Archive for: October, 2015

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.


Do You Think You Get Sugar “Crashes?”

I've done this...

I’ve done this…

I used to think I got sugar “crashes.”

Now, my body handles sugar just fine.

This is my theory on how this transition has occurred.

When I used to eat sugar, it was a “binge.”  I would go for long periods of time being “good,” eating very little sugar etc.  But when I finally “cracked,” I would over do it.  Instead of eating a normal amount of sweets-  say a couple of cookies, I would eat ten.

Yea, and that is a lot of sugar for my body to handle, especially since I hadn’t eaten sugar in weeks.  That made me think I couldn’t handle sugar.  Silly!!  I just couldn’t handle bingeing on sugar.

Your body is meant to handle normal amounts of food, including sugar.  And I was betraying my body by overdoing the sugar after depriving my body of sugar for weeks.

After reconnecting to my normal hunger rhythms and my normal cravings for all kinds of foods, my body happily metabolizes what I eat very nicely, including sweets.

I bet yours will too…


Your Thin Mentality Helps You Differentiate from Hunger and Fatigue



Your body talks to you in all kinds of ways.  Fatigue, hunger, cravings, thirst, etc.

If you are trying to figure out why you are tired, then use a logical, thoughtful Thin Mentality to decipher what may help you.  Try eating a little more protein.  Does that make you feel better?  Or try drinking more water, or less alcohol, or going to bed earlier, or getting up earlier, or drinking more or less coffee etc. etc.

The point is that there is no one answer that will work for everyone.  Drinking more water may help person A. But person B may need more easily digested carbohydrates… Who the heck knows?  You are a unique person with a unique body and a unique life.  And I bet you value that uniqueness.

So, instead of just reading from some book or website about some recipe for your success, do your own research and discover your “recipe” for yourself.  And the beauty of this is that your “research” will be very relevant won’t it. Why? Because it is being done on you!

So pay attention to your body.  If you feel like you are craving a big dessert, but then you eat it and you feel bad or sleepy and tired, then rethink that craving.  Try to see if you are interpreting it in a way that isn’t compatible with your true craving.

Enjoy learning about what works for you.  It is empowering.  You will enjoy saying things to yourself, “Well I have learned that if I eat a lot at lunch, I am not very hungry at dinner.”  Or, “I have learned that I am so much happier when I get enough sleep.” Or, “I feel tired if I work out 5 times a week, but I feel great if I work out 2-3 times a week.”

Discover yourself by paying attention.  You may be surprised how much you learn about yourself!!



Thin Dieter Versus Thin Mentality


I really appreciate all the Facebook comments.  And when people offer differing opinions, it is an opportunity for me to clarify my message.

One comment today was that naturally thin people are not always so carefree about what they eat.

I think you are mistaking  “thin dieters” for “naturally thin people.”  They are completely different.

And you are right that those “thin dieters” are not carefree at all because they are rigidly tracking every bite they consume!   They are part of that very small group of people (less than 5%) who are able to lose weight and keep it off by adhering to diet rules for the rest of their lives.

If that is how you want to be thin, despite constant yo-yo weight gain and loss, then that is your choice.   That is a choice I made myself… for decades.

I am telling you that there is a better way:

It IS possible to be thin and have a carefree, even joyful, relationship with food.


You must build your thin mentality where food isn’t the enemy and you work with your body instead of against it.  By reconnecting with the natural hunger, craving and satiety rhythms of your biology, you won’t have to worry about what to eat, when and how much.

You will simply tune into your body.  That is why I describe Naturally Thin people as carefree about eating. That is not to say that they aren’t picky.  But they don’t worry.  The know that whenever they are hungry, they can satisfy themselves with whatever they are craving.


The Golden Rule



Yes you will gain weight if you eat whatever you crave without following the golden rule: Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are no longer hungry (notice, not “full”)

And I think that trigger foods are frequently as much psychological as anything- “well I already had a cookie and blew it, I might as well eat 5 more.”

I know I used to think I had an issue with sugar- that is because whenever I ate sugar, it was in a large quantity because I had already “blown it.” Now, I eat sugar, in amounts that are very reasonable, not because I am “good” or have “willpower” but because since I am free, I am not obsessed and I can and do listen to my craving, answer it,  and then move on to more important issues in my life.

The only rules I follow are like this- when I drink two cups of caffeine, I feel shaky, so I don’t. My rules are self made rules in response to my biology.

So if you have true problems with certain foods, a thin mentality promotes you noticing that, learning about yourself, your unique body, and making adjustments in what you consume based on that. This self direction is freeing and wonderful and in response to your unique body- not a food rule imposed by a profit driven industry that wants you to feel crippled so you need to spend money on supplements, special foods and advice.



There Is No Such Thing As Fattening Food

VectorToons.comSome foods are more calorie dense than others, yes that is true.

But guess what?

A thin person (not a dieter,) notices that rich food fills them up very quickly.  They enjoy it, are satisfied it, and stop eating.

