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The Value of Journaling

Thursday, October 06, 2011

I have not been a big journaler in my life. I don't feel compelled to write down my feelings about everything that happens, but there are people who do.

My father has been keeping daily journals for years and his father before him. They are very factual: we went here, we did this, so-and-so came to visit, etc. He doesn't write about what he feels, but going back in the journals and reading about what we did 24 years ago can evoke those feelings and memories. It's a really cool resource and I wish that journaling gene had come to me.

Since I started my weight loss journey, I have been keeping a journal. Just a spiral notebook with the date and a few feelings, happenings of the day and of course, my daily weight. It too, is a great resource for me to go back through and remind me of all I have done to get where I am.

But I've reached the end of the spiral notebook. And I've reached my goal weight. So the question is, do I dig a nice, blank spiral notebook out of my closet stash and start a new one? Or do I close the journaling chapter in my life?

There are pros and cons, like anything else. Maintaining my weight is going to be as much or more of a challenge than losing it. The discipline of writing down my weight and the emotional state that goes with it is good for me. But I also have this blog, and other places to write those things. How many places do I need to record this stuff?

Are there good reasons to keep going? Reasons to set the journal aside? What do you think?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I don't have a spiral journal, but I recommend you continue on! You've found your dad's and grandfather's to be interesting, right? Well, maybe future generations will enjoy it. Or, if it is too private, maybe you can just keep it to read back through during tough times. Just a thought!
    3418 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    I have journaled for several years now, and highly recommend it. My pastor got me started when I was going through a very rough time and I know it helped me make some tough, by necessary, choices; and go me on track to a happier life.
    3425 days ago
    I don't journal but I also have a spiral notebook (I'm on my 3rd) that I keep by my scale. Every morning I record my weight and beside it I write anything important. I may go days with just my weight. Then I'll make an entry such as going on vacation, etc. My journals go back several years and I love them. I often look back and see what I weighed for a certain occasion. I vote for you starting a new journal!
    3428 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5826541
    the greatest thing about a journal is that you can look back and see how you overcame issues and also with it you can blaze a trail for others who are following after. I remember reading about all of my fears and anxieties about running my first 5K the night before my marathon... I overcame then , i overcame my fears the night before the marathon.

    i would do it now that you are maintaining. You can really pass on valuable insight down the road.
    3428 days ago
    I like the "book of maintenance" idea. :)
    3428 days ago
    I've never been able to keep a journal or diary - I get very weird about seeing my writing on paper.

    However, I've been using the blogs I write here as a "journal" and I think it's worth doing in the form you like best - yours sounds like it works for you!
    3428 days ago
    I'd buy a new notebook and start book 2. Call it The "Book of Maintenance." It has worked so far, so there's no reason to quit now. Plus you are blogging here, and at least for me, that is good therapy. I think about something, put it into words here, get some good feedback and feel I have resolved it.

    I have hit that maintenance level too. It's not easy is it? I think we will continue to need all the motivation and support we can get from wherever we can get it. My daughter-in-law has just joined WW, she has lost 22 pounds already, but needs to lose a lot more. She said last night that her company will only pay for the program for 12 weeks and she will miss the meetings when they quit paying. I suggested perhaps she could continue anyway, paying for it herself. Motivation is hard to come by and I think it is key to this weight loss/getting healthy/maintaining journey we are on. I say do whatever you have to do to stay motivated. I come here to Spark, I read, I write and so far so good...I'm staying motivated. Do what you think you need to do, but my vote is for starting a new journaling notebook. Good Luck!!
    3428 days ago
    Think of how you've enjoyed the journals from your father and consider who might like to see / read yours. You can always decide later that they were a waste of time, but you cannot go back and recreate them if you wish you had 'em!

    That and website blogs are far from a permanent record; just sayin'!

    3428 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1035627
    I think you should keep up the habit - it's a good one! Not just for weight loss, but for life in general!
    3428 days ago
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