Inside of weight loss traveler’s notebook

I wrote yesterday about using a Traveler’s Notebook to lose weight, and today about the weight loss and fitness tracker inserts you can buy. I also promised someone yesterday to show a little more of my notebook and what is inside it.

The nice thing about these books (and also using a Filofax to help you lose weight) is that you can make it your own. Do what suits you because everyone is different.

I use a personal sized Strawberry Notebook wood effect cover with 12 (yes, TWELVE!) elastics (shown below), allowing me to use up to 14 notebooks. I like the fact that I can use lots of notebooks in a cover that is of a nice portable size. The personal size is the same size as a personal sized Filofax organiser, a medium Gillio organiser, or a standard Van Der Spek organiser. It fits easily in my handbag and is not heavy. This leather is also extremely tough, which I know as I have been using my flooring effect regular size for months and it does not have a mark on it.


For me, losing weight is not a thing where your body knows it’s time. I learned this when I lost half my body weight 25 years ago after years of failed diets, and kept it off without any problems. Your MIND must know it’s time. It is a head thing. Some change must occur where your head is in the right place to be in the frame of mind to make those changes. And for me, a year of increasingly uncomfortable clothing, and burgeoning love handles did not do that. What did was stepping on the scales, realising that despite the fact that I am blissfully happy and love food, I was not feeling comfortable in my body or in my clothes on exactly the same day the cover and the inserts arrived.

I weighed myself and began a graph in the tiny grid booklet I got from YellowPaperHouse on Etsy (shown below). At the bottom of the page I just wrote the date, my weight and how much I had lost. I have no goal weight in mind, just to get my flat tummy and slim hips back so I fit properly into my clothes again. I have always found that graphs help me because they show a slow downward trend, even if you fluctuate day by day. I like weighing every day because I find I eat way more if I know I am not accountable to the scale in the morning. I have lines drawn to demarcate each kilogram and month. YellowPaperHouse also does wide grid inserts.


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On the inside cover of the notebook and also in one of my booklets, I have AM and AIM (goals) lists, just for me. Reasons why I want to lose this weight.

I don’t have a meal plan, record what I eat, follow a particular diet, count calories or work out, so I don’t have inserts for those. I just eat less and move more. I walk a lot – about 12km – every day for work and live six floors up without an elevator so that’s enough for me. Nothing is forbidden. I just take half of the food I usually do, and tell myself if I am hungry afterwards I can have more. I am usually not. Portion control has always been my major problem. If you do prefer to record what you eat, write health shopping lists or record your exercise, you can use specially designed or just plain inserts for these.

I have a second tiny grid notebook for date, weight and mood though I don’t fill it in every day. And you could also use a month on two pages insert for noting weight.

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I have a lined booklet for general notes, goals, milestones, wish lists and encouragement. I also want to get into the habit of flossing, taking vitamins and using eye cream every day in 2016. I am going to fill in one square on the grid each time I complete one of them, motivating myself to have an unbroken line.


I also have some Kraft folders from PaperGeekCo holding an array of stencils. These I use as rulers and for little stars, smiley faces and motivational quotes in the blank notebook at the back. I always write with pencil because it is easy to erase and it is waterproof.


I have also printed out these photographs of me at about 56kg so that I can see where I want to be and the clothes I want to be comfortable again. I pasted them into the blank notebook.




My pencils, sharpeners, ruler and more stencils are in my Midori brass pen case. I use Parafernalia Linea 2mm pencils with 2H lead. It does not smudge or fade like softer leads.



I have found that losing a small amount of weight is way harder than losing a lot. I am just over 1.7m/5ft 7in and I went from 106kg/233lbs to 54kg/118lbs in 1987, losing 52kg/114.5lbs, and I kept it off until last year. I find losing large amounts of weight is easier because you lose it more quickly and easily with less effort in the beginning and there is more motivation. When you are just a little overweight it is very easy to feel ‘it’s not so bad’ and continue to lie in bed and eat cake. You can find clothes, you look acceptable, you don’t stick out like a huge sore thumb and it’s not a health issue. It’s easier to ignore a small weight problem than when you have to use three bras and the friction between your thighs could cause forest fires and wears holes through your stretched-to-the limits tracksuit pants.

Once I am down to a weight I am happy with (I don’t have a goal in kg, just no muffin top!)I will monitor things for a couple of months and then turn the notebook into a journal/wishlist/treats/travel journal.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

4 thoughts

      1. I’ve always had trouble with thick travelers notebooks because it’s hard to keep the notebooks open and they move around too. That’s with only 4 notebooks…but you have 12 🙂 Do you use all 12 currently?

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