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Archive for: July, 2012
Jul
9

The Pizza Machine Is Not Going to Hurt You

martin bashir

Or for goodness sake…

Martin Bashir (MSNBC commentator) going off about how “dangerous” the new fresh pizza machines are.

A smart (?) man like him falling victim to the diet industry.  I can relate, of course, because I used to be that person- the righteous dieter, who knew every calorie in every food and how to combine foods for the best nutrition, fiber, bla bla bla

Well, I got wise, and I hope you are on your way.

Martin is not.

He was outraged that a company would seek to supply offices with freshly made pizza machines.  OMG!!!

There is nothing wrong with this pizza.  It is probably very similar to other frozen pizza that we all eat.  He just was so incensed, he was really quite vitriolic, about how this temptation would be such a cross for us to bare.

Here is the thing:

If you live you life as a dieter, you will, indeed, be afraid of food.  You will work your butt off at the gym, go to the grocery store and buy perfect meals.  You will forgo food that you love and you will occasionally meet your goal weight and then bounce back up, or you will never meet your goal weight.

But you will always, always, always be afraid of gaining weight.  You will avoid a certain route so that you don’t have to walk by your favorite cookie at the bakery.  You will skip a party because the food will be fantastic.  And you will binge…

Is that how you want to live?  And has it made you comfortably thin?

Learn how to behave as a thin person, with a thin mentality if you want to be thin AND enjoy food (and your life, by the way.)

Martin is afraid of pizza because he probably is afraid he won’t resist the temptation of the smell of pizza wafting down the halls.

But, this is how I, a thin mentality person, would handle this.

I would be very excited that my office was introducing a new food for us to enjoy.  When it was delivered, if I was hungry, I would try it.  I would eat until I wasn’t hungry, and then I would stop. I would discover whether or not I liked it and then I would MOVE ON with my day.

I would not fear the machine, I would not love the machine.  I would just be happy that if I was hungry for pizza on a given day, that I would be able to enjoy it.  That is it.

Geez.

Remember that more on this is available in a book that I wrote–  I don’t want to be “sales-y” but I did write it to try to help you get your thin mentality cookin’!.

Jun
4

Phase 1 of your Thin Mentality

anxiety

Phase I of Building Your Thin Mentality – How it feels, what you need to commit to:

This stage is a mix of joy and anxiety:

The joy comes from understanding that:

  1. You do not have to diet for the rest of your life in order to be thin.
  2. You can and should enjoy food and your unique food preferences.
  3. You were born with a thin mentality but the non-stop diet messaging that you have lived with your whole life has made you believe that you need to have your eating planned by someone else.  You do not, of course.
  4. You are resilient and if you work with your body instead of against it, you can reconnect with your thin mentality and lose weight permanently, and in harmony with your unique needs and preferences.

But, you are anxious because:

  1. You are having a hard time believing that you can eat what you crave when you are hungry.
  2. You fear you will gain weight.
  3. You miss having dieting as an “out” so that you can overeat and say to yourself that you will just begin a new diet on Monday.
  4. You aren’t used to “staying in the moment” as you eat.
  5. You aren’t used to paying attention to your body.
  6. You miss weighing yourself constantly to make sure that you aren’t gaining weight.
  7. You get disapproving feedback from friends and family as you eat “non diet” foods.
  8. You are used to food rules.

I understand the severity of this stress.

You are changing your fundamental view of eating.  And eating is something you do several times a day, every day.    And even a bad situation, such as being a lifelong dieter with miserable yo-yo weight gain and loss, holds some comfort because you are familiar with it.  You know the routine.

I get it.

I am telling you that there is a much happier way to be.

In order to build your thin mentality commit to the following:

  1. Have a long-term vision for yourself, “I want to lose weight permanently, and enjoy my life and food,” instead of a quick fix mentality.  “I want to get into those jeans in two weeks.”
  2. You must honestly review your personal history with diets and admit to yourself that you have never lost weight and kept it off.
  3. You must be willing to recommit to building your thin mentality every day in order to defend yourself from the hundreds of pro-diet and food rule messages that you see every week.  Come to my website, or others with a no diet, no food rules message.  I put a lot of support out there.  But you have to come get it!  Weight Watchers can afford ads, I cannot!
  4. You must use your own power of logic and reasoning to determine that dieting is a failed paradigm.  As much as I can give you examples, for you to internalize it, look around, and use your common sense to come to this conclusion as well.    The diet industry loves it when you are desperate and lose your ability to think logically!  Don’t give into that!!
May
7

Poor Jessica Simpson

If you are new to this blog, read the Introduction Blog first date May 2, 2012.

