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Since moving to FL 2.5 years ago, I have gained 25 pounds. It has been a combination of a lot of travel disrupting eating and exercising patterns, lack of good food making it too easy to eat crap, and just not settling in to my new town. All that is now going to end. I'll be leaving here by the end of May/early June and start migrating north ending up in Boston at the end of July. I'll be going to school full time and living on a very tight budget. I'm taking this as a challenge to work on my cooking skills which have gotten a little dull lately. I'm also not big on planning my meals ahead of time which just won't work well on a much tighter food budget then I'm used to.

I've been in an exercise vacuum lately because my orthotics are shot and there isn't a single freaking doctor in this town who makes the kind I use - I'd have to drive 4 hours to Orlando. I'll be at my folks' place in NY in early June and my first order of business is getting my orthotics rebuilt. Until then, I'll either need to work around this or suffer through it. We've hit steady warm weather so I may be spending some time in the pool over the next few weeks and the recumbent stationary bike is another option. I clocked half an hour on it this morning and feel pretty good.

My goal is to have dropped 15 of these extra pounds by the time school starts -- 5 pounds a month.

I'll be posting periodically for a little public motivation to stay on track.

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Doing well so far. Got home a little early today and hit the gym -- there were too many little kids in the pool. The time flew by thanks to an absolutely comical display of a son teaching his ~70 year old mom how to use the treadmill for the first time. I think she was wearing slippers and my feet ached in sympathy. When I left, a family was just finishing cooking on the grill by the pool so I jumped in and claimed it. A short while later and I was enjoying my chipotle-lime grilled chicken, grilled zucchini, and grilled corn out on the patio with the frogs croaking up a storm. They are scary loud.

So my first week wraps up with steady exercise, better eating, and 1.6 pounds less of me.

Tomorrow I try to quit my job once again. Boss didn't quite let me when I tried yesterday.

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Doing well so far. Got home a little early today and hit the gym -- there were too many little kids in the pool. The time flew by thanks to an absolutely comical display of a son teaching his ~70 year old mom how to use the treadmill for the first time. I think she was wearing slippers and my feet ached in sympathy. When I left, a family was just finishing cooking on the grill by the pool so I jumped in and claimed it. A short while later and I was enjoying my chipotle-lime grilled chicken, grilled zucchini, and grilled corn out on the patio with the frogs croaking up a storm. They are scary loud.

So my first week wraps up with steady exercise, better eating, and 1.6 pounds less of me.

Tomorrow I try to quit my job once again. Boss didn't quite let me when I tried yesterday.

This is great, woman! Keep up the great work.
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Figures. The week I give notice at my job, they start a weekly organic, local growers farmers market in our office parking lot each Thursday. I picked up some lovely garlic scapes and arugula, tossed them with whole wheat pasta, chicken, and roasted tomato for a lovely dinner. They certainly made it easy to make a fresh, healthy dinner after a hectic day.

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Good luck! I'm in a very similar situation with weight creeping up over the last two years, something I tie to my job and its accompanying frequent travel. I'll be keeping an eye on how things go for you, looking for ideas on how to change my situation. ;)

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Good luck! I'm in a very similar situation with weight creeping up over the last two years, something I tie to my job and its accompanying frequent travel. I'll be keeping an eye on how things go for you, looking for ideas on how to change my situation. ;)

Thanks. Travel has been a huge part of this. I've been traveling at least 2 nights a week for 3 weeks a month with many longer trips. It disrupts my eating and exercising patterns both while on the road and when I'm home. It gets hard to shop and cook healthily for a day or two at a time without wasting a lot or getting very expensive. Exercising patterns are also hard to keep up. I try to pack in a lot or travel at night to limit time on the road which doesn't leave time to exercise. Plus, some of the places I go to aren't quite safe to be out alone early in the morning or after dusk. And once you get out of the habit and are home several days in a row, it just doesn't seem to happen. That has been the big first change I'm making -- do it anyway. The second is to spend more care while shopping and keep it simple while I get back into a routine. With only three weeks left of work, two trips during that time, and some travel after to move my stuff and find a new apartment, I'm not sure "routine" is the best way to put it.

