I've been hesitating to write this post, since I feel some changes in my fitness setup brewing. I'm getting inspired by the beautiful, effective books I'm seeing from other Filofax dieters (on Facebook and on their blogs). But my current system is working well for me right now, so I'll start with where I am now.
My program is inspired by The Beck Diet Solution, so you'll read a lot about that book in this blog post. It uses Cognitive Behavioral therapy techniques to support healthy eating and exercise. In the book, Dr. Judith Beck recommends using a notebook and index cards to do the exercises in the book, keep a food journal, and apply the CBT motivational techniques. Portability is a big factor for me, so I use a Pocket Filofax instead!
Here's what I've got for the five tabs:
Advantages - Dr. Beck recommends making a list of all of the advantages of losing weight and being healthy, and reading it several times a day. I read mine every time before I eat. It sure has an effect on the food choices I make! I use pink paper, with one "advantage" on each. (In the book, index cards are used for this purpose.) An example might be: "I'll be able to wear the stylish clothes I like."
Eating Diary - I write down everything I eat, including any tastes or nibbles. I also record the quantity, or my closest estimate of it. I'm following the South Beach Diet, which means I don't have to keep a calorie record, so I'm not writing down calories right now. If I want to get an idea of how many calories are in my food, I use a website like MyFitnessPal. I use white paper in this section. Each page has my food on one side, and my daily checklist on the other.
Responses - Dr. Beck recommends using index cards to make what she calls Response Cards. This is a CBT technique. In layman's terms, you write on the cards things that motivate you or remind you of what you're trying to do. For example, if you frequently find yourself thinking, "I don't want to exercise," you might want to have a card to read at that moment of weakness: "I may not want to exercise right now, but I'll enjoy it once I get started. More importantly, the rewards of exercising are too good to miss out on!" I use blue paper in this section.
Rules - This one's self-explanatory. These are the habits you have (or want to develop!) to keep you on track. One of my rules is "I don't buy candy at the cash register." Another is, "I don't put sugar in coffee or tea." It's simply no longer an option! The book have any recommendations on where to write your rules; Response Cards would be fine. But I decided a separate section, on yellow paper, works for me.
Credit - A big part of Dr. Beck's philosophy is to give yourself credit when you do the right thing. When you're learning to give yourself credit (most of us aren't very good at it), it helps to write down the successes you need to give yourself credit for. I saved my favorite color paper for this section - lavender!
In addition to the tabs, I have a week-on-two-pages diary in the front. On each day, I record my weight and body fat percentage (my scale measures that, too), exercise (with intensity, time, and distance), and number of glasses of water I drink.
In future, I may move up to a Personal size organizer, to give myself more room for a notes section, motivational pictures, and puzzles or reading material for moments when I need a distraction.