Remember how I mentioned that sharing my past experience with food diaries and restricting calories to 1200 per day seemed yucky just committing to words? I’m through 3 days of tracking every literal calorie I intake, and I hate it. HATE IT.

First, when you have to track everything you eat, it turns you into a person who is constantly thinking about what they eat. For someone who isn’t mindlessly eating in the first place, this means that I’m constantly having to think about the things that I may want to eat but probably shouldn’t eat. For instance, don’t think about fall. Don’t think about the leaves changing and the air getting cooler. Don’t think about putting 1 million pumpkins on your front porch. Just don’t even think about any of that.

What are you thinking about right now? Probably fall.

So here’s how it went down.

On Sunday I was well on my way to a great food diary day. Breakfast was my standard coffee and protein bar. Lunch was broiled tilapia on the leftover slaw with a blueberry spinach protein shake. Dinner was a Mexican bowl with pintos, leftover beef, cheese and a handful of tortilla chips. And then, after having obsessed about being good all day, I grabbed a slice of cookie cake from the fridge.

Here’s why that is so important: I don’t get sugar cravings often these days. I’ve cut almost all added sugar through the few months of conditioning myself. But after obsessing about not eating any of that cookie cake during Hubs’ birthday party, and obsessing about not eating that cookie cake the next day, my brain was fixated on that dumb cookie cake. It wasn’t even good either. It had so much sugar that made me immediately woozy and I tossed about half of the slice in the trash.

Well dammit, Monday is another day so let’s get to it. It started off really well. Well, except for the migraine that woke me up that morning. Again with the coffee and protein bar. I intended to go to the gym to get back on my weight-training routine. The staffer who runs the child watch just didn’t show up that day. Bubs and I waited for about 15 minutes, then decided it wasn’t likely that waiting there would be fruitful. So much for that workout.

For lunch I finished up all that leftover Mexican bowl stuff (beans, cheese and some chips) and about 3 hours later had second lunch of a can of tuna and cucumbers. While Bubs naps I spot some Cheetohs in the pantry (their aunt brought them as a treat over the weekend and somehow they survived both kids and Hubs being home for almost 48 hours). Still being good, I properly assign myself a serving and log it in the diary. Suck it, diary, I can still eat some crap every once in a while and be OK.

At this point I’m sitting at 1,310 calories for the day and all that’s left is dinner. I’m not even all that hungry because this migraine just won’t stop. It is the crazy afternoon where I have to pick up Peanut from school then shuttle her to and from dance class, meaning a home-cooked meal is almost impossible. Meanwhile the migraine. And the constant fixation on this stupid food diary.

What happened next? Chick Fil A happened.

But Chick Fil A happened big. I was going down and I was going down HARD. Flaming dumpster fire kind of shame spiraling here. No. 1 no pickle meal for me, with a sweet tea to drink (only drank about a third, but still that junk is sweet). Oh and I wanted to try their new mac and cheese, so add that on (I split that with Peanut). I love their cookies and my migraine really wants some chocolate, so let’s add some of those, too. I only ate one of them, but here’s a real moment of honesty: I didn’t tell the fam I even got cookies. I hid those bastards.

Shame spiral complete. What does the food diary look like now?

Total calories for the day: 2,830

Net carbs: 242g

So you know what I’m not doing any more? Food diaries.