WRITING FOR WEIGHT LOSS: A WAY TO CURB OUR URGE TO EAT (Issue 42)
By Diane Gold
Did you ever think about Writing For Weight Loss or any other reason and the benefits writing can have on our habits and our lives?
I had the good fortune of having my grandfather publish one of my poems in the Newburgh News in 1958 about a Halloween Witch. And then, I had another published, Blackie’s Kittens. The thrill of seeing my work published had a profound effect on me, but the ease of publishing now would have had a much more impactful effect on me.
Back then, someone had to call a newspaper editor and convince the editor how great the poem. It probably helped that he was the town’s dentist. Today, of course, work must be approved by the current editor inside the powerful publishing machine; but, generally, distributing our writing for weight loss, fun, fame, fortune, recognition, therapy, legacy or any other reason is not so complicated and is much easier. All we have to do is open up a writing device – a tablet, phone, laptop, journal, recorder, or, yes, even a paper pad – write something from our head or our heart and – bam – blast it out to the world via internet.
As moms who care deeply about their daughters, we have the wonderful responsibility and opportunity to introduce as much awesomeness to our daughters as possible. If we love music, we show our daughters its value, whether it be for listening or creating. If we believe in volunteering our time for literacy.
We (almost all of us, that is) learn reading and writing as a requirement as part of our primary education, whether in school or in home school. Writing allows us to fill out ID forms, connect with financial institutions, describe what we are learning in school and it is a vehicle with which we can express ourselves. Did you ever notice how daughters of creatives often spend their lives creating also? Part of it is environmental, habit formed.
Today, we can begin having a public column in about 15 minutes flat. We put up a blog and start writing. We can write about the food we love, the qualities of our dream partner or the ethics of the common woman. This is the very activity I am advocating for moms as examples for their daughters: to write creatively for self-expression, to soothe ourselves, to build personal imagination and creativity in ourselves and a tool to curb our urge to eat.
The very act of sitting down to write takes us away from the refrigerator, the candy store, the menu for pizza. It should be a spot away from distraction and food, a place where we would have to be inconvenienced to get up and get food should we get the urge.
I believe everyone should have a written record. We have such full and colorful lives, even though, as I’ve said before, boredom is a big complaint.
“Why did you eat?”
“I was bored.”
“Why did you use drugs?”
“I was bored.”
“Why did you play music?”
“I was bored.”
“Why did you write?”
“I was bored.”
“Why did you teach someone to read?”
“I was bored.”
“Why did you write a book?”
“I was bored.”
Obviously, being creative and giving to others is more fulfilling in the long run. It is helpful if we have a model in our home to follow.
We can get started with the simple things to write about:
HOW WE FEEL
Of course, everyone can write about how we feel. And we should. It is part of our legacy.
Sometimes, we see what looks like too much personal talk in social media, such as
“I am going to So-And-So Restaurant to eat Such-And-Such hummus dish.”
A lot of this is subtle social calling, that is, when we say where we are going, others may meet us there. When we talk about the food we eat, we are billboards for our favorite restaurant. We may even be getting free food from our favorite eatery for spreading the word to our social media tribe.
Friends enjoy news about friends. Others can read something else or write, themselves.
OUR GREATEST PASSION
Let’s say we are moms, and our greatest passion is our daughter. We can’t sit around smothering our beloved daughter by saying,
“Oh, you are my greatest passion. The very fact that you are my daughter makes my life massively important.”
We can say that once in a while, but, unless we want to drive our daughters to dependence or embarrassment, we need another outlet. Writing is such an outlet. Of course, we need to respect the privacy of our daughters, which means talking about them online, so we need to think this through, too.
Which is why it might be best to write about another passion, such as dancing, gardening, raising the education standards, marching for animal rights or politics. Whatever it is, this is who we are. When we write about it, we are taking a stand and showing our daughters how to take a stand through writing and taking action. And our writing will help our cause in the process.
AN INSPIRATIONAL STORY
We all have had struggles, and the fact that we are reading this is proof that we made it through those struggles. Most of us have also shared in the good times.
In sharing some of our stories, we inspire others. It is not ours to choose who gets inspired by what we write, but sharing our own stories is a way of contributing positively to our community and our world. It makes us free, is a good example for our daughters to emulate and adds to the pool of resources that exist to make a better world.
Every one of us has some expert information in some area. We sometimes forget that we are experts until, one day, it dawns on us. We could be an expert in how to sew, sell, wash, organize, diagnose, prevent, heal, create, protect, find for cheap, meditate, pray. Some of these things skills are so natural to us that we forget that we have them.
Just the other day, I realized that I am super experienced at feeling and acting upon urges, in other words, an expert. I wouldn’t have said it out loud, nor would many ever admit this fact, but I realized how many dozens of times I had acted upon the same urge, knew what it felt like, knew what it could lead to, knew how to train myself to change my actions upon feeling this urge. My conclusion: I could put on my resume that I am an expert in urges.
And today, I wasn’t surprised when Charles Duhigg, in The Power Of Habit, was saying how we don’t have to do much brain activity when we do something we’ve done a bunch of times already, when he said,
“…subconscious mechanisms…impact the countless choices that seem as if they’re products of well-reasoned thought, but actually are influenced by urges most of us barely recognize or understand,”
meaning that most of the time we are not using our brain to make choices for things that have already become habitual. We are only gliding through a sliding pond of acts we know quite well to execute acts which fulfill an urge we put in our “habit library” a while ago.
No matter how we got it, what we know is worth writing about. Someone will value the information. And it is part of our personal legacy. And in terms of our daughters, if they are writing, they will not be eating. Thus, writing for weight loss gets its name.
IF WE COULD HAVE ONE WISH
If everyone wrote about what we wished for, we would have a lot more activism and a lot less extra eating. Writing can be a step further than wishing, and others get to hear about it. Make sure to use the right keywords a few times in whatever is written. Keywords drive searches on the internet.
It can be personal, and writing about it could cause us to take action on it. It could be community based or it could be philosophical. It’s all worth expressing.
I don’t mean to be cliché-like, but Do It Now. Write.
It’s pleasurable, it allows us to talk about ourselves and our beliefs. We can access ourselves, we can mock ourselves, we can get to know ourselves better, we can share our knowledge to help others. There is every reason to write.
We want to be examples to our daughters, and here is another opportunity to show them a way to curb appetite by changing biology through writing. It is said we can only concentrate on 1 thing at a time. So, if we are writing for weight loss, we are not eating. True, 2 things can be in our head, but 1 is always the primary focus.
With time, we can make our focus productive and control what we do when we get an urge to eat. To help us along, we can pour a glass of water. Then we can get some already cut veggie sticks or baked veggie sticks that we keep around for snacking. Then, we can begin to write, knowing we have healthy snacks and water close by and that our daughters can use this behavior to their success, too.
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DIANE GOLD, AUTHOR
Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Moms For Healthy Daughters, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert and a dedicated mom.
She has written lyrics early on in her music career and has been writing for the past 15 years. She believes it is a great outlet, a productivity motivator and a great way to enhance personal development. Diane says,
“We all have something to say. We may not have the confidence to realize it, but our experiences make a difference to others, especially our daughters. We can each inspire through sharing our stories, get inspired by getting comments on our writing. It is a great way to balance the day by knowing there will be self-expression in it. It’s a way to work on our language skills. It’s a place to share our feelings. It is a beautiful habit to cultivate. It is there for all of us.”
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