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Gorgeous day today and the legislature is finally out of session. Besides being a lot less chaotic, it meant I could get out of the office a little after 5 and be in the pool by 5:25. I had about twenty-five minutes before the kids descended. No problem, just headed inside and did some stretching to round out the day. The local co-op opened their expanded store last weekend and they have a much better produce selection. It has made it much easier to eat well and I've probably had an extra serving or two of fruit and veggies each day as a result and it shows. I dropped another 2.5 pounds this past week. I suspect that is the last of the easy weight. I don't travel again until end of next week and I plan on making the most of the time.

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I succumbed to the sirens call of ice cream today too. It was nearly 90 degrees out and I was running around and just needed a little something cool and sweet. I ate it, it was good, and then I let it go.

But the rest of the week, Pacific Rose apples and carrots were my thing. Apparently I was in a crunchy kind of mood.

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I was right, the easy weight is over. I stayed level this week but my clothes are decidedly looser so this may be the exercise switch kicking in. I travel this Thursday and Friday and the scheduling folks are trying to thwart any attempts at exercise on the road but I'm on to them. I have blocked off an early meeting Friday morning before my talk and that meeting will be me and the hotel gym.

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Serious motivation problems this weekend. Pack, exercise? Pack, exercise? So I've cranked up the tunes and am actively packing.
I find packing - like vaccuming - to be as impacting as 20 minutes on the elliptical. According to my trainer (who has to remind me constantly of this), it's how the clothes are fitting more than the numbers the scale is telling you. I can't wait to see your results in person!
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I find packing - like vaccuming - to be as impacting as 20 minutes on the elliptical. According to my trainer (who has to remind me constantly of this), it's how the clothes are fitting more than the numbers the scale is telling you. I can't wait to see your results in person!

This has not been a great week so far. Travel plans changed, flights delayed, and exercise time greatly diminished. I thought I'd get to walk on the beach while out in Ponte Vedra the last few days, but the last nor'easter took most of the beach.

Two days left at work. First thing I did when I got in from the 3.5 hour drive back about 30 minutes ago was set my alarm early enough to get in a workout before heading to the office. I suspect that by the time you see me, I'll look about how I did the last time you saw me because I gained about 5 pounds after that trip and before I decided enough was enough. Wait until December after I've been walking to school every day, have time between classes to hit the gym regularly, and no money for drinks!

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I celebrated my first days of freedom by adding 15% more time to my recumbent biking. I'm also gingerly starting to walk even before I get new orthotics. Since I am moving to one of the most walkable cities according to Walking Magazine, I need to get used to walking again. And I need to get used to walking in something other then sneakers. My shins and the area where my arches would be if I had arches are paying the price of the walking. There will be ice packs in my future. If I needed reminding of the sheer genius of orthotics after nearly 30 years of wearing them, I'm convinced. The biking felt good though. Now, I'm hot and sweaty thanks to running around in the 90 degree sticky weather and not in the mood for cooking a well-balanced dinner. Cereal it is!

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happy birthday!
Thanks! I will be cooking probably my last full meal in this apartment for my birthday dinner. After that, I'll be reheating leftovers to empty the freezer, cereal, or sandwiches and eating out. Birthday dinner will be a green salad with the last of the red leaf butter lettuce from the farmers market at work with a shallot vinaigrette. I picked up some NY strips today and will do the CI oven then sear method, will roast some asparagus, and have some olive oil mashed potatos. I'll crack open my last bottle of wine, a sparkling shiraz my brother turned me on to. Probably ice cream for dessert. Two friends will join me and take home various pantry odds and ends as their parting gifts -- spices, rice, pasta, canned tomato, coconut milk, etc.

And I'll do some advance work in the gym so I can enjoy it without a second thought! :lol:

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I packed my scale today so it was my last chance to hop on until July. I'm down 3 pounds for my first month. It may be a little lower as I weighed myself after breakfast and several glasses of water - its 92 and HOT in these parts and I am having serious hydration issues. At the office, I would just keep refilling my 20oz cup from the water fountain but I just can't seem to remember to tank up at home. My next challenge.

