How to use a journal effectively in weight loss?

Already February 2015, How’s Your Fat Loss Journey?

As I write this, we have almost completed the second month this new year! Yeah, time doesn’t just fly… it rockets!

For a very personal reason, February has always held a special place in my heart. And before we know it, summer will be here.

I can clearly remember coming home from college for the summer breaks and feeling so full of promise, like my life was about to begin!

I always held a summer job or two, but being under my own steam while at the same time being in the safe, protective cocoon of my family was an amazing blessing.

And I realize this blessing was not something everyone experienced; indeed, some of my friends preferred NOT “going home” for the summer break because it was too stressful or they just didn’t feel comfortable.

Even today, I recall those carefree, summer days so vividly.

That’s in part because those were the days when I became an avid “journaler” (still am!) and I recorded my thoughts, emotions, challenges and triumphs with all the passion and angst that a teenager can!

These days, I can go back and (selectively!) read about my heartaches, heart songs, dreams and breakthroughs.

Yes – there are some things I’d like to stay in the past.

…but, one of my most powerful beliefs is that…

The Best is Yet to Come!

(In fact, that is your mantra for this week.)

The reason “the best is yet to come” is because how could it be otherwise?

Everything we have experienced has propelled us forward to this moment.

We build one experience upon the other, growing, evolving, improving!

The only way the best couldn’t be is… if we ignore the opportunities for growth before us.

The only way the best couldn’t be is… if we allow ourselves to stay stuck in the regrets of the past.

The only way the best couldn’t be is… if we allow ourselves to worry about and fear the future.

That’s easy for you to say,” you might be thinking. “You haven’t had to go through X,Y,Z like I have.”

You don’t know that problems I face,” you might be thinking, “the struggles and responsibilities I have to carry.”

When I was younger,” you might be thinking, “I was more free, more energetic, more hopeful. Now I’m just getting older and more tired.”

Whoa! Hang on there a minute.

I don’t think there’s a person alive who couldn’t relate to all those statements.

By no means am I discounting or overlooking all of the problems, challenges, issues, hardships and heartaches that make up life.

But joy, beauty, love, inspiration, contributions, connections, friendship and passion are also a part of life!

So… how do we balance these seemingly opposing energies?

How do we learn to believe – to KNOW – that “The Best is Yet to Come“?

…and, wait, wait wait…
Journal to lose fat

… what the heck does all this have to do with your weight loss?

Well.

I believe I have found the “magic bullet”, so to speak, that can help free you from your demons – whether they are long-buried issues or recent raw wounds – the obstacles that are weighing you down (both physically and emotionally) and are holding you back from living the life you love.

And that simple bullet brings us full circle from my story at the beginning of this message: and that is to journal!

Yes, it is as simple as that.

Please, don’t overlook this powerful tool or dismiss it as something you may have once tried.

Journaling can help you access and acknowledge your deeper self, one that is beyond the physical, beyond the mental, beyond the emotional.

Some might call it the spirit, the soul…

I call it my “essential self”.

That is the part of you that is more than your personality – it is the true essence of YOU.

Journaling is one of the best, fastest and most enjoyable ways to access your essential self.

Prayer and meditation are also beneficial – and I’ll be sharing some meditation techniques with you in upcoming posts.

But for now, I encourage you to just get familiar with the art of journaling.

Even if you’ve kept journals in the past, try my techniques to see how they work for you!

Journal for Fat Loss Freedom

1 Buy a nice new notebook – one that is comfortable to write in. I personally like the old-fashioned spiral-bound, college-lined notebooks, which you can pick up at the drug store for about a dollar or two.

Some people prefer the fancy hardbound journals, but I find them difficult to write in because I can’t open them up to lie flat.

But you decide!

2 Purchase an easy-to-write with pen. I have a special blue-ink pen that I keep just for my journal writing. This makes the ritual seem more special.

It’s important that you WRITE your journal rather than TYPE it on the computer. Yes, using a computer can be faster and if you really can’t bring yourself to write in a notebook, then journaling on a computer is better than not at all.

But, writing by hand awakens the creative, fluid nature of your mind and allows for faster, deeper access to the essential self.

3 Consider writing at the same time and in the same place every day. In the old days when I more time to journal, I would write anywhere and everywhere at any time!

These days I find it easier to set aside a specific time where I can relax, close my eyes for a few minutes and then dive into my free-writing mode.

4 Use the “free-writing” technique to get started. Free-writing is exactly what it sounds like: you write without a plan, without a specific direction, without regard to grammar or sentence structure or spelling.

Just write!

Get some thoughts on paper.

No one is going to read this. Keep it private and let your heart and emotions and dreams and plans pour forth on the page.

Take 5 minutes, 15 or even 20 minutes – that’s not as important as just getting started!

You might begin by writing about your day – what happened or what you have coming up; the purpose of the free-writing is to warm up your writing engine and to give your heart and mind a place to feel free.

5 Let go of any judgement. Journaling is like a clearing-house for your entire being. Clients I’ve worked with have told me that they feel so light and clear and clean after journaling, it’s better
than a therapy session!

The key is to just keep writing. Write in code words if you like; draw pictures; use foreign words or abbreviations; make your journal uniquely yours!

How Journaling Helps with Weight Loss

For many of us (most of us!) excess weight is a factor of not just too many calories or not enough time to exercise; the excess pounds represent unexpressed passion and/or pain.

Journaling is one of the easiest ways to tap into whatever needs to come out and see the light of day!

Writing out your feelings also is proven to reduce stress, and ongoing stress is one of the top reasons for excess weight.

There are several studies that show when participants journal as part of their weight loss program, they lose more weight more easily and more permanently than those who simply rely on calorie reduction and exercise alone.

So, your Action Step for this week is to get your journal, a pen and start writing in the free-writing technique.

Next week, I’m going to share with you what I wrote in my own journal those many Junes ago, and how I still rely on those insights these years later as a giant safety net to stay on track, healthy, alive and free!

I will also share with you an advanced technique that will accelerate your weight loss and well-being even further!

…Speaking of feeling refreshed, please read on for one of my favorite light, refreshing salads, perfect as we’ll soon get into the summer months!

Betty’s Slimming Recipe *Watermelon Salad*

I created this super-simple, delicious and nutritious dish one evening last year when it was just too darn hot to eat anything else!

Why don’t you try it out and let me know what you think?

– 1 cup of watermelon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (no rind)

– 1 rib of celery, diced (about 1/4 cup)

– 1/2 small cucumber, diced (about 1/3 cup)

Mix it all together and eat it with a spoon to savor all the juices!

The interesting textures, colors and sweet-and-salty flavors make this a very unusual and refreshing salad!

You can actually eat as much of this as you’d like, because it’s very low in calories – but super high in nutrients!

And, if you eat this salad at night, you’ll most likely enjoy a great night’s sleep.
Watermelon Weight Loss

That’s because the ingredients in my Watermelon Salad offer an excellent balance of sodium, potassium and magnesium, minerals that help promote restful sleep.

Also, the salad is so light that it won’t weigh you down with bloating and indigestion.

But if you want to round out a balanced meal, you can always serve the watermelon salad with a portion of lean protein on the side, like grilled chicken or fish, or a cup of beans or yogurt.

My watermelon salad makes a great addition to any barbeque or picnic!

Hope you like it as much as I do!

Okay – that’s it for now! I LOVE hearing from you, so please drop me a line if you haven’t done so lately.

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