Journaling for Success

This weekend I had lunch with a dear friend I met online through Weight Watchers several years ago. Since then, our friendship has extended well beyond the realms of dieting and weight loss, and I’ve come to consider her a really awesome friend.

We got to talking about journaling and, knowing that — weight loss, maintenance, or gain, I’ve been a diligent journaler — she asked if I still kept a food journal/tracked my Points.

My answer was an emphatic “Yes!”

Since April 13, 2004, I have only missed journaling a couple days — either because I was traveling internationally and it was too difficult to track or because I made a conscious decision to [attempt to] eat intuitively … but the truth is, even throughout my pregnancy and breast-feeding, I never stopped journaling.

And I credit journaling with why I have only gained back half of what I lost in 2004 and not all of it — or more. I’m sure some of it has to do with a body’s “set weight” — the weight you will naturally maintain with moderate exercise and eating well, without excessive dieting or exercise. I truly think journaling has kept me “in check” even when I go 25, 50, and (gulp) 100 Points each week. (I keep saying I’ll do better … but as I said last week, I lack the willpower/ wantpower).

I have alternated between WW online, Sparkpeople, FitDay, MyDailyPlate, pen and paper, Excel spreadsheets, and, most recently, the WW app on my iPhone. The point is, although the mechanisms by which I journal have changed, the act of journaling is very much an active part of my life. It comes natural to me, as natural as brushing my teeth or showering each day.

One of my concerns about becoming a mom was how to journal and not have Maya see me doing it, so it doesn’t become something apparent to her. The beauty of the WW iPhone app is I can journal at any time — without taking time away from her or making it obvious what I’m doing.

I know journaling isn’t for everyone — and lord knows I’m not giving it its due diligence, or I’d be thin and back at goal. BUT … barring that, I still feel good about this daily habit and believe it to be the main reason I haven’t gone completely off the deep end. For me, the “parameter” of journaling Points keeps me in check.

How about you? Do you find journaling to be a key to weight loss/maintenance success?


2 thoughts on “Journaling for Success

  1. Have you seen the “Weight of the Nation” series on HBO? I only caught Part 2 so far, but it details various weight loss methods and says that keeping track of what one eats seems to be consistent among those who are successful in keeping their weight off.

    I hate food journaling, but for me it’s emotional – I shame myself in the process. I haven’t ever been able to make it into a productive exercise. I think it probably is pretty essential, though.

    1. I haven’t, Candice–seems I should though! 🙂 I do believe it’s a powerful tool. Ironically, it was also a source of agony for me for a while there … but now it’s just a tool. I can see how you’d feel that way about it … it really can be tough to see it all laid out (like my 56 Point day yesterday, perhaps?! :)) but it definitely keeps me [somewhat] in check.

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