close
Archive for: May, 2015
May
28

Lose Weight, Regain the Joy of Eating

young-prairie-dogs-eating

If you are hungry, and eat what you think “should” be enough, but you are still hungry, then your body is telling you to eat more, isn’t it?  Listen to your body and put judgments aside.  Remember all that matters is your voice.  Your body.  In this present moment.  But do not engage in  “deal-making” or conversations like, “If I eat this then I won’t eat that bla bla bla!!”

Really look forward to being hungry. It is great. It is a gift that we can get hungry, and then we get to eat! How fun is that?

We have lost this joy and that is so so sad.  Instead we shove food down in guilt or behind closed doors and then suffer thru under eating later to counteract the overeating.  What a viscous and unhealthy cycle, don’t you agree?

So just remain calm and connected to your body and your body’s signals. It takes time to reacquaint yourself with the cravings and hunger and satiety that you have been trained to ignore !  Give yourself a chance. And remember not to fear hunger.  Learn to satisfy your hunger in the most pleasing way for you. When you understand that hunger is an opportunity and not a problem you will be well on your way to your thin mentality.  Hunger is great. Use it to connect with yourself.

And remember, not eating when you ARE hungry is just as harmful as eating when you are NOT hungry.  Both disconnect you from your body.  Where/when does weight loss occur?  When you learn to keep yourself happily in that neutral space- where when you get hungry you eat enough to quell hunger, but not enough to feel “full.”  

Full is when your body is screaming at you to stop eating.  Don’t make your body scream at you!!!  Respect your body’s calm, “I am not hungry anymore,” and stop eating then.  

If you think that is too hard for you, you are over-worrying.  I promise.  I was worried too.  But the thing is that when you can eat whenever you are hungry, you will stop worrying and calm down.  Dieting has made you fear hunger.  Hunger stinks.  It ruins your day.  Skate in that happy neutral zone and you will feel good, and lose weight.  So normal, so reasonable.  So effective.

How much food will that take for you?  Don’t worry or judge.  Listen to your body.  It will tell you. And as always, think Progress Not Perfection!!

May
26

Thank you, Veterans, For Our Freedom

memorial

It is Memorial Day weekend here in the United States-  A great weekend where we take time out to thank and remember those who served in the military.   They fought for freedom.

I love being free.  I love being free from diets too.  I want you to be free as well.  Today when you eat, make sure that you earn that freedom by eating when you are hungry, and stopping when you the hunger isn’t talking to you anymore.

Overeating because you are at a party, or a cookout or a Memorial Day picnic is a betrayal of your body.  Just delay eating until you are hungry.  Then enjoy.

Remember, eating when you are not hungry is just a habit.  And a habit can be broken, and replaced with a great one:  eating in response to hunger.   This habit works with your body, not against it.

It is really fun, I promise.  So much more fun than eating in response to some diet rules.  Just wait for your hunger to call you.  And then, when it is quiet, stop eating.  There will be no backlash from eating like this.  Your body will be satisfied, and learn to trust you again-  you will never deny yourself food when you are truly hungry.  That is what dieting does, and that is why you gain it back…

May
20

Nutrition is important, but…

sliders 600

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.

May
19

Walking through the “Landmines” at the Grocery Store

Blurry_Grocery_Store_Photo-480x320

Really?  Is that how we should look at grocery shopping?

Not to guilt trip us too much, but I am betting there are about a billion people from poor countries who would view walking through our grocery stores as quite the opposite…

Yet, this morning I saw this guy on TV explaining that the way to get fit and lean was to learn how to dodge all the “land mines” at the grocery store.  Ugh.  A true diet mentality in all its misery.

Listen, Eating is supposed to be pleasurable.  And yet we have turned it into a heart breaking exercise in frustration.

Stop listening to those talking heads on TV.  Stop ignoring what your body is trying to tell you.  Stop dieting!  Stop thinking there is some magic food combination that will “save” you.

Instead, open your mind to the possibility that we have it all wrong.  That all those TV shows and advertisements that promote dieting are just trying to fill air time with something they know you are desperately trying to figure out.

That desperation is leading you to turn off your common sense.

That includes hyper focusing on nutrition and “magic” solutions instead of focusing on a long term solution to your yo yo dieting.  Every time  I turn on the TV there is some diet guru with the latest and greatest protein shake, vegomatic drink or diet rule that will cure you!  Are you kidding me?

