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Need Ideas For A Weight Loss Journal - Help!

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Old 01-22-2005, 09:31 AM   #1
Meg
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Default Need Ideas For A Weight Loss Journal - Help!

As background, I'm going to start working at my gym in a few weeks as a personal trainer, specializing in weight loss (how'd they come with that as my niche, hmm? I guess this means I won't be getting the 20-year old hunks looking to add muscle? )

I want to put together a weight loss journal that I can give to clients and need your ideas. I made something like it for myself when I was losing and know how motivating it was to track my progress and write down goals. Here's what I have so far and I'd LOVE any ideas or suggestions about what to add to it. What keeps you motivated? What do/did you write down?

In no particular order: I'd have a place to track weight, probably weekly. BF % and measurements every four weeks. I'd also urge everyone to take pictures every four weeks, even if they don't show a soul (I really wish I had because I can't even remember how my body changed while I was losing). A place for short-term and long-term goals. A place to visualize and write down how you imagine you'll look when you reach goal and how you imagine that you'll feel.

A weekly exercise log for cardio and weights. A place to write down three weekly goals. A place to write down any anticipated challenges for the week and possible ways to handle them. Motivational quotes sprinkled throughout.

I wasn't thinking of including a food journal, since Fitday and other programs work so much better. If a person doesn't use the computer, they could always use a notebook to track food.

Other ideas? Can anyone think of a catchy title?
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Old 01-22-2005, 11:36 AM   #2
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Meg Congrats on your new job! The people training with you will be sooo dang lucky !

This is what I do... I like to have a large calendar with 2"x2" squares for each day... I divide the days into 3 sections... the first section is for food, I put the # of cals and the % of p, c, and f... the 2nd section is for which workout I did at the gym that day, be it shoulders, back, legs, etc... I have a seperate book in my gym bag that I use for my workouts with the reps, sets and weight I use for each workouts... the 3rd section I record the cardio I've done... 40 mins.=5.5k and I can see at a glance on one page if I have gone up in kilometers in 40 mins from the start of the month to the end of the month... at the end of the week I write in the margin at the end of the row ; I've gone 3X to the gym, had 5/7 good food days and did X amout of kilometers... Then as you know I track on fitday... I also write in my diary my feelings and such... So really I have 4 different things to track on the go...

Hope this helps...
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Old 01-22-2005, 11:45 AM   #3
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Sounds like you have most of the bases covered!

I keep a daily food summary with my exercise log--just a total of calories, no real details, but you could also include macronutrient ratios, # veggie servings, etc for people that track those. Just top level stuff, so everything is all together for easy reference later. Also makes it easier to see patterns.

When I was losing I also plotted my weight on a chart. I found that line going down, down, down to be very motivating. Might even frame it one of these days.

The only other thing I can think might be a place for summarizing unanticipated challenges or just general notes. Lessons learned could go there, if their strategies worked, etc.
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Old 01-22-2005, 11:50 AM   #4
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Oh Ilene's post gave me another idea. One other thing that I still find very motivating--weekly & montly totals of time spent exercising, miles run, yards swum, pounds lifted, etc. These numbers can get pretty big and impressive. Nothing like seeing that you've literally lifted a ton of weight, or run the equivalent of a marathon, even if it is just a little at a time.

Anne
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:00 PM   #5
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Hi Meg,

I use a weekly page with 2'x2" squares for food, excercise goals etc, but I also include space to write down the things that are a risk factor for throwing me of course. In some way or other, if these are on the scedule i feel that i cannot use them as an excuse to not excercise or watch food. Also, I have space for hom many minutes "relaxation" per day, and for how I feel (tired, good, hungry whatever). Foodwise I only track portions of the main groepus + how much water I have drank.

rabbit
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:07 PM   #6
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Like Anne, I also graphed my weight loss. You can print up blank charts from MUSC and keep track daily, weekly, monthly, whatever suits you. I would also have a section for daily thoughts/feelings. I did this in my food/water log which I kept manually in a notebook/binder along with my charts and other motivational stuff. It sounds like this is going to be a great tool for your clients. I would have loved to have had something like this put together for me when I first started out!

Beverly
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:51 PM   #7
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For my exercise log, I like to have the "scheduled" exercise for each day written down so I can see what the week looks like and then also have a space to jot down the "actual" exercise if it differed from the plan.

