When I was looking for ways to be a more positive person, I decided to start a gratitude journal. By recognizing the best parts of life on a daily basis, I hoped to increase the gratitude and the joy in my everyday life. So I picked out the cutest journal I could find, eager to meet the best version of myself.
As it would turn out, the best version of myself is really based around the food I eat throughout the day, which was actually kind of disappointing.
The first day with my journal I sat down and thought back on the last 24 hours. What was I most grateful for? At first it was hard to come up with a satisfying amount of entries, but slowly the highlights started the jump out at me: There was the three-cheese omelet I had for breakfast. The next best thing about my day was the You Pick Two combination from Panera, which was the perfect escape from work and gave me the energy I needed to finish the day. I ended the entry by describing the Trader Joe’s enchiladas I had for dinner, filled with delicious black beans and corn. Three square meals to be grateful for, which perfectly added up to about 2000 calories of thanks.
In the following days, I would sit down each evening to write, my mouth watering with gratitude. It was never a challenging task as there were always at least three things to mention, and usually more. Bagels, coffee, pizza, stir fries, cheesecake, curries, and ice cream all made it into the journal. I began to feel like a gratitude goddess, despite only including things that went into my mouth and through my digestive system.
A few weeks later, I took some time to look through the journal and I realized that something was off. There were no mentions of my loving friends, no notes on my promotion, and not a single reference to my supportive parents, because none of that had really happened. There was only an organized list of each meal, snack, dessert, and drink that I had consumed. It turned out that all I was really grateful for was the food, and that was the one really good thing going for me in my life.
I also noted that my diet is 46% protein, which is really impressive!
Even though tracking my food hasn’t made me a more positive person, it has helped me identify unhealthy eating patterns, like depending on fast food restaurants for lunch and eating heavier foods towards the end of the day. I’m no more introspective than when I started this project, but I have figured out that gluten gives me serious gas, and that’s something to be grateful for.