Archive for: October, 2015

The Fun Part- Learning what you really like

twinkYou have been told your whole life that you can’t trust your body to guide your food choices.  You probably think that if you were given free reign, you would eat junk all day. You believe this  because of your diet mentality.

But once you free yourself from your diet mentality, you see food in an entirely different light.

When I used to go “off” my diet, I would eat twinkies or whatever junk food I had around the house.  I thought I loved all that stuff.

Now, I would never ‘waste” my hunger on something like that.  When I am hungry for something sweet and wonderful, I go get it.  I don’t quickly pop some packaged, over processed kids food in my mouth.

Thin people are picky about what they eat.  They feel entitled to eat delicious food when they are hungry for it.  They don’t sneak off and grab something and shove it down.  They “own” that they want to eat something sweet and then they take care to get something that will deliciously satisfy them.

As you ditch your diet mentality and learn to think and behave like a thin person, you will be surprised how enjoyable it is to discover your true food preferences.

I used to think I loved diet coke, steamed carrots, and tilapia.  Yuck, Yuck and yuck.  I also thought I liked kid style junk food.  I don’t.  Now that I can have whatever I want, I am picky.

That old adage, “the forbidden fruit is so much sweeter” is so true.

Take away the “good” food and “bad” food mentality and it all becomes neutral.  The formerly “bad” food becomes powerless.  You can take a look at your food choices and really listen to what your body needs and is craving.  And, again, believe it or not, you will crave all kinds of food, including vegetables, meat, fruit, desserts, etc.

Your food preferences part of you. Enjoy learning what you truly like.


Tons of Cardio Is Less Effective Than Developing Thin Mentality


From my experience as a fitness instructor, spinning instructor, and moderate weight lifter, the way to most efficiently lose weight and keep it off is NOT  to do cardio five times a week.  The way to lose weight and to keep it off is to develop your thin mentality:

Eat in response to hunger.

Do not eat in the absence of hunger.

Here is why this is more effective:

A small snack (300 calories) can fuel me for a good 30 minutes of intense cardio.  So if I run 3 miles on a treadmill, and I eat one 300 calorie snack to give me energy,  I am back to square one in terms of calorie burning.

Believe me,  back when I was a dieter I would use exercise as a way to allow myself to eat more.  It took me a while to realize that the more cardio I did, the hungrier I was and the more food I would want.  So I was caught in a cycle where I used exercise to burn more calories,  but that exercise made it harder for me to not eat.  So again, I would end up back at square one.

With my thin mentality firmly in place, this is how exercise and eating are related:

  • I do not use exercise to eat more. I eat when I am hungry, period, without thinking about past or future exercise.
  • I do less cardio than I used to.  On average, I play doubles tennis twice a week, do very moderate weight lifting once a week and yoga two times a week.  Now that is plenty of activity, but for you diet mentality people out there, I know that you are saying, geez, no grueling treadmill? No long runs?  And the answer is no.  And I am in better shape because I understand that cardio doesn’t build muscle like moderate weight lifting.  I don’t eat “preventatively” and I don’t waste time slamming my joints doing extra cardio so I can eat an extra 300 calories.
  • I enjoy my exercise more.  All these activities are all things that I ENJOY.  And if I feel too tired one day, I don’t push myself.  I listen to my body and respect that my body’s signals are valid.  Just last week I didn’t feel up to lifting weights.  And the next day, I had a full blown cold.  So my smart body was trying to tell me to lay off because I would need my strength.  This isn’t magic.  This is a healthy person with a thin mentality listening to her body. I trust myself.  I know that I am not just trying to get out of exercise.

So as you are developing thin mentality, please learn to trust your body and:

  1. Do not  use exercise as a punishment for over eating.
  2. Do not use eating as a reward for working out
  3. Do not eat preventatively.  If you are hungry, eat.  If you are worried about getting hungry and not being able to eat, pack a small snack.  No big deal.
  4. Realize that you probably need less food than you think, but this isn’t scary when you understand that you never have to ignore hunger.  Dieting has made you fear this.

And also, more globally speaking, remember how lucky we are to have food available.  Let’s stop making eating and weight loss a huge negative stressor in our lives.  I have escaped this.  It is beautiful.  I want this for all of you too.




