Health Journals: Why You Should Keep One

1 Mar

A little over a week ago, I started keeping a health journal.  In the past, especially in my Weight Watchers days, I kept a food log in which I was supposed to record every morsel of food that made its way into my mouth.  I say “supposed to” because I know that I didn’t.  There was always a little bit of shame that came along with eating something I know I shouldn’t have, or when I went over my points for the day.  It could be the Catholic guilt that I’ve grown up with.  You may or may not be familiar with this phenomenon, but I assure you, it’s real.  But this time I’m doing things differently.

The good, the bad, and the ugly all in one place!

My health journal is a place for me to be honest with myself, something that I think we all need in our lives.  Yes, I write down what I eat, but this time I really am writing down the Fig Newtons and the Stacy’s Cinnamon and Sugar Pita Chips that have found their way into my mouth.  I’m also keeping track of my anxiety, trying to figure out my triggers.  If I can figure out what causes me to be anxious and reach for the delicious carbohydrate treats, maybe I can do something about the source of that stress.  I’m keeping track of my sleeping habits – which are terrible, by the way.  I have a feeling that my fibromyalgia has a lot to do with that though.  But I’m also keeping track of the good things that I do each day:  all the stairs I go up and down instead of taking the elevator at school, the motivational tricks I’m finding on Pinterest and in my readings, ideas for workouts and meals.

This journal is turning out to be more than just a place to write down food and feel badly when I fall in the carbohydrate pit of hell.  It’s really opening my eyes to why I do things and why I don’t do things.  This could be a lifestyle breakthrough, and that’s what being healthy should be – a lifestyle.  I don’t ever want to get caught up in the diet craze again; I just want to be as fit and healthy as is possible for me.

I’m supposed to weigh myself tomorrow as it’s been a week since I started on this new journey to fitness.  I honestly don’t know what the scale will say.  But here’s what I do know.  I know that I won’t beat myself up no matter what number is displayed; that’s counterproductive and won’t fix anything.  I know that each day is a new day, and it’s the chance to be better than before.  And I know that if I’m honest with myself, I can really make some positive changes.  This health journal is one of those positive changes, and I intend to keep it going for as long as it takes to meet my goal.  I’ll talk more about that in another post.

Keep it positive.  Keep it honest.  Keep a health journal.

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