So, I didn't meet my goal for the month but I have been exercising pretty regularly and re-habitualizing the effort. I have an appointment on June 9th for new orthotics. I have made arrangements for gym use for the few weeks I'll be in NY -- until I get the new orthotics walking and outdoor stuff just won't fly. I definitely see a difference in my legs and have had fewer headaches.

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Been pretty quiet because I hit a major snag shortly after I got to NY. An old back injury had a nasty flare-up. I have no idea what triggered it. It has been an issue on and off over the last 12 years, but usually I get sore or stiff for a day or two and that's that. This time it is painful. I've been hobbling around as best I can but any sort of exercise is out of the question. I can't even walk around for more then half an hour at a clip. I've been watching what I eat but come on, its NY and all of my childhood favorites are in easy reach. It is getting a little better each day but I'm ready to run around and have fun again!

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Thanks! I have done stints of yoga a few times in the past. I didn't notice a big difference with my back but it did help a lot with my legs as I have tight hamstrings and achilles (part of the wacky wiring that lead me to orthotics). I'll check and see what is offered at school. With all of the walking I'll be doing, yoga could be a great idea.

As excited as I was to get my new orthotics, they just aren't doing it for me. I have to go back and get the fit checked in a couple of weeks and I'll talk to the doctor about my unhappiness with them. I don't know if I just need to give it more time to get used to a new type, if the new type is just not the thing for me, or if they need to be adjusted. I've been doing a lot of walking and have resorted to carrying my old ones with me and switching back to them when I've had it with the new ones.

But the good news is that I'm still walking anyway and while my back is stiff, I'm not in pain. Not fast exercise walking, more of an increase in general activity level. A last minute change from watching the fireworks on the roof to walking down to the river added an unexpected 2.5 miles to my day and I just did it without thinking. I just didn't do that in Tallahassee.

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My stuff has FINALLY arrived. I've done some unpacking and the kitchen in my tiny apartment is going to be a bigger challenge then I first thought. Get this, the cabinets are so narrow that even a salad plate is too wide to fit in them. I go to NY tomorrow to get my orthotics checked and I figure by Friday I will have sorted out enough boxes to be able to cook. I'm walking several miles every day but more roaming then exercising. My back isn't ready for full on exercise so I'm doing what I can. I can walk much further/longer now then I could 3 weeks ago. The newly unpacked scale shows another 2 pounds gone. Not as much as I'd hoped when I started this project but much better then I expected considering the injury and lack of kitchen.

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I think I may finally be on the right track with my new orthotics. I worked with a great guy at a local store to pick new sneakers. I cut the insoles to fit the orthotics and I no longer feel like I'm walking on the side of my feet. I'm adding some time and distance each day. Walking has always been my favorite type of aerobic exercise and with so much around town walking each day, I may need to find another exercise and give my feet a break.

Anyway, school has started and I've gotten into more of a cooking and packing lunch routine. Combine that with my daily commute and I dropped 3.8 pounds in the last two weeks!!!

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The scale this morning showed no loss over the week and I was a little bummed until I put on a pair of pants I hadn't worn in a while and saw that they were swimming on me. They are the start of my donation pile.

Isn't that a wonderful feeling? and btw, thanks for continuing to post about your efforts; it's been an inspiration.

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Isn't that a wonderful feeling? and btw, thanks for continuing to post about your efforts; it's been an inspiration.
It is a great feeling. I'm going to be stuck wearing too-big-for-me clothes for longer then I'd like since I've got a tight budget right now, but I figure that will just make the eventual shopping more fun. This thread has been a great, easy way to keep motivated. The kind words and support from everyone have been wonderful.

I need to clear some time to get to bigger farmers markets. The tiny one on campus doesn't have the greatest selection and is a little pricy. Raspberries and blueberries will be around for a few more weeks and the peaches and tomatos are just starting to look good. Next summer I want to do a long road trip that follows the summer bounty and get a few extra weeks of all the good stuff!

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Haven't checked in in awhile...school has been phenomenal but with a more then humanly possible amount of reading. It has taken me some time to adjust which has meant eating out more and exercising less then I would like. The good news is I'm still down another pound, slow as the loss may be. Even better news - I pulled out an old pair of jeans I haven't fit into in a year.

