Thursday, April 8, 2010

Keeping a Journal

When I started working out seriously a few months back, I used to carry around a piece of paper with a routine that I was going to follow. It would have pictures of the machines and people demonstrating how to use them. It was pretty basic. Now that I'm officially a "gym rat" my piece of paper has evolved into a full blown journal. My husband has taken my workout routines and created spreadsheets and and charts that I use to follow my routines, record weights, and also journal about my diet/nutrition.
Each month I create a new journal, (we have a booklet binder at my office and I turn it into a small book that I carry with me at all times) I've since learned that journals like this are typical for people that are truly serious about their training program. I keep it in my purse or in my car so that I can easily grab it to record something. I track my mood, my energy, my complete workouts and my complete diet. It helps me to take notice to direct correlations of the success of my workouts relating to time of day, food intake, stress levels, etc. I feel more in tune with my body than I ever have in my life!

My notes would not make sense to anyone other than myself, but really the journal is only for me, so what does it matter right? I use it to refer back to previous weeks too. For example, this morning while doing "close grip cable rows" I wanted to be sure that I was really pushing myself; I looked back at the weight that I did last week and challenged myself to do 5lbs more. I did it. I just had to tell myself, "I'm stronger this week!" So I use the journal to motivate myself and keep myself accountable. I absolutely would be tormented if I had a blank day in the journal...I have to keep this up! When I ended March and was able to pull those pages out to replace them with April, I can't tell you how amazing it felt to hold a stack of pages that were scribbled on, folded, tattered, etc; it was the road map to my success!!

Tracking my diet also helps remind me to make healthy choices and be sure I'm getting enough fuel for my body. If you're working out, your body needs the right stuff to keep it strong! If you don't give your body the fuel it needs, its not going to have the energy to have a good workout. Your body needs food for all health (mental and physical); its important to me to be sure that I'm giving my body exactly what it needs so that I don't have "cravings" and end up feeding myself crap.
Many people "journal" or "track" their programs; its important to find a system that works for YOU and that is easy to fit into your life. I've seen people use iPhone/iPod apps, journals, paper with clipboards, etc. The important thing for me is that I just need something to track it; it keeps me accountable, focused and like I said, its not only a map of where I'm going, its also a record of where I've been!

No comments:

Post a Comment