I am a total pin pong ball when it comes to fitness and healthy eating. I go from being super intensely counting calories to not even considering the calories in the foods I eat. I have tried many diets, many fitness plans, and even more fad programs and yet I still end up back in the place I started plus 10lbs each time. I have looked at the Mambi fitness planner inserts a few times but didn’t know if I wanted to track my fitness in my regular planner, and the pages seem so large and intimidating. I didn’t feel like I needed all that space to track my food and exercise. So instead I decided to try to use my personal size Recollections planner with my own inserts to track my eating on the 21 Day Fix. I spent the time creating the inserts, and there they sat waiting for me to use them. I have in the past had luck tracking calories using the app Fitness Pal, but again I was a pin pong ball with it. So why do I think buying the Mini Fitness Planner from Mambi is going to work for me? Well…truth is, I don’t know if it will, but at this point it isn’t going to hurt to try it out.
Since I am no stranger to diets, food tracking, calorie counting, etc I thought I would give my first impressions of this planner and will write an updated post, once I start using it.
I really like the size on these mini planners (7.5″ x 5.5″ overall, with the pages being 7×4.5-ish) Unlike the insert pages for the regular size Happy Planners, I think the page size is perfect. It will give me the perfect amount of space to write in the foods & drinks I have had that day. I think it is going to work perfectly on the go, I can throw it in my purse and have it with me to fill out throughout the day. I know from past experience when I use the fitness app I do very well when I am recording throughout the day. I start to fall off track when I decide to try to do it at the end of the day.
I like that the first page is your twelve month progress tracker. It is a space to write in not only you weight but your measurements as well (chest, waist, hips, thigh, upper arm) I do think it is strange that thigh and upper arm are singular. I have done measurements before on diet plans and know that both your arms and thighs can measure a bit differently, but I do think there is enough space in the block to write both measurements. This page also has a place to write your starting and your ending numbers. I think I will use this to write in my numbers at the end of the month.
Next you have your first monthly divider. I love the dividers in this planner. They have the right amount of positive inspiration, while also being bright and cheerful.
The next page is the monthly overview. At first I wasn’t sure what I was going to use this for, but then after looking at the weekly layouts I thought it would be a good place to pre-plan workouts. I have also thought it might be a good space to track moods, my period, overall health (if I was sick or under the weather). If you like to go to the gym or fitness classes it would be a good place to keep times of classes or gym days. I would like to add more exercise in my, since I don’t live anywhere near a gym and Canadian winter keeps me inside, I may track fitness dvds or videos in the calendar.
After the monthly layout you go into the weekly layout. I have mixed feelings on the layout of the pages but it is hard to know if they are going to work, until trying them. I think the box sizes for the main meals are a good size (I mean it is a mini planner so there is only so much space) but the space for the snacks are really small…maybe this means my snacks shouldn’t be so big 🙂 I know the set up of meals with snacks in between, with no snack at night is the way you should set up your diet, but I almost wish it had the meals together and snacks underneath. But again, this is the way we should probably be eating, and this planner is all about creating better habits. Underneath the meals is the calorie total. I don’t know about you, but unless I put my foods into my fitness app where it tells me my calorie counts, I hate counting calories. So I haven’t decided yet, but I might try to use both, or I may not count calories. I am considering using the 21 Day Fix with this planner and finding a way to incorporate it. If i don’t use the calories space I may use some washi tape over it, just to spice things up. The next section is to track exercise, I am most looking forward to this portion. I suck at keeping up with exercise, so seeing blank spaces if I don’t exercise, I hope is going to kick my butt into gear. Lastly on the page tracker is water. This is something I also desperately need. Not only do I hardly exercise and eat bad foods, but I also don’t drink water. I do not do a good job at tracking it in my regular planner, so hears hoping this planner will change that.
