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See that notebook up there? That’s my latest food journal. Yup,  I’m back to good old paper and pencil and I’ll tell you why.

Actually, I’ll tell you 5 reasons why…

  1. I needed a change. Over the years I have food journaled a plethora of ways: paper, spreadsheet, email, twitter, instagram. All work great but if I’m bored with the technique then I tend to start slipping. Sometimes simply changing my method re-energizes and motivates me.
  2. It works for my current situation. Each one of the methods I listed above was born out of necessity. When I taught at the community college emailing was perfect because I was always on a computer but  never MY computer. When I worked in an office, a spreadsheet was perfect as I was on the same computer all day. Twitter and Instragram are perfect when you’re on the go, but now they feel like overkill being home. When I’m with the kids, I’m home. When I’m working, I’m home. It’s super easy for me to have a paper and pencil on the counter ready to jot something down and pre-plan in the morning. Speaking of…
  3. Makes daily pre-planning easy. When I initially changed my diet and lost 70lbs I would take 5 minutes every morning to plan dinner, make my lunch and jot everything down all while eating breakfast. I found comfort in knowing what I would be eating later in the day. It took the guess work out of it and made it easy to stick to my own daily plan. You may notice dinner listed at the top above. Pre-planning daily has always worked for me.
  4. I want the accountability but not stress. If you haven’t noticed, I share a LOT online, and for a long time I posted food journals. More recently I’ve been using instagram, but publicly posting adds more pressure for me. Self-imposed but still very real. I know food journaling works, I like to do it, but I don’t want to worry about snapping the perfect photo or making a bowl of cereal look pretty. I still plan on snapping food photos because I’m a geek, but it won’t be my main form of journaling.
  5. I want to reach my goal and I KNOW this works. I know losing “the last 5 lbs” isn’t my most popular goal but that doesn’t change the fact I want to reach it. I refuse to do anything drastic or unhealthy to get there. My philosophy hasn’t changed since the day I started this blog: If I’m going to lose weight I have to do it on my terms, eating things I want to eat, exercising the way I want to exercise and enjoying every step of the journey. Food journaling was a huge part of my success. It’s a simple way for me to be accountable and, well, I know it works.

What’s your thoughts on the food journal? Do you keep one? How?

 
  • Lesley

    I often find that getting back to basics is the best medicine for getting through a funk. You have to do what works best for YOU given CURRENT circumstances.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mom2Ways Julie Long Donahue

    For now (just starting out–again) I’m logging my food on MyFitnessPal. I find it easy to use the app on my phone or log in on my computer. Plus I have accountability with friends on there.
    Julie
    http://halfajulie.blogspot.com

  • Patricia

    I love this post! Classic Roni.

  • http://thirteenpointonemom.wordpress.com/ Maria

    I so needed this! I just planned out my whole day on MyFitness pal as I ate my breakfast. I was feeling so down on myself because looks like I won’t make the cut on Diet Bet but I’m getting back to it and feeling better. Thanks Roni for continuing to inspire and apparently being able to reach in my head and pull out my thoughts…lol! :)

    • RoniNoone

      Thats my next post because I’m not reaching the goal either! Chin up.. and keep trucking!

    • Dj

      Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this! I’m not going to make the cut either and I’ve been so frustrated at myself. It seems like such a small amount to lose but the old struggle is still there. I’ve felt like an epic failure. Then I tell myself “NO! You are NOT a failure, you are in a process and it’s just taking more time to get where you’re going!!”

  • Janice

    Thanks for this post Roni. It is motivating for those of us in various stages of our journey to see that you still need to journal in order to lose or maintain. I just heard this from my Weight Watchers leader last night. I appreciate the constant reminder that this is life long and that it OK! I also like your philsophy because I need to make this work for myself, my way!

  • Meredith

    I am back to the Pen and Paper too! I would forget to Login to WW and even though i would have a good day.. i would go days and not journal. We know writting it down helps us.. we just have to do it =0

  • Tina

    Hi Roni, I’ve loved reading your blog since the beginning and have missed your food journals! I found them so helpful and motivating. I totally agree with #3 above. (Takes the stress out of your day to know what food plan lays ahead). I also loved your food photos you did during your “less-processed” weeks. So fun! No doubt you’ll get to your goal – enjoy the journey!!

  • Rachel

    I also have taken to writing every single thing that goes into my mouth down for the New Year and guess what, it works. I hate it, I really do, but it works plain and simple and if that’s the worst I have to endure to be smaller than I will take it!

  • Laura

    I track everything I put into my mouth and it is the ONLY way I’ve ever lost weight. It is too easy to convince yourself what your eating is healthy and in good portions when you aren’t tracking it. I use LIVESTRONG My Plate on the computer and on my phone, but if I’m not near either I jot things down so I’ll remember. Good old paper and pen still works too!

    carperun.wordpress.com

  • Lou

    Roni I started journaling over six years ago. First it was on paper 3 month journals. Went through six of thouse. Then I started using the palm with a few didfermet apps. Then it was with the “poor man’s” Blackberry (aka the Mokia smartphone. Now for the past two years I have been using two to three apps on my iPhone. Have gotten real comfortable over the past two years at it. Not toe mention with each upgrade it gets easier all the time. As “we” say all the time, “only track the weeks you want to lose weight”. Now I add “or maintain it too”.

    My option is what ever works is what you should do. Old school or high tech if it works then keep doing it.

    Lou

  • imacrazymomof4

    when i did weight watchers in the beginning, that was the first time i ever journaled anything. i was the person who said, “i will journal until the day i die”. then one day i felt that i become a slave to my ww journal, i grew to hate it as well as the counter to figure out the points…so i ended it. and gained weight back as a result.

    then i found MY FITNESS PAL. a FREE!!! app that i would have gladly paid money for. it makes it SO DANG easy to journal. i threw out everything i knew about points and started counting calories. why? because calories all the sudden made sense to me. it has been my lifesaver. it is soooo easy to journal. it has a barcode scan ability so that you don’t have to look up the food, just scan the barcode. easy peasy. oh and if you have a recipe you don’t know the calorie count for? no problem, create the recipe on the app and it will figure it out for you in a snap. you can have friends on there that motivate you to work out if you’re not feeling it. you can see that joe schmo burned 451 calories on the treadmill and you say, i can do that!!!

    i’ve been using the app for over 150 days and have lost over 20 lbs!!! YAY!!! it keeps me accountable, and i am never without my phone…EVER. no excuses, i always am ready to see what the damage is. the database is very thorough. you can also track your progress which is always great to look at the downward line of weight loss. i would recommend this to everyone who wanted an easy way to track.

  • Jeanine

    I journal in a notebook, too, and also start with dinner and work back to breakfast on my meal planning. When I stick with this, I always lose weight. Problem is, I don’t always stick with it! This is a great post – very motivating!

  • Karen Z

    The point is tracking works! Whatever method you use. I love good old pen and paper

  • http://twitter.com/#!/pattyaizaga Patty

    I went back to paper again too. Monday I just grabbed a legal pad from work and started writing. It’s easy and it works. :)

  • ItsMeVsMe

    I honestly resist the journaling. I know I do better with it, I just don’t actually enjoy doing it. I use My Fitness Pal on my phone.

  • Lydia

    I’ve found that I can’t lose without tracking, period. And I too have done online tracking, notepad and app in my phone tracking, but old school journal seems to do it for me every time!

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