Archive for: July, 2013

My Response to Email Re “Slip Ups”

mistakeDear D,

So glad you like the book.

Yes, Of course I had slip ups.  And of course, so will you.

You are so right the key is how you handle the slip ups!

When you realize you are eating even though you are not hungry try this:

Step 1

Recognize what you are doing:

“I am eating even though I am not hungry.  I am putting food into my body that my body is not asking for.  It is enjoyable.  But not as enjoyable as eating when I am hungry, and I am trying to learn how to eat like a thin person, and I know this isn’t right.”

Step 2

Delay eating whatever food you are “struggling with” for just a few minutes

Could I just put this down for ten minutes and see how I feel?  Could I just delay eating this for those few minutes?”

Put it in the fridge, or in a baggie or whatever.  Let ten minutes go by.  See how you feel

Step 3

Give yourself permission to eat it when you are hungry.

No matter what the food– candy, muffin, hamburger, chopped salad- you MAY eat it as soon as your body says you are hungry.  And people who are overweight are ALLOWED to be hungry!

If you are still really having a hard time saying no to it even though you are not hungry have a little bit more and then try putting it down again.

While you are doing this say to yourself that every minute you DELAY eating it, is a step closer to eating when you are actually hungry.

That delaying of eating,  NOT the denial of food, is the crux of a thin mentality.  So every minute you can wait is going to build the strength of your thin mentality.  

You will get better and better at delaying gratification until you are hungry.  You will get comfortable with it, it won’t feel like punishment.  It will feel like you are finally eating as Mother Nature wanted you to eat..

Give you body a chance to show you how happy it is eating in harmony with your natural instincts to eat and NOT eat!

And yes, diets have taught us that if we start a binge, we might as well finish it.

NO!  Eating one extra brownie isn’t great.  But using that one extra brownie to eat three more is, as I wrote on Facebook recently, really really silly!

Stay in the moment.  Stay in the moment.  Stay in the moment…

There is no tomorrow where you can make up for today’s excess.  Today is all you have, right?

Don’t expect perfection from yourself.  That is a diet mentality, right?  Just move forward, and that slight side to side “wiggle” will get less and less over time.

For your child:

The best thing you can do for her is to model good behavior.  Don’t TALK about it.  DO it.  Talk is cheap.  The actions you take will impress her beyond all of the words you can say.

Yes, children need to be guided.  Guide her with questions like this, “Are you hungry for something warm and delicious like soup or something cold and crunchy like grapes, etc.”  She will get in touch with her own signals this way.

And, if she is hungry for a cookie, that is ok, as long as she is hungry for it and stops when she is not hungry anymore.  Kids need guidance on what kind of portions would probably suffice.  Don’t overload her plate with any kind of food-  “good” or “bad.”

And teach her to check in with her hunger, “Have you had enough?”     Give her a chance to hunger and express her hunger for a whole variety of foods.  Make finding new foods fun.

Most of all, though, model thin behavior for her.

Your questions were so good, that I think I am going to put this answer in the blog on my website, because I am sure you speak for many with the struggle to handle a “slip up!”

Take care and thanks for the email!

Have a great week and stay committed to this!


Practice Your Thin Mentality


Learning  how and when to stop eating is part of building your thin mentality.

The path to knowing this lies in… practice!  Ha!  Just like a lot of things, it requires some practice.  Fortunately, we need to eat everyday, so there are plenty of opportunities.

So, when you are eating, think about “practicing” your thin mentality.  You WILL make mistakes.  You will stop eating when still hungry.   But that is ok-  you will know you stopped too early because you will not be able to get passed your hunger.  You will put food away and move onto something else, only to feel yourself asking for food again right away.

That is OK.  Obviously, it is more “correctable” to eat too little than too much.  So, when I was starting this, I said to myself,  “if I am still hungry, I can always have more.”  I gave myself a chance to feel okay with leaving food behind.

Now, I know there are some of you out there saying, “Ah! see, I can’t eat with a thin mentality, I have to leave food behind!”

Now just hold on.  You are used to leaving food behind as a dieter.  And cutting up your 4 ounces of dry chicken and 5 carrots and lettuce with lemon juice and a grapefruit for dessert and having that as a meal and trying to leave some of that behind is awful.

I am asking you to eat what you are craving.  Perhaps a steak, creamy potatoes and some corn?  Then as you are eating, just notice how “quickly” you feel completely happy and satisfied.

