My mom always had sturdy and thick journals with the pre-written calendar dates lying around the apartment as well as her “special notebooks”—usually dollar store, spiral-bounded, lined paper—where she doodled, scribbled to-do lists and wrote letter drafts she never planned on mailing.
I’d always admire her regularity with journaling, with calendars, with marking things down. When she would allow us a look or two into her entries, I noticeably would feel that I had missed something by not registering where I was or what I was feeling on paper (or electronic device) for future references. This reaction would soon dissipate; in it’s a place would appear the pattern of sharply shunning journaling as a practice that does not work well for my type.
“I am just not a detail-oriented person.”
“I cannot remember to write every day or week? That is just not me.”
Today, I watch reactions such as the ones above as signs clearly displaying a learned aversion toward looking myself squarely in the emotional mirror.
Our body is a well-integrated system. If there is turbulence in the emotional realm, there will be turbulence spilled over, for example, in the mental or physical realm. Daily awareness regarding our actions (or lack thereof), eating habits (reasons for eating), and mood around all of this is key to more conscientious living.
Now that I have made clear choice on standing squarely in front of that emotional mirror, I cannot go without frequently using my home journal, small “To-Do” list notebook and my purple, edgy food and fitness journal. This is because deep down I saw, in my mother’s life, the priceless benefit of recorded reflection. However, to make the practice stick, I had to be clear about what I wanted and would need in a book.
Food and fitness diaries can be great ways to add some seriousness and reflection to your budding fitness routine.
Multi-layered journals (perfect for today’s texting, emailing, Facebook-ing working professional) function more successfully with me by providing layouts that allow me to list not only what I eat but also my feelings or motivating forces.
The journal that I am using is pictured below. I adore it. It is a well-matched fit. I picked it up at a community fair in Chester and been glued ever since.
It is not the stickers or tons of pages for writing notes that makes this journal a well fit for me per se. It was the care crafted into the design with the aim of making accessible for young womyn this vital practice of writing down nutritional shifts and weight management plans. Other reasons include but are not limited to:
- Playful colors and design as a subtle reminder to have fun and be lighthearted in the process
- The section for notes, mini-journal entries and to-do lists
- The fill in the blank calendar weeks (I never understood my mother’s penchant for the pre-filled out calendar dates)
- Mainly, the spaces for writing down one's mood at each meal
There is one bit of a blemish with Best Journal Ever!: My Food and Fitness Diary. (And, yes, I will just come clean with it and share that my journal was intended for teenage girls and not for presenters sitting next to display tables passing them out for free. It still rocks!)
The only blemish is that there is not designated space for calorie counting—although there are places with conversion charts, food pyramids and places that let one look up the nutritional value of some meal combinations.
All and all, find something that works for you. Journaling can work for most people; however, most people will have to do the work to find out which journal is the best fit.
My mother excitedly called me yesterday five minutes after our earlier call ended to share she was interested in picking up something she had just heard about from a close friend called a daily nutrition journal. I chuckled lightly to myself as she began a litany of reasons as to why this kind of journal would be good for her wellness plan—one reason being that this is what she has known to do; she just did not know one could apply journaling to food.
I said nothing about the journal I was using—well at least not yet; for, sharing my multi-layered (teenage girl) purple, edgy food and fitness journal as a way to get folks excited about using a journal everyday would have been superfluous for womyn who just discovered the possibilities of fitness journaling and who has been in the practice of recorded reflecting her whole life.
Who would have thought that, fast forward, my mom and I would be in the same place with (fitness) journaling. Synchronicity
Journal Best Journal Ever! My Food and Fitness Diary
The spiral-bound Best Journal Ever! provides bone health tips and information and includes stickers and lots of pages for girls to journal their food and fitness habits and thoughts.
WebMD Printable Food Journal
This Wellness blog is to share the author's trials and triumphs in becoming more present and centering her daily routines around health practices that build from the inside out.
It is her hope to spark dialogue and resource sharing as well as encouragement for those newly embarking on their journey toward healing all over.
(This is a personal blog with resources for educational purposes only.)