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I’ve always been a writer. My Mother swears I was born with a pen in my hand (that had to of hurt…) and when I was young I looooved writing stories (usually based on the latest movie I just saw) and had a blast in a creative writing course when I was in high school. I dabbled with many styles of writing over the years but the only one that really stuck was journal writing. I have copies of my journals that go waaaay back to the beginning of high school where I lamented about unrequited love and my struggles with self-worth. I didn’t know it at the time but journal writing would eventually change my life and, if you let it, it can change yours too.

Why Should You Journal?

On a daily basis we have bazillions of thoughts that run through our head and most often none of these thoughts come one at a time. Ever notice that sometimes your brain is having several simultaneous thoughts at any given time? We could be thinking about what to make for dinner at the same time we’re trying to listen to a meeting AND trying not to let your annoying co-workers’ texting get to you. Our minds, just like our actions these days, are constantly multi-tasking, it never seems to be able to focus on one thing for very long.
For many people journal writing seems juvenile; something only young girls do. Truth be told, most creative individuals out there keep regular journals and one of the most effective ways to lose weight and keep it off is in the form of logging not just what you eat throughout the day but also how you felt before and after you ate. Journal writing is an important part of many addiction recovery programs. In any situation where someone copes with their emotions using a destructive medium like binge eating, journal writing is an easy and effective step to learning to cope using a constructive medium.
When it comes to changing our behaviours, especially if they’re health related, it is ESSENTIAL that we find out WHY we perform the destructive behaviours that we do because it’s when we get to the core of our behaviours that we can begin to work on changing them. This can require some intense soul searching that merely standing around the sink, drinking your coffee in your robe and fuzzy slippers just ain’t gonna do. Talking about it, if you’re lucky enough to have someone you’re comfortable talking to about these kinds of things, is amazing but we also often forget what we’ve said not long after we’ve said it, but putting it down on paper (or screen) will make it permanent. Putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard allows your thoughts to be put right up there in a visual medium for you to reflect and think about whenever you re-read it. It makes you think about your motivations and allows you to see patterns that you wouldn’t see when you try and put your spoken thoughts into the filing cabinet of your memory.
Writing it down, whatever it is that you’re writing about, puts your monkey mind into some sort of focus and for trying to create behaviour changes, it allows us to really see the patterns we engage in before we do something destructive like binging on a bag of Oreo’s and the regular excuses we make for not getting our workout’s in that we never realized we did before.

My Own Experiences With Journalling

Journalling became essential in my own weight loss and health changes. When I first decided to change my health I sat down and asked myself how I became the overweight, unhappy person I was. It was a LOADED questions (obviously) but I began to journal about it starting with the motions and choices I made during the present and began to work my way backwards (by always asking myself “why”) until I got alllll the way back to THIRD GRADE! That’s when I pinpointed where my emotional eating began. This knowledge didn’t happen overnight but when it did I felt so relieved to understand why I was eating emotionally and then I further journaled what I could do about it andmy answer was in journalling itself. I would plunk myself down at my desk and write about it instead. This simply act of finding another outlet for my emotions that didn’t have to do with food not only caused me to lose a ton of weight at the beginning but was the gateway for understanding who I was, why I did what I did and to figure out how to change the destructive behaviours to constructive behaviours.

How Do You Journal?

Journalling doesn’t have to take a long time to do nor do you need to be a great writer to do it. Just make a commitment to write whether it be several days a week or, like I did, when you find yourself emotional and reaching for destructive ways of coping. You don’t have to do the old fashioned pen and paper method either, just use your computer if it’s faster and if you’re worried about prying eyes, just put up a password lock!
There’s no right or wrong way to journal, either. Just write whatever and however you want to write without editing. Let this be your safe place where there’s no judgement from anyone, including yourself! You can write in point form, paragraphs or just stream-of-consciousness. Don’t worry about typos, grammar or overthinking your sentences, just start writing and don’t stop until you’re done! Sometimes I write about the most mundane of things like dentist appointments and our insurance but other days it can be super heavy. it doesn’t matter what the content is, you can blab on about nothing or you can ask yourself a specific question to work through. As long as you’re writing, that’s all that matters. I can guarantee that after a while of being consistent and finding your own groove you’ll learn things about yourself that you never realized and although this can be a bit scary for some, it’s totally worthwhile to get this stuff up to the forefront because if it’s scary it means that it’s important and most of the time it’s these scary things that are the keys to busting through your destructive behaviours.
So today, go out and buy yourself a shiny new notebook and pen or open up a new document on your computer and give yourself just five minutes to write about whatever’s on your mind. Make a commitment to do this a few times a week for one month and let me know how it goes!
Do you write in a journal? How has it helped you to make better changes in your life? Join in on the conversation over on my Facebook and Twitter pages!


  1. […] mentioned it before but journalling is a phenomenal way to get your emotions out of your body. Even if it’s not […]

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