Day 24: Start A Log, Blog Or Journal | 30-Day Weight Loss-athon

It’s time for Day 24 of the 30-Day Weight Loss-athon. Only one week to go…

All tasks in the 30-Day Weight Loss-athon are adapted from my 52 Weight Loss Missions program.

Read the steps first, then take 10 minutes to think about and complete them. Ready?

What You Need:

Step 1

On Day 3: Trade Your Judge’s Robe For A Lab Coat we swapped judgement for observation so  we could learn what works and doesn’t work for us on our weight-loss journey.

Today we’re going to use that observer perspective to start making daily notes.

As our first step, let’s agree to put aside five, ten, or fifteen minutes every day, or most days, to make notes on what we observe.

If that seems like a big sacrifice, remember that no book, program or system can give you the perfect diet, exercise and mindset combination that works for you. Your individual solution will take some experimentation, and making notes will accelerate and clarify your discoveries. If you really want to lose weight, and especially if motivation or mindset have tripped you up before, then you cannot avoid getting to know yourself better on the path to weight-loss success.

I’ve found the practice of making daily notes invaluable in identifying patterns and suggesting solutions in my own weight loss.

For example, I love chips and have a large bag every few days. It’s one of my strategic splurges. Several times I’ve tried to give chips up – and every time, I overeat many other things and gain weight. I guess they meet a need for crunch or salt or something that I can’t get so easily elsewhere.

By keeping a log, I soon recognized the pattern and left the chips – and my weight – in peace.

Step 2

Next, let’s decide where we’ll make these notes.

You could:

  • Buy yourself a nice pen and notebook or journal
  • Start a blog – either private or public, if you want to share your journey with the world. (If you link to www.52wlm.com I’ll see your pingback and come and check you out.)
  • Make notes on your phone or iPad
  • Use the Interactive Log in your 52 Weight Loss Missions Action Pack if you’re a customer. You can use the interactive features to enter text from your computer or iPad, or print it out and write by hand.

Step 3

Last, let’s decide what we’ll make notes about.

Depending on your challenges, you can makes notes about what you eat, when you exercise, how you feel, what you notice, anything that comes up.

Here are some tips for making your notes:

  • Write as little or as much as you want. Just a few minutes most days is fine.
  • You can make observations about what you eat, how much, how well you stick to your diet actions, your exercise, how well you stick to your exercise program, your emotions, your motivation, etc.
  • Focus on observing – notice when it’s easier for you to eat and/or exercise well, and when it’s harder. I’ll say it again because it’s so valuable to know: This information is priceless. You can’t find it in a book or buy it in a program. You can only discover it by observing yourself.
  • You don’t have to use correct spelling or grammar – unless perhaps you’re writing a public blog.
  • You don’t have to read it back – it’s just a way to anchor realizations.
  • When you learn something interesting, look for ways you can apply that information to your lifestyle – eg:
    • Buying cute clothes really motivates me to eat well. I’ll re-do my budget so I can buy a new outfit regularly.
    • When I go for a walk at lunchtime I have more energy and feel better than when I try to exercise in the morning. I’ll schedule more lunchtime exercise from now on.
    • If I have an apple before I leave work I’m not so ravenous at dinnertime. It’s definitely worth buying and keeping afternoon snacks handy.

So… are you ready to make today’s entry?

Check in!

And you’re done!

Be sure to leave your comment below to check in and stay accountable. If you’re reading this by email or in a reader then please click here to leave your comment.

See you tomorrow!

Michele Connolly

Michele Connolly helps people move from procrastination to action. She believes that taking action on your priorities makes you a happier person. Michele is the founder of Get Organized Wizard and creator of tools for business, home, and personal organization. Her programs are used by tens of thousands of people worldwide.

  • I’m doing this in so many different ways! I log my food at MyFitnessPal, my steps and stairs at Fitbit – and I’m trying to use their “mood/allergy” log to track my pain days although I forget more than I remember. I’ll try a little harder to use that for observations as well. I also keep a journal and have been documenting my weight loss journey through the Move More Eat Well class at Big Picture Classes. I had one huge observation this past week – I usually have a single piece of Dove dark chocolate after dinner. I ran out a week ago. I found that I was obsessively craving sweets in the evening – brownies, cookies, whatever. With the chocolates back in the cupboard, the sweets cravings disappeared!

