3 Writing Exercises to Help You Lose Weight in February

Ah, February: the month of chocolates and waning resolve. The gyms begin to return to their normal capacity; your friends who were on the Whole30 in January can join you for beers again; and the guilt of week-long hot-buttered rum binges are a distant memory.

So now that the ice cream has made its regular reappearance in the freezer again, is it even possible to maintain your weight (or –gasp!- lose a few) without becoming antisocial, carb-obsessed, or just plain unhappy?


Julia Cameron thinks so. In THE WRITING DIET: Write Yourself Right-Size, Cameron explains that it is often our unexpressed anxieties, hopes, dreams, thoughts, beliefs, past, and future that keep us from losing our weight. And this makes sense, as many of us who have tried to rely on calorie-counting know. The uncontrollable urge to plow through a bag Reese’s cups is largely rooted in our deeper yearnings, and therefore, is virtually impossible to control with willpower alone.

So what does writing do? It begins to purge us of our deep-seated wounds that we try to medicate with food; it gives voice to the unrealized dreams that we try to stifle with food and helps us analyze why we crave the things we do.

So in honor of the month of chocolate (undoubtedly my biggest vice), here are three writing exercises from THE WRITING DIET to help you get on a healthier track:

  1. Ask yourself what your past experience has been with dieting plans. What worked? What were your downfalls? Is it portion control? The wrong foods? Write these down. Your thumbnail sketch of yourself as a dieter should give you sufficient data to choose a food plan that works for you.
  2. What is your ideal beauty? Do you have a healthy view or do you find yourself falling prey to media manipulation? For one half hour, sort through your magazine stash, pulling any image that speaks to you of feminine beauty. At the end, paste your images in one place. What do you see? Do you have an attainable sense of beauty, or are you setting yourself up for failure? Write!
  3. List ten activities to undertake each evening instead of nighttime eating. It doesn’t need to be expensive or involved, but rather these are things to keep you occupied. For example, maybe your list includes giving yourself a pedicure, calling a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, or an organizational project around your house.

~Post by Kelli, nonfiction reader, skeptical spiritual seeker, reluctant Pisces, and blocked artist

These five tips were take from THE WRITING DIET,  available at these retailers:

Barnes & Noble
Hudson Booksellers

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