I just heard that Jessica Simpson has signed a contract to be a celebrity spokesperson for a weight loss company as soon as she had her baby.  Instead of having faith in herself, that she can have her baby and get back to a good weight for her, as a naturally thin person would, she is saddling herself with the misery of a new diet after she delivers.  Honestly, it makes me so sad.

Here she is this successful, strong woman who is going to abdicate all her wishes, desires and preferences to have some “nutritionist” at a profit-driven diet center tell her what to do and when.   She may say to herself, “I need this, I would just stay fat if left on my own.”  Well, actually, I believe that.  She, like many others is so disconnected from her own body that she doesn’t know what to eat or when.

Jessica-  your body will tell you if you just listen!

I know that her weight has gone up and down a bit over the years.  She is, I am guessing, either on a diet or gaining weight.  Like you, perhaps, she has lost the ability to listen to a powerful and really important sense that Mother Nature gave us:   HUNGER.   You never gained a pound by eating when you were truly hungry and stopping before you were over-full.

If you could trust yourself that by eating only the foods you really love in a quantity that satisfied, but didn’t overload your stomach, you would be free.  But you don’t trust yourself.  And clearly, neither does Jessica.  Again how sad that the diet industry has made us feel this way.

The next time you eat a meal, do what a thin person does:

By Behaving Like a Thin Person, You will Become a Thin Person

Today’s example:
A dieter measures their cereal for breakfast.  The dieter then has water, not juice because juice is a lot of calories.  Then the dieter has coffee with skim milk or no milk at all and a pack of artificial sweetener.  At around 10 the dieter is hungry and eats something she doesn’t really love, or is grouchy until lunch.

A “naturally” thin person gets up and considers whether or not she is hungry.  She enjoys her coffee with cream and real sugar, if she wants,  and thinks about what she might like to eat.  She realizes she is actually very thirsty and would so enjoy a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.  She enjoys it tremendously.  Then she looks at the clock and realizes that she is running late.  She feels good, not hungry, just refreshed from the oj and the delicious coffee and goes to get dressed and get on with her day.   What?  no breakfast??  Well, not this day.  But the thin person knows that if she gets hungry at ten, she will have something.  She isn’t afraid of hunger, or weakness, because she knows that she can eat whenever she is hungry.  She doesn’t do “preventative” eating.  She lives in the moment and enjoys her food way more than the dieter, although she is not over eating.  She trusts herself and doesn’t rely on some stranger to tell her what her body needs on any given morning.  She is listening to her body, so she knows.

May
2

Introduction

People frequently ask me how I can eat a hamburger or fries, or creamy clam chowder, or cake or whatever and still be slim.   I try to explain it in a sentence, but I never can.

It takes a long time to explain to hardened dieters that they have been doing it all wrong.  That is why I began this website and blog.

I once was a hardened dieter.

I knew the calorie count in every food I ate.  I could diet with the best of them.  But I was never where I wanted to be.  I was either heavy and miserable, dieting and miserable, or newly  temporarily “thin,” knowing I was going to lose control and gain all my weight back.

I also managed a Nutrisystem when I was in graduate school.  And I was an aerobics instructor for 15 years  and a spinning instructor for 2 years.

Believe me, I know the psychology of dieting and exercising.  I know the misery.  I know the failure, the frustration, the way dieting sucks your energy away from other important parts of your life, and how dieting  makes you want to skip social events and hide.

But I also know that if you can kick the diet habit, you can make peace with food.  You can make peace with yourself.  And your body can be thin, healthy and strong.

I have achieved this.  And I am rare.  I do not say this in an arrogant way.  I say this because it is true.  And I so want you to enjoy the same success.  It is wonderful.

It takes a different kind of strength than the strength that dieting requires.

You need to be strong enough to handle comments from your relatives like, “You’re gonna eat that?”  And you need to be strong enough to ignore the thousands of dieting messages you get every week from TV, the web, and your friends.

