It's easy to go on a diet or exercise program for a week. But then we have to work late and grab a pizza on the way home since we don't have time to cook or visit the gym. We worry about the kids and shove our bulging waistlines to the backs of our minds. Sometimes that's where it stays.
Small wonder we keep getting heavier.
There's an old saying: "Energy flows where attention goes."
If you commit to keeping your journal every day, you have to refocus some of your energy back to your weight loss and fitness goals.
You have to be honest with yourself – it's your life. You can cheat, but you're hurting only yourself and the people who love you.
When you eat a pepperoni pizza instead of a salad, you have to write that down in your journal.
After recording a few such setbacks in your journal, you get familiar with the pain of regret. The next time you're tempted to skip the salad for a pizza, you'll remember that you have to record that in your journal and admit your moment of weakness to yourself.
Suddenly the salad looks like a much better choice.
Weighing yourself daily, and recording everything you eat and your activity levels can help to keep you focused. When you start to feel discouraged, you can look back at entries you made three months earlier and realize that you've lost 20 pounds and kept it off – no small achievement. So it can help keep you motivated.
Plus, a journal can help you see what's working and what's not. It's likely you'll weigh less on days after a good workout than after an evening spent watching a movie while eating a big bowl of ice cream.
Many people keep their journals private. This is fine. Other people are putting theirs up on blogs for all the world to see. This is fine too. You can make new friends and gain support from other peoples.
Even if you keep your journal private, search for these online blogs and read the entries. You'll find people to inspire you with their struggles and successes. Leave a comment to support them, so they know they're not alone.
In the long run, losing weight is about self-responsibility. It's about accepting that your life is your life. In the end, it's up to you to lose weight and keep yourself healthy.
After all, if you fail … it's you who will suffer the health consequences. It's your bones carrying your weight. Your heart that is overstressed, and your life at risk of an early death – to be blunt.