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A Health & Weight Loss Experiment: Will Following A Guided Journal Help You Lose Weight?

Updated on July 18, 2013

Letting Yourself Go

A large majority have struggled with their weight. They have fought their own personal battle with their bulge. Some have been successful in their fight while others haven't. I am amongst the group that haven't. I have continually attempted to go on diets. Having suffered previously in my youth from an eating disorder, I try not to get so caught up in losing weight out of fear that my bad habits may resurface. However, since I suffered an knee injury a few years back, I have gained a lot of weight. On my last visit on the scale, I was almost 200 lbs. On my 4'11 frame, that is a lot of weight for my body to have.

This isn't an issue that I like to talk about in public since I am very sensitive about my weight and my appearance. Having gained a lot of weight, it has changed my appearance and my self-esteem has dwindled down. My injury prevented me from getting into shape since I couldn't handle putting pressure on my knee (which I am still plagued by it today).

As of this moment, I am 27 years old. I am most likely 200 lbs (possibly more). I haven't stood on a scale for awhile, but I'm ready to join this fight again even if that means purchasing a dreaded scale once more.


StudioOhs!" Healthy Living: Realize Your Goal to Achieve a Life of Health and Fitness" Journal

Will Following A Guided Journal Help You Lose Weight?

I came across "{21 Days} Healthy Living: Realize Your Goal to Achieve a Life of Health and Fitness" by StudioOh! at B&N Bookstore. I had actually got in on a whim. Curious, I had thumbed through contents and skimmed over a lot of great features. I purchased it, but it wasn't until I actually sat and looked over it that I realized how helpful it would be.

The introductory pages explained about the benefits of journaling as well as explaining Dr. Maxwell Maltz's 21-Day Habit Theory. They also had a section in the beginning to establish your goals, make a plan, and visualize your plan. The visualization part has four blank pages that you can create a picture collage to help visualize your success by adding: pictures of your old self when you were healthier, pictures of vegetables and fruits, pictures of physical activity, and pictures from magazines or printed of the internet.

After the introductory pages, they have a day to day guide to help you keep track of what you eat and drink as well as keeping track of exercising. Following that, there are two lined pages, which encourage you to write down responses to a prompt that they have set for that particular day.

They also have a small section at the back to help you with "making a plan" by offering you a daily food guide, which explains the amount of servings for fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat and beans, milk group, and oils needed in a daily 2,000-calorie diet. It also show serving equivalents for each category. On the last page, they also outline various activities with how many calories are burned per hour in physical activity to help you chart your fitness.

This bracelet says "Make it a habit!" comes with the journal. As you can see, I have it on and I wear it on my left wrist now.
This bracelet says "Make it a habit!" comes with the journal. As you can see, I have it on and I wear it on my left wrist now.

MY GOALS

According to the journal, it states to put your goals as if you already achieved them.

  • I am on track to lose 7 lbs per month over the next 12 months
  • I exercise 6 days a week -- 30 minutes a day
  • I have eliminated fast food and now prepare 90% of my meals at home

Again.. So Will It Help Lose Weight?

I have only completed Day 1 and I am currently on Day 2 of this experiment. I tote my journal around me everywhere in my purse, just in case I need to jot down what I ate. I don't know if this will work. Hopefully, it will, but I figure that it is in the beauty of the journey through the hardships and the process that you can see if this particular method actual works. Plus, the actual weight loss journey spans over 12 months, not just 21 days.

However, if I can succeed in 21 days into making this into a habit, I am certain I will be able to accomplish losing 7 lbs per month over 12 months. By the end of 12 months, I will have hopefully lost 84 lbs, exercising, and eating well.

This is an experiment and a work in progress. Over the next 20 days, I will be keeping up with my journal. I am quite certain nobody is truly interested in what I eat, my daily intake in calories, what type of exercise I do, or how long I have exercised for. If you do happen to be interested, I will be chronicling all of it on my website including my responses to the prompts in the journal. In correlation to this journal, I will be making blog entries on my website about my progess, feelings, and such throughout the duration of 20 days (as well as the rest of the 12 months).

If not, I have three specific dates that I will update on my progress throughout the 21 days on Hubpages (so if you really want to know if this works, check back on July 18th!). They will chart any progress, mishaps and oopsy! moments, and the efficiency of the journal. If I find that this journal is helping me, I will purchase another copy of this journal to continue the progress.

Specific Dates I Will Update On My Progress

Dates
Friday, July 5th
Friday, July 12th
Thursday, July 18th

My Thoughts On Doing This

I have heard a lot benefits about keeping journals in general. I am a writer and I enjoy writing in journals. I know when I'm going through hard times that writing in a journal about whatever was going through my mind helped me... or at least made it bearable.

A lot of my problems in the past with losing weight is I had my thousand of excuses. Well, I'm not getting any younger. I've heard it gets a lot harder for women to lose weight when they get older. So it's not even about desire anymore, it is about the cold reality that I am at an unhealthy weight and I need to take better care of myself. Maybe, that's the motivation I will need to keep going when I hit a rough patch that my health depends on it.