When you eat with respect to your own hunger, satiety and cravings, you will eat appropriately for you.  Your choices will respect your unique needs, your unique day, and your unique preferences.  And eating appropriately for your body is the path to being at your appropriate body weight.

How bizarre!  Really?  Do you think that that “expert” on TV knows what your body needs more than your own body does?  That is ridiculous.

But of course you haven’t listened to your own voice in so long, it’s barely a whisper.  But when you start listening, it will get louder and louder and you will feel stronger, and stronger.

It is a huge transition.  You won’t believe that you can go to a grocery store and instead of seeing “landmines” everywhere you see our grocery stores as a person from a poor country might-  not as a scary place that will bust your diet, but as a wonderful resource and opportunity for pleasure and satisfaction.

The key?

Save eating for when you are hungry.  Eat exactly what you want.  Stop when you don’t feel hunger anymore, (notice that is different than being full), and then move on with your day knowing that as soon as you are hungry again, a great pleasure awaits you…

Yes, it is a huge perspective shift.  But it is SO much easier than yo-yo dieting for the rest of your life.

May
17

Thin Mentality and Exercise

animal on wheel 600

Do everything you can to make exercise nice for you.  Do not beat yourself up. Do not berate yourself.

I make my workout joyful.  I don’t count reps, I just turn on music and do some weight lifting.  I say to myself, “Okay, do squats for this song.”  I listen to a song I love and start the move.  If I am miserable because it ended up being too long of a song, I stop.  I might stretch a little while the song finishes, or I may just sing along or whatever.

I don’t workout to the point of misery because I want to workout for the rest of my life.  And I know my human nature, which I value, will rebel against that misery and I won’t want to workout at all anymore.  So, instead of punishing myself, I congratulate myself for working out.

And some days, I feel stronger than others-  don’t you?  So why would I predetermine reps?  I workout with weights a couple of times a week and every time I do, I go with the attitude of- work hard, but not so hard that I am unhappy.

I taught aerobics and spinning for 15 years-  I understand the value of working out and pushing yourself, so don’t get me wrong.  I just noticed that those who work out at reasonable levels work out consistently.  Those who go crazy working out, burn out.

May
9

Fourteen Strategies from My Book

one step at a time.In an effort to help you develop your “thin mentality” I came up with fourteen strategies.  I write about them in my book.  But honestly, I know some people aren’t readers.   Over the next few weeks,  I am going to post a video on each strategy.

Here is the list of strategies:
  1. Promise you will never diet again
  2. Reacquaint yourself with hunger
  3. Stop fearing hunger
  4. Learn to respond to being hungry
  5. Stay in the moment
  6. Actively reconnect with your body
  7. Accept your body type
  8. Remember what your real choices are
  9. Stop weighing yourself
  10. Re-Examine nutrition
  11. Understand a thin mentality is cheaper than dieting
  12. Enjoy sports versus exercise
  13. Avoid a common confusion:  hungry or tired
  14. Statements I keep in mind
As you develop your thin mentality, you will come up with more strategies that work for you.
That is the beauty of developing  your thin mentality: your ability to eat in response to your unique situation.  And that situation includes your hunger, your likes, your dislikes, your schedule, and your activity level.
So, I can give you strategies, food choices and schedules that work for me.  And I think these examples are helpful.
But you will enjoy figuring out not only works for you, but what is most enjoyable for you.  Yes, you are on a quest to figure out the most joyful way for you to take care of your hunger.  It is a good “assignment.”
While you are getting good at this, follow one rule above all others:  eat when you are hungry.  Period.  And that means stopping when you aren’t hungry anymore.
As long as you follow that, you will be fine.  And you will get better and better at taking care of yourself, your hunger, in the most satisfying, convenient way.
For example, you may learn that you are never hungry at breakfast, but at eleven you are frequently really hungry for something high in protein.   So, you figure out a way to take care of that, and thereby, take care of yourself, and your biological urge to eat protein at 11 am.  How could that be wrong?
Oh, so your friend says, “Oh my diet says to eat by 8 am to avoid being hungry later in the morning.”  Why is it bad to be hungry later in the morning?  Why would you eat to “avoid” hunger?
Wait for hunger.  Eating is more fun that way.  (I am not talking about what I call Stage III hunger, where you are so hungry you are miserable.  I am talking about good hunger, where you still feel okay, but are definitely hungry!)
But remember to pay attention to yourself!  Just because you are usually hungry at 11 for protein, doesn’t mean you will Always be.  So everyday, check in with yourself and make sure you are not eating out of habit, but out of a true need.
May
9

No Pill Necessary

pill_bottle_and_pills

Have you ever thought how fantastic it would be to be able take a pill and to eat whatever you want?

