In 1966, I bought a book titled "Think Yourself Thin" by Debbie Johnson. I was impressed with the author's discussion of visualization as a technique for losing weight. Unfortunately, I read most of the book, sat and thought about it for awhile, and discovered that I had not lost an ounce. Apparently I failed the test of thinking myself thin. I must not have thought about it enough and I must not have properly visualized myself as a thin person. And so I let another 29 years go by before I finally caught on, I finally got the message.
After nearly three decades of remaining obese, the light went on in my muddled brain. I could not get by with just thinking about and picturing myself as a thin person. Preliminary thinking about getting thin is merely wishful thinking. I haven't reread Debbie Johnson's book, but I finally caught on to the necessity of making the task of thinking about losing weight a constant throughout the hours of each day.
And then I embarked on an impossible task of writing 365 tasks in one year. I realized that if I were to accomplish this goal, I would have to think about my project each day. I would have to keep coming up with a list of topics. I would have to spend some intensive time thinking about, evaluating, and considering various methods of accomplishing the tasks I would decide to write about.
Next, I had a stunning insight: If I could write a new task each day, I could lose my excess weight and protect my health, all at the same time. And so I embarked on my year's writing task. Day after day I tried to think of a new and helpful topic. I soon realized that I was writing mainly to myself, although I ardently hoped that someone else, even one person, would find that some of my suggestions and writing would resonate with them and influence them to make the same changes I was suggesting.
Instead of running out of topics in mid year, I found that the more I thought about my to-do list, the more ideas I kept generating. Today I have reached number 284 on my 2015 to-do list. And today I weighed 254 pounds, down 61 pounds from my starting weight. Now people compliment me on my new and thinner appearance. Inevitably, some ask me how I did it. I feel lighter. I feel healthier. My blood pressure is better controlled. I bought new pants with a two-inch smaller waist. I soon will have to buy more new pants with another two-inch reduction in waist size.
So how did I do it? How did I suddenly catch on to doing something that had eluded me for three decades? How did I wake up this morning weighing the same amount I weighed 30 years ago? Here is the answer: I wrote myself thin.
I became consumed with the idea that people fail to lose weight because they don't concentrate on weight loss enough, they don't think about it enough. Weight loss does not become a constant source of concern. And people simply ignore the necessity of losing weight.
Then I discovered, almost by accident, that the more I wrote about weight loss, the more I concentrated on writing about achieving small goals and simplifying complex procedures, that I was beginning to lose weight. I was beginning to lose weight because I switched my mind set from hopeless to hopeful, from do-nothing to do-something. I was reading my blog writing each day and the messages I wrote were sinking in. I was paying constant attention. Soon, my goal of eating less became more automatic, easier, and less stressful.
I can't begin to describe how liberating it feels to conquer a problem that eluded me for so long. By overcoming my inability to lose weight, I have discovered that it is far easier to tackle other long-ignored projects. Instead of feeling chronically hopeless and inexcusably overweight, I became more optimistic and encouraged about taking care of other things, making other small changes that may turn into impressive results.
So here is how to write yourself thin:
- Keep a food journal.
- Keep a personal journal in which you outline your weight goals.
- Remind yourself in your writing to eat less, move more, and make more intelligent food choices.
- Write daily. Don't skip. One of the most important lessons I learned this year is that I needed to pay constant attention to my goals and to the procedures I was following to lose weight.
Basically, that's all there is to it. And, of course, always get a complete medical checkup before you make too many changes in your eating patterns. Then the rest of the work is up to you.
Task Number 284: Write yourself thin. The more you write about becoming thin, the more encouraged you will become. The more you think about becoming thin, the easier it will become to lose your weight. And the more weight you lose, the happier and healthier you will become. Good luck, write often, think about what you are writing, and enjoy your new and thinner self. The Curmudgeonly Professor.