Without a doubt, the thing that made a difference in my personal health journey was starting to keep track of all things related to my health and wellness. This includes checking in with myself daily to see how I am feeling and any symptoms I am experiencing in addition to different aspects of my lifestyle such as how I am eating, moving, sleeping, practicing self care and so much more.
I know it seems pointless, but it truly allowed me to understand my journey and what was going on for me personally and what was and wasn’t working for me.
Prior to tracking my wellness journey, I was stuck. I was constantly exhausted, dealing with a myriad of aches and pains, struggling with brain fog and concentration issues and not to mention the emotional rollercoaster I was on. All this even though I was living the epitome of a healthy lifestyle. I would drink my green goop every morning with all the vegetables, fruit and super foods I could fit in the blender. I genuinely enjoyed my giant kale salads for lunch, I felt guilty if I missed a run and explored all the holistic health practitioners I could find. I should have been the picture of health, and sure I might have looked that way, but I felt far from it.
I was doing all the things I “should” be doing, but it wasn’t working. I was listening to all of the advice from all the health gurus, then I realized it wasn’t working because I was listening to the most important health expert for my journey…me. Our bodies are incredible at communicating when things are out of balance, when it needs more of something and less of something else. Which is why tracking is so helpful because it helps you to be more intune with your body and allows you to easily see patterns and triggers in your journey so you can learn what to incorporate more of and what to eliminate from your lifestyle.
If you aren’t convinced about tracking quite yet, here are the benefits I have found with tracking:
Helps you to identify patterns in how you are feeling. When you are checking in with yourself daily and recording how things are going every single day, it is much easier to see if things are improving or worsening.
Helps you to identify patterns in your healthy habits. When you are recording your healthy habits daily, it is much easier to see when you are following through and when your habits are slipping by the wayside. It also helps you to figure out what might be contributing to you following through with your healthy habits (or not).
Helps you to determine the connections between what you are doing and how you are feeling. It allows you to determine which habits are having a positive impact on your symptoms and which ones aren’t. This is so important, especially when there are so many things we “should'' be doing when it comes to our health, it helps us determine which ones are worth doing and which ones we can forgo.
Helps you to be more in tune with your body, mind and soul. When you are checking in with yourself regularly, you become more aware of what is going on and helps you better understand how you are feeling.
Through tracking, I was able to figure out:
Food: Certain foods definitely make my symptoms worse. Personally, gluten causes me to have headaches and muscles aches the following day and when I consume higher amounts of dairy and sugar, I experience these symptoms almost immediately.
Movement: I had the tendency to over do it when it comes to exercise. Out of guilt, I would push myself to workout too hard and too frequently and wouldn’t listen to my body when it was needing a break. Since learning to take more of an intuitive approach to exercise, I have seen huge improvements.
Sleep: For me, sleep is the foundation for me to feel my best, but is also the first thing sacrificed when I am stressed or busy. Not only do I tend to get a lot less sleep when I am in this state, because I stay up later trying to get everything done, but I also have very restless sleep, so the quality and quantity of sleep is impacted, leaving me chronically exhausted. So I have learned I have to prioritize it regardless of what I have on my plate.
Self Care: When it comes to self care, I learn I didn’t happen unless I was making an intentional effort and it usually didn’t happen until it was too late.
This is what I learned, but you will find something totally different. This is what I love about tracking, it helps you to learn more about you and what works for you so you can learn how to feel your best physically, mentally and emotionally. It is truly empowering.
If you want more support around starting to use tracking in your wellness journey, check out the Wellness Journals I created during my journey. If you want even more inspiration around how to get started with tracking, check out this guide I created on how to use the Wellness Journals.
Want to learn more:
Check out this blog on how to use tracking to find the best diet for you.
Check out this blog on how to use an elimination diet to figure out what food cause you issues.