By Renee Roberson
While I recognize the benefits of journaling, I admit I’ve never been consistent about doing it. But when I got the chance to try out Mari’s “28 Days Weight Control Journaling Challenge,” I was excited and optimistic. I knew I would probably have more success journaling if I had a clear set of directions to follow, which Mari is great about doing in her e-books.
A little backstory on my weight:
I never really had any issues with my weight as a child, even though my diet was horrible. Our home was always stocked with the processed foods that exploded on the market in the early 1980s, and I drank soda much more than water. It all started to catch up with me in my teens and my curves filled out. My last two years of high school I took up running, which helped me stay toned, but my weight continued to yo-yo between 95 and 105 pounds (I’m petite at 5’0). Even though I didn’t weigh a lot, my parents would point out when “my behind looked too big” in a pair of jeans or tell me I needed to watch how much I was eating. Needless to say, I had a lot of mixed messages. The stress of college actually did the reverse of what happens to many with the “Freshman 15” and I eventually developed an eating disorder, which I sought treatment for when I was 85 pounds. These days, I am the mother of two, a successful freelance writer and editor who gets to work from home, and my weight tends to fluctuate between 125-130 pounds. I no longer fear calories; in fact I tend to indulge in decadent and savory foods when I’m stressed or under deadline. I find that when I use the app MyFitnessPal, which has you log in each meal and exercise you complete daily, I have more success maintaining my weight. I started using the app again around the same time I took Mari’s journaling challenge, which was great.
I’ve always struggled with my body image, and this has gotten worse as I’ve passed my mid-30s. The prompts in the challenge forced me to deal some of the negative messages in my head. But with each negative message, story, or obstacle, Mari also has you balance it with positive attributes and clear and attainable goals. I wrote down everything in my food journal, translated directly from my app. One of the prompts also focused on journaling about the different types of exercise I enjoy, and a close examination of my pantry (eek!) Each prompt is layered in such a way that you are slowly completing the small building blocks to success, and over the first few weeks, my language in the journal began to change:
“I am beautiful inside and out.”
“My body is strong and capable.”
“I can run two miles without stopping.”
“I know how to feed my body nutritious foods.”
“Exercising regularly sets a good example for my kids.”
One of my favorite exercises was my “vision collage.” I forgot how much I love making collages and vowed to do more of it in my journal after the challenge was over. It was also nice to flip through the pages at the end of the 28 days and see how my meals progressed from being salty and starchy to include more and more fruits, vegetables, and smaller portion sizes.
I highly recommend this e-book to anyone who is struggling with negative self-talk and controlling their weight. It’s good for anyone who needs to gain or lose weight, as the exercises work well for both.
Renee Roberson is an award-winning professional freelance writer, editor and blogger with hundreds of print and online articles and columns to her name. In addition to writing, she helps authors publicize their books through blog tours at WOW! Women on Writing. Visit her website at www.finishedpages.com.