What comes to mind when you think about journaling?
A blank page, anxiety about what to write or maybe it even brings you back to sixth grade laying in your bed writing in your pink rainbow covered diary about how your sister was mean to you that day…
Well I have good news for you, journaling when you are using it as a tool for weight loss and/or other health goals is a whole lot easier, less stressful and can provide so many more benefits!
Before we dive into the 3 main benefits journaling provides, I want to distinguish the difference between JOURNALING and TRACKING.
If you’ve ever counted calories or used an app like my FitnessPal you know all about tracking. Tracking calories in and calories out. Unfortunately, this activity lacks several of the most crucial steps for moving towards weight loss goals and actually changing habits that are sustainable in the long term. Tracking does just that, it tracks. It’s like a math problem.
Who wants to do math when you’re enjoying a nice grain bowl for lunch, right?
Journaling however, can and will give you much more insight, even long after you have done the journaling exercise. Below are the 3 INSTANT BENEFITS journaling can and will provide you if you are working on a weight
1. AWARENESS – We tend to be more aware of what is put right in front of our face. A lot of times when we try to think back about what we had for lunch or what our meals looked like over the entire week, we guess. And unfortunately, we guess wrong. What happens when we guess wrong? We think something happened and that we should see the corresponding results and when we don’t, we get frustrated and confused.
For example, we think we ate a really “clean” smoothie for breakfast and salad for lunch, but in reality if we were to journal, we would have realized the smoothie we had for breakfast didn’t fill us up, so we had a bag of trail mix mid morning. And actually the salad we had for lunch was a taco salad with a shell that gave us heart burn that lead us to feeling sluggish and not having energy for our afternoon workout. If you are ready to be honest with yourself and truly make the change you want to see, journaling can help you see things you haven’t seen in years or maybe ever.
2. REFLECTION – When you journal and log more than just what you eat, but also how you feel and what other factors were present during the meal/week, it is incredibly helpful to make adjustments and create a plan to overcome challenges and obstacles that may come your way. Having a journal to use for reference can also be a very valuable tool when you get off track. Your journal can be a reference guide to see what you were doing during a time that you felt really great and felt like you were on track and at ease with your diet.
3. OPPORTUNITY – We can’t make educated and realistic changes unless we know what we are currently doing.
Think about it, would it make sense for a coach to tell her client to go run 10 miles 4 times a week when the client has never run before? No way! Journaling can be helpful to identify opportunities for change, progress and to develop a plan to move forward towards your goals in a realistic and sustainable way.
If you have never journaled before and are ready to gain all the benefits that come with it, give it a try! All you need is a pen and piece of paper and you can get started today. If you are looking for additional guidance and personalized support, schedule an intro call here to learn more