Each month in our newsletter we feature a diary in the wild...in other words, we give you a sneaky peek into other people's diary habits, what they use them for, how they're getting on. We love reading their stories, and if you're as nosy as us you can sign up to read them first, here.
This month we caught up with Rhianne, who has Ulcerative Colitis and uses her diary to manage her diet:
"I purchased the diary to try and keep a track of food and drink I was eating as I suffer from Ulcerative Colitis - a form of IBD. I was diagnosed the week before my 19th birthday and had been having symptoms for a few months before that. I've been on a variety of medications over the last 5 years but have never seen a dietician or had much advice on specific foods to avoid. My illness isn't caused by food intolerances or anything like that but I do think I can improve my symptoms by watching out for trends in reactions to foods.
This diary in particular is the only one I have found which is geared towards recording symptoms and responses to foods rather than just a food diary for weight loss. This diary has made me more aware of eating too much of a specific food group and helped me to record my symptoms which helps when I see nurses/doctors at hospital check ups. It has also made me realise that often exercising regularly does help my energy levels and general sense of wellbeing so it's good to keep that up!
If someone wasn't sure about getting one of these diaries but thinks it would help, I would say just go ahead and get one. You don't have to use it every single day if you don't want to commit to recording everything - as you write the date yourself at the top it's pretty flexible in this way. To start with when I first got my diary I found it too difficult to write everything down at the weekends so I would be consistent during the week and then sit down on a Sunday night and try to summarise the weekend.
The most useful thing I find about the diary is how the pages are laid out, it's easy to record food and symptoms side by side while also recording anything else that could be effected by me feeling unwell. It's a great idea to have sections for mood, sleep and stress as these are definitely 3 things that can also impact how I'm feeling!"
- Rhianne Brister, Norwich, @rhiannebrister
Huge thanks to Rhianne for sharing her story with us! Don't forget to sign up to our newsletter to see these diary user stories first.
Ps: if you're a diary user and love it so much that you want to share your story too, well then we want to hear! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject 'my diary story!'. We love love love reading and sharing them.