Use Your Brain to Save Your Body

To get the benefit from BrainWeighve, participants are invited to record their answers to a number of questions. It sounds like a test, but there is a major difference: here, you are the final authority, the only one who knows the answers. Today, anyway. But the point is, pretty soon you will come up with some new and more workable answers.

The process is a lot like a therapeutic tool we have already mentioned, journaling. Certain forms of journaling involve a person asking herself or himself questions, and answering them. This can be a very personal experience, which is just one reason why using your hand to write your responses first is probably a good idea. If you think about it for a couple of days and then decide to share your observations, it might take away any anxiety about “going public.”

For example

Take the Problem Solving screen (top of this page.) The first bullet point says, “Write down everything you know about the problem. Then write what you might do about it.” This is very much what journaling is about in many cases, which is why we point out the similarities. In today’s post, the subject is why it might be very advantageous to do this stuff by hand, at least for the first go. The hand and the brain want to work together.

Another screen asks about “rescue” plans, which you either have tried or will try. Maybe you are determined not to put on any pounds over the holidays, but feel you are being coerced into eating another helping of candied yams. How will you get out of this sticky situation? Or maybe you already went ahead and ate them. The prompt asks, “What will you do for damage control?” If you overate, “what was the main thing that was bothering you?” And when something like this happens again, what is your move?

Proven to work

The matters being pondered here are exactly what journaling is designed to deal with. For hundreds of years, people have written down their thoughts about the challenges of life, and they keep doing it because it gets results. Sometimes, the whole mess makes more sense to a person who takes the time to sit down first with pen and paper, undistracted by the presence of a phone.

No rule says you have to feed your thoughts into the private section of the app right away. And when you do, no rule says you have to share those thoughts with others, either. You still have the option of sharing them at any time, with the hope that it might help someone else fight their demons. And others have already opted to share their hints and strategies with you, which is why the link to “I need ideas” appears on that screen three times.

A fair question

Now, where do we get these high-and-mighty ideas about the power of writing thoughts by hand? First, let’s clear up one thing. That can mean printing, too. Although cursive handwriting works a little better for this kind of task, printing works too — and far, far more effectively than typing the letters. Who says?

(To be continued…)

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Profiles: Kids Struggling with Weight

Profiles: Kids Struggling with Obesity top bottom

The Book

OVERWEIGHT: What Kids Say explores the obesity problem from the often-overlooked perspective of children struggling with being overweight.

About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
You can contact Dr. Pretlow at:


Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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