I approach this blog post with trepidation. On the one hand I love the idea of losing weight and keeping fit and using a habit tracker and charting my progress with a body measurement chart.
On the other hand, as women, we often oppress ourselves with a script in our head that tells us that we are never slim enough, never fit enough, never good enough.
I don’t want to promote calorie intake, physical activities, water consumption and general goal setting around losing weight in a way that oppresses women.
However, over the past few months I’ve put on a little weight and don’t feel as good in my skin as I did before. So I decided I would approach this blog post from the perspective of getting back to feeling and looking like me.
It has nothing to do with thinking that I should look a certain way or weigh a particular number. It is more that at the start of the new year I want a workout routine and a daily food plan that meets my specific needs. And maybe that’s exactly what you want too.
Using weight loss journal templates to improve your health and fitness
It just comes down to this, I want to feel like me and to live out my life as the fullest expression of myself. This blog post is for you if you want the same for yourself: to look and feel the best version of yourself; not to be shamed into looking and weighing a certain way and to want to lose weight and get fit because that’s how you want to look and feel; not because you feel society dictates that you conform to a certain look or weight.
How to get started
Let’s get started. You will need a blank journal of some kind, preferably lined, a pen and your perfect, amazing self. We are going to create a personalised weight loss journal that you can refer to whenever you want. It is going to be created for you and your lifestyle.
You don’t have to ‘do’ a particular diet or follow a particular fitness regime. As you will see in this blog post, it’s all going to be set out specifically for you and the life you want to lead.
How would you rate your overall health right now? Write a paragraph or two in your journal about your overall health. How fit you feel, how you fit into your clothes, can you run up the stairs, are you more tired than usual.
Note down any changes in your overall health such as a change in sleep patterns or a change in how you react to certain foods or drinks. I know for myself that my tolerance for alcohol has really reduced in the last few years.
I love new goals and creating new strategies for myself. They are exciting and give me a massive dopamine hit. However sometimes that’s all they do, make me feel amazing in the moment, and then I don’t implement them. Because I have already had my reward. I already feel better.
The trick, for me, is to make sure that I set new goals that I will actually implement and achieve. So start to think about what new goals you would like to set yourself. And these need to be goals that you actually want to achieve.
You might love the idea of losing 20lbs, but what you really want is to be able to get back into those black trousers that you haven’t worn since last Christmas. Make the black trousers your goal, not the 20lbs, because it means something to you.
What new habits would you like to introduce into your life? How would you like to change your life and bring new habits in? Would you really like to get up and run at 5am every morning or is that the last thing you would want to do?
Would you rather take a yoga class at 7am and get to work comfortably for 8.30am? Whatever you choose in terms of new habits, make it personal to you. You can use motivation quotes to help keep you motivated.
You can also habit stack which is a technique I learned about from James Clear in Atomic Habits. The idea is to attach one habit that you want to start, to another habit that you are already doing, thereby stacking your habits. So, if you get up and have a cup of coffee and ready for 30 minutes each morning you could add 30 minutes of exercise after your reading time.
So your habit protocol would be something like: Each day after my cup of coffee and reading I will exercise for 30 minutes.
Template for weight loss goals
Only after you have written about your overall health status should you start to think about weight loss goals. Try and think about weight loss in terms of your overall health and not an area of your life where you are particularly critical about yourself.
When I was tidying up the laundry I found a pair of denim shorts that were in the wash. I don’t think I’ve worn those shorts for quite a number of years. They are very short. But I really love them. And I’d like to be the sort of woman who wears those shorts.
Specifically I’d like to have beautifully toned legs, a lean, fit body and I’d like to be really healthy, with glowing skin, bright eyes and boundless energy.
In order to be that woman I will probably have to weigh a little less than my current weight, I will need to establish a fitness routine that gives me leaned, toned legs, make sure I get enough sleep so that I have that boundless energy I’m after.
I’ll also maybe use a meal tracker to ensure I’m eating healthy foods and maintaining a good water intake so that I have that glowing skin and bright eyes that I would like.
Do you see how this is a much healthier way to think rather than think how much weight you need to lose or how much water you haven’t drunk, or how many steps you need to take or what bad habits you need to drop.
All those are great actions to take, but if you don’t have a goal in mind then you won’t continue with those actions because you won’t have any motivation or desire, there is no vision involved.