  • well, I finally got to check in. better late than not at all. I have written my diary at last and I noticed that I stuck to all my good intentions after having some relaxation therapy and taking more pain pills today. I think my good intentions go out the window when my pain level is so high most days. I also got to 16,000 steps on my pedometer so I know I have exercised enough. now I just need to stay focused and keep this up, and fit in my physio exercises too. I do think the checking in is great.

  • I have never been one for keeping a journal. I have told myself in the past I will start journaling then I don’t keep it up. But I will try to journal about all the things mentioned in this task especially how I feel when I exercise and how I feel when eating certain foods.

  • I use my gratitude journal to reframe thoughts in a positive manner.

  • Not very reliable at blogging. I lose interest quickly. I’ll have to rethink this strategy.

  • When I began this 30 day program I started recording what I eat everyday and the calorie intake I’m getting. It’s been super motivating to see when I eat the wrong things and how it effects me. I’ve also been recording all my exercise and sharing it with my friends on facebook. I love the encouragement I get from others and I love seeing what I’ve accomplished written down. I even love be able to look back and compare the progress I’m making. I’m hoping this is kinda what you want us to do with this day’s challenge if it is then I feel like I’m doing a good job of it already.

  • This mission could not come at a better time.It wasn’t long ago I dealt with detoxing my body of antidepressants, I’m not drinking alcohol right now (empty calories) and I’m not wallowing in comfort food so I wasn’t quite sure just how to handle emotionally stressful times (too late at night to walk so I just went to bed). I can’t believe I didn’t think of writing all my crap in a journal, I’m thankful you did. YaY! Thanks again.

  • I keep a note of EVERYTHING I eat thru out the day. Sometimes I can’t believe I ate as much as I did, but that is usually from stress. I’m trying not to pig out when I’m stressing out. Now I need to combine my mood swings & eating habits along with exercise in one place. Who knows what I may learn about my self!

  • I have always wanted to write a journal but just never seem to start it. I have bought quite a few beautiful journals over the years but they are still all empty so I guess now is the time to get one out and begin. Thankyou for the motivation, it was the push I needed. I love the good old pen and paper. I think it is more therapeutic to write it down in a beautiful book with a pen than to bash away at a keyboard.

  • I keep a journal on what I eat throughout the day, but I never thought of keeping one on I feel and what cravings I have, when I have a craving for a certain food I better eat it right then OR I’ll be eating everything in sight. Just a bite of that craving , like chocolate or a cookie, then I’m satisfied. Going out today and buy a pretty journal! 🙂

  • this is week 2 of writing everything down that we eat, daily, in a 3 month journal. I tried it online but seeing it on paper seems to be better for me, plus you can go back and check your food intake quicker. and it is also helping my husband to be more accountable.

  • I log my food and exercise but need to write about the day.

  • Ok, I admit I stopped journaling my food last Thursday because I am doing this in collaboration with the 17 Day Diet and on cycle one I almost eat the same things everyday give or take 100 calories. Thursday, I move on and journaling in a requirement again until I get use to balancing my new objectives. I know that studies show people who journal their food keep their weight off more so than those who don’t regardless of what diet or how fast they lost their weight. So I will make some time for me. This will be more productive then Farmville any I suppose ;)! My clothes fitting me is a HUGE motivation. I’m 5’2″ and have always hovered in the 120’s. For me to have been hanging around 150 was a huge deal. Being a small person with a small frame…percentage wise…this was a big number for me and while many bitch they would kill for my number before the dieting…it wasn’t a good “fit” for me and this is who this is about right? I am so proud of making it through Easter without pigging out I could burst. Sweets are a weaknesses and knowing I COULD have it, but didn’t need it or necessarily want it was incredible. Later tonight, I will investigate a public type blog, I enjoy this writing – but for now I will pull out the food/diet journal from a couple weeks ago to continue my daily entries.

  • Hello to everyone: I like to write short articles in my journal of people, places and events who have made an impression on my life. The positive events in my life! To me this is a journal of your life including your ups and downs of weight loss and a nutritional life for you. You can even put your post-it notes; photos of what you looked like when you started this weight loss-athon. Once a month put an updated photo in – someday you’ll sit and laugh at yourself with friends. If you’re a scrapbook person – make a scrapbook with embellishments of your weight loss. If you really don’t want to show a picture of what you look like now — cut your head out and put it on somebodies body you admire. Until you reach the desired you. Never give up. Always stay positive. I am proud of all of you for your dedication to a healthier you. Good Luck.