We are NOT used to paying attention to that.  “I can have a steak tonight! I am going to eat the whole thing because who knows when I will allow myself a steak again!!”  NO!  that is a diet mentality.  You will “allow” yourself whatever you crave from now on.  It isn’t a big treat anymore to eat what your body is asking you to provide.  It is normal.

(You WILL crave all kinds of food)

But as you are eating this meal that you chose, that you like, that your body was craving, just give your body a chance to say to you, “Wow, that was good, and I have had enough.”

Just try it.  You will be surprised that when you give yourself freedom, there is nothing to “rebel” against anymore.  You will learn to really, really dislike that overfull feeling.

You won’t want to do that to yourself.  Why would you?  You know that in just a few hours you will be hungry again and eating and enjoying something you really like.

Just try this.  You are NOT punishing yourself to leave food behind.  You are learning, you are practicing your thin mentality.

When I used to eat a bagel, I always toasted up the whole thing.  Then, I realized that I never needed the whole thing.  I was always happy and satisfied after one half-  that I cover with cream cheese and jelly, by the way, cause I like that!!

But since I know myself now, I never toast a whole one anymore.  I have learned what satisfies me.  You will too!  Practice makes perfect  :).


Now the AMA says Obesity is a Disease

Who benefits if we consider obesity a disease?

Who benefits if we consider obesity a disease?


Whether you are slightly overweight and tired of dieting, or much heavier, don’t let the new AMA decision to classify obesity as a disease make you disrespect your body.

Your body was born with a beautiful system intact to keep you at a healthy weight: hunger and satiety.

But we have “polluted” our bodies with diet messages that end up corrupting our relationship with hunger and satiety and set you up for binge eating.

That is where rapid weight gain comes.

Ask yourself this.  Why are we so impressed by nature’s balance only when it is outside of our own bodies?

We admire and protect the impressive equilibrium of eco systems including mountains, polar bears, turtles, rivers, yet we don’t respect the beautiful balance of our own bodies.

Obesity causes disease.

But obesity is a disease?

I guess the scientists can argue about this.

I live in the real world with real people struggling with real weight problems, whether it is 5 pounds or 100 pounds.

Whether you want to say obesity is a disease or not, the solution is not to diet.  The solution is to reconnect with the natural regulation of your body’s weight by respecting both hunger and satiety.


Bethenny Frankl – too many food rules

bethenny frankel book 020512

I just read Bethenny’s book.

As most people who have written about how to eat, she has too many food rules, and too much judgment in her food choices.

This is important:  I am not saying to ignore nutrition completely.

I am saying that if you want white bread with butter, not olive oil on whole grain, then eat it.  It isn’t going to ruin your day or make you fat.   Stop obsessing about the “perfect” food choice.  Just eat it  (when you are truly hungry for it) and move on!

Why would you crave butter on white bread instead of olive oil on whole grain?  I don’t know.  I don’t care, either. I just know that sometimes I crave it and even though I also love olive oil on whole  grain baguette, sometimes I want bread and butter.

My body is complicated and is responding to a whole bunch of variables:  how much I did that day, if I am dehydrated, if I was out late, if I slept a lot and am rested, etc., etc.  It is much better for me to let my body guide me than to try to use my brain to guess what I may need.

For instance, sometimes I eat cilantro and I can just taste that my whole body is celebrating.  I just think there is something in that that I really need.  I am not going to waste a bunch of time or energy figuring that out.  I trust myself.  And when I crave it, I eat it and it is great.

You may hate cilantro-  I know a lot of people do.  You are different than me.  That is really a wonderful thing.  Listen to what your own body is telling you.

Food rules like the ones that Bethenny uses keep you obsessed and disconnected from the greatest wisdom you hold- your instinct of what to eat and when.  I saw her photo recently and she is “un-naturally thin.”  I hold that as evidence that she is obsessed.

I don’t mean to be critical, but I am just calling it like I see it.  And, in case you are saying, well I want to be that thin, here is my answer.   Eating with a thin mentality will get you thin.  It will not get you weirdly thin.  It will not get you super model stick leg thin.  It will get you beautifully thin.

If you want to be that thin, you are going to have to fight your body all the way.  And if you make a million dollars a year on being a weirdly thin model, it may be worth it to you.?

