I have a confession. This isn’t my only journal. I have another.
Back in April, Julian told me about a weight loss journal he had seen at the bookstore and was coveting. It was pretty cool, so we went out one night and picked it up. While we were at the store, a little blank white journal with birds on the cover caught my eye. I like birds, so I picked it up for myself.
I wasn’t sure what I would do with it at the time. I just love journals and I thought I would find a use for it. What I’ve been doing is writing in it almost every weekday morning. (Weekends are a bit hit or miss depending on what I have going on.) I write two pages. On the front I write about what’s going is going on with my health and fitness goals, and I break the back page up into categories: Weight, Food, Exercise, and Good Things I Did For Myself. I just recently added one more category: Sleep.
To anyone else, it would make seriously boring reading. I typically write while having my morning coffee; totally free form and stream of consciousness. Sentences are wonky and every page is full of grammatical and spelling errors – not because I don’t know how to write without spellcheck, but because I just don’t want to take the time. (“Training”, for example, is almost always spelled “traing,” because I don’t have time for the other “in”!) The goal here isn’t to have tome filled with brilliant thoughts to pass on to future generations to read, but instead to just get junk out of my head and onto a page.
The categories on the back pages help me track what’s going on. Writing them down helps keep me more accountable. Weight usually is just a number with a few words, like “where I want to be.” Exercise is where I jot down what I am working on. It isn’t detailed like a training log, it’s just the basics. Food is also just a few sentences – kind of a tally on how I am eating and how I am feeling about it. Good Things I Did For Myself is where I make a short bulleted list of good things that happened the day before. It could be related to fitness, or might be dinner with a girlfriend or sitting and reading a good book. It’s my little way of reminding myself to take care of my heart and mind, as well as my body. The most recent category, Sleep, just got added so I keep an eye on how I am feeling in comparison to the amount of sleep I get. I’ve been short on this one lately and it has been wearing me out. By adding it to my journal I am hoping to focus a little more on making sure I am getting the rest I need.
The difference between it and this blog is that I don’t care how repetitive I am, or how boring, or even how whiney I am in my little white book. Here I try to put ideas and discoveries – big things I am working on. My handwritten journal is for the minutia.
I do think it helps having it though. The accountability I mentioned is part of it, and also having a safe place to vent makes a difference. I started it almost by accident, but I’m really glad I did.