Example of Thin Mentality Eating


Last night, I noticed I was hungry- pang, not pain- and anticipated that I would eat something wonderful before I went to bed.
Here is what happened.  I waited a bit to make sure I was hungry, and then I realized I was, and that I wanted something cold, salty and crunchy.
I ate a pickle.
As a dieter, I would have been so happy-  “Wow, I was hungry and got away with just eating a 10 calorie pickle.”
But I want to explain to you that that kind of thinking is no good!
As  thin mentality person, you don’t have that kind of judgment.  It didn’t matter to me how many calories it was  It was what my body got excited about eating when I gave myself some choices as I looked in the fridge.
I wasn’t being “good.”  I was being “relevant.”  By that I mean that I ate what my body wanted- so what I ate was “relevant” to my instincts.
And that is what matters.
I am not telling you to eat a pickle before bed! Ha!!   I don’t remember the last time a pickle was what I wanted.
But just keep your mind open to listen to your body.  Don’t try to talk your body into wanting ice cream before bed because you “think” that would be nice.
If your body physically craves it: fine.  Otherwise…
I promise, you can do this.  I know, as a dieter, you are skeptical.
But what I am advocating is actually really normal.   The diet industry and all of its relentless messaging has worked very hard to make us believe that this isn’t normal.
Again, thankfully, it is.

Response To Facebook Comment on Exercise

xfatrushThis blog is in response to a post of Facebook.

The question was how does exercise fit into a thin mentality.

Just as the diet industry has taught us to seek quick fixes or radical programs for weight loss, the fitness industry has done the same regarding exercise.

I’m sure you have seen the P90X infomercials, and the types of regimens that “Jillian” and the biggest loser recommend.  They are extreme and non sustainable.

Here is what I know.

I taught aerobics, spinning and step aerobics for decades and I was a personal trainer.  And the people who were in the best shape over the long haul were slow and steady like the tortoise.   They weren’t obsessed by fitness, they didn’t “punish” themselves with exercise.

They had a nice routine that they enjoyed, that worked into their life.  Their commitment to fitness was reasonable, and generally included a “sport,” like tennis or racket ball or basketball, volleyball, skating etc.

And working out was not so they could “eat more.”

Realize that when you rack up hours on a treadmill, Mother Nature makes you hungrier.  So working out is good for endurance and to be in shape.  But realize:

You are not fooling your body.  When you work out more, you will be hungrier.

So don’t work out with the goal to eat more.  Work out because it feels good and your body wants to move.

Work out or do a sport that leaves you feeling good, and wanting more.

So you think that isn’t enough?

Just like yo-yo dieting is harmful to your body, so is yo-yo exercise.

It is far more beneficial to do moderate exercise two times a week than to be a stud and work out like crazy for a year, only to do burn out and ditch your routine altogether for the next year.  And yes, that happens all the time.

I am also a big believer in moderate weight lifting because it keeps you strong.   I am not talking about anything heroic here.  A little very moderate weight lifting a couple of times a week is, from my experience, very beneficial.

But, just like with food preferences, we are all different.  What works for me may not work for you.

Find what kind of movement your body responds to, what you enjoy.  And gently fit it into your life.

Obviously, if you are a pro athlete, training for a marathon, or in boot camp with the military, your situation is different.  Your body is under extreme pressure to perform at a high capacity.  Your thin mentality will be there for you craving high protein food to get you through.

That is the beauty of listening to your body.


Loud Applause As You Lose weight, Silence As You Gain It Back


People talk about weight loss.  They explain how the Paleo diet feels right to them.  They talk about how pre-packaged meals from NutriSystem take all the guess work out.  They tell you how the hospital-based protein diet is making them lose weight quickly.  And since most of us are nice, we cheer on their success.  We tell them how great they look and how strong they are with such good will power.

And then, when the excitement of losing weight quickly has worn off, and they are trying to maintain the weight loss, reality sets in. That diet that they once thought was something they could do long-term, all of the sudden seems pretty tough.  They allow themselves a little “break” and go “off the wagon.”  They open the door a little but, but that crack leads to the flood gates opening. And they start gaining all of that weight back.

Yes, they do, most of the time- like 95%.  (Haven’t you been there??) And if they don’t gain it back it is because they continue to diet.  Again, diets don’t make you thin, they make you a dieter.

But as our friends, relatives, and co-workers gain back weight, the silence is deafening.  No one wants to say, “Hey it looks like you are just about back to where you started, or even a little heavier…”  Right?  Because we are not cruel.  But the result of this is that when people lose weight it is highly “publicized.”  People go home from work and tell others about this group of nurses who are all dieting together and losing weight.  But when they all gain it back, that information isn’t re-told nearly as much.   Why?  Because people are looking for a success story, to spur them on, and a story of disappointment isn’t what they need.