For my weight log, I prefer a space to record my daily weight and then a space where I can come up with the average for the week. That way, I can just compare my weekly average from week to week (which takes some of the frustration out of fluctuations).

I also graphed my weight during my big loss. It was intensely gratifying to see that line go down from 189 to 135.

Meg, I wish I lived where you do! I'd be the first one to sign up! You're going to be great.
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Old 01-22-2005, 06:35 PM   #8
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Hi:
I know those "loser" are going to be big winners on your weight loss training.
What worked and still works for me is a simple notebook. I journal in it daily and in the back of the book I keep a chart of my exercise and food and weight. Whatever, you come up with keep it flexible as possible because as we can see we all use different routes to the same destination.
PS I am up to book number 15 and am still excited when I finish one and start a new one. Its the little things in life that keep us going.
Good luck

PS Your post gave me some new idea's to punch my journal up a notch.
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Old 01-22-2005, 06:37 PM   #9
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I also love to plot my wl on a graph. Besides things already mentioned, over time it really lets you see that those weeks that you did well on your plan but didnt register a loss really do even out.

The kid in me also loves glittery colorful metallic stars, etc. for tasks well done placed here and there.

And what about a page that in the beginning the individual lists all the reasons for wanting to lose weight in the first place. Make it very detailed. Instead of 'better health', break it down into lower bp, lower risk of coronary, lower risk of diabetes, stroke, etc. Instead of 'nicer clothes' break that down also. This can be re-read when needed.

As to those young men building muscle, couldnt you just volunteer to dry them down with a towel?

Jan

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Old 01-22-2005, 07:05 PM   #10
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Oh, I just thought of something really neat for your clients Meg... You will probably be giving your clients this agenda or calendar on a sheet of paper to put in a binder or something... you should add the 3FC address to participate, along with fitday.com too...
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Old 01-22-2005, 07:28 PM   #11
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Wow Meg congratulations!!
Something that may be nice is to have a place for milestones so that they can look back, kind of like a non scale victory record. When I'm feeling down or frustrated, I try to remember how different things are and why I need to keep going but I don't write it down but I'm not really the writing type.
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Old 01-23-2005, 07:11 AM   #12
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Hi Nelie,
Just as a comment on your last post on "I'm not really the writing type". neither am I but the funny thing is that I decided to give the logging thing a try since it was a common denominator in a lot of succes stories and guess what ? Just reflecting everyday on what i've eaten the day before DOES help me !!!.
I do not wite it down in a grandiose way, just put marks for every portion I have had of protein, calcium, vegetables, fruit, starch, and water on a form that I printed on my computer. And that already is to me a usefull way of realising just how much I eat and when I flunked on the water. I think I will add an entry for "snacks" so that I can also check on how well I am doing in that section.

For the last days I am logging more in detail but that is to find out if my frequent tiredness hangs together with too much carbohydrates. I don't see a pattern yet but I immediately noticed that my eating went much better on track.

Just my 2 cts...
Have a good day all,
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:06 AM   #13
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I'm only on little book numbr two But I use facing pages, one for food and one for exercise. I put my weight in the top corner of the food page and any little notes like if I worked etc there too. Once in a while I scribble in my percentages, if they're good I can repeat that food pattern another day.

I'm a fitday'er so any detailed food stuff goes there. The detailed exercise stuff goes in the book .... number of reps and sets, my elbow hurt, I did heavier squats today ... that sort of thing.

If I notice a loss or gain (or pain), I just read back a few pages to assess it.
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Old 01-23-2005, 12:03 PM   #14
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Rabbit, I've started using fitday regularly and I love it but I've tried so many times to write down my food and exercise and I stop after a few days. Having it online though helps because I can do it at work and at home.
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Old 01-23-2005, 02:40 PM   #15
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I have a page where I'd put the month/year (ie "January 2005") and list remarkable things that happened that month. Things like "tried on size 8 jeans and they fit" or "ran 30 min without stopping at 5mph." Just quick blurbs on little victories.

I also have a page with each pound going backwards and the bmi number that correlates to it. As I hit each pound, I'd extend the arrows down and watch my BMI fall as well as my weight. Then I knew when I dropped out of obesity and overweightness too.

I also had a chart with 10%, 20% or whatever goals so I'd know when I'd lost that % of my weight.

Brenda
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