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The Writing Diet

Written on: May 26th, 2008 by: in Learning Journeys

Laura here: Greetings! I am the Virtual Assistant for Between the Lines and am pleased to share a book that has resonated with me and supported me on my journey.

I have struggled with being over weight since my daughter was born. I can lose weight but I don’t keep it off. When I turned forty I made the decision I was done with dieting forever. I knew what I needed to do: eat healthy and exercise consistently. Simple, right? What I didn’t realize I had to do was reprogram the ingrained habits, beliefs, and thoughts that led to self-sabotage. As long as my self worth was tied to a number on a scale or a clothing size I would never believe I was enough. First I had to be open to changing my thoughts, and next I had to believe I could change my thinking and change my reality.
I devoured spiritual, self-help books on meditation, manifestation, and miracles. Something clicked for me over the years of listening to the enlightened words of so many wise teachers. I reinvented my life. I became a business owner so I could do what I love and love what I do, and create the resources of time, energy, and abundance to pursue my health and wellbeing.

This year one of the support tools I chose has been to join Weight Watchers; "stop dieting and start living" is their tag line. I’ve known several people who have successfully changed their body size with Weight Watchers but I was resistant and believed they taught members to diet. I said I wanted to do it alone, but really wasn’t ready to ask for help and support. The reality of Weight Watchers has been 180 degrees different than what I thought it would be. I’ve benefited from their experience and knowledge of course, but the weekly accountability, support, and inspiration has been phenomenal.

Writing_dietAnother tool I’ve found essential to my weight loss journey is a book by Julia Cameron, The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size. Julia is the author of The Artist’s Way, which taught me Morning Pages; three pages of long hand journaling before you begin your day. Morning Pages are an essential component of the book, along with these tools:
• The Journal ~ recording everything you eat, whenever you feel like eating, and what you’re thinking and feeling
• Walking ~ twenty minutes a day, a creative romp to exercise your mind
• The Four Questions ~ am I hungry/is this what I want to eat/ is this what I want to eat now/is there something that I can eat
• Culinary Artist Dates ~ sacred time each week for self discovery
• HALT ~ a 12-step guideline never get too hungry, too angry, too lonely, or too tired
• The Body Buddy ~ a trusted objective person for daily check-ins and to reinforce positive behavior

Besides Morning Pages the most helpful tool for me so far has been the journal. I write down what I eat, what I’m thinking about eating, how I think I’ll feel if I eat, and what I’d do if I weren’t obsessed with eating. The journal keeps me grounded and in the moment. Forbidden foods for me are like worry; future oriented and tantalizing or in the past and filled with guilt.
Word by word, line by line, page by page I am discovering the creative outlet that being obsessed with food has buried. I feel lighter, less burdened and weighed down. What do the results look like? Here I am—reaching for a pen instead of a fork.