So the myth that diets work continues to grow.  Yes, diets, just about any diet, will cause you to lose weight.

But that short term assault on your body, that disconnects you from your natural instinct to eat and NOT to eat  leaves you damaged, for months, if not years.

Your body will not forget that two week diet where you ate carrots and chicken and water.  Your body will not forget that you shunned fat for a whole summer.  Your body will not forget that you shoved protein down on that Paleo diet when your body wanted some bread.

And that means that when you start to eat normally, even a reasonable calorie intake, you will gain weight.  Haven’t you been there?  I remember eating grapefruit,  and salads for two weeks and losing 12 pounds.  In one weekend I gained 8 back.  By the end of that week it was all back. I did this many times, and rapidly embedded a diet mentality deep into my soul.

Have you?

Day by day, ditch  that diet mentality that is based on the myth that dieting makes you thin.   Replace it with a healthy, normal thin mentality by reconnecting with hunger as the ONLY valid reason to eat.   And as hunger dissipates,  stop eating, with the happy knowledge that as soon as your perfect body asks for food again by sending you true hunger signals, you may enjoy another delicious eating opportunity.  Really, what more could we want?



Examples of a Diet Mentality


I was talking about this website to a group of friends last night and I want to address some of the comments they made.

One objection I heard was that if you want to be thin, you need to budget your calories.  For instance, my friend said the if she knows she is going to eat a big dinner, she saves calories at lunch.

If you are the type of person who thinks like this, you are using a diet mentality to manage your weight.  Think about what budgeting your calories means.  It means you live by a rule book that requires you to ignore signals from your own body.  Your body is smarter and more dynamic that any rule book .  Some days you need more calories than others.  And some days you need less.  Some days your body will crave watery fruit.  Some days your body will want a lot of protein.  And budgeting your calories trains you to ignore your body.  And, you create a backlash that eventually will cause you to binge.

Living and using a “thin mentality” looks like this:

At 1 pm, let’s say, the “thin mentality” person realizes they are hungry.  They do not think about the future or the past.  It does not matter what or if they had breakfast or if they have a fancy dinner plans.  They eat to satisfy hunger in that moment.   He or she selects or makes something they like and eats it, and then moves on.   They do not eat based on a future or past event.  Then, if they are going out for a special dinner, they live in that present moment as well.  So how do they go to that big fancy dinner and not overeat?

The “thin mentality” person never overeats because there is NO PLEASURE in that. When you really promise yourself that you will never diet again, your whole approach and attitude to food changes.  You realize that the big fancy dinner is a wonderful opportunity to have bites of things that aren’t always available, to try new things, to choose exactly what you want and have it beautifully served to you.  You realize that the true value of that dinner is not just the food.  It is the people, it is getting dressed in nice clothes, it is admiring the decor.  It is smelling and seeing and hearing.  The actually ingestion of food- no matter how much you actually eat, is a small percentage of time spent at a fancy dinner.

Think about it.  Actual “chew” time is pretty small, whether you eat 3000 calories, or 800.  So, instead of over eating the food at this dinner, you truly enjoy the whole experience, not just the food.  But you do enjoy the food, too.  But you eat in quantities that don’t betray your body.  You are happy and at peace the next morning.   You have no guilt or regret.  You have not surrendered your power and eaten what some book told you to eat.  You know yourself, you listen to your body’s signals, without judgment.

I know I have been at dinners and wished I was hungry so that I could eat more.  But I don’t.  Because I know that I will be hungry again soon.  So I might order a meal, and take it with me, because I know that when I get hungry, I will have something really delicious to eat.  That is living like a thin person.  Shoving food down when I am not hungry is not fun.  It is awful.  Hunger is the best sauce and every time I eat I enjoy it tremendously, and I venture to say that I enjoy eating way more than people who eat a lot more than I do, quantity wise.

Remember that every new day is chock full of more opportunities to create, or buy delicious things that you like to eat, whenever you are truly hungry.   Remember, you can eat anything you want, but you can’t eat it all every day.  And when you cultivate a thin mentality, you have no desire to eat it all every day.  It takes a while to cultivate this, because it has been trained out of you.  But it is possible to get it back.  Trust yourself that you can do this.

Come back to this website for daily reinforcement.  And read “my book” on this site to get a lot of info all at once.