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Good for you! One of the things I struggle with is dinners during the work week. I order take out/delivery at least twice a week. Between a desire to eat healthier AND spend less, this system needs to go. Any suggestions for easy dinner ingredients to keep on-hand? I need to stop ordering out, and also cut back on the pasta dinners.

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Good for you! One of the things I struggle with is dinners during the work week. I order take out/delivery at least twice a week. Between a desire to eat healthier AND spend less, this system needs to go. Any suggestions for easy dinner ingredients to keep on-hand? I need to stop ordering out, and also cut back on the pasta dinners.
I'm still trying to get into the rhythm of things. I just can't believe how little free time I have. There are too many great things going on at school and it is like trying to drink out of a fire hose sometimes. I only get to the grocery once a week so I'm cooking more early in the week and eating leftovers towards the end. I've done a lot of freezing so I'm not eating the same thing each night. I got one of those little Reynold's vacuum seal things and it definitely helps. I freeze individual servings of brown rice as a big time saver.

Mostly, I've been keeping things pretty simple and I'm not having as much variety as I normally would, but so far it hasn't bothered me. I use my few nights out (like a fantastic one last night) to make up for that and get different things. I'm eating a lot more veggies, entree salads (arugala, braseaola with a ginger lime dressing; wilted spinach with shrimp, peaches and chipotle vinagrette), and making good use of sales to stock up on chicken, shrimp, sausage (a little goes a long way), and pork. Easy sautees with different pan sauces to make it interesting -- orange hoisin, maple mustard, chipotle lime, lemon thyme, lemongrass ginger, red wine and cherry, etc.

Not doing take-out was an easy one for me because it isn't worth giving up an evening out with friends and there aren't any really great places around me that might make it worth the splurge if I were really tired. Those are the nights I embrace eggs. I usually have some leftover veg or frozen ratatouille to turn into a fritatta.

I bring fruit, nuts and my water bottle to school each day to avoid the sirens song of other snacks. Last weekend we took a ride to an orchard and I stocked up on a variety of apples. The honeycrisp are fantastic this year.

Let me know what you find works for you. I wish I were farther along then I am but having just taken on another project to assist one of my professors with her work, I suspect progress will be even slower. As long as I see progress, I'm OK.

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Another month, another check-in. My tracking has gotten a little jumbled so I am down 3.6 pounds on my chart but I somehow didn't record the last few entries I posted here on my chart so I'm not down that much since my last post. (I was trained as a scientist -- charts are good :lol: ) Whatever. The bottom line is that I am down 10 pounds and 17 cholesterol points since I started. I don't notice a huge change in the mirror but I see the increments each day. We'll see what mom says at Thanksgiving.

My biggest challenge continues to be getting to the grocery store once a week so I can have good breakfasts and at least some decent lunches and dinners per week. The rest is sacrificed to limited time or wanting to enjoy that limited time with my classmates. This year is just flying by.

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I gave myself a break during finals, the holidays, and my first blizzard in decades and stayed away from the scale. This morning is the first time I hopped back on the scale since the last post and I'm down 2.2 pounds for a total of 13.6. While I didn't meet my original goal of 15 punds by the start of school in September, I'm pushing to be down 15 by the time the spring semester starts in a couple of weeks. I'm in a 9 hour/day intensive class now and will be on the road for a week so it will be a good challenge to keep eating well and try and squeeze in some exercise. Despite the icy roads and snow, so far I have resisted hopping the bus to school so I at least get the 1.5 mile walk each day.

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Spring classes start today and I'm proud to say I'm down 16 pounds from my Florida high. I managed to drop 2.4 pounds in the past 20 days despite the intensive class schedule that left no time for the gym and a week on the road with some very nice meals. I've tried to walk as much as possible, including 2 miles between meetings last week. I have the shin splints to prove it. Note to self: don't walk 2 miles in dress shoes. It is snowing right now :P and I'm skipping the bus to get my 1.5 mile walk in anyway. Maybe not the brightest idea since I already have a cold but I just want to keep moving.

