Discovery! Discover How to Write Away Weight by Keeping a Lifestyle Journal.
For me, the key to changing harmful patterns was discovering the extraordinary value of keeping a diary or journal. Through keeping one I learned about how people, places, and things influence my mental, physical, and emotional health, which in turn affects my eating choices.
Pay a visit to the "Essential Skills" section # 3 of this Web site for an example of my actual, alcohol-consumption diaries and explore various types of diaries. Explore: The World Of Craving and Addiction Offers Me Nothing That I Want. Good Bye!
A food diary or journal is like a treasure map; a tool to help me learn:
1. It helps end denial, “Oh, it’s not that bad!” and fosters honesty with myself.
2. It helps me see patterns of alcohol use, drug use, foods, people, places and events.
3. It helps me develop compassion toward myself, and gratitude towards others who have helped me along the way.
4. It helps me see how baby steps, over time, have made a HUGE difference. Just like the evolution of the sun from winter solstice’s short days to the splendor of summertime’s long days. The shift happens 1.2 minutes/day. It’s barely noticeable, but it adds up over time to a big difference.
Through writing in a journal I really learned about my eating habits. Taken from my journal on December 3, 1979 (7 years after I had lost my weight): “Eating habits are sneaky! They sort of change gradually, into poor ones. Suddenly I may become too lazy to prepare vegetables, have the wrong foods in the house, and start lying to myself about, ‘Oh, I can eat only one. I’ll save the rest.’ Then I start meditating about the glory of food, how great it will taste. I can forget about what it was like to be fat and I suddenly arrive at 175 pounds, up from 160 pounds. It sort of ‘snuck up’ from 160à 165à 170à 175 pounds. Very gradually, it all added up. During the last two weeks I solved very tense, stressful problems with turning to food. It was a comfort to feel stuffed. It gave a full, satisfied feeling.”
Sometimes I found that I didn’t want to face my behaviors or myself. At those times, I didn’t keep a diary because it was too painful to see what I was doing. To help me begin to keep records again, I would tell myself that keeping the diary wasn’t so that I could beat up on myself. I reminded myself that it took a lot of courage and self-honesty. I also noticed that if I wrote my food choices and life events down, I was much more likely to consider alternatives to overeating. I could figure out what was going on and make plans to change my choices.
Refer to the sections for ideas on self-management and problem solving:
In writing this personal story, I reviewed the 24 years of diaries that I have kept and discovered that my life is an ecosystem. All of my different patterns interact and interconnect in an intricate web, everything affects everything else—a web that will either support a healthy weight or gradually bring on increasing levels of disease. I have fallen into unskillful patterns, time after time. But through problem solving and trying out new options, I have gradually come up with behaviors that worked better.
Contemplate: Your Life--Everything Is Interconnected!
Years later the use of this journal tool was PRICELESS again. I got stressed out and out-of-balance. It helped me explore my lifestyle patterns and their consequences. It saved my life!
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