  • I have a composition notebook I need to decorate.. I write down notes about how I feel after I eat something, when I try new recipes I write them down and talk about what I liked/didn’t like and how I felt after eating one portion.. and any difficulties I’m going through… portion control sucks but I’m only eating until I’m not hungry and eating more frequently. Sometimes I miss the feeling of a full stomach, but not the bloating!

  • I also log my food & exercise into myfitnesspal, I’ve started logging what I’ve noticed or how I feel about exercise, food, on Momento. One recent insight: if I feel too tired to do my yoga/weights/Pilates routine, I tell myself I’ ll just do the Yoga for my back: once I’ve done the Yoga, I usually decide that I can do at least one of the others, usually both!

  • I actually used this to jumpstart my blog that I had let go for the past year. I needed something to to get me in the habit of blogging, so this seemed to be the perfect place to start. However, I’ve been a little slack the last few days with my schedule, so I’m off to jot a few thoughts down to blog tonight. On top of the blog, I think it will be easier to start a journal, so I will have a place to write things down when I cannot access the computer. I have one in my nightstand, so that will be easy enough.

  • Journaling has always been important to me…especially when I am dealing with a problem or goal. It helps to keep me focused, also helps ferret out toxic thinking that can kill my progress. I’m not always consistent with it so that is my new goal….at least 2 sentences each night.

  • My daughter, bought me a Biggest Loser wall calendar, which has made it easy to check the little boxes for exercise, calorie count and a once a week weigh-in, and I added a box for my water intake and for my vitamin intake, as well as a box to check for my 20 minute walk in the sunshine. It is helpful, but I do like writing down what I eat in a notebook, so I can see it at a glance. I just need to remember to write down the time, so I will know better, when I am eating the most. Thanks so much for all your encouragement! This sight, has been such a blessing! <3 : ).

  • I love paper and pen. I try to write down what I do each day so I don’t get to the end of yet another day with the house looking like a bomb’s gone off while I’m wondering where all the time went! So easy to have happen when you’re a SAHM. Linking eating, exercising and emotions together will be something good to add to my daily diary.

  • I’m using SuperTracker on ChooseMyPlate.gov to log my food and activity minutes, and I record my weight once a week. I have found that I am visual and I enjoy seeing the charts, especially the line chart that shows my weight going down! 🙂 The web site includes a journal page, but I haven’t been motivated to use it. I’m not big on writing. Maybe a pretty journal would be a better motivator!

  • I’m falling behind on commenting on these posts so going to get caught up right now! I was just given a great little journal the other day that I am going to use for tracking food, exercise and feelings!

  • I had a blog back in college, but found it too time consuming. I try to use MyFitnessPal, but if I know I’ve eaten more than I should, I don’t track it because I don’t want to see the reality of how much I’ve overeaten. I started out pretty good with that program, but after 2 or 3 weeks I dwindled off my dedication. I like this 30day challenge because I get an email every day. I’m not always doing everything, but it is helping motivate me to do more than I would otherwise do.

  • I need to get better at this. I did buy a small notebook that I have been logging on the suggestions and noting when I exercise and things that are positive. Blog – it would be a good way to start using the computer for me.

  • I have several apps on my phone for recording everything I eat and my exercise. According to the apps I am not eating enough. I eat three meals a day, guess I need to make sure to add in the snacks too. I like the idea of using a journal to keep track of what works and doesn’t work. Never thought of that. Thanks Michele.

  • Since I’ve joined the 30 day challenge, I have been logging my food intake. It has been a positive motivation. I have been able to modify my eating habits while increasing my exercise, up to 2hrs! And I feel awesome! I think I will continue to use other tools either online or in my journal. It’s been great!

  • I also like Cheri, use Myfitnesspal and been doing it for over 70 days now. I am also logging my exercises too. I am planning to get the Fitbit also next week. I have logging my activities on Facebook also, but right now I am not keeping a journal. I hit a plateau last week so I increased my cardio to another 15 minutes to see where that will bring me. My goal is to be at 145 by June 7 th for my daughter’s graduation and I am giving it all:)

  • I like the idea of using my phone more to jot down notes, though I do sometimes use an online programs. I’m less likely to do it if I have to find a notebook.