You also have to be capable of delayed gratification.   By that, I mean you have to take a long range view of your life.  This is definitely harder for younger people.  But I hope you can see that on and off dieting for the rest of your life is miserable.  And I am offering you an alternative that will set you free.

Start reading the section on my website called “Diets Are Fattening,” if you want more discussion now.  And check back tomorrow for more here.

Apr
30

The Ole “Drink More Water” Trick

You need to drink more water...???!!!

You need to drink more water…???!!!

When I worked for Nutrisystem, they told me to tell people to drink more water if they weren’t losing weight.

It was an easy thing to say, wasn’t “dangerous” and gave people something tangible to do to try to speed up weight loss.

The problem was that it was a bunch of “you-know-what.”  I am so sorry I went along with that.

Dehydration is definitely not good for you, but pushing water when your body isn’t thirsty is not necessary or beneficial to weight loss.  There is plenty of science on that.  Just google it.

Bottom line- drink when you are thirsty, eat when hungry.  Mother Nature did figure things out nicely for us!!

And the diet industry is simply preying on our desire to find a quick fix or one-liner that will speed our weight loss.  And they charge us for it!! Geez!

Apr
18

Nutrition Is Important, But…

I recently posted on FB that fast food gets over-demonized.

My point was that some people hyper-concern themselves with nutrition, and miss that being disconnected with hunger and satiety are way more detrimental to health than eating some fast food.

Have you heard of orthorexia?

Orthorexia is a disorder where you becomes obsessed with the “perfect diet” and the cleanliness of food, and eating a highly regulated regime.  I call these people “righteous eaters.”

Caring about nutrition is fine, but when it turns into an obsession and a hunt for perfection, you can do permanent damage to your body and to your mental health, on several levels.

Here are some of the foods orthorexics tend to restrict, or completely remove from their diets:

Dairy, meats, and eggs: Cutting out these foods could mean you’re not getting B12, needed for proper brain function and red blood cell production.

Gluten and grains: Grains contain minerals that we need (like magnesium, which is needed for healthy bones and nerves; and manganese, which is needed for healthy heart function).

Fat: Good quality fats, found in foods like olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds, grass-fed beef, grass-fed dairy and pasture-raised eggs are a must for the body. They keep skin healthy, cushion and protect vital organs, insulate the body against heat loss, protect nerve tissue, and help regulate women’s menstrual cycles.

Placing yourself under regular mental stress regarding making “perfect” food choices can trigger stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Normally, these hormones are meant to fire when you’re in a threatening situation to boost energy supply for immediately action.  But when your mind believes there is a constant threat, even low levels of these hormones, like cortisol for example, can suppress the digestive system, the reproductive system, and growth processes.

So, instead of demonizing, or sainting certain foods, focus on responding to your body.  Take the heat off of your eating decisions and relax a bit.  An Egg Mcmuffin when you crave one isn’t going to hurt you, as long as you wait for hunger.

Eat what you crave, listen to your body.  Refuse to eat without hunger.

Results of this?

Less stress on your mind, and therefore your body.

Happier relationship with food and eating

Stable lean weight

Quite a nice payoff for understanding the downside of “over worrying” about nutrition and “under worrying” about being connected to true hunger.

Apr
9

Recognizing True Hunger

Yes, there is an adjustment period as you learn to leave your diet mentality behind.  You aren’t used to listening for hunger.

In this preliminary stage, stay calm, slow down a bit and actively listen.  If you decide to eat for reasons other than hunger, at least own that.  Then, see if eating that actually made anything better.  And then, next time, try delaying for 10 minutes.  See how you feel. Delay for 20 minutes.  See how you feel.

And what you will realize is that if you can just delay long enough, you will have the far more rewarding experience of actually eating when you are hungry.  There is no better or more enjoyable time to eat.

Remember, you will be hungry several times every day.  That means that another eating experience is right around the corner.   This isn’t denial.  This is delaying until your hunger and your eating match up, as Mother Nature intended.

Dieting has made you think eating with a regimented plan is the way to be good.  NO, that is the way to ignore your own body’s voice.  If you don’t listen to it, who will?  You are it!

Dieting  taught you to eat when you weren’t hungry and to eat foods you don’t love.  And it taught you to not eat when you ARE hungry.  No wonder you don’t know when or how much or what to eat!