At the end of each month of weekly pages, there is a page dedicated to self reflection. I am really happy to see this in the planner. I think it is import to reflect on the month and be able to plan for the next month. It has a place for a progress selfie. I haven’t decided if I am going to put photos in here. I may take them and then see how I feel. It asks five questions and gives you a place to rate your month out of five stars. It asks 1. How was I successful? 2. How do I feel? 3. What didn’t go so well? 4. What motivates me? 5. What can I do differently? I really like the questions they have come up with, it gives you a space to congratulate yourself on things that went well, but also reflect on what could have gone better. Also I think the question on what motivates you is the most important, because not only do you reflect on what went well and what didn’t, but if you can figure out what motivates you when you are doing well, then you may have a better chance for success the next month.
The planner continues on with the monthly and weekly pages from January-December.
Overall Look and Colours
I really like the front cover. I did purchase one of the snap in covers for this planner but I really like the original cover and the artwork on it, plus I had issues with the snap in cover (see section on what I didn`t like for more info on this) I think the front cover is peaceful and inspires healthy living. The inside cover with the polka-dots is very much in true Mambi style of cuteness and fun. The title page of Live Well with the heart and names this a fitness log, not a diet planner or food journal, again makes this more about a healthy lifestyle.
I like the colours choose throughout, the bright colour tabs and monochromatic colour bands going through the headers on the monthly pages. I like the colour font on black banner that goes across the weekly pages. I think the font in this planner is really well done.The quotes on the side of every other page is fun and is written in cute fonts. While the font on each of the dividers that have quotes are in clear, bold font that really pushes each quote. I think the photos chosen on the dividers were well done and matched the quotes well. I do find them to be inspirational quotes.
On the weekly pages I wish they would have kept the exercises boxes in white to match the other boxes, or chose to include colour and maybe did them the colour of the monthly tab. But I do find it interesting that they chose white for the back of the tab, so if you are looking back at the months gone by and your current page it is very neutral, yet if you are looking ahead it is colourful. With that being said a neutral layout really does give you the opportunity to decorate or colour code in whatever way you want, which I do appreciate.
So…what don’t I like ?
Until I start to use it I won’t be able to comment on things I would change about the layout of the pages. The only real thing I can see so far that I wish was different is the ending of the planner. It ends with December`s reflection page. I really think this planner needs a yearly review page. I know at the first of the planner there is a page for your to record your overall numbers for the year, but with each month having a page of reflection, I feel like the end of the planner needs something. I think even having notes pages at the back of the planner would have been a better ending. I also think another option would have been to change up the last reflection page so it was more all in compassing of the year, then just the month.
Another thing I would have liked to have seen with this planner is for it to be undated. When I purchased it, I really thought it was undated. I think if it would have been undated then anyone could have picked it up throughout the year to use, without wasting some of the pages in it. For me it has worked out perfectly because I will be starting it in the new year.
I find the rings almost too small for the amount of pages in the planner. I have been opening and closing it a bunch preparing for this review, and I find that pages are getting stuck and bent because they aren`t moving on the rings properly. Although I am just reviewing the planner itself I did want to make a note about the snap in hard covers that are sold separately for these planners. I purchased one when I purchased the planner and although, like I said above, I love the planner`s cover, I thought the hard cover might protect it a bit more in my purse. I thought that cover would fit the planner without having to remove all of the inside of the planner. I was wrong. For the snap on cover (which took me about 5 minutes to get on, because they snap on really tight…which I guess could be an advantage because once it is on, it isn`t going anywhere) to fit the planner and close properly I had to take out 3 months worth of the planner. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my story on this when I first bought the planner.
Although there are a couple things I don`t love about the planner, I do think (hope) this planner is going to work for me. I love the colours, the font, and for the most part the layout, so I am hopeful that having this planner will challenge me to take better care of my body. I will post after my first month of use and let you all know how I make out. I don`t think I will be posting on IG my weekly pages unless I end up doing something decorative with them. I don`t think anyone wants to see a bunch of food and exercise written down, but if I do anything different with the layout, I will post it on my IG account @planbydesigns.