close
Archive for: January, 2015
Jan
30

Every Day is Different

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

To me, one of the best things about living with a thin mentality is that every day is different.  There are no rules for weekends versus weekday eating.  There is no eating out of habit.  There is no schedule.

There is just staying in the present and experiencing every day, and every time you are hungry as an independent opportunity to enjoy a wonderful pleasure: eating.

If “dinnertime” comes and I am not hungry, no big deal.  I enjoy sitting with family or friends but I don’t shove food down because of the clock.

If you think that this is really inconvenient, think again.  Dieting is inconvenient.  Listening to your body and tucking your dinner away for later, when you are hungry, is not.

Think how this changes your perspective.

Instead of agonizing over meal choices and forcing yourself to follow rules, you allow yourself to feel and be connected to your own body.

You are the only one who can do that, right?

Isn’t that a wonderful thing?  Why do we throw that away?

I actually get a kick out of how differently I eat from day to day.  It feels very powerful to have built that connection.  I am now really good at listening to myself.  I wasn’t at first.  You probably won’t be either.

But you will.

And even though you might not be good at it at first, as long as you continue to push food away when you ARE NOT HUNGRY, you will lose weight, and you will build your thin mentality. I am just pointing out that as you get better and better at using your thin mentality, you will enjoy food more and more.

(And remember, pushing away food when you aren’t hungry is just DELAYING eating, not DENYING)

You will lose your fear and angst over the whole diet/weight loss/weight gain pre occupation.  You will be able to focus on other, more important things.

Dieting has disconnected you from your natural instincts.  Fight to get them back.

Jan
27

Reinforce habits that are in harmony with your instincts

hungry-girl-mfIt is instinctual to eat when you are hungry, right?  But dieting has taught you to eat according to diet rules instead.

Here is the good news:

The minute you start respecting your natural instinct to eat, and NOT to eat, you are reinforcing the most important habit of a thin mentality:  eating to satisfy hunger.

And this habit is more sustainable than “dieting habits” because thin mentality habits are in harmony with your instincts.

For example,  dieting teaches you to wait for the two hands of the clock to be pointing a certain way to eat.  You may get really good at waiting for that external cue.  But eventually, you crack, right?  And you overeat or disregard the clock.  You are “bad.”

But thin mentality habits are so natural, that there is much less motivation to break them.

And, over time, after you get comfortable with your thin mentality and trust yourself, I promise that eating when you aren’t hungry holds absolutely NO JOY.

You may be thinking, “oh that will never work for me.”

I didn’t think it would for me either.  I used to think that if there were no food rules, I would eat a ton of “bad” food and blow up.

NOT TRUE.

When you can eat whatever you want when you are hungry, there is no motivation to stuff yourself full of junky food.  Yes, as I wrote on Facebook the other day, I crave candy like Snickers bars.  And I really enjoy them when I do.

But I also crave salad.

At dinner last night, for whatever reason, I didn’t eat much.  I was craving light, cold food.  I had gazpacho and a small salad.  Probably very few calories.  But I wasn’t trying to “be good.”  Just as I respect my craving for a Snickers bar, I also respect my craving for a small meal of mostly vegetables.

I promise, in the past, I would have been so bummed out if I thought I would have to eat a small dinner of gazpacho and salad.  But when you are in charge of your own food choices, you have no worries.  If I had been craving a burger, I would have eaten one.  But I wasn’t.

And an important part of having a thin mentality is listening when your body asks for vegetables as well as when it asks for hardier fare.

Thin mentality habits are easy to follow because they work with your body’s instincts, not against them.

Jan
24

Are You A Nighttime Eater?

nightowllarge

You think you are being so good:

You ate a high-protein yogurt for breakfast.  You ate an apple at 11:00.  Lunch was a salad with tuna- no mayo!  Then you had a small power bar before your 5:30 boot-camp workout.  Great!  Now all you have to do is get through the rest of the night with a reasonable dinner and you will have put a great dieting day together…

Here is the problem.

Your strict adherence to a low calorie, low fat day, and your calorie-crushing boot-camp workout has left you vulnerable to nighttime eating.

This used to happen to me all the time.  I would be so frustrated because I was so good all day only to blow it at night.  You know the feeling, right?  And you blame yourself and think you are just really weak.  But you are not weak.  Your body, in fact, is strong and trying to tell you something.

You need to eat more in the day.

From my experience as a manager at Nutrisystem, as a personal trainer, and as 25-year dieter, the biggest reason people binge at night is because they are “unsatisfied” by what they ate in the day, especially if they worked out.

And the reason this happens is that dieters fear over-eating and count their calories as the day goes on. They want to save some calories to eat at dinner, when they know they will be hungry, so they eat less than they truly hunger for during the day.  This sets up a terrible cycle:

Under eating during the day, and over eating at night.

This cycle is born out of your Diet Mentality.  But your Thin Mentality is different.  You eat whenever you are hungry  without considering what time it is, or how many calories you have already eaten.  If you don’t eat when you are hungry you are not being “good,” you are disrespecting your body’s voice.  You are not keeping a tally of what you are eating.  You are, simply, listening to your body for true hunger.

