Successful weight controllers rely on language and creative expressions to help them change. Consider the following as examples within the lexicon of effective weight control:

  • The Devil is in the details.
  • Exercise every day is the way.
  • Everything counts.
  • Deviate quantitatively, not qualitatively.
  • Biology is not destiny.
  • Extremism in pursuit of permanent lifestyle change is no vice.
  • Moderation in defense of failure to change is no virtue.

Just as we promote stretching and exercise to develop physical strength, poetry can help weight controllers expand their verbal repertoire (strength). We encourage campers to journal every day, for related reasons. If campers can think about their quests for weight loss and personal development in creative and powerful ways, their commitments to change become more powerful and effective.

At Wellspring Camps this past summer, poet and teacher, Sue Payne, MA, JD, led fascinating and enthusiastically received workshops. The campers learned basic writing exercises (“free writes”) and read wonderful poems about meals, self-image, and relevant feelings by such renowned poets as Billy Collins, Jane Yolen, Diane Lockward, Mark Strand, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Kurt Brown. Then, following very specific directions and using carefully selected outlines and strategies, they created some of their own wonderful poems. We have selected a few poems as among the best of the great creations that emerged from these workshops.