Journaling For Better Health
When I talk to people about their fitness goals I tend to see a couple of major problems over a one or two week period and those are inconsistent eating and exercise and a lack of commitment, more often than not cheating and not really being to aware of it.
There are 168 hours in a week. These hours are taken up mostly on autopilot. If you think of all of the things that you do in a week there is 56 hours of sleep, 28 hours of preparing and meals, 5 or 10 hours of commute time and many other things that we just do and not think of it.
If you begin fitness journaling everything that you do as far as your health and fitness are concerned you can change little things in these autopilot parts of your life and make real changes to your lifestyle.
How Do I Journal?
First what do you need to fitness journal? Really just some kind of book is good, a small notebook that you can keep with you all of the time and a pen. The setup of the pages is what is important.
You want to capture the important things during the day so that you can reflect on how you did later on. Here is what I suggest, but by all means adjust to what you would like to track of.
Date – Of course today’s date
Accomplishments for the day – How have you stretched yourself, what changes have you made starting today. Weight losses or strength gains?
Struggles for the day – Where have things fallen off the rails a little bit? What are you binging or wanting to binge on?
Mood for the day – How have you felt throughout the day? I find when I am making changes I may feel uncomfortable and a little irritable for a few days and this is ok because after that time I have a great feeling of accomplishment.
Eating – What did you eat today exactly? What? when? breakdown of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. How big of portions?
Exercise – cardio – Did you do some? How long? What kind of intensity on a scale of 1-10 with one being easy and ten being hard enough to make you throw up.
Exercise – Weights – Did you do weights today? How was your strength? Journal your exercises, sets, reps and weightsused. Any soreness? What was your energy level like?
Drinking – how much of everything. How much Water, pop, juice, coffee, tea, and alcohol
Free form info – Here is a place for just having notes on what you were thinking about maybe an expansion on your mood and when were you hungry, notes on new exercises or diet ideas that you have heard of that you would like to try. You can even add your sleeping habits and what you are doing in your evening quiet time (if there is any).
What Will Be The Results Of My Fitness Journaling?
As you can see you will be writing down a lot of how your body feels which is kind of anecdotal information as well as more exact type info like times and weights and that kind of thing.
This method of fitness journaling allows you to look back on your week and see what has worked and what has not worked and the struggles that you have come against.
This is important as only a few things are remembered from week to week and this system lets you look back a day at a time so as you are planning your next week you can try to avoid putting yourself in tough situations and put yourself in more empowering situations instead.
One example of this that I can take in my own life is that if I have money at work then I am apt to go out for lunch. Everyone knows that given a chance I will always choose poorly when it comes to buying food in a restaurant.
So I do not bring money and I always eat lunch at work. Another thing that I have found is that my exercise is poor on the weekends if I do not plan some kind of exercise for the weekend.
I know my schedule during the week and on the weekend I just let my exercise go wherever it wants so I tend to skip it.
I really hope that you give this exercise journaling a chance even if you only initially try this for a week to test it you will find that it is hard to cheat when it comes to eating or skipping exercise as you are really more accountable when you write down results than if you just try to forget about the little things you are doing wrong.