Template for weight loss journey
So now you should have an idea of what your real goals are. So let’s start to talk about how you are going to monitor your weight loss.
Weight loss tracker
Are you going to set a goal weight for yourself, or a range of weight that you would like to use, or another goal such as fitting in to your best dress that you absolutely love and haven’t worn since the zip wouldn’t do up?
Whatever you decide as your goal you need to track. The most straightforward plan would be a weight tracker. You could create a graph, or a countdown chart. Whatever you decide make it fun and easy to fill in and monitor.
You can easily find a printable weight loss tracker such as these here. Your weight loss plan also needs a fitness element and a food element, both of which are addressed below
Template for Fitness Goals
I love keeping fit, my problem is enough time. I have two dogs to walk and I love being outside with them. I would love to run more, though, but with the amount of doggie walking I do it is hard to find that extra time, especially with working full time.
So, whatever your fitness goals are you need to make them realistic to your lifestyle. What kind of physical activity would you like to undertake and do you have time for?
You can create a fitness journal specifically for this aspect of your goal, or you can put it in the journal that you have already started.
How are you going to monitor your physical exercise
Your fitness plan should include your workout plan with the workout routines included. If you are going to do yoga 5 times a week that needs to be in your plan, if you are going to dog walk, but that in. It’s all fitness and movement.
If you are going to cycle with the children to school, put that in too. In this way you can see your total fitness and movement amounts, not just ‘the run’ or ‘the exercise class’. You could also break down your overall goal into a smaller tracker like an exercise planner for the week.
Put your weekly plan on the fridge, or somewhere where you can see it and cross each one off the list as you complete it. Then, you can go back to your main list and update it.
Body measurements tracker
How do you feel about monitoring your body measurements? I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand it’s great to see yourself shrinking, but again I go back to this idea that we shouldn’t be losing weight out of shame but because we want to live your best life.
So, if you choose to chart your body measurement then make sure that you are doing so from a positive, holistic perspective.
You can create your own body measurement tracker in your planner. What measurements are you going to use? Bust, waist, hips are the most common ones. But you could include upper arms and thighs as fat is often stored there.
Template for Food Journal
As part of your overall health plan, monitoring what you eat can be a great idea. Quite often we underestimate what we are eating, and I know for myself that I don’t count any scraps or leftovers that I eat in the kitchen as part of the total amount that I eat in the day.
You could use a food tracker to monitor what you are eating or to track eating healthily. So you could either fill in each day as it comes or prepare your food log and use it as a meal tricker too tick off the foods as you eat them.
Either way, using a food journal will help your weight loss progress or even your healthy eating plan simply because you are using a system and monitoring your food intake. And following a system is a great way to achieve your goals.
Template for Mental health
I have already mentioned in this blog post it can be hard to get the balance between achieving a goal that is to do with the body, and the shame or guilt which can surround these kind of personal, body oriented goals.
Try and make your aim to be a healthy lifestyle. Don’t strive for unachievable or unrealistic goals.
Template for Emotional eating
I didn’t realise I was an emotional eater until I started monitoring my eating habits. I was quite surprised at the extent to which I ate out of emotional need rather than hunger.
At the time the situation was exacerbated by my being in a work situation which was quite stressful and I was unsure exactly what was required of me and therefore was unsure whether I was doing a good job or not. I would cope for about an hour and then I would have what felt like an uncontrollable urge to eat something, anything.
I would leave my desk and without even thinking about it make my way to the kitchen. And I would grab something to eat so quickly that sometimes I was surprised myself that in the same instant that I was thinking about not eating I would actually be reaching for the ice cream.
It’s quite funny to think about it now but at the time, when I started to monitor it I was a little overwhelmed.
I did write down how I felt immediately before I reached for the food and how I felt once I had eaten it and slowly I was able to bring it under control. I’m going to write about how I did it in the future and post a link to it back here. If you want to read more about how I did it and maybe try it yourself circle back here in a few weeks.
You should be in good shape now to create your own version of the weight loss journal templates. When it is personal to you, and it matters to you, you have a higher chance of achieving your goal. So the work that you do here to make your weight loss goal personal to you will help you achieve your goal. Enjoy the healthier, fitter version of you!
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