Okay, so at the beginning of this year I set several resolutions or rather goals for myself, one of which was getting healthy. I am sad to say this has been a frustrating last five months. As I said in my SMART goal setting post, two parts of getting healthy were dealing with my health issues and the excess weight that has come from them. Well both of those fronts have been a frustrating rollercoaster of drama.
So I did meet with my doctor which has led me to another doctor who is messing around with medications that I’ve been on, medications that stopped the unreal and rapid weight gain I’d been experiencing as well as the cloudy brain, lack of energy, inability to almost function…at one point of was sleeping, involuntarily mind you, for about 16 hours a day and when I was awake, I was completely out of it! A short time ago I was a thin, healthy, fit and active person, always on the go and known for my sharp mind…and if I slept more than 6 hours, there was something seriously wrong with me. Frankly, that was bad enough but the frustrating part was I was rapidly gaining weight and no matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to stop it, let alone lose it! And carrying weight made everything else that much harder! And wanting kids with my husband is not wise when you yourself are a mess.
So as I begin this next round of doctors…sometimes I feel like that’s my social life…I’m bound and determined to be prepared for them! My latest specialist initially wanted to excuses everything as being stress related, age related (I may not be 20 but I am under 35!), and my not doing my part. This is my typical experience with many doctors…I really hate when they want to say stress causes “everything”…okay, personal issue. I’m now being sent to another specialist, allergist, and was advised to record what I eat since it is thought food allergies might be a possible contributor to many of my issues. So in order to avoid my typical, and since I have to record what I eat anyway, I’m creating a Motivational Food and Weight Loss Journal.
The goal of the journal, besides recording what I eat, is to record the exercise I do, how much water I intake, how much sleep I get, and to provide motivation on this frustrating journey of fixing my health! I really miss being able to workout for 2 hours…I’d settle for a 1/2 hour these days.
Here’s what I did and how I hope for it to work:
The first thing I did was make a list of everything I wanted to include and or track in the journal. Then, I decided on a layout based on how I operate. I’m visual and a tracker. I like to see trends and hopefully find patterns – which I hope to do to find possible food allergies. So my journal includes charts, measurements, visual inspiration images, hunger monitoring, recaps, and inspirational sayings.
I then searched pinterest and magazines for images and sayings that I thought would inspire me. I either printed them out or ripped them out of the mags.
The next step was to determine a simple way to track daily foods. I wanted something I could jot down information on, have the option to count calories, but definitely track my water and vitamin intake as well as my hunger levels to see if there were trends. I also knew I wanted to leave space on the pages to “journal” what I experienced that day…was it a day of exhaustion, day of spurts of energy and tired spells, etc.
Next I assembled the project. I decided to do three month or 12 week intervals and am only putting it together in 12 to 13 week intervals in order to evaluate what works and what doesn’t and what I need to change.
For the 1st 12 weeks (actually 13 as there is a 5th week in July), I created a goals page that include what I want to accomplish, a picture of me at my healthiest and a quote to remind me that discipline will be needed…whether that is in my actions of tracking or doing. I also included a weight tracking chart that I found online. I’ll be taking my measurements and recording them to see if there are areas that change at different rates than others and why that might be.
Every month interval is started with an exercise page. I selected two exercise sets that I want to try to focus on for the month. I glued one to a hinged piece of cardstock and then to the notebook and the other on the inside. I also did a simple M,T,W,T,F,S,S tracking for four weeks or five to cross off for everyday I exercise.
Next was the food tracking. Each page includes a tracker sheet, space to journal and an inspirational photo, quote or both.
Also, at the end of a week, I do a journal page and have some kind of helpful information there too. These may include what it takes to burn off a soda or a milkshake or metabolism revving foods and more.
At the end of the cycle, I have a Cycle Recap page. It will include before and after photos and a recap of where I have come from and where I am at. Based on how well it works, I will make adjustments for the next cycle. My plan is to not only keep me positive as I do this health journey but to also be able to provide concrete evidence to doctors so I can hopefully avoid the horrible first appointment disappointments and frustrations.