Introducing the Emergence Yellow Book - 91 Days of Conscious Eating
This is the Yellow Book, a 91 day journal for conscious eating. It's called the Yellow Book because we bound the original paper versions in a yellow leatherette folder.
What exactly is this book?
For one thing, it's a guided, three month weight-loss journal in which you visually explore your thoughts and feelings about managing your eating and weight. More than just a feelings journal though, because we ask you to visualize what you write, the Yellow Book is also a form of guided meditation, a sort of spiritual journey you can take in order to identify some of what has blocked your ability to eat consciously.
So is the Yellow Book a diet?
No. It is not a diet. In fact, you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want. As long as you do your best to consciously witness yourself doing these things.
So how can some people who have done the Yellow Book have lost weight?
The people who have lost weight have lost it mainly because they have became more conscious in and around food and eating and here, the important word to grasp is, "conscious." You see, unlike what many people might assume I mean by this word; that you make better choices as to what and how much you eat; the "consciousness" I am referring to here is the "consciousness" you arrived with at the moment of your birth; your "baby consciousness."
Your "baby consciousness?"
Yes. Why? Because if you think about it, babies do not need to diet. Their bodies function fine even when they eat imperfectly. How? They live in an elevated state of consciousness and so, by nature, they eat consciously without effort. Translation. Because they are more conscious to begin with, their bodies process food differently than adults, more effectively and with less effort.
So what happened to this native ability; this "baby consciousness?"
Most people lose this ability somewhere between age three and four. Thus, by age four, most people become less conscious in and around eating and food. In other words, most people by four eat without knowing they are eating.
So what happens to you if you reclaim some of your ability to remain conscious in and around food and eating?
Your body begins to access the healthy programming you were born with, and the more your body processes food the way it did when you had access to this healthy programming, the more you respond to food in healthy ways.
What actually changes?
Some people feel more at ease with their hunger. Certainly, they become more aware of when they are actually hungry. This means they respond to feeling hungry more consciously and so, make better choices as to when and how quickly they eat.
What also happens is that some people learn to sense fullness again, the real way, through conscious experience as opposed to mere mental awareness or will power. Sensing fullness consciously means you require little if any effort to stop eating when you feel full. You simply respond to food like the baby you once were; you stop eating when you've had enough.
Another thing that can happen is that some people reclaim some of their ability to taste food. And since healthy food usually tastes better, this means some people end up eating healthier because they come to like the taste of healthy food more.
Is this true? Does healthy food taste better?
Yes. But only if you taste food normally. Thus, a part of what children lose by four is their conscious ability to taste food. Result? They eat unconsciously because their sense of taste has become dulled. This means people need more taste to even taste anything and so, strongly spiced or strongly flavored foods taste better. Why? Because if your taste is dulled, you require that much more taste to even know you are eating.
Can you reclaim your ability to taste? Absolutely. And reclaiming a normal sense of taste is one of the more important parts of conscious eating.
Perhaps the most important change, though, is how you come to feel about managing your weight and eating. You see, the more "baby" consciousness you reclaim, the more you come to naturally love managing your food, weight and fitness, including that you make peace with things like your imperfect weight range and your less than perfect diet. Why? Because the more baby consciousness you reclaim, the less these things matter, at least as things you hate or criticize in yourself.
Am I saying these things won't matter? Of course not. I am simply saying that the more baby consciousness you reclaim, the more you respond to these things with love and compassion. And this holds true whether you'd like to lose weight or not, which means, even if you are happy with your weight, you can gain health by eating consciously.
As for the actual format of the book itself, it's basically organized into three parts:  record keeping;  exploring your attitudes, and  consciously observing your present day behaviors in and around food, weight, and eating.
Where do you begin?
You begin by filling out the "day before" page. First, you weigh yourself within the first half hour of this day, then write your weight in the box in the upper left side of the page.
Next you write and draw what you think will happen over the next 91 days.
Finally, you draw what you'd like to have happen. That's it.
What does this do?
It creates a baseline sense of how you feel about your weight and eating. It also records your starting weight, again, a baseline. Of course, the main thing you'll be beginning will be to focus on becoming a loving observer of what comes up in you as you explore these things.
Do you feel nervous? Scared? Certain you'll gain nothing? Excited? Hopeful? Skeptical? Blank?
More important, what do you picture? Failing. Succeeding without effort? Making gains you've been wanting to make? Learning to love managing your weight?
These observations; the meditative aspects of the Yellow Book; are the heart and soul of the whole process, and it is through these loving observations that your injuries in and around food, weight, and eating begin to emerge.
The following day, you begin the actual journal work itself, beginning with the page in the above link list titled "AM week 1."
And if you look over the page, what you'll notice is, each AM page has seven sections, each section containing a daily question with a weight box to left of this question.
Try to answer these questions before you weight yourself. Then weight yourself, again, within the first half hour of the day each day and at the same point in your daily routine, e.g. right after showering.
Record your weight in the box on the left. Then go to the PM week 1 page and read the weekly question.
What you'll notice is, all the PM pages have a weekly question which you will be exploring during the course of this week. In all, then, you will explore thirteen questions over the thirteen weeks.
What do you do with these questions? Basically, you try to be mindful of the week's question on and off throughout your day. Then, when you get a chance, record whatever you discover, hopefully doing this as you go. Then, at each day's end, circle one of the five "today I ate" measures, using your Day 0 as your baseline "middle number" (your number 3 ).
Finally, at the end of each day, transfer your weight and your "today I ate" number to the overall summary page, adding an additional number for how active you were, again a 1 - 5 number with 3 being your level of activity from day 0.
That's it. Now simply follow the instructions in the book for the next ninety one days, either by using the online forms or by clicking on one of the links below to download the whole book.
Many questions can be answered by reading the articles on the site. But if you are someone who would prefer more personal attention, please know we welcome your questions and your discoveries as well.
Either way, we hope that you find our Yellow Book helpful and that by doing it, you, too, can reclaim some of the beauty you once felt in and around managing your eating and your weight. Remember, this beauty is already in you, just waiting to be reawakened. So have faith in yourself. You can do it.
Steven Paglierani is an author, teacher, social worker, and scientist whose writings describe the world through the lens of Asperger's. As a licensed therapist, he teaches others—including those with Asperger's—to stop imitating normal and to be themselves. He's created the first natural description of human personality, a theory wherein everything derives from a single fractal pattern. He's also built and raced Shelby Mustangs, been a singer / song writer mentioned in Rolling Stone, and designed his best friend's home as a wedding gift.