I started a daily journal, not exactly for weight loss, but to help clarify my own thoughts. I was feeling lonely and stuck in a rut. There is a family history of depression in my family, and I could feel the grey fog creeping into every day of my life. I did the same thing every day, and none of it was very impressive. I went to work, came home and slept, then played on the computer until work the next day. I paid lip service to my weight loss goals.
One day I saw a bunch of those composition notebooks for fifty cents each, and remembered how much I used to love to write. I started the journal, figuring that I would do as I had done many times before, write for a couple days then give up.
But this time I made myself stick to it. Everyday I made myself do something worth writing about. My stress levels went down, my thought clarified, and my mood went up.
Every day I have to make my self accountable for what I did, or didn't do, that day. It helps keep me out of that rut, where I would get complacent and lazy, It keeps me from lying to myself.
It's not really a food or an exercise journal, just a place where I write about what I did that day.
I'll tell you what, its depressing if you have to read that for a week in a row "today was a slow day, didn't do much, played some video games".
Compared to "I danced great today. There was sweat pouring off me, but I felt so strong" or "I saw some awesome things on my walk today, I've been in such a good mood."
Today is the one-month mark since I started keeping my journal. I've already lost about 10 pounds. And I do feel great. It was so easy to do, and cheap as well. A cheap notebook and an ink pen.
That's great! I find writing in journals on this site has helped bring me some clarity, although I mostly do write about weight loss. But I find that weight loss for me and lots of other overweight people, it has so much more to do with my life than just eating. It's about your emotions, how you deal with them, daily interactions, like so many things that most people wouldn't think has anything to do with weightloss. So sometimes I write in here about feeling crappy or something and I kind of blame it on my weight, but really it's usually about something bigger. So I can understand where you're coming from :) And for me writing it made me more accountable, like you said.
Whatever works for individual people!! Congratulations on finding a productive way to lose weight and have a more fulfilling life! :)