I have started to become that person we all know at the gym. Yeah, we all know the one. I might not be eating kale for all my meals or making protein shakes, but I still have some of those qualities.

I sometimes take pictures of myself at the gym, when the Drew University gym is somewhat empty.

I enjoy going to the gym and workout at least three times a week. I also love saying that I enjoy working out.

Lastly, something I started doing for a little over a year is recording my daily diet and exercise.

I don’t do this every day, mainly because there are those days when I don’t eat real meals, or I have too much homework to go to the gym. However, I have a decent amount of entries for each month. I don’t use an app that tells me the number of calories each food has, and how much calories each workout burns. I use the old-fashioned way of writing in a notebook with a pencil. Yeah, I know, retro.

I decided to start doing this a few months into my freshman year of college, I can’t remember if it was October or November, but it was about that time. I decided to start doing this because I had just started going to my school’s gym, and I was starting to notice that I eat like crap. Drew University is not the best place to get gourmet, healthy food.

Especially if you’re a vegetarian, like me. The only decent thing they make is junk food. Anyway, since I was eating all this junk food and only exercising a few times a week, I was getting really nauseous, and was convinced I was gaining the “Freshman 15.”

Realizing I needed a change, and being told to change by my mother and Drew’s Health Services, I decided to start writing my diet and exercise down, thinking it would help me.

A year later, how has it helped me? I would say it has been somewhat positive.

Look, I still eat like crap because Drew University refuses to get better products and I’m a compulsive stress eater, and there are times where I can’t make the trip to the gym for a half hour because of work. However, I’d say my health diary has worked out pretty well. Here are three things that have positively changed since writing in a health diary.

1. It helps me figure out what exercises I need to do.

If I have eaten a lot, I will do a rigorous workout, because I have more calories to burn. If I’ve noticed I haven’t eaten that much, I’ll do a couple sit-ups before bed. On days when I have dance class, I always try to make sure I’ve eaten enough.

2. It helps me eat at the right times.

I’m one of those people who doesn’t always get hungry in the morning and doesn't always eat breakfast. The diary is a good reminder for me to at least eat something before going to class, instead of stuffing my face at lunch.

3. It has shown me what patterns I have, and how I can change it.

I’ve noticed that I tend to eat the same or similar things for each meal, and do the same exercises for the same amount of time. This has helped me look at my past results for my exercises, and encouraged me to beat these records. With my food, the diary has helped me try to broaden my choices and see what I should try to cut out. Keyword, try.

Do you record your diet and exercise? What successes and/or failures have you had?

Please comment!