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Down another 2.6 pounds. I've been asked to help teach a class way on the other side of campus and that has added another mile or so to my daily walking 4 days a week. The weather is slowly starting to warm up and the ice is off the sidewalks which just makes me want to walk even more. I've added two more pairs of pants to the can't wear anymore pile. I've also pulled out two more from the haven't been able to wear these in years pile. I've been eating very simply lately. My schedule has shifted to later in the day and I just don't feel like cooking much by the time I get home. By doing a little prep on the weekend I've kept from getting bored with the simple stuff and turning to crap instead. I've also been very dilligent about bringing sandwiches or salads and fruit to school for lunch. Throw in the extra daylight and I'm a happy camper.

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Congratulations Laniloa - you're doing great! Proof positive that slow and steady wins the race, along with getting active and planning ahead. Now I just need to start following your good example :P

I am walking/jogging 3+ miles 2 times a week, but really need to increase the frequency and be much more disciplined about making lunches and planning/making healthy dinners ahead of time. Do you have any favorite dishes you're making to avoid the temptation to eat junk?

Keep up the good work!

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I am walking/jogging 3+ miles 2 times a week, but really need to increase the frequency and be much more disciplined about making lunches and planning/making healthy dinners ahead of time. Do you have any favorite dishes you're making to avoid the temptation to eat junk?

Keep up the good work!

Thanks! Just join me here on the thread. Even when no one responds it helps to know I'm going to report it and I always know that some people are following along even without a response.

Getting disciplined about lunch was easier then I thought -- I got bored of the limited options available at school and know that if I go off campus it'll cost me dearly for only slightly better stuff. For dinner I've found that even just a little something to punch it up keeps it from getting boring. I have in my freezer brown rice, rattatouille, turkey bolognese, pesto (w/o cheese - don't care for it), frozen wild caught shrimp, roasted tomatos, confit onions, a few kinds of chicken and buffalo sausage and lots of stock. All has been packaged in individual servings. Take the humble chicken breast -- I can suate with a pan sauce of whatever condiment strikes my fancy (ginger, mustard, lime juice, chile, cumin, tarragon, etc.) Brown rice and a veg and I'm set. Can't be bothered to make a veg? Salad will do. A little of that sausage thrown into a whole wheat orzo done rissotto style with some asparagus. Lightly wilt some spinach, add some shrimp (poached, sauteed, whatever), some grape tomatos, and blood orange sections with a blood orange-shallot vinagrette. I try to package and store 1-2 meals for each one I make so that I don't eat the same thing two nights in a row. When all else fails -- frittata or soup with whatever leftover veg is in the fridge or some rattatouille. If my stomach is growling already when I walk home, I try to keep an apple in my backpack to stop me from the siren call of quick and easy crap along the way. Or I make it in the door and throw together a quick salad.

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I was already dreading getting on the scale on Monday because I've had a carb happy week -- much homemade pizza was involved. I've also started to use up pantry items as the end of school approaches. I am amazed at the food I have accumulated in such a short time. Buying things when on sale does have a drawback.

I decided that it was better to just get the weigh-in out of the way so that I could get back on track over the weekend while I had more time. Much to my surprise, I was down a little over a pound. My total loss is now 19.8 pounds. I am running out of pants and pretty much living in jeans! Once I drop 20, I will reward myself with some new pants that fit.

My next change is to increase my fruit and vegetable consumption. Over the January term I'd gotten very good about bringing two fruit and veggie snacks with me to school each day. I've let that slide over the last month. It is too easy to grab a cookie when there are no good tangerines around.

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Does the Lions' Club sell mass citrus boxes out by you? I've found when I could have oranges that was a great way to keep fruit in the house. Keep it up!!

I don't know -- will have to check it out. Citrus travels better in my backpack then a lot of other fruit. I went to Trader Joes earlier to pick up more olive oil and steel cut oats and they had bags of blood oranges and tangerines -- 6 for $2. Also bags of pink lady apples -- 8 for $3. It'll be a fruity week. I've already stashed a bunch in my locker at school so I have no excuse. The veggies weren't looking so great there so I'm going to try to head out to a great green-grocer tomorrow if I can get through all my homework. Otherwise my walk tomorrow will be to Whole Foods.

