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Artful Eating: The Psychology of Lasting Weight Loss by Karina Melvin

Karina Melvin © 9 November 2017.
Posted in the Magazine ( · Food Writing · Interviews · Non-Fiction ).

As a child, I remember dreaming of writing a book. Diagnosed with dyslexia at quite a young age, reading was something that for a long time eluded me. But as I eventually managed to master words and their meaning, a whole world of stories opened up to me. My family all love reading too, so every Sunday we would spend an hour or so in Waterstones picking out a book for the week, which I would devour over the course of that afternoon. I loved all sorts of books, story books, puzzle books, craft books, they would transport me to another world for a couple of hours and I remember regularly using a flashlight under the duvet if I hadn’t managed to finish my book before bedtime!

Soon I developed a taste for writing my own stories and I would put as much effort into creating the cover and binding of the book as I would the story inside. I wasn’t very good at English in school and the essays I wrote never garnered much enthusiasm from my teachers, though this private desire to someday write a book stayed with me. While I never excelled at school, far too interested in the distractions that come with being a teenager, I became quite a focused and scholarly student, much to the surprise of my parents and friends. Eventually I wrote a number of theses and academic papers within the fields of psychology and psychoanalysis over the years. The theses were bound, and to me felt a bit like that book I’d always dreamed of creating and I found some semblance of solace in that! I also think all of this academic writing was good training. A perennial student, I am well familiar with sitting down at a desk and concentrating for long stretches of time. In fact, I enjoy it.

How Artful Eating came about is the result of chance, luck and hard work. I was giving a talk on Lacan’s Formulae of Sexuation at a festival when I was approached about something quite different by a small publishing house. In my spare time, I had developed an online program to help my clients overcome weight issues and discover how to enjoy food and their body. It was a little project I’d been working on and I had mentioned it in my bio for the festival program. Artful Eating had become a real passion of mine as I found so many of my clients were struggling with their relationship with food and their body. I would watch people try and fail to lose weight on some diet and it really frustrated me. So, I developed a weight loss approach that works with the mind and how the body functions, it’s such a lovely and liberating approach and it works! So, I was (and indeed still am) passionate about getting the message out there.

I met with the publisher and very quickly contracts were drawn up. I happened to mention it to a friend, who has published a few books herself, and she told me not to sign a thing until I got myself an agent! This was sage advice as the deal I was offered reflected the size of the publishers and so would have limited the book’s scope and reach. My friend introduced me to Vanessa Fox O’Loughlin who immediately loved the idea behind Artful Eating and suggested I write a proposal and see if anyone else was interested before committing to the offer I had. This was a real stroke of luck as I ended up working with Black and White Publishing who have been such a joy.

As for writing it, I have to say it was a truly enjoyable process. I gave birth to my daughter, Claudia, at the end of December and a couple of days after that, in the quiet times when she was sleeping, I would write. This proved very doable for the first month as all babies really do at that age is sleep and eat as any parent knows well! I finished the first draft quite quickly as I had a very clear and detailed outline already from the course I had created. I found having a detailed plan invaluable as it then allowed me to get into a flow with the writing. As I knew exactly what each chapter entailed, it felt as if the book wrote itself. This is probably because it is a topic I am passionate about and one I am very familiar with. The first draft was well received, though I was asked to cut it by 20,000! I thought this would be challenging, but again it was pretty easy as it really tightened the book up. The second, more details edit was also painless, though I had been quite nervous about that piece, but thankfully there wasn’t too much to do. Working on the images and look of the book was so much fun. I probably put as much energy and thought into the look and feel of the book, its cover and images, as the content- just like I did when I was a child!  Once I read it back a final time after it had been sent to typeset I saw lots of things I’d like to change, but I expect that’s a pretty normal feeling.

I think the most challenging part is yet to come, getting the message out there and sharing it with people who I hope will benefit from reading it! The whole process has been wonderful and my desire is that the book will be received with joy as it has a very positive and empowering message. For anyone who dreams of writing, my advice would be to never give up on that dream, be curious and always say yes to any opportunity that comes your way!

(c) Karina Melvin

About Artful Eating:

Rediscover the magic of eating for pleasure and enjoy a life of balance with the freedom to eat the foods you want without dieting.

Artful Eating will take you on a journey filled with stories, life lessons, practical tools and strategies all rooted in the most up to date scientific and psychological research. Learn how to reprogram your mind to lose weight and achieve the body you desire, by changing your thoughts, behaviours and approach to pleasure.

Successful weight loss is not about what you eat, it’s about why and how you eat. We are missing the most vital ingredient in the weight loss battle: the mind. It is our mind that fuels every decision we make about food and by focusing solely on the symptom, the excess weight, we have lost sight of the cause.

There is no strenuous exercise regime, no food elimination, no strict meal plan, just powerful psychological tools and strategies which will create lasting change. You will be amazed at how easy it is to achieve the body you desire and truly deserve.

Order your copy online here.

Karina Melvin has BSc in Psychology, an MA in Addiction studies, an MSc in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and is currently a PhD candidate in Psychoanalysis. She is fascinated by how our mind works and has been helping people change their lives for over ten years. She set up her own private psychotherapy practice in 2010 and through that has developed her Artful Eating approach as a way to help many of the people she works with. Karina is married and lives and works near Dublin.