close
Archive for: November, 2015
Nov
26

Response to email question

I received an email that asked how to handle it when someone you care about gives you a nice gift of food.  And if you eat the whole thing, is that OK if you were, in fact hungry.  That question actually raises some key issues, so I am copying my answer to this blog.  I hope it is helpful...

First, it is so nice that your husband was sweet and brought you a delicious treat on your birthday morning.

Above all, I want you to focus on that.

Our diet mentalities frequently make us miss out on really wonderful parts of our lives, such as enjoying a husband who wanted to start your birthday off right by bringing you a wonderful muffin.

So, instead of worrying so much about whether or not you should eat the “whole muffin,”  focus on responding to him with appreciation and happiness.  That takes the focus off of food, (which has been reinforced with your diet mentality) and puts it back on enjoying your life. 

But, back to the muffin!  Here are two different scenarios:

1.  You were hungry when he gave you the muffin:

If you were truly hungry when he gave the muffin to you, and that is what your body was craving, then yes, it is compatible with a “thin mentality” to go ahead and eat it.   But, as you eat, keep checking in with yourself.  The question is not, “Am I full.”  The question is, “Could I stop eating now and feel good.”

Looking to feel “full” is not what you want.  That will lead to overeating.  You are training your body to know that when it is hungry you will provide it with enough food to stop the hunger, not to be full.

2.  You were NOT HUNGRY when he gave you the muffin:

If it were my husband, even if I didn’t want the muffin right then, I would probably take a bite and make a fuss over how good it was because… when someone gives you something, it is not all about you.  It is about the giver too.  And I think reciprocating with some loving enjoyment of a bite of the muffin is a kind, reasonable, common sense/kind thing to do.

“You mean even with a thin mentality, you would eat it when you weren’t hungry?”

OK, here is the clincher:  I would take A BITE.  I have a thin mentality and I know that one bite won’t hurt me.  And I would wrap it up very nicely and put it proudly on my counter and when I was hungry for something sweet, I would make sure my husband knew how much I enjoyed that muffin.

Remember the whole point of a thin mentality is to bring common sense back into your relationship with food.  And of course taking one little bite to make your partner feel like you appreciated his effort is sensible.

Now, after you ate the muffin, you said you were worried because you knew it was high calorie.  Well that is right, but guess what?  Your body knows too!

When you eat a calorie dense meal or snack, you aren’t sneaking that by your body.  It will be less hungry later and/or take longer to get hungry.

I know that there are a lot of so called “experts” who say that if you eat something sweet, it will make you crave more later.  I don’t believe that.  I think that people eat more sweets later because they think they have already blown it and might as well eat more sweet stuff because they will begin a diet tomorrow.

So don’t worry after you eat it and don’t feel guilty.  You said you had been really active the day before.  Your body was probably just responding to that!

I know many of you who are new to this whole thin mentality thing don’t trust your body.  You think your body will be “bad” and crave “bad” things if you don’t reign it in.

Give yourself a chance.  I thought the same thing.  When the threat of diets goes away, your body relaxes.  And when you trust your body, it trusts you.  And binges go away.

And the way to use your thin mentality to lose the weight is to keep in touch with your body as you are eating.  Could you stop now and be ok?  You will learn that you can stop much earlier than you used to think you would be able to.

You may think you have a big appetite.  Maybe you do, maybe you don’t.  But don’t reinforce that possibility with self fulfilling prophesy.  Leave yourself open to the possibility that you may not have a big appetite.  You are most likely completely normal and in the middle.

You may have been trained by your parents, or the diet industry, or habits you have solidified with friends, to eat a certain amount.  Again, open up yourself to the possibility that your appetite is actually normal and maybe even small!?!

And that means being open to examine your habits.  Are you eating that whole muffin out of habit, or because it was just “there?”

Do you always order dessert at a certain restaurant?  Do you always have a large plateful of spaghetti on Wednesdays?  Whatever!  Interrupt those habits.

Listen to your body for your eating cues.  Don’t look at the calendar or your watch to decide what to eat!!

Nov
26

That “Dieter’s High” Doesn’t Last

dieters high

If a friend of yours has lost weight by dieting a working out a lot, they are on a “dieters high.”  They feel like they have the answer.  They feel so good about themselves, like the “get it,” and they will never gain weight again.

I never argue with that person or warn them that the weight will come back, that they can’t keep up that huge commitment to exercise, etc.

Why?

First, because I don’t want to be a “buzz-kill.”  Do you know what I mean?  They are happy.  I am not going to rain on their parade.

Second, because I also know that no matter what I say, they will have an answer.  They will absolutely be unwilling to think logically about their diet mentality right now.

Instead, I just smile and wish them well.  And I am completely sincere in that.  I want people to find their way to be healthy and lean and happy and relaxed around food.

I am 53 years old though, and I have seen enough, and experienced enough my self to KNOW that dieting does not result in becoming naturally thin, happy, and relaxed around food.

