Dear Michelle: Slim Down

Dear Michelle,

When I was in high school I was 5’2" and weighed more than 300 pounds. In college, I made a conscious effort to reduce my girth. I went on a supervised liquid fast program and by the time I graduated, I had lost more than half my body weight. I vowed that I would never let myself get fat again. Gradually, I’ve gained most of the weight back. I want to lose the weight but, somehow, I just keep eating. I read your column every week and I read your book, “Sex, Lies and Handwriting”. Please, look at my handwriting and tell me if there is something I could do to help me lose weight?

Marlene from Kittanning, PA

Dear Marlene,

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could just close your eyes and will yourself slimmer? That’s what a whole lot of self-help authors are selling these days. They would have you believe that if you visualized yourself lounging on a yacht off the coast of Tahiti looking fabulous in an itsy bitsy yellow polka dot bikini sipping ice tea with Fabio – the power of your desire would make your dream comes true. Unfortunately, research shows that it doesn’t work that way.

Fortunately, a large body of research indicates that if you visualize a step-by-step action plan and write the steps down on paper, you can achieve permanent and positive change. Thinking and writing are different. Thinking can be chaotic but, the act of writing helps your brain organize and cement your thoughts. And, if you combine your action plan with handwriting therapy – by making a few targeted changes in your own handwriting -- you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll see results.

So Marlene, first, I want you to work on your handwriting. Notice that the last “e” in your name whips back to the left. This “whip stroke” indicates that you are very tough on yourself. Don’t whip the last stroke back to the left (symbolically to your past). Instead curve the last stroke of the “e” gently forward to the right (symbolically to your future).

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