This breaks that vicious under/over eating cycle that plagues dieters.  How?  Because when you have eaten with respect to your hunger during the day, your body won’t send you crazy cravings at night.  Your body is calm, nourished and not afraid that you are starving.

When I broke this cycle by building my Thin Mentality and eating in response to hunger during the day, I feared that I would be eating way too much.   But you know what?  That is not what happened at all.  When I answered true hunger when it came to me in the day, I was no longer motivated to “binge” at night.   I know that this is hard to believe.  You think you are just a “nighttime eater” or out of control or whatever.  I thought I was too.

But as it turns out, once you start reconnecting eating and hunger, your body starts to trust you again, and provide the guidance, through hunger and cravings, to the amount and variety of food you need.  Food and dieting is no longer a stressor in your life.  Food and eating is a pleasure.  As Mother Nature intended.

 

Jan
16

Don’t Stoop To Throwing Food Away!

throwing food out

Diets teach us to:

  • Throw away “bad” foods so we won’t be tempted to eat them.
  • Buy expensive portion controlled foods so we won’t be tempted to eat more than a single serving.
  • Eat vegetables and salads first so we won’t be tempted to overeat the higher calorie foods.
  • Etc., etc., etc…

Folks, I used to live like this.  I would avoid fattening situations at all costs!  Even skipping events if I thought I would be “sabotaged” by food I would not be able to resist.

But people, this is a backwards way to look at “overeating.”

Instead of building a life that keeps you from being “tempted”  to overeat, build a life, a Thin Mentality, where food has ZERO power over you.

I know that if you are new to this blog or this idea in general, that you may believe that it is not possible to gain power over food, instead of food having power over you.   When I finally realized that dieting was making me a miserable dieter, not a happy thin person, I had my doubts too.

But, when you exile all the self-talk that dieting promotes, you can replace it with a much healthier, happier, and normal approach to food and eating.

Do you really believe that Mother Nature intended eating to be such an angst-filled part of life?

We were given the sense of smell, taste, and the wonderful joy of eating when hungry as a pleasure, not as a punishment.  With time and a strong commitment to rejecting the diet industry, you can reconnect to this joy, and to your ideal weight and destress your relationship with food.

Instead of avoiding the temptation of overeating, as diets recommend, you look forward to all the wonderful opportunities we have, in our culture, to eat and to eat a wide variety of delicious foods.  Food becomes a positive, not a negative.

And you will never stoop to throwing away food because you are afraid of it.  Doesn’t that sound nice?  And by the way, isn’t that a truly sad suggestion- throw away good food??? How people starving in other countries would shake their heads at us…

Jan
11

If Diets Worked, We’d All Be Thin…

call me

Do you think putting your food on a smaller plate is going to trick your stomach?

This is one of the New Year gimmicks that always shows up.  Oh yes, to help people eat less, just give them smaller plates.  If that worked, we would all be thin.

Of course it doesn’t work because people have the beautiful gift of hunger.  I say beautiful gift because eating when you are hungry is such an extreme pleasure.  But conversely, of course, NOT eating when you are hungry is miserable.

But back to the plate.   The small plate doesn’t work because your body knows how many calories it received.  And if you don’t eat enough food to satisfy your hunger because it didn’t fit on your plate, you are not making progress.  You are simply using a very arbitrary measure (the size of a plate) to guide you.

With your thin mentality you use your unique body’s voice to guide you in what you need to eat, and how much, and when.  You no longer rely on the size of a plate, the calculations of your “fit watch,” or by calculating points.  You rely on your own hunger and your own lack of hunger to guide you.

Why has this wisdom been so discredited?

I hate to beat a dead horse, but honestly the answer is money.  Diet companies make money by convincing you that you need their expert guidance to know what to eat.  Food companies package smaller portion sizes and charge more money because they have convinced you that you can’t be trusted to know how much to eat.  Even doctors, nutritionists, personal trainers etc., make money by repeating diet advice to you.

But if diet companies, food companies and health care professionals had the answer, why would obesity be such a problem.  And not just obesity.  Why would people who successfully maintain a smaller weight loss be so rare?

You don’t need special foods.  You don’t need special scales.  You don’t need anything except to reconnect eating and hunger.  This is normal: You itch, you scratch.  You need to use the bathroom, you go.  You see something funny, you laugh.  You are sad, you cry.  You are hungry you eat.  You are not hungry, you do not eat.

Ignore those highly paid celebrities who say that some program worked for them.  THEY ARE PAID ACTORS.  They are allowed to lie.  They make millions of dollars being spokespeople.  Do  you really think that Marie Osmond eats Nutritsytem meals….?

And by the way, remember when Terry Bradshaw  (famous football player) was a spokesperson for Nutrisystem?  Have you soon recent photos of him?

Develop your thin mentality and repeat after me, “Diets do not work, and in time, make you fatter…”