Dieting either makes most people (95% or more)  yo-yo dieters.  The other 5% (or  less) maintain weight loss by dieting constantly.  And constantly dieting is a very unhappy way to live.  It promotes a rigid, joyless, obsessive relationship with food.

Quite a price to pay…

So, if you are one of the smart people who understand this, don’t be surprised if you have a hard time convincing others of this wisdom.  Even I do!  And I have made helping others understand the dark side of a diet mentality a big priority in my life!

But remember, actions speak louder than words.  If your friends see you becoming joyful around food, eating food that you love (and they fear,) you will be setting a great example for them.

And I really do invite you to participate in a forum or just leave a comment on this site about your experience.  I run this site because I have experienced the negativity of a diet mentality.  And, I want people to understand that a healthy thin mentality is not only possible, it is normal!  I need your help to show that what I say is valid.

If you have felt any sense of freedom, hope or “aha” moment, know that your words will mean a lot to someone who is just investigating this for the first time.  Let’s help each other.

Thanks a lot and stay in touch.  More blogs, tweets and posts to come. And videos and podcasts-  trying to cover all the bases!!

 

 

Nov
25

Here Comes The Turkey

dog_dressed_as_turkey_01

I used to dislike the holidays because I always gained weight.   I had a sinking feeling that all of my “hard work” would be lost in the span of a few days.

This diet mentality lived in me for 25 years.  I hope you believe me.  Really, I was the kind who counted calories, dieted all the time, lost weight, and then always gained it back.  I had skinny clothes and my fat clothes.  When I was going to see a family member I hadn’t seen in a while, I was either happy because I was thinner and feeling proud, or ashamed and apprehensive because I was heavier.

The holidays are completely different for me now.

Once  you put food pack into its proper place in your life by exiling your diet mentality in favor of a healthy thin mentality, everything is different.  Food is a joyful and normal part of life instead of a source of anxiety, guilt and shame.

In order to make this transition, you must rebuild your relationship with eating and food.  The only way to do this is to connect eating with hunger.  Eating for any other reason, for example to “treat” yourself, is going to sabotage your efforts.  Once you repair that relationship by making a habit of eating when you are hungry and stopping when hunger is gone, your body will stop fighting you.  You will surprise yourself by:

  • Walking away from your favorite dessert because you aren’t hungry.
  • Save portions of your dinner for later when you are hungry again.
  • Look forward to being hungry, instead of being scared.
  • Realizing that there is no joy in overeating.    This is huge.
  • Feel sorry for dieters and want to help them leave the sad, frustrating world of dieting behind.

(More info on this in my book- and I am writing a new “workbook” too.)

So this Thanksgiving I will enjoy dinner more than any time when I was a dieter.  I will eat what I love.  I will stop eating when I am not hungry any more.  And when I get hungry again, I will, without guilt or gluttony, eat more!

And I will not gain weight.  I have been a stable happy (thin) weight for 14 years as a non-dieter.
What will your Thanksgiving be like?

I hope that if you are worried that you will gain weight, you take a good hard look at the message I am trying to spread.  Free yourself.  Life is good, food is fantastic, and diets are fattening.

 

 

Nov
23

Respecting Your Voice Builds Self-Esteem

smaller intuition

Diet Mentality:

If I could lose the weight, I would feel more confident to voice my opinion.  I feel like my weight makes me look like I am undisciplined, so I feel shy and less secure.

Thin Mentality:

Dieting was beating up my self esteem.  I felt like a failure when I couldn’t keep weight off.  Now that I understand that dieting was never going to work, and I have reconnected hunger with eating, I feel so much stronger and confident.

How your thin mentality improves self-esteem:

  1. You don’t blame yourself for gaining weight back after dieting.   Instead,  you realize that you have a powerful survival instinct!  By understanding that your inability to keep weight off was simply your strong biology demanding to be fed, you feel almost proud.  (Hey, you would have survived in ancient times of famine!)
  2. You respect your uniqueness.  By understanding that no one knows better for your body than you, you become your own “expert,” and you value your own instincts.
  3. You become a better critical thinker, and less willing to simply “follow the herd.”  Your thin mentality bleeds over into other parts of your life too.  You become more independent and less likely to believe slick commercials for anything.
  4. Your thin mentality encourages you to pay attention to your own “intuition,”  a valuable, but frequently overlooked, source of wisdom in our lives.

Like I always say, your thin mentality is the best gift that you will ever give yourself.

 

 

Nov
22

Don’t Conform To The Profit Driven Diet Industry

April20_20nonconformist

The Diet Industry teaches you that as long as food is low calorie, you can eat it.  So instead of eating a cup of potato chips, you eat a gallon of dry popcorn.  Instead of drinking a can of coke, you drink a liter of diet soda.  Instead of having a small salad with your favorite dressing, you eat a platter of plain vegetables.

Do you see how this could pervert your relationship with food?

You learn to ignore your own signals.  Full?  Shove a few more veggies down because they are “free.”  You love potato chips but you forgo them and drown yourself if popcorn?  Craving a sweet bubbly soda with real sugar but you think you are being “good” by guzzling diet soda instead.

