Friday, March 26, 2010

"Bite it, write it."

As you may know, I am a writer. And as a writer, you'd think it would be easy for me to keep a journal. Try as I might, it never worked out. I would get bored with my own words or just forget to write them down. And I'd never go back. I think it's safe to say, however, that I've found my niche in the journaling world. (Ok, two niches if you count this blog.)

Behold my diet and exercise journal!


From that first bite of breakfast to that little bite of something before bed, I write it all down with a black pen, which I trade for a blue pen to record any exercise I've done that day. It sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't. My notebook is small, so it tucks away nicely in my purse to go wherever I go. "Bite it, write it," said a girl in my class at Blue Heron Academy. They're words to live by, really.

Keeping a journal of what you eat is a way to hold yourself accountable. You might think twice before inhaling that Snickers bar if it means you'll have to put it in writing. In addition, food journals can help you (and your trainer) determine why those last five pounds aren't coming off, or why you need a snack at 3:30pm every day.

I choose to write my journal by hand in a plain notebook, but a trip to any bookstore should give you a variety of diet and exercise journals to choose from. I record what, when and how much I eat, but if you want to get more detailed, you can—your journal, your rules! You can also go online. MyFitnessPal and FitDay are good, but a Google search will pull up plenty more. And I'm sure one will suit your needs.

But I suggest you find one that lets you keep track of your exercise activities, too. Diet and exercise will always go hand in hand. And plus, it never hurts to plan out your workouts before you hit the gym. You'll save time, and you'll have a great record of your improvements.

If you keep a journal, I'd love to know what works for you. If you don't, start one—and let me know how it goes!

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Tara's 200% right on this!! I reluctantly started doing it when the scale flatlined even with regular running and workouts. I was shocked when I tallied my calorie counts for the day thinking I was "a healthy eater." myfitnesspal.com helped me jumpstart things again. Love it!! And it's right on my iPhone for ease of use. My issue now is trying to figure out how much to increase my allotted calorie counts to compensate for the additional calories expended during half marathon training. The weeks where you're racking up the miles surely mean you can fuel up more. But how much more is the question.

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