To Journal or Not to Journal . . . Tis the Question

Have you ever seen that 1995 movie Clueless with Alicia Silverstone?  That was me when it came to nutrition.  “Is there a Problem here?”


I didn’t think so but there definitely was.  I never slowed down to notice.

How about you?

How about now?

Take a moment now to simply become aware of what you’re feeling, right now.

What are you thinking as you read this?

What are you feeling in your body?

How’s that chair you’re sitting in?

Or your breathing?

And how do your feet feel on the floor? (or are your feet up relaxing on the Brie . . . my favorite place to be at home.)

Reminds me of my early 20s when my friend, Maggie introduced me to the Alexander Technique.  Wow!  That was an awesome feeling.  I still think of that today when I’m walking (or sitting) pressing hard on the surface beneath me.  I think about what’s beneath me and just let it hold me instead of pressing down hard into it.  When I used to trail race, I would think of jogging softly, body relaxed, listening to TR, and in the moment.

Little did I know I was practicing self-awareness.  Go figure!


Which brings me to my lesson, “Become aware” .

I realize you probably just got to work or just got up.  Either way a freshly brewed cup of coffee in your hand.  Can you smell the goodness and taste it . . . MMMMmmm . . .Delish!

What has today been like for you so far, and how that’s affecting your state of “mind-body”?

My day started at some would say “stupid o’clock” (4:00 A.M).  By 5:00 A.M. we were at World Gym setting up for Bootcamp class. At 5:15 A.M. began training the class.


The Workout:
4 mins at each of the 7 stations / up & down ladder style
Deadlifts w/heavy bar, Row w/bar or DBs
Front squat w/bar, Leaping lunges
Clean & press w/ DB, Flutter kick or hold
Jumping squat, Pulsing squat
Tricep press w/KB, Walkover bench push-up
Pullover leg raise w/DB, Side plank with DB
Bench press, Dips on bench

Challenge 5 mins.
Walking lunges w/weighted bar
10 Push-ups
Walking lunges w/weighted bar
10 Step over bench w/ squat
Lunge & bicep curl
10 Push-ups
Lunge & bicep curl
10 Step over bench w/ squat

Finished approximately 6:07 A.M.  Stretching for 10 mins.

Hey at least there were no “Burpees” before 5:30 A.M., like usual.  What can I say, I love Burpees but not more than my friend, Lori.  So being a good friend, I bought her a workout tank that says “I love Burpees.  Said No-one Ever!”

Good times!

Day started off great & full of energy and continued throughout the day.

Even though my friend & mentor, Tanner Baze, tried to heap negativity & sadness into my positive energy.  I threw a temper tantrum like a bratty child and refused to accept “life” until it happens . . . In a little over a week it’s going to hit me like a ton of bricks.. WAAAAHHHH . . . then I’ll cry and as Tanner has taught me, I’ll write about it.
A girl with brown hair, wearing a red bow at the back of her head, a denim dress with pinkish violet sleeves and bow belt, white socks and black shoes, furrows her eyes and brows while gritting her teeth in anger, right hand holding a thread of a popped yellow balloon
BTW my balloon didn’t pop or fly out the window like Polliwog’s did.

And as much as we tried to comfort Polliwog, he cried about that balloon floating out the window for a week.

Because, he was 2 and that’s as far as “awareness” went in his mind.

Awareness may not be enough on its own. (In fact, it rarely is.) But awareness is strong stuff . . .

and awareness alone can create change.

Awareness is a mind-shifter.

A universe-cracker.

When you see stuff all laid out, right in front of your face, or rumbling deep in your guts… it’s kinda hard to ignore it. You can’t not-see it. You can’t un-ring that bell.

That’s the power of awareness and, the power of the food journal.
The food journal: The basics

I used to think recording my food intake and calories was obsessive until I started this journey and tried food journaling a different way.

I used to just list what I ate, how much, when, and calorie count.

Can you say . . . BORING!

Now I will:

  • use words or images, or both
  • use high- or low-tech methods
  • use general descriptions (i.e. “1 handful of X”) not specific measurements

Just got in the habit of recording the food intake.  I don’t even write/type the calories now.

It doesn’t matter what things I track really . . .  Just as long as I stay checked in.

Can you stay checked in and present with a food journal, so you and your coach know some crucial data about your food intake?

For example:

Notice what the process of gaining awareness is like?  Would you alter your behavior in any way because you recorded (or thought about recording) your intake?  For me, it’s a feeling that I know healthy vs. unhealthy.  Adding healthy foods while (subtracting) unhealthy foods.  Noticing what I put into my body.  Not just eating to eat.

Notice where you would put your “locus of control” if recording food intake?  In other words, do you become obsessed  — worried about “what the journal will think” when you record “1 party-sized bag of Doritos”?  Or, like me, I would become obsessed because I kept it attached “at the hip” so l wouldn’t  forget to track something.

On this journey, I’ve learned, the food journal is merely a device that captures — for good or ill — all that I do, without judgment?  Thank goodness.

Notice any resistance?  For example, would you think “Eh, I’ll write it down later” and put it off?  Would you “forget” to record anything that seems less-than-perfect?  Would you think, “This is a stupid habit?  I already know all this stuff!”  Would you find your mind or behavior “pushing back” in any way?   Damn straight . . . that’s what I used to do when it was just text & numbers i.e. food, drink, dates, times, calories.

Notice habits and tendencies? What would you do more or less of?  Would you be a routine-based eater or a novelty-based eater?  Where would you eat?  How would you eat? And a big one for me was “Did I even chew my food or just inhale it”?

As for you, track away.  Anything you want . . . thoughts feelings, pictures, videos, or draw my niece’s stick figure BF Hamilton. 

Don’t worry; feel judged; or feel embarrassed about not being “perfect”.  Be excited to analyze and assess performance with a trusted guide on this health & fitness journey.

After all, you’re the only one who will see this food journal unless you have a nutrition coach reviewing it.  Say maybe a nutrition coach Powered by PN.  No, I don’t think i have powers of a superhero.

However, would someone seeing your food intake make you look for things that you could improve on your own?

Stay aware, notice and name, explore and find out!

Remember:  Awareness is the first step to change.  Often, we change simply by bringing something to awareness. The mere act of recording and then reviewing my food intake has inspired me to make adjustments. Now I don’t just think I know what I’m eating. I really know.  And for me, it was an eye opener.


As I said, I’m not into food deprivation.  I’m all about slow & steady changes to a sustainable lifestyle.  [Yep tongue twister. . . Say that 3 times really fast.]

Until next time, stay peachy my friends.

Your Friend & Coach Jessica
Personal Trainer & Fitness Coac
FIt50andFab, LLC