Motivation Articles

Weight Loss Journals: Hands-On Inspiration

A Creative Way to Stay Motivated

Visual images can be powerful tools in helping you reach your goals. There are lots of creative ways to use this motivation technique, such as posting an image of your goal where you’ll see it most—in your car, on a bathroom mirror, or on the refrigerator. Visual images can also help you reach your weight loss goals. Create a chart to measure your progress, display before and after pictures, or get a brochure of the vacation destination you’ll visit after you reach your goal. These are all good ways to constantly remind yourself of the commitment you’ve made.

One of our most loyal SparkPeople members, EMMYOS, decided to create a journal to document her weight loss journey. Emmy was kind enough to share pictures from her journal, as well as talk about how the journal has been so helpful in her progress.

JEN: Where did you get the idea to create a weight loss journal?

EMMY: I love to scrapbook, and one day I started thinking that I wanted to document my journey to health—the same way I document trips and events that happen in our family life. I’ve learned that scrap-booking isn’t just pretty and fun. You do it to document your life and to give a piece of yourself to the people you leave behind. Losing weight is a struggle, but in the end it will be a success that I want to share with my family. If someone reads it and gets encouragement, or if someone I share my book with gets a “spark” from it and decides to change their own life, I will have filled a book with more then just a memory for someone to read. It will be now someone else’s attempt at a dream and success.

JEN: How has the journal helped your weight loss progress?

EMMY: When I am feeling unmotivated or down, I open up the book and read my original entry about why I started my journey. I go through old journal notes that I wrote and they strike a cord that gives me the boost I need to get off my butt and move. Sometimes it reminds me of the hard effort I have put into this. When I go through my journal, it gives me the encouragement all over again. I write my deepest feelings in it—the embarrassment of having to ask for an extender belt on the airplane, not being able to go on a ride at an amusement park, being called fat as a kid, being teased non-stop—those are all things that remind me why I am doing this. When you write down both the good and the bad, you can't take them away. It's there black and white.

JEN: Is there any advice you would give to someone just starting a weight loss journal?

EMMY: Think hard about what you want out of your book, what you want to document, and what you want to show in it. I knew I was going to document the tools I am using on SparkPeople and TOPS, awards, and successes. I kept letters and cards that people from my support groups have sent me, messages on the boards, etc. I also journal in my book as I go along. Get a good book, something you can keep adding to, because it is a work of art in progress.

I started my journal 8 months after I began SparkPeople, and then put it away. I brought it out recently to motivate myself again, and now keep it on my desk and look at it more often to remind myself of my goals!

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Member Comments

  • What a fantastic way to be able to look back and see the progress - especially on days when you feel like you haven't progressed at all! Thanks for sharing! :)
  • 1 of my media is art journals, so instead of scrapbooking this, I am inspired to do a my journey art journal; meanwhile, my working bullet journal for spark, & another for OA.
  • BUNNY98537
    Wow! Your journal is a testament to all your hard work... I love it! It's very visual, which is one of the ways I learn best. The page with the little footsteps showing pounds lost is such a good idea. I want to borrow a bunch of ideas and create something to document my journey toward better health. Could even help me get off this plateau!!! Thank you so much for sharing your creative approach. Just the Spark I needed.
  • I've just stumbled across this and WOW I wished I had thought about this when I started my journey. I'm sure its not to late to start...hum...I think I'll start gathering up my pics and get to scraping. Thanks for sharing this awesome inspiration.
  • Sorry, but sometimes telling the "truth" is just the politically correct way to be rude. If you can't say something nice.....
    Journal looks good, but no guarantee, either. Need to show these people every year for ten years to see if it all "Still is working". Sorry, but that's the truth..........!
  • 1BOBBBI_60
    I Love this great idea thanks for sharing with your sparkfriends here.
  • Awesome idea, Emmy! Thanks for sharing it .
  • I love this idea! Thank you for sharing it with us.
    I want to give this a try. thanks for sharing
  • I love this idea ... and you're doing a beautiful journal too. Thanks for the inspiration. I love paper art and crafts and I just might try this myself.
    thanks for the "Spark".
  • What a gorgeous journal! Artistic and fun! So motivational!
  • LAGIRL0547
    You are a great inspiration to us all who are trying at the journey of healthy eating and losing weight. Congratulations to you for a move in the right direction...if I can just stick with it...but I claim this year as my year to do it...cause I hate how I feel at the end of the year....with little progress so this year I am making it top priority to reach my goal 50 pounds it going to take a lot of effort but determination and the will to success. Remembering to never give up....thanks for sharing your story.
  • Great idea! I need the extra motivation on my dark days.

About The Author

Jen Mueller Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid marathon runner, she is an ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach, medical exercise specialist and behavior change specialist. See all of Jen's articles.

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