I used to keep my food and exercise journal in a standard-sized 3 ring binder, but I thought I’d use it more if I reduced it’s size to a Day Planner size to fit 8.5 x 5.5 ” paper. It helped, but I still wasn’t taking it everywhere. Sometimes I’d remember to take it to restaurants, and when dining in other people’s homes, but more often I forgot, or left it at home because it was too inconvenient or embarassing to take.
So, I’m trying something new. I shrunk down my exchange plan checklist (I used a spreadsheet program to make a little chart with boxes for each of my exchange servings under each category - protein, dairy, starch/misc carb, fruit, veggie, dairy, fat. The whole chart is about 2″ square). I printed out a bunch of the charts (many copies to a page), then cut the charts into pages to assemble little booklets, with cardstock covers (using a tiny hole punch to punch holes in the paper and cardstock and stitched the pages together). I had enough to make a couple booklets, each about 2″x3″. When you open a booklet, the food checklist chart is on the left hand page, and the right hand page is blank to write on.
If I write small, I should be able to log all my food for the day. and contains pages for 28 days.
Then I used some plastic canvas and a nice sueded cotton/acrylic yarn to crochet a little “wallet” to hold the little booklet, and protect the book so that it can last me a month of carrying around in my pocket..
My plan is to keep the little journal with me, so I never have an excuse not to write down what I eat, before I eat it (even at home, I would make and eat lunch and then go record it, now I’ll have the log always immediately handy). It’ll also be less conspicuous in restaurants.
I have a short mechanical pencil to use with it. I thought about buying some micropens I saw at the OfficeMax, but I figured that a pencil was safer if the jeans ended up in the wash with the booklet and writing instrument in the pocket (hubby and I are both notorious for forgetting stuff in pockets).
It won’t replace my my Day Planner, because I’ll still want to food journal on a larger page when I have the time, because I also log things like how hungry I am, and also keep a symptom log in there. Also, I keep a lot of other neat motivational stuff in it besides the food journal, like my exercise chart and my weight loss chart (each pound lost is a square on a chart that gets a sticker. Initially I was giving myself a small reward for each 5 lbs, but then I got out of the habit.
I know it may seem more appropriate for a preschooler than a soon-to-be 44 year-old woman, but I’m willing to treat myself like a child if that’s what works.