journal.
All-or-nothing thinking
Thinking that the medical profession is the only help I can get for my bipolar is all-or-nothing thinking.
Thinking that all people with bipolar must stay on their meds for life is an overgeneralization.
Mental filter
Thinking that medicine is the only thing that can help me is a mental filter.
Discounting the positive
I almost discounted the positive yesterday when I was told I had a healthy weight, 99 blood oxygen, which is about the best it gets, good heart rhythm, not too fast, and good blood pressure.
I also discounted the positive that my bipolar was controlled well most of the time.
Jumping to conclusions
a.  Mind reading
b.  Fortune telling
Barbara did fortune-telling when she said I would need my medication for life.
I magnified the problem with my eyes.  They have not even bothered me today.
Emotional reasoning
I felt depressed yesterday, which I interpreted to mean that my bipolar was not under control.  That does not appear to be true.  That was emotional reasoning.
Should statements
Thinking the medical profession should have done better to help me manage my bipolar, or that I should have relied more on the medical profession is a should statement.
Barbara said I should thank the medical profession for keeping me stable.  I can do that if I want to, but I do not have to do it just because I should.
Labeling or mis-labeling
I called Barbara “Barbie,” but I do not think she minded.
Personalization or blame
Blaming myself or the medical profession that my bipolar has not been better controlled is blaming and personalization.
This analysis provided me relief from thinking too rigidly about my condition.  It also relieved me to acknowledge that nobody knows the future with certainty.  Down the road, things could change.  My former husband told me once that I would never be able to lose weight if I took my medication.  Even though it has been difficult to lose weight, it has been possible.  I credit an electronic food diary for making it possible.  That is something my former husband did not foresee.
With the help of intensively practicing cognitive behavioral therapy, I may be able to drastically reduce the amount of time I spend depressed, something that medication and food supplements alone cannot give me.  CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) has been around for about 40 years.  However, I have only recently used my journal program and my memorization techniques to more fully apply it in my life.


Morning Prayer
Dear Lord,
I have resumed my food diary.  Not doing it was not working for me.  It was okay for a day or so, but then it resulted in what could have been a disaster.  If I had called the paramedics, it would have caused us a lot of stress and may have even resulted in surgery for my diverticulitis.  I do not know that for sure, however.
Cognitive behavioral therapy has been around a long time.  To take full advantage of it, it requires me to relentlessly apply it.  I detect virtually all cognitive distortions in my thinking nearly every day, and that is probably not an over-generalization.  Tagging my thoughts with uncertainty brings me a lot of relief and reduces anxiety as well as depression.
Lord, I am making new friends here in Colorado.  Colorado is a beautiful place to live.  I had many friends when I lived here before, just after graduating from  
college.  I was homesick for Utah, so I went back.  I do not believe I had as many friends in Utah as I had in Colorado, at least considering that I only lived in Colorado a short time.  I could tell myself I should have stayed in Colorado, but that will not do me any good.  I am just glad to be here now.
Lord, I have found more evidence supporting my decision to become a Christian.  Eternal life is a gift (Romans 6:23).  It is not something we must earn.  When I am manic, I sometimes behave badly.  I could fear that God will judge me for what I have done, but I do not.  I know I am forgiven.
Lord, bless my readers with relief from their should statements.  Bless them to find peace as well as vibrant joy.  Let them know I love them.
If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
KaeLyn Morrill

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