All Things Wellness Log: MORE PAPERWORK?
By Christine Marshall Hersom
When I was a child, my father was a truck driver.
I loved helping him with everything after a trip…except for his mileage logs. I found those to be very boring.
He incessantly tried to explain that the logs helped him keep track of engine mileage, gas consumption, oil change reminders, AND track his time. Looking back, I realize my young age kept me from recognizing how important tracking information is. Until now.
Fast forward 50 years, and I came across another daunting “logging” situation. Another situation where I would be “forced” to listen, and deep down questioned logging this level of detailed information is surely insane and a waste of time? As a cast member of the Coach Peggy Real Time docuseries, Coach Peggy insisted we complete extensive wellness logs – daily. Other than giving me busy work, I could not imagine what purpose all this information would serve. As usual, she proved me wrong.
The ATW Wellness Logs contain a ton of information. Places to track “All Things Wellness.” Not only do you keep track of every single thing you eat down to the miniscule macronutrient, you document your daily weight (“Data” – if you have not seen my blog on The Scale: Friend or Foe…check it out), hours of sleep, exercise type and time, amount of water consumed, your wellness grade (how you rank your overall wellness in different areas based on your “normal” habits), and any food experiments you try such as exclusion of alcohol, gluten, dairy, meat, and sugar. And more.
For me, the most interesting and often challenging sections of the logs were tracking the self-care actions, listing emotion/feelings, and assigning myself a wellness grade.
Many tracking logs today are electronic and focus mostly on nutrition and movement. When I started the docuseries, I understood we would cover a general gamut of “All Things Wellness.” But seriously! Coach takes this to a whole new level. When she gave us this particular document, I groaned loudly. As a self-proclaimed Teacher’s Pet (whole other story there), I knew I would strive for perfection in completing these logs, yet my life was too busy and this was just one more thing to do. I truly felt like she was killing me. Coach understood, but chanted yet another damn one of her mantras, “Pretend you trust me UNTIL YOU DO.” It seemed like a lot, but I signed up for the Coach Peggy Real Time Docuseries so I ran with it. Boy, am I glad that I did.
The completed ATW Wellness Logs proved to me, day after day, and week after week to hold all the secrets. They allowed me to go back and review things I had done or not done, eaten or not eaten, and tie things together. If I was feeling sick or exhausted, had gained weight, or not riding the unicorn wave of happiness…I could find the answers by comparing my logs to my outcomes and course correct.
For example, I am not a fan of wheat. I really do not like the taste. I think I said it on one of the shows, “Wheat tastes like paper.” Along comes the dinner, where I decided to order a wheat tortilla as they were out of white. The next three days, I was bloated, gassy, and plain ole blah feeling. I didn’t even want to exercise which was an area I had recently added back into my life and loved. I could not imagine why. I remembered Coach lecturing, your logs have the secret sauce. And literally, they did.
I laid a few out in front of me to review, and there it was not only did I not like the taste of wheat, but my body really didn’t like the feeling it gives me. Without all the data points on these logs to include emotions, exercise and more, this realization would not have come so quickly. I could see that things shifted from that meal. No joke. Sleep, emotion, food and exercise choices all slipped.
Through the course of mastering the logs and truly looking at them as a story, the lightbulbs continue to click on.
As I reflect on this tool and how it has changed my life, I think of my Dad’s trucking logs. His logs kept his truck healthy and running smoothly. His logs alerted him to problems that most likely would arise sooner than later allowing him to be proactive versus reactive. His logs were like preventive care for his truck. Just like my logs are preventive care for my body and mind. And just like my dad’s long-lasting truck, my body is running smoothly and still operating smoothly.
I continue the habit of logging at least one week a month, and they are still alert me with previously hidden clues. These logs have given me back control of my life.
When it comes to our health and wellness, time spent and the effort it takes to gather accurate and informative data should never feel too cumbersome. Preventive care will lessen the likelihood of someone else having to take care of me – so I will keep logging.
Check out this video link for a short clip from Coach Peggy regarding the All Things Wellness Logs:
“Why Can’t You Get Healthier? Use the All Things Wellness Log.”
by: Christine Marshall Hersom
All Things Wellness, LLC