But to be nicely thin, and healthy, a thin mentality works just fine.  And you will be happy and enjoy food-  a fabulous pleasure.

I just felt my first hunger pang of the day.  And my only thought is, “Well sometime soon I will eat something wonderful.”  And then I have some fun thinking of what that might be,  And when I get to stage two hunger-  probably in about an hour, or hour and a half,  I will eat.  And I will stop when it isn’t wonderful anymore.


Saving Calories Doesn’t Fool Your Body

LeanCuisine-007So eat a Lean Cuisine and you will save 200 calories?

True, if you eat a low calorie meal, you will have consumed less calories.  But what does that really mean?

If you eat 300 calories for dinner your body will process that, and your body will react to that amount of calories.  It will get hungry sooner.

(Unless you are on a really low calorie diet where you lose hunger because you are eating so little.  Of course the minute you eat normally, your hunger will come ROARING back.  That coupled with your lowered metabolism will cause rapid weight gain)

But back to “saving calories.”

As soon as you start counting calories or “points,” your brain is telling your body what to eat.  But, you are way better off having your body tell your brain what you should eat.

When you are hungry, listen to what your body is asking for.  Then provide it.

Do this at stage 2 hunger- when you are hungry but still feel good.  Stage 3, in case you haven’t read earlier blogs, is when you are desperately hungry.   You will make desperate decisions there.  Eat before you get this hungry.  Stage one is when your body sends the first hunger signals- just a “warning light.”  (more on all of this in my book)

So, stay in the present when you eat.  Don’t “save” calories for later if your body is hungry for them now.

I know I used to think, wow, if I eat this now, I will only have 500 calories left for the rest of the day.  But you know what? If you eat according to hunger, you never have to worry about that.  And I can tell you, that if I eat more in the day because of hunger, I am surprised by how little I need later.  I am not being “good.”  It is just that since I took care of my hunger during the day, my body is not driving me to eat a lot at night.  No more roaming the kitchen looking for a little something!!


How To Measure Your Progress

weigh-loss-lose-pantsWeighing yourself to measure progress can be tricky.  It can act as a motive to eat whether you lose or gain.  If you lose, then you may be tempted to “reward” yourself.  If you gain, you will lose faith and think about giving up.

And remember that your body weight can fluctuate quite substantially – 3 pounds or more, depending on your hydration, hormones etc.  So you may be down a couple of pounds and your timing on weighing yourself was bad!

So although I understand that you want to weigh yourself, I recommend using something besides the scale to measure your size-  how your pants fit?  Tape measure?

But as you are developing your thin mentality, remember that the first thing that happens is that your brain gets thin.  This may take a while.  Once your brain regains its connection to your body- and you start hearing your hunger and satiety cues really loudly, you can then use your thin mentality to lose weight.

And during this the only thing you need to focus on is hearing your hunger and “Enough” signals.  You will make mistakes!  Of course.  But that is part of the process:  to learn to listen, learn what you truly love to eat,  and ignore everyone else’s advice and trust your body.  (If you don’t, who will?)

You will start to understand your hunger and not fear it.  You will look forward to being hungry.  You will relax and know that you will not eat an entire box of cookies.  You will begin to trust yourself.

And then, you can say to yourself, “I know my hunger, I know what foods I like.  I am going to eat until I am not hungry anymore, and then I am going to stop, knowing that my body isn’t asking for more.  By just satisfying my hunger, I will not overload myself ever, and slowly, my body will shed weight.  It will be permanent, non-traumatic to my body, and as I do so, I will enjoy eating more than I ever have because it will be in harmony with what I crave and hunger for.”

This is slow, folks.  But as I said in my Facebook post today-  what other choice do you have?  If you are looking for a quick fix, please let me remind you:  you will lose weight and gain it back and have to start all over.

It may help you to keep some notes on your hunger cycles.  Writing may help you learn about yourself faster and notice what kinds of foods satisfy you and how much food it takes to quiet your hunger.  NOthing fancy here, just maybe scribble a few thoughts and read then on another day when you need a little push.

My best advice is to stay connected with your thin mentality by:

  • visiting this site or other sites like this
  • read a couple of pages of the blog or my book or other similar messaged books
  • go on Facebook and read comments (and post them!! thanks!)
  • go on Youtube and watch videos that I have put up
  • in short- stay connected with your long term goal of being happy and thin, not obsessed, unhappy and overweight.

