Slim Down! Shape Up!
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
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).
Now for the next 10 days, with your new, improved, no whip stroke handwriting, I want you to write in a spiral notebook, “I, Marlene, am moving happily forward in life and am eating healthy and walking 15 minutes everyday”. Quickly, you will be on the road to a slimmer trimmer you. Write me back in 2 weeks and I will give you your next “homework” assignment.
For any readers out there that would like to be part of a slim down, shape up study that would involve the combination of journaling and handwriting homework please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the post office box address below.
Michelle Dresbold is a nationally known handwriting expert and personality profiler. Are you a doodler? Have a personal question or problem? Mail your doodles and handwritten letters to: The Handwriting Doctor, P.O. Box 1161, Monroeville, PA 15146.