How I Found The Writing Diet
The Writing Diet is one of the many books that I have found rather randomly on the book shelves at Barnes and Noble, but I am very glad that I did.
As I was perusing the shelves for a summer read that would help me become more focused on my creative writing, I saw Julia Cameron’s The Writing Diet on the shelf – actually in the diet book section that I happened to stop by on my way to the writing resources area. Cameron is the author of the popular book and creative writing method The Artist’s Way.
I felt as if I had hit the jackpot! I had actually found a book about writing and dieting – or rather, losing weight and expressing one’s creativity. I purchased the book and a nice new journal to go with it.
I can honestly say that for anyone who has struggled to lose weight, this book may just be the answer. Julia notes that over the years as her students became more self-aware and increased their personal and creative writing, many lost weight quickly and easily!
How The Writing Diet Has Helped Me
I have always resisted writing down what I eat, but Cameron’s method consists of writing down not only what you eat, but why you eat, can be life-changing for someone like me, who has never been “fat” but is struggling to maintain or lose weight. Or maybe you’ve always been the “big” person and that role has become a comfort to you. Either way, opening up about your emotions through writing can be a big step towards making a change.
The first two parts of Cameron’s method include the following: 1) Morning Pages (writing in the morning as a way to express and identify what is “bugging us”) and 2)taking a daily walk.
These were small, but powerful changes that I have been able to make already. Simply by writing down what I was eating, I discovered that I was eating way too much, often chewing mindlessly when I wasn’t hungry. I was basically eating for strange reasons that had nothing to do with nourishment, such as 1) boredom, 2) to save money (eating for free whenever possible), and 3) eating when I was sad and missed my family and loved ones, or 4) eating when I felt “pressured” in group settings, and so on.
I’ve also increased my daily exercise. Instead of eating and complaining, I write out my goals, frustrations, and my plans and solutions. Immediately after writing, it feels like a burden had been lifted and I am no longer dying for a meal from Cheesecake Factory.
How The Writing Diet Can Help You
Many of you may be skeptical, but I challenge you to ask yourself, how often do you stop and think before you eat? Do you jump up and go to lunch with your co-workers without asking yourself – am I hungry? Or what does my body need for nourishment right now? Most of us simply munch, munch, munch, and then get back to work.
Some of you may not feel like writing things down, or you may have convinced yourself that you don’t “have time” to write or take a daily walk. If you are too set in your ways, or prefer to stick with fad diet after fad diet, then this won’t work for you. I will challenge you by presuming that if you have the time to read blogs, you have the time to follow the steps in this book.
There is much more to The Writing Diet method, but you’ll have to read the book to discover the rest. My favorite thing about it is that instead of telling you what to eat, the book helps you understand why you over-eat and indulge, how to get over binges, and how to forgive yourself and quickly move on when you slip up. For those who over-eat, whether you are over-weight or not, a lot of emotion is attached to food and it is important to understand and recognize this in order to fully take control.
I will be reporting back on my progress, but even if I don’t lose a lot of weight, The Writing Diet has made a difference by making me feel more productive, and more in control of what meals I choose to consume. My journal has been a daily part of my routine for over a month now since reading this book, and I truly feel a difference. For more information on Julia Cameron, visit her website at www.theartistsway.com.
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