Don’t feel guilty about that.  You were trying to do the right thing.  Just take it easy, and start the enjoyable journey back to how you were born.  Eating when you were hungry, spitting it out at your parents when you weren’t, and crying if no one fed you.  Simple. Smart. Harmonious. Responsive.

Mar
20

Are you tired?

tiredI can tell you from years of experience that  a thin mentality is so much easier when you aren’t tired.

Remember that everything is easier you are rested, right?  We forget that.

As you make the transition from being a dieter, to behaving like a thin person instead, give yourself every advantage.  And that includes prioritizing rest.

I can hear some of you saying that getting enough rest/sleep just isn’t going to happen.

I say make it happen.  Find a way.  Get creative.

A successful thin mentality capitalizes on your body’s natural instincts and rhythms.  And these are just so much easier to hear when you don’t have “fatigue” interference.

When I stare into the fridge, and I am tired, I don’t hear my body as well.  When I am in this position, if I possibly can, I try to go to sleep first, then eat.

Please make sure you hear that correctly.  I am not saying that you shouldn’t eat if you are hungry.  But when I am tired and grumpy, I am not good at hearing what my body needs.  So I say to myself, go rest, then when you wake up, eat whatever you crave.

This is very different than denying yourself food, like when you are on a diet.  I am merely postponing the eating until I can actually enjoy it.  Because when I am  tired and kind of hungry  it isn’t nearly as rewarding to eat.

I savor being hungry and having an opportunity for enjoyment.  I am not going to waste it when I am tired.  And if I am tired, but know I really need to eat something before I rest, I do.  But it isn’t that great, and I eat as little as possible to get myself satiated enough to be able to go lay down.

The theme here, as with much of my advice, is that I try to make eating as wonderful as I can for myself.  I eat when I am truly hungry.  And if I am tired when I eat, my body isn’t as good at “thanking” me for eating.  It doesn’t taste as good, and it isn;t as satisfying.

So, a brief review:

It takes commitment, focus and dedication to buck the diet industry in favor of re-igniting your thin mentality, the one you were born with.

Give yourself every advantage, and that includes being able to distinguish hunger from fatigue. They are related and those signals can get crossed.  So, if you think you might be tired, try rest before eating.  It will be much more rewarding.

Mar
20

Chronic dieting turns us into food addicts

morning versus evening 600

I have included a link to this article from Psychology Today– but for ease I pulled out a few sentences you might really be interested in:

The Problem with Dieting- How dieting creates food addicts

  1. Bad news for yo-yo dieters this week: according to a recent study, cycles of feast and famine can create fast-food junkies–at least in rodents.
  2. By making the unhealthy food temporarily unavailable, the researchers created food addicts. Food might not be addictive on its own, but prohibiting it can set off a cycle of anxiety, craving, and overconsumption that for all purposes looks like addiction.
  3. There’s no reason to believe that the food itself was the problem in this study, but the anxiety induced by restricting access to it.

Think of the implications of this for your own life.

Dieting leaves you vulnerable to huge weight swings, cravings, and food addictions.  Diets do not make you thin and happy.  Diets destroy your relationship with normal eating.

Normalize your relationship with food and eating by replacing your diet mentality with a thin mentality.

For the whole article here is the link:  The author draws some conclusions that I would not, but the information from the actually studies is great.
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-science-willpower/200911/the-problem-dieting

Mar
16

Thinking about food all the time?

cartoon-food-woman

Pink Elephants.

Now, try not to think of pink elephants.  Of course that makes you think about pink elephants, right?

That is what dieting does to you and food.  Instead of taking the focus off of food and eating and learning to eat normally, in response to hunger, dieting makes you think about food all the time.

And dieting makes you think about your weight all the time.

The result is a completely perverted relationship with food, eating, and your body.

A thin mentality replaces your angst-ridden diet mentality with peace.

So the next time you are assaulted with a diet or healthy lifestyle (aka diet) ad, remember that you don’t need all this “help.”  As a matter of fact, this “help” hinders your ability to get, and stay at your ideal weight.

Say to yourself, “I was born with the instinct to eat the food my body needs.  Dieting destroyed my ability to hear or trust that instinct, but I can get it back.”

And remember that to build your thin mentality, you need to reinforce the wisdom of rejecting your diet mentality every day.  Why?  Because you receive hundreds of messages every week telling you to diet.

Be too smart for that.