So, you are full, yet you eat.  And when you are hungry, you don’t eat or you don’t eat what you want.

The diet industry is always promoting that the way to be thin is to behave like this!  It permeates our culture, right?

So as you embark on your thin mentality repeat the following sentences to yourself:

  1. I don’t want to be a dieter.  I want to be a healthy thin person.  (Not weird skinny!!)  So I am reconnecting eating with hunger and eating like a naturally thin person.
  2. I don’t want to fear food.   As long as I connect eating with true hunger, I have nothing to worry about.
  3. I do not want to obsess about my weight.  I don’t weigh myself  because the only thing that matters is my hunger level.  And I know that as I reconnect eating with hunger, I will get to my ideal weight range.

If you have a deeply ingrained diet mentality, as I did- repeat these to yourself everyday until your thin mentality is second nature– It took me a year!  (But it was a good year)

YOU CAN DO IT!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Nov
21

Protect Your Thin Mentality- Recognize These Diet Mentality Behaviors- And Then Don’t Do ’em!!

calorie count

Here are a five diet mentality behaviors that you need to be able to recognize!

If you find yourself doing these, don’t be hard on yourself, just take a deep breath, recognize the behavior and steer yourself away from it.

Remember that you are taking on a very big task.  You are deviating from the hugely accepted societal norm that dieting is the way to thinness.  But please remember that this isn’t true.  Dieting, at best, makes you a “thin” dieter.  Not a thin, healthy person with a relaxed attitude toward food.

And  more often dieting just makes you progressively more and more overweight.  (Lose 10, gain 12.  lose 12 gain 15, lose 15 gain 18.- you get the picture…)

So as you make your transition- watch out for these behaviors that are remnants from your diet mentality.

  1. -Taking a peak at the calories in what you are eating to decide whether or not you “should” have some more…
  2. -Weighing yourself so you can see if you can see if you have been “good.”
  3. -Looking at your watch to see when you ate last so you can judge whether or not you “should be” hungry.
  4. -You avoid eating a cookie even though that is what you are craving because you are worried about being judged by others.
  5. -You exercise a bit longer because you feel like you ate too much

Do you see how all of these take you away from the “golden” question of healthy thin mentality eating?

Am I Hungry?

ALSO- PLEASE CONSIDER JOINING OUR COMMUNITY  By doing so, you will get weekly emails from me called “thin mails” and you can easily participate in forums.  My dream is to build a community of people who reject dieting and embrace a healthy happy thin mentality.  Think how mad the diet industry would be!!!  And think how happy all of us would be if we could live our lives with the “weighty” issues of dieting and all the associated angst.  

And, if you have had success, please know how much your encouragement will help others.  🙂

Let’s reach out to each other.  The more of us who “get it” the more power we will have.

Nov
17

All This Angst…Unnecessary

worryDo you ever think about how much time and energy you spend on worrying about your weight, calories, eating.

I hate to say that I regret part of my life, but I can tell you I wish that I could talk to my younger self and teach myself what I am trying to communicate to you.

All that wasted time and energy on losing, gaining, losing, gaining.  Such a pity.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to find daily support for your thin mentality. You need to do this until you feel strong enough to defend your thin mentality against all of the dieting messages you hear from the media, and, honestly, from your friends and family.

So, until you are strong, please check in with this blog, or Facebook, or leaf through a few pages of my book everyday.   Or, if you find this thin mentality message elsewhere, that is great.

I am so happy that the Facebook page is starting to get some good conversations and comments going because I think it is so important that you see others making progress, and having problems, and solving them!

For instance, if you over eat one day, remember that panicking about that is a diet mentality.  Use that “over eating” as a way to remind yourself how it feels to be overfull.  It ISN’T fun, is it?

Eating when hungry is fun.  Yes, eating is fun!  Over eating is not.  (Dieters think it would be fun to stuff their faces with chocolate- but that is because they are stuck in a “good food” vs  “bad food” world…  A few bites of chocolate when you crave it is wonderful.  Bingeing on it is NOT).

But don’t berate yourself after a binge.  That is a diet mentality too.  Relax, learn, improve.  🙂

Share your thoughts and concerns, if you like, here (in the comments) or on Facebook.  It is also good because it helps me to figure out what I should talk about in this blog!

I just noticed a slight hunger pang.  (Not pain, pang- it is NOT painful to be slightly hungry)  So now I am just saying to myself, oh good, I will have a little something wonderful before I go to bed.  (Eating before bed, a big dieters no no-  But not for me anymore!)  I am not going to rush to eat right away.  I want to make sure my body wants something.  I will wait for stage 2 hunger and then I will enjoy.

Nov
15

Food is Not a Reward or Punishment Podcast

dog1

Food is a response to hunger.  It isn’t a reward or punishment.   When you are hungry, eat because it is the relevant response.  When you are not hungry, don’t eat because that doesn’t make sense.  When you learn to reconnect hunger and eating and take the reward/punishment mentality out of it, you are on your way…