Friday, July 5th, 2013

I have made it to Day 07, which means... I have made it a full week. I can already feel the improvement. I have noticed a difference in my weight. Although, I probably haven't lost pounds, but I can tell visually. There is more of a flatness to my belly as opposed to feeling bloated all the time. The excruciating pain in my lower back on my spine reduced significantly.

Although, I haven't followed the journal verbatim, I am following the gist of it. I'm keeping track of my daily intake of calories. They would like you to copy down fat and carbs. Maybe down the line, I will consider it, but it isn't my main priority (likewise with counting portions). I have decided on an amount of calories that I would like to stick to 1,750 calories. My main focus this week was regularly marking down what I ate and how many calories as well as writing down my responses journal prompts.

Next week, I will be focused on incorporating exercise into the mix (as well as maybe listing fat and carbs). Being aware of what you put in your body makes you aware of HOW MUCH you put in your body. I never realized how many calories were in the food I ate until recently. It was a real eye-opening experience.

I did happen to go to a fast food restaurant -- McDonald's. This is how I knew I was trying to make a transition to a healthy lifestyle. I ordered a caesar salad that was 190 calories with grilled chicken. When that happens, you know I'm taking it seriously! Today, I will be picking up a scale and measuring tape to fully track my weight loss.

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Yes, I apologize. I was supposed to update on Friday. This week was a major struggle. Although, I shouldn't use this as an excuse to deter from keeping track of what eat. Being a young woman, I suffer one week once a month to the hands of mother nature. I stopped caring what I ate and I stopped keeping track during the time I was suffering from the pleasures of being a woman.

I have decided that this isn't a failure. I have restarted keeping track. In fact, I think this is where I previously assumed that it and I failed. Now, I just see it as something to understand and plan for. Instead of feeling guilty and down, I'm going to see it for what it is. During this time of month, I will dub those five ANNOYING days my cheat days. If I plan for those days, I can plan to shop for it ahead of time. There are a lot of deserts, chocolates, and sweet delights that can be purchased. I know Weight Watchers has a bunch of deserts. I'm fond of their frozen yogurt. Yes, it isn't something to splurge on, but it is definitely better than grabbing an extra mocha chocolate latte with a chocolate muffin.

I have also decided that I will be getting a second copy of this journal to cement this entire process in my head. Before I went off the deep end, I did happen to purchase a scale from Walmart. It is an amazing scale that actually logs in your starting weight and logs in your target goal weight. Whenever you step on it, it keeps track of it on this light up tracker that says the percentage more weight you need to lose. I need to do another weigh in today (which I am dreading).

My starting weight is 208 lbs. My boyfriend thought that I was going to get depressed and discouraged by the number, but honestly, I thought I weighed more. Maybe, I will weigh more when I weigh in, but I think the worst thing you can do right now is blow it off.

Today's Weigh-In: 205 lbs
Lost From Last Weigh-In: 3 lbs
How Much More To Lose: 90 lbs

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

After messing up for that one week, I was pleased to learn that I hadn't entirely messed up. I lost 3 lbs instead of gain it. The fact that I didn't gain weight is beyond a miracle to me, because that is what I feared.

I have noticed that I've been eating less lately like below my intended calorie intake. I do not know if this a good thing or not, but I am not as hungry as I usually am. Exercising hasn't gone as well as I hoped... that is something I definitely need to improve upon. I have decided to add a few more dates to make up for the fact I messed up on the second week. I am determined to make this into a habit and I shall... or at least give it a fair shot.

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    • MaeMG profile image
      Author

      MaeMG 4 years ago

      vkwok -- too true! I hate to say that I am a part of those heartbreaking statistics about obesity, but I have face the facts that I am overweight and I need to eat healthier and maker healthier choice. Thanks for rooting for me!

      thewritingowl-- Lol well I just hit a slump, but I am back up and going. I think before I used to just throw in the towel when I hit a rough spot. Now, I'm just seeing things a bit differently. I can learn from my pitfalls.

    • thewritingowl profile image

      Mary Kelly Godley 4 years ago from Ireland

      Hope its going okay for you and I will stop back and see how you are getting on. It's a hard slog I know so good luck.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 4 years ago from Hawaii

      Obesity is a major problem in the United States and other countries. And it is always a challenge to change that as well as trying to live healthy. I'll be rooting for you as you make your way to healthier choices.

    • MaeMG profile image
      Author

      MaeMG 4 years ago

      Writinglover -- Lol I never had problems with soda, the bubbles never liked me... or maybe I just didn't like the bubbles? Thank you for your support! I appreciate it. I know it's going to be a tough journey, but I just have to keep on going.

    • writinglover profile image

      Jennifer 4 years ago from Lost...In Video Games

      Hey, Mae! I hope you succeed in your journey. I can definitely relate to this issue. I'm trying to eat and drink healthier. Instead of soda pop, I'm drinking water. So yeah, I feel ya and you've got my support 100%.