Saturday, 25 July 2015


For something a bit different, today I thought I'd show you all some of my notebooks.

I am obsessed with notes, journals, getting my thoughts down on paper and out of my head, and have stacks of notebooks in their own specific places around the house.
So for today, I thought I'd Show & Tell you about some of my most used ones.

Last week, when the dietician got back from her vacation, I'd been telling her about some of my different notebooks and how they all work, mainly my Intake book.

I routinely start new Intake books every six months, just to keep things neat and tidy. In her absence, I had filled book one of 2015, and was telling her about my monthly/6-monthly/yearly total/average intakes/burns/nets, and she asked me to bring them in.

So this week I went into our appointment with a pile of 5 identical notebooks, dating back three years (minus the one I've only just started).

I mentioned in my last post that I was nervous about showing them to her, although I did want to. I had butterflies in the morning, and even though I stacked the notebooks next to my armchair early that morning, I still got halfway to the garage before mum called out
    "Don't forget your notebooks!"

She laid them all open on her desk, eyes darting as she flipped through random days, comparing and pointing out patterns in my monthly/6-monthly/yearly total/average intakes/burns/nets.
(Seriously - every combination is accounted for, plus more)

She turned to a page from early 2013, where half of the page was stained with red wine.
    "It even has a sense of authenticity to it!" she laughed
That was just after Silky died. I was drinking nearly a bottle every night for a while there.

She noted things like my low-cal baking, and even asked about the stew I posted a recipe for a few weeks back. I had listed
"beef & vegetable stew w/ wholemeal toast"
and I think the calories were somewhere in the 150 range.
    "That can't have been much."
So I proudly announced that it was 150-ish a cup, and usually have around 200g. My bread is 40-50 cal per slice, depending on weight, though sometimes I'll just have half.

She asked if my intake book was it, or if I did more tracking elsewhere.
    "No. I've been using MyFitnessPal for nearly five years."
She nearly fell out of her chair when I told her about my 'days-in-a-row' streak. As of today, I'm at exactly 1,650.

Closing the books, she shook her head and said
    "You even used the same pen the whole way through..."

It was putting myself in a really vulnerable position, but I think it was worth it. It's something I've wanted to share for a while, but I just haven't had the guts.

    "You've given me a lot of insight."

And now, without further ado, I present some of my, Intake and non-Intake, notebooks.
Please excuse my atrocious handwriting.


I started these three years ago because I wanted a more visual overview of my intake than MFP could provide, and to be able to track times. The detail is kept for the app - in here I like to keep it simple with just the time, what I ate, and the calories. There's also a note on my phone simply listing my intake each day since I started seeing the dietician.

Both my Intake and Smoking books cover 6 months each. Each December for the last two years, I've sat and spent hours, days, writing the date at the corner of every single page and writing up the summary pages up the back.

99% of my notebooks are Marbig ColourHides


I started keeping a closer eye on my smoking after being diagnosed with COPD and Bronchiolitis Obliterans in 2013. Even if I'm not actively cutting back, I'm always hyper-aware of it, and that has to count for something.


Pretty self-explanatory. I've been keeping journals since 9th December 2012, a few months after I first noticed ED behaviours. Top left is 2012, bottom right is 2015. I'd show you more, but that really is a whole 'nother post.

Daily Plans

I've been keeping these since last November. They're now bursting a lever-arch folder. There are 15 minute slots throughout the day. In the left column, I plan things in advance, and on the right, I record what I've done. The next morning, I highlight it into categories of how I've spent my time. 

Yellow = food & drink
Green = writing, blogging, notes, journaling 
Blue = relaxing, reading, watching movies
Orange = health, appointments, breakdowns
Pink = self-care, hygiene 
Purple = sewing, creativity
Red = exercise, cleaning, physical activity

Sorry for the vague picture, but most sheets have details like names and locations that I'd rather keep quiet. 

Pan and Crockery Weights

This little notepad lives on the windowsill by the scales, alongside another notepad for scribbling down weights and numbers. It has the weights of all the pots, pans and other dishes, plus my safe bowls, plates, etc..

Note Notebook
This has everything from word prompts to 'to do' lists to recipes and reminders and times and fragments of journal/blog entries. It's where some notes land before ending up in their proper place. I always need it with me.
This, like my smoking book and daily plans, may be bit too personally revealing to show photos of though.

I also have other, less-mentionable notebooks. 
There's a Food Cost one where I keep all of my receipts, and write a list of how much food I buy total each fortnight (hint: half of it goes on soda).
There's my OBs book.
My Self Harm Journal.
A BM chart (Am I the only person under the age of 80 who does this? Really?)

Not to even mention the endless, constantly-updated library of notes and to-do lists on my phone...

The box of notebooks in my wardrobe



  1. Dear Bells
    I am super proud of you for sharing with your dietician some of your notebooks
    I can only imagine how hard it was to share something so personal and revealing
    I really think this is a big step for you
    I hope you are proud of this

    I love notebooks
    And keep journals at different times
    But I guess for the past three years
    My blog is where I document most things
    I hope you get some use out of the notebook I sent you
    As I know you are a dedicated nite keeper

    I hope this great step gives you the courage to do the next one

    Always here for you x

  2. It must have been a huge achievement for you to do this Bella! Putting yourself out there in such a vulnerable position was a very brave thing for you to do, and I am proud of you, you should be so proud of yourself. Sending you loads of love xxxx

  3. I think sharing the notebooks will help the dietician a lot.

    You're obviously a very organized person which is a great trait to have.

    Xoxo shelby

  4. "It even has a sense of authenticity to it!" she laughed

    I forgot to add I quite like this woman.

  5. I'm so proud of you for sharing these. I hope you're proud of yourself too and that some of the anxiety has lessened since you brought them in. It'll give the dietician a clearer picturebofbhow things are and decide the best way to help.
    I also noticed the one I got you for Christas is in the pile of journals.
    I have a note book obsession myself, but mine are all novels from planing to first draft.
    I hope you're doing okay hun. Sending love and hugs xx

  6. I'm so glad you found the strength to show these notebooks to her! I don't dare writing down my daily struggles on paper, in fear of my boyfriend finding them.

  7. I knew you had a lot, but I just didn't realise how many. Showing the dietician will probably help- hopefully! I'm so glad you showed her!

    What are the little black stars next to some food items?

    <3 xxx