In case you are wondering why I am motivated to help you, here it is:  I worked for Nutrisystem and sold a lot of programs.  I saw smart, fabulous people work really hard to lose weight and then gain it back and be so depressed.  I too lost and gained and lost and gained and lost and gained and lost and gained etc., etc., etc.  I wasted a lot of my life on the absolutely flawed paradigm of dieting.  I honestly want to help you see the light.  My life is so so so much better without dieting.  I wish that I had someone help me discover this.  I am here to help you.

Liz, from Facebook posted this article-  it is great and may help motivate you.  It is long, just read a little and save it and read more later. !!  (and thanks again Liz)–_and_what_to_do_about_it

Let me know how you are doing!!
email me, post comments on this blog (you can use a fake name!) or visit Facebook

Take care and “see the light!!”  🙂


Learning How To Recognize True Hunger- Answer to an email


Dear Diet Weary Friend,

Your reaction is completely normal.  Of course you are struggling with recognizing true hunger!

For years you have been taught to ignore your body and eat according to some magic food rules.  It is so interesting how ingrained this is in our society.   And we listen because people value thinness so much that they throw common sense out the window in an effort to get thin.

But diets don’t get you thin-  and I am glad you realize that.  That is the first necessary step.

So now you are onto the second step: learning to eat in response to hunger.

If you have been a dieter, you are well aware of calorie counts.  It is hard to “turn off” you internal calorie counter.  And it is hard to view food in a neutral light- not bad, not good.

What you must remember is this:  you will get better at this as time goes on.  Don’t be too hard on yourself.  Every time you have a small victory (you eat when you are hungry and you stop when you have had enough) you will get stronger and stronger.

You will get better and better at knowing if you stopped eating at the appropriate time for you.

It is actually a really interesting journey.  It is enjoyable to learn about yourself in this way.  Your food preferences and cravings and hunger are unique to you.  They are part of you.   And getting to know how your body expresses hunger, what kinds of food answer it best, etc., is honestly (I know this sounds weird) kind of fun.

I also understand that it is scary.  Why?  Because we want to be thin and we are “afraid” of our own inner voice-  we think it will make us eat tons of food.  But you have binged in the past, not in spite of dieting, but BECAUSE of dieting.

Dieting sets you up to have a backlash.  I know you know the feeling- your email states it-  you are “good” for weeks but then have an overwhelming urge to eat a bunch of candy or whatever.

Your body will never do that to you (crave a bunch of junk)  if you don’t put it on a diet.

Your only job is to quiet your brain and listen to your body.  You will not gain weight by eating when you are hungry.

As you learn to trust that you can take care of your hunger without a bunch of food rules, you will feel in control and capable of leaving food on your plate, getting picky about what you consume (“thin” people never eat something that they don’t like-  for example, a stale old cookie from the pantry…) and being respectful of what your body is telling you.

You will learn that there is NO JOY in over eating, I promise.

Remember that this is a day by day kind of progress.  But, unlike dieting, the progress is forward, not backward!

Be too smart to allow that diet mentality to trap you.  It is a trap, funded with billions and billions of dollars from the diet industry.

I am so glad your friend shared my message with you.  I am hoping to reach as many people as possible.

I know there is a lot of suffering in the world, and that worrying about food and weight loss may seem trivial to some.

But suffering from a diet mentality is a miserable condition!  I know, I had one for decades.  I am dedicated to help others free themselves too.

You must reinforce your new perspective everyday.  I tweet at least once a day-  if you find that a convenient way to get a little reinforcement, follow me!  @megmeranus.

Also, I don’t want to pull a sales routine on you- but I do have a book available on my site and also a Kindle version.  I simply try to cover my costs with it-  and give people a place to get a whole lot of info at once.

It was great to hear from you.  Take Care

(my response got so long, I think I will put it – just my response- on my blog.


Dancing around the word diet

marie oThe recent commercials for Nutrisystem feature Marie Osmond saying that she is on Nutrisystem and she isn’t dieting.  Jennifer Hudson is doing the same thing on Weight Watchers.

Folks, you can avoid the “D” word all you want.  When you are eating prescribed food without respect to your body’s voice, you are dieting.  And dieting is a short term fix.

Now, if some company paid you millions of dollars to you to stay on their diet, maybe the trade off would be worth it!   Maybe having a stressful relationship with food, not eating what you love, unless you check in your rule book first to see if you’ve “earned” a piece of chocolate,  and constantly jumping on the scale to see “where you are” would be okay because your bank account would be fat??  Maybe losing and gaining would be acceptable?