  • I’m finding that I can look back and remind myself why I’m working so hard to loss and strategies, it’s working that I get back on track when I’ve slipped up, like this weekend while traveling, I went for a run both today and yesterday and usually when I slip that’s it. Journaling has made a difference.

  • paper and pen for me too although I love having to check in each day and the support from so many others making this journey with me. I am so glad I signed up for this. Just got back from my walk, didn’t have one yesterday and really missed it, I cant believe how much I look forward to my walk, even made a suggestion for new runners for mothers day, 6 months ago there is no way I would have come up with that.

  • I am going to start my journal from tomorrow, being ANZAC day, it is a day about reflection of those who made all the sacrifices for us so we can have this beautiful country that we live in and to live a life of freedom. I just feel that is poignant and seems like a good time to start a journal of reflection on myself and my journey.

  • been jouranling since day 1 of the challenge.. I write the challenge.. my answer, exercise goals and what I achieved.. if I didn’t achieve I work out why not.. good to reflect and challenge my thinking.

  • yes, I want to do this. I don’t think I want a blog for the world to read, but I don’t think I want to use a notebook for inquisitive fingers to get a hold of, so maybe I’ll put a file on my computer for that and keeping track of what I eat each day. That way it’s there for me, but for nobody else.

  • I use workflowy.com to keep track of myself…for everything. But, I’m looking into blogging on a weight loss website, having other peoples feedback and comments are really motivating.

  • I love this mission. It’s been years since I’ve kept a journal & I’ve been wanting to start again. “Observing” could be the key to getting over the hurdles that have stopped me before.

  • When I started this I also stared a year long journal that has little inspirational scriptures to help with weight loss, I have been writing in this everyday. I also you myfitness pal.

  • I journal most days. This week the judge’s robes have been back on, trying to get rid of those things! And I keep forgetting the daily check-in online; ah well, hopefully a few more days will make the habits.

  • Started noting my food and water intake and exercise last week. Also noting moods, headaches, etc. I am hoping some patterns emerge.

  • I have some clothes in my wardrobe that I’ve been wanting to wear for awhile. I’m hoping to get a journal soon were I can write down what I’ve eaten in the day and how long I’ve exercised for.

  • I love this idea and have tried it before. I have to try to commit to journaling. looks like it’s time for some evernote 🙂

  • OK iphone/ipad works for me as that is where I enter my daily food intake and exercise on the “Lose It!” app. I’m confident this exercise will be not only a challenge, but an impetuous for change!

  • I’ll write in a Journal as I found out that I love paper more than electronics.. I’ll write abut my motivations to lose weight as I find new ones everyday.. So I want to encourage myself more for it.

  • Another area that I am prepared for, I have numerous journals and pads of paper. Follow through is the key. Write, write, write, I love to write.

  • I love pretty journals, but I hate dirtying them! Maybe it’s time to actually use one and not just keep buying them and keeping them somewhere ‘safe’!

  • I can see that sometimes just logging food may not be enough. Good idea!

  • This sounds like a fun and interesting writing “assignment”. Gotta get busy!

  • OMG! Sorry for the choppy and terrible spelling, you’ve got to love spell check.

  • I’m hopeless at keeping diaries or journals, so I think I’ll look into another blog 🙂

  • I jot things in a notebook it works for now

  • Not a big fan of tracking and observing things, but I can give it a try.

  • I will use the status feature on MyFitnessPal to create my notes.

  • The truth that comes from the mighty paper and pen! 🙂

  • I am trying to log what I eat. This is always hard for me. This is something that I try to improve upon each day!

  • Can´t live sane without journaling! Paper works best for me. Using the computer for food and workout journaling (excel-sheet) started to weeks ago – and it´s an eye opener to face the facts how easy all these calories are a accumulating.

  • I have so many beautiful notebooks that I need a little time to choose the best one for a journal!

  • Guys have anyone tried SurelySlim (www.bio-paranta.com) It is made in Canada. They say it is cutting edge technology of three fat burners in one veg capsule?

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