Write Yourself Thin
By Pam Boyer
You can write to lose weight. Really? Yes, really, according to Julia Cameron. She said in the book’s prologue The Writing Diet: Writing Yourself Right Sized, “We can use creativity to block our overeating.” Now, I found that concept intriguing.
She also told us, and I know this is true: “Everyone knows we overeat because something is eating us.” She reminded us that we use food for feelings. And, if we flip that around ... why can’t we also use feelings for food.
I was inspired by her telling of the many students she witnessed lose weight after starting the Morning Pages practice.
She claims: “A steady diet of self-reflection soon regulates overeating.”
What I love about this idea is that as we tend to add a voice to what’s bothering us, which many of us will squelch and stuff down, unwanted pounds seem to naturally disappear. I know because I have personally experienced this myself.
The good news is that there is no assigned eating plan. You will need some structure and some “plan” to follow. The plan could be a defined diet like Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers or similar. Or, it could be a plan of your own design that models healthy eating with a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, etc.
"It’s also going to help you when you do in fact want to binge or succumb to the urge to binge. Pull out your diet journal and capture your feelings with words. Write it out!"
On the flipside of this, some of Julia’s students lost without consciously making changes. However, if you are now aware of the desire to lose weight and you want to try dieting with a new tool, I suggest that you start your program with a plan in mind.
Here’s how it works
You’ll start with Morning Pages. For information about how to do this, read the post titled: Self-Expression.
The next thing you will do is that you will add more writing to your practice. This might have triggered a moan. It’s actually more on the lines of tracking what you are eating and why. Yes, you’ll write and list every bite you put into your mouth and then you’ll write about your feelings at the time. Maybe it’s just meal time and time to eat and there is no underlining emotion. That’s great. But, there are other times we eat and we all know it, that are triggered by emotion. I can’t tell you how many times I have simply found myself saying: “I need comfort food.” Comfort for what? Yep, there’s an emotion that you are feeling and you are wanting to comfort yourself with food.
It’s also going to help you when you do in fact want to binge or succumb to the urge to binge. Pull out your diet journal and capture your feelings with words. Write it out! It might go something like this: “I want to eat something now! And, I want it to be crunchy and salty.”
Then, you realized you were thinking about a family member who got upset with you the day before.” Or maybe you were thinking about work: “I don’t think I have what it takes to do this new project.” It can be any self-doubt, hurt, anger, frustration, pain ... you get the drift ... that can lead us to want to reach for food.
Another step is to add walking to your daily routine. You don’t have to walk a long time. Of course, if you can make at least a 30-minute addition to your day, you’ll see the benefits more quickly. If you can’t find 30-minutes, don’t let that stop you. The action of movement is a beginning and a means to help you physically as well as emotionally.
There are more steps to follow on Julia’s plan to help you lose unwanted pounds. It’s an excellent and easy way to alter the course of your life as well as your physical body. If are ready to make a change, I highly recommend the book by Julia Cameron, The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size.