How Journaling Taught Me How To Maintain My Weight & Control My Overall Emotions
There’s something about writing, tracking, or journaling that is extremely satisfying and beneficial. As a Holistic Health Coach, my focus is on the “whole person”, it’s not just about nutrition and exercise. Sleeping well, managing stress & taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally is just as important.
We all want balance in our lives but that is a very difficult thing to achieve. We associate balance with perfection and we have to accept that nothing is perfect. Right now we are dealing with some challenging times! Journaling is a simple form of venting and managing anxiety and depression, alleviating stress, and most importantly being honest with yourself!
I first started journaling when I began my weight loss journey over 20 years ago. At first I would write down what I ate as well as how much I was eating. Doing this made me realize exactly how much I was actually eating, especially how many calories, carbs, and sugar I was consuming. It was a real eye opener to read all labels, and honestly it still is! Like many of my clients I don’t really like to write down everything I eat and drink. However, it made me accountable and on track to physically write it down. Also studies have shown that those who kept a food and exercise diary lost 2x the weight compared to those who just mentally tracked it. Writing it down encourages you to eat fewer calories. I often still continue to track and also “reflect” on the day’s journal. I have become more aware of my habits and make necessary improvements.
A major advantage to journaling is also including your emotions attached to what and when you are eating. I recommend this to all my clients. Emotional eating is so prevalent, especially in women and once you have identified your stressors or triggers you can work on a plan to resolve the issues and also reduce stress. I personally realized that I would eat when I was stressed with my kids, also sometimes just out of habit.
What I have learned about journaling, not only for weight loss but my overall emotional balance:
- I keep better track of my intentions, progress, and growth. It helps when revisiting entries as well.
- I gain self confidence by looking back at challenges I have faced and how far I have come.
- I became more honest and truthful with myself, which is very challenging. However I learned how to grow from it and how to better solve problems rather than keeping them bottled up.
- I gained more control over my emotional eating. I acknowledged my triggers and I was able to formulate plans for better habits. It was easier to track my overall development and mistakes, and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
- When I felt overwhelmed, journaling has helped me to better focus and vent my feelings. I do it for myself!
HOW: Journal entries can be done in many different ways. I personally like to have a notebook. Sometimes I keep them, other times I rip them up and throw them out.
Alternatively you can use an app on your phone, your Notes section, or even email or text yourself.
WHAT: It does not have to be detailed or deeply personal, anything is progress. Even if it’s a sentence or two that helps you express how you are feeling.
Helpful tips when tracking for weight loss:
~ track everything that you are eating and drinking-even if it’s just a bite or spoonful!
~your portion sizes
~your mood or emotions when you eat, how hungry you are on a scale from 1-10
~your water intake
If journaling is something you have never done in the past, I strongly encourage you to give it a try!