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Well, two weeks of mid-term hell and post-mid-term celebrations have taken their toll. There is also that little mattter of a basketball tournament with hours spent on my ass, in a bar with friends. When I weighed myself this morning I was up 3.5 pounds. This is a good reminder that my exercising and eating patterns were right on the edge for weight loss. Despite the snow flurries yesterday, spring is definitely in the air and I'm ready to be outside more. Homemade pizza, as delicious as it is, just isn't my friend. I have one batch of dough still in the freezer and, if I use it at all, it'll be mini-pizzas. Or maybe I should invite friends over and feed it to them! I started my turnaround this morning with a long walk along the river.

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I bet it will come right off once you get back to the 'good' habits/choices. Some things just can't be denied - like beer and bar food in March!

Good way to start the turnaround - I bet the Charles was beautiful this morning!

The Charles was gorgeous but after a few days of spring teasing, it was back to winter. Biting wind and 30 degrees just sucks but the temps will creep up as the week continues. I think I'm going to start taking the scenic route to and from school and add a mile or two to my commute. Makes it seem simpler then bona fide exercise. I'll also see if any of my classmates want to start doing something before school - I think you are right that having a commitment to someone to show up will help a lot.
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The semester just got crazier as it went on and my pledge to to take the scenic route lasted about a day. The good news, I managed to maintain the 20 pound weight loss over the course of the crazy few months without putting much thought into it. This tells me I've changed some eating patterns for the better. We were putting together a slideshow to run at one of the graduation events and several were commenting how different I look from the start of the year. And with that, I'm off to buy some pants that fit!

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Good for you! Keep it up.

I am thinking of keeping a food journal. There are some things I know I do right (breakfast is usually raisin bran with skim milk and whatever fruit I have on-hand) and others I do wrong (too much pasta, too much butter, not enough vegetables, not enough cardio).

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....I am thinking of keeping a food journal. There are some things I know I do right (breakfast is usually raisin bran with skim milk and whatever fruit I have on-hand) and others I do wrong (too much pasta, too much butter, not enough vegetables, not enough cardio).

If you have the space for it, one thing I've found helpful is to post a white board in a prominent location in the house. You can buy them at Staples or any office supply store for under $20. Dry erase markers are a few more bucks (one red, one green, one black). With the black marker, create a matrix that looks like the following.

*********Date1*****Date2*****Date3*****Date4*****Date5

Behavior1

Behavior2

Behavior3

The behaviors are the ones you are trying to either avoid or build in (like "Do Cardio" or "Avoid Butter" or "Avoid White Flour"). The most important behavior changes are towards to top of the list. The dates are the next several days, however many will fit across the top of the white board.

Either throughout or at the end of each day, use a red (which means bad) and green (which means good) marker to update the behavior for the given date. Say that your Behavior1 was "Do Cardio". If you did cardio that day, you would use your green marker to list the number of minutes, or whatever other metric you find important, under Date1 for that day. If you would rather be brief, you could just write "Yes" with the green marker or "No" with the red marker if you did not meet your goal.

At the end of the week when the grid is filled out, look back and think about what the data is telling you. Do you always miss Behavior 2 when you miss Behavior4, for example? Is Behavior1 just never happening on a Friday? Use the information to figure out if you need to make any lifestyle or other changes, and perhaps re-prioritize which behavior adjustment is most important (and realistic).

If you want to keep a rolling log of each week's white board, just take a picture of it before you erase the matrix and create one for the following week. You could also forgo the white board method entirely and go with a simple spreadsheet. However, for me, I've found that an "in-yer-face" whiteboard is a lot more potent than a file buried in a computer.

There are lots of ways to journal, they key is to keep it visible and accountable--and easy to update!

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I am thinking of keeping a food journal.
This is what did it for me. I started one again this year and just got tired of keeping up the entries. Like dreams, what you write is basically of interest only to you. However, I find that in looking back to the full year of entries from 2007, I find ideas for what I might do to modify current practices. And while it surprises me to see that I wasn't as hard-core as I thought I always was when it comes to eating seasonal foods, records tell me when to anticipate the new crop of local raspberries, corn...

P.S. I like to carry an Altoids tin full of raw, unskinned almonds to stave off cravings for food when out and about. 8-12 at breakfast is not a bad idea, either.

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