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Lessons learned from Operation "Listening to Myself"

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Here's my wrap up on Operation "Listening to Myself" ( www.sparkpeople.c

Part 1: The Journal
I didn't miss any days on Part 1. At times, journaling felt burdensome and low priority next to my "should" tasks, partly because of how much time journaling ate up each day. [I wrote extensively: 35 pages, front and back, for 30 days.] Writing was immeasurably beneficial for me in processing, though. It helped me unearth some thoughts and feelings I wasn't quite able to identify otherwise, and to discover the underlying causes of my emotional/binge eating urges...albeit, sometimes in a post-hoc fashion. I surprised myself by the content of my entries, specifically how food- and weight-centered a lot of them were. As a result of journaling and Part 2's verbalization of positive statements, I integrated positive affirmations into my journaling for the last 6 days. I'd initially been hesitant about re-reading previous entries; I've journaled a lot over the years and never revisit old entries. Actually rereading my words gave me perspective and added ability to process my ways of dealing with my subject matter. Aside from starting the day with written affirmations, I think journaling every day is excessive for me, because I just devote so much time to it. It's a good tool to put in my coping arsenal, however. I think writing every 2 or 3 days or on emotionally-intense days will suffice.

Part 2: The Mirror
I missed (skipped/forgot/put off until it was too late) the mirror portion on 4 or 5 days. The positive statements made me feel better about myself, especially when the mirror portion followed a binge. Bingeing led to my wanting to avoid the mirror; on the occasions I did face it, my thoughts were almost universally negative. On occasion, I had lots of trouble countering the negatives with positives; I even found myself anticipating what negative thoughts I was going to have when I saw my reflection and planning a positive counterattack, before I even faced the mirror. Most of my negative thoughts were appearance-related, while most of my positives were not. I couldn't come up with honest positive statements about my appearance.
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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