I used to think that.

Now, I don’t need a pill and I eat whatever I want.

Yes, and you can too.

This is how it happens:

First-  you go through a stage of disbelief that you can eat whatever food you want.  You go through the grocery store going up and down every aisle, putting things in your cart that you had sworn off for years, or decades.  You don’t look at labels.  You go out to dinner and look at the whole menu.  You just can’t believe that you are free.

In this stage you must focus on one “rule” only:  Eat whatever you want when you are hungry.  You delay eating until you are hungry.  Not putting food into your body, when you are not hungry, is the “cost” you pay for eating whatever you want when you ARE hungry.

It seems weird at first.  And that it seems weird, is, actually, the weird thing.  It is so so so NORMAL!!

You don’t trust this at first.  But eventually, you do.  You start to hear your body.  You don’t fear hunger, because being hungry is great.  That is when you get to eat.  You start to WANT to wait for hunger to eat because it is much more satisfactory and it makes you feel powerful.

And, please know this:  Your food choices evolve over time.

You used to think that you would only eat cupcakes if you could.  But, after you have been “free” for a while, and you are good at listening, you realize that while cupcakes are great when you crave them, cupcakes are not great when you are craving meat, or fruit or vegetables.

And guess what?  You will crave a wide variety of foods.  And you will learn how quickly your body is satisfied.  You will get to know your hunger and what takes care of it the best for you.  And you will feel how harmonious and delightful it is to truly enjoy what you crave, eat enough to feel completely good, and then get on with your life.

Eating does not need to this big exercise in aggravation, angst and restriction mixed with bingeing!!

If you saw a week’s worth of food that I eat as a thin mentality person, you would see a huge variety.  You would see food from every food group.  And you would see that I eat plenty of nutritious food.  And you would see a big smile on my face because I got to eat what my smart body wanted.  And if you asked me, “Don’t you wish you could have had more of this or that?” I would say, “No.”  There is ZERO desire for more.

Are you thinking, “She is just one of those people who doesn’t love food?”  You are WRONG.  I love food, I look forward to it.  I take care of myself with the food I love.  But at this point in my thin mentality, if you “made” me eat something when I wasn’t hungry, I would be mad.

Building your thin mentality takes time.  You have a lot of diet training to get out of your mind.
It takes being willing to go after long-term success, when others around you are going on quick fix diets.  But when they gain it back, and live in fear of the food they love, you will know that you have it right.

May
3

Everyone I Know Has Lost 100 Pounds

black-woman-looking-in-mirror

I have lost at least 100 pounds in my life.

No, not all at once.

But I have lost 10 pounds 10 times.

Have you?

Honestly, just about every woman I know has done this-

Okay my friends and I may be a bit older than you – but given enough time, and a diet mentality, I would venture to say that many, many women (and men!) have lost 100 pounds…

Losing it, of course, is not the issue.  Losing it is exciting, short term, creates “high fives” from admirers as you walk down the hall as your thinner self.

Keeping it off is the issue.

But the way we have been taught to lose it makes  keeping it off difficult, if not impossible.  The only people I know who have dieted and kept weight off, do so by continuing to diet.  That isn’t maintenance.  That is a long-term diet.

As I write, I picture you, my fellow ex-dieters out in the world where dieting is King.  I picture you being pressured by friends, your parents, your spouse and the diet industry.

And I want to make sure you hear my voice saying “NO!”  Stay connected to your thin mentality.

·      It isn’t quick, but it is permanent

·      It isn’t on TV, but you can access it here or on FaceBook for reinforcement anytime you need- or on Twitter.

·      It might earn you stares as you order food you want, instead of a salad and diet coke- Stare back at em!!

Eat what you love, when you are hungry.  Leave food behind, or bring it with you when your hunger is quiet.  Eating half a cheeseburger and 10 french fries is not “bad,” if that is what you crave.

Eating a salad and chemically diet coke when your body is asking for protein is silly.

Have a great day.   Peace!!

(Some day, future generations will look back on dieting and wonder why we all couldn’t see that it doesn’t work)