(Remember all the endorsers who have rapidly gained back weight???)
But, if you are not a celebrity paid endorser, think really hard about what WW and Nutrisystem ask you to do.  They ask you to disregard your body and follow their rules.

And they ask you to pay for their rules.  And they ask you to pay for their special foods.  And the reward is that you lose weight short term, and gain it back, plus more.

See the recent blog on the real story about Weight Watchers (Dated Feb 2)

So let them dance around in their tight pants. They are dancing around the word Diet and they are making big money off of these ads.  And they are promoting a diet mentality.  And you are too smart for that.

You are seeking long term thinness.  You are seeking to enjoy one of the greatest pleasures on earth without guilt.  You are seeking to a life that doesn’t include daily frustration and angst over food choices and fear of the food you love.

You are building your thin mentality.   One question:  Are you hungry?  Nothing else matters.


Bonuses Based on Dollars Made Not Pounds Lost


I received an email from a Facebook fan who has lost a nice amount of weight since last spring and feels very happy to have gotten rid of her diet mentality.  But she is smart and knows that she needs to constantly reinforce her thin mentality because diet companies are relentless in their messaging.

The following is her email:

Saw a great programme on in the UK yesterday. It’s was an investigation into weight watchers and their products. Basic gist of the programme was:

*compared weight watchers products with similar regular products and weight watchers were more expensive and either more points than the normal similar product or there was a lot less in the weight watcher products!

*weight watcher staff that hold the meetings get paid in relation to how many people in the class and how many products they sell not on how much weight people lose!

*they compared a weight watchers ice cream with a regular ice cream, the regular had 4 ingredients the WW had over 14 many the presenter couldn’t pronounce!

*they interviewed a member who had been there a year. She was 4lb lighter than the day she started 12months prior. They worked out that it had cost her £101 per 1lb lost! She was devastated.

Very interesting programme, made me feel good.

I really appreciate that she sent this to me.  It is great to see people learning to call out the diet industry.

Focus on building your thin mentality.  I should say re-building, because you WERE born with one.

But the hundreds of thousands of ads you see for diets (like the newly thin celebrities dancing around in the weight watchers commercials) have made you believe that diets are the way to thinness.

NOPE!  Diets make you dieter for the rest of your life.  Ugh, how awful.

But, learning to behave like a thin person is the way to be thin for the rest of your life.  And naturally thin people do not diet. They eat when they are hungry and can’t understand why you would shove food down when you are not.

Do you scratch your arm when it doesn’t itch?  Not very rewarding.

When you know you can always eat when you are hungry, turning down food when you are not is not hard.  Just look at your plate and say, yes I can eat all of this.  As soon as I am hungry.  Then put it away nicely, and as soon as you are hungry, enjoy!

Folks, wait for hunger, Delay, not Deny.  You can do it, one meal at a time.


Hunger and fatigue

0040-Lin-Chi-When-hungry-eat-your-rice-when-tired-close-your-eyes-quoteIn my book I talk about 14 strategies of behaving like a thin person.   One of the strategies is learning to interpret hunger versus fatigue.

When you are tired, it is much, much harder to interpret your body’s hunger and satiety signals.  So, give yourself the benefit of getting the rest you need while you are trying to develop your thin mentality.

Think about it.  Everything is harder when you are tired, right?  Even though I have lived with a thin mentality for over 10 years, I notice that when I am tired I have a harder time discerning what to eat.

Of course that is natural and normal.

What do I do when this happens?

I remind myself that getting the rest I need makes my life, including eating, way better.  And, I figure out a way to catch up on my rest.

Please don’t tell yourself that you just can’t find the time you need to rest or sleep.  Make it a priority.  Getting your body to a healthy, thin state requires eating and sleeping in response and in harmony with your body’s needs.

So simple and common sense.  But we try to make it more complicated.

I have learned not to over schedule myself.  I am more valuable to those around me if I am in touch with what I need to do and feel my best.  And this kind of self-care goes a long way toward keeping me thin and feeling good.

So- bottom line:  in order to stay in touch with your hunger and satiety and cravings, make sure your body is in good form-  and that means rested.  Life is better when you aren’t tired, and when you eat what you want when you are hungry.  🙂