Does that sound unbelievable to you?

That is because you have a diet mentality getting in the way.

Mother Nature has it all worked out for us.  You eat something high in calories, and you need less of it to be satiated.  You eat something like a salad, and it temporarily fills you up, but because it is low in calories, you get hungry again soon and need to eat more.

How wonderful that we have this great internal monitor to help us know when we need to eat more- hunger!

And yes, you need to learn how to recognize true hunger from boredom hunger, habit hunger, psychological hunger bla bla bla.

You CAN.  It isn’t as hard as you think.

It just seems hard now because you have trained yourself to eat when you aren’t hungry (according to some ridiculous diet plan) and to not eat when you are very hungry.

Please give yourself a chance to enjoy a life in harmony with your instinct to eat and your instinct NOT to eat.

As you are developing your ability to do this, just remember one “rule:”  Eat when you are hungry only.

It is a completely different world than the food/diet obsessed one you are used to.  I know you have doubts.  I did too.  I just got so so so so sick of dieting that I couldn’t do it anymore.  I am so glad that I got to that place and was willing to try listening to myself.

My goal is to share it with you.  I was 40 when I finally figured it out.  I want you to figure it out earlier if possible.  If you already over 40, please learn from my experience.  It is not too late.


You need daily reinforcement to get rid of your diet mentality

If you are new to this blog, read the Introduction Blog first date Mary 2, 2012.

Think about this.  What is the one thing that thin people have in common?  Is it how fast or slow they eat?  Is it how much they exercise?  Is it what time of day they eat?  What is it?

The answer is that thin people eat foods they like and they only eat when they are hungry.

I am talking about thin, happy, non food-obsessed people.  (Granted there are miserable thin people who measure every calorie and never enjoy food-  this is not our goal.)

Thin non food-obsessed people  know themselves, what they like, what they don’t like.  They like only the tops of muffins, so that is all the eat. Or they love steak and potatoes. Or they love  carrots but not celery.  Whatever.  And since they know that no diet is looming on the horizon, they stay “in the present” when they choose what they are going to eat.

A thin person will look at a buffet table and happily take in all the wonderful choices available and choose exactly what they want, in quantities that they are used to, go back to their table and Enjoy.

A dieter looks at a buffet as an assault to their willpower.  They twirl around the table trying to figure out what they can eat and still be “good.”  Which person would you rather be?

By staying in the present and committing to refusing to diet ever again, you will be surprised at the way your perspective changes.

This is not a license to overeat.  This is a plan to revolutionize how you see food and dieting.   You need to trash your “diet mentality” and replace it by staying in the present when you eat, by eating only when you are truly hungry, and by eating only enough to quiet that hunger.

You are replacing the voice of the Diet Industry with your own body’s voice.  It is talking to you, but you have been trained to ignore it.

This is what Mother Nature intended.  You were meant to be thin.  Your diet mentality has ruined it for you.  You can change.

Stick with me.  It is a slow process and takes strength and commitment.  But the pay off is freedom from dieting and a thin body.  Well worth it, I am sure you agree.

By the way, on the news this morning there was talk of a new diet in Sweden that recommends eating tons of butter and few carbs.  Come on now!  Just another in the line of ridiculous diets.  Are you really going to fall prey to this kind of thing again?


Do You Know How Wise Your Body Is?


  I cannot tell you how happy I am to get emails from you telling me about your progress.  As I sit here at my keyboard trying to reach out to people to let them know there is another way, it is so rewarding to hear back from you.

So thank you for taking the time to let me know that you are out there.

I want to tell you about another factor this is so important to eating with a thin mentality.

Besides our messed up relationship with food, we have a messed up relationship with sleep.  We don’t respect what sleep does for our body.  On the TV show “Morning Joe” I watched Dr. Nancy Snyderman talk about the relationship between sleep deprivation and strokes and obesity and type 2 diabetes. They spoke of sleep deprivation and a link to heart disease.

And I found it fascinating that the discussion was paying respect to the differences among people and their sleep needs.  Why do we not talk about that when it comes to eating?

And, going along with my mantra to stop listening to the experts and pay attention to your body, they talked about vitamins.  For years, we have been told to take calcium, vitamin d, multi vitamins, etc.  Now, Dr. Snyderman said that she had stopped taking everything, except a baby aspirin!

The only answer that makes any sense is to get in touch with the wisdom of your body.  Take care of yourself by respecting the signals your body sends you.

Eat what you crave when you are hungry.  Stop eating when you body stops asking for food.  Sleep when you are tired.

Then, at the end of the discussion, they talk about a new Burger King sundae that has ice cream and bacon.  It is 510 calories.

They made fun of this dessert.

Ok, I am not saying to go buy this dessert.

But if you think that this dessert is a poison, you are wrong.  If you had a piece of bacon at breakfast with your eggs, for example, and then later in the day, you had a serving of ice cream that you were craving, it would not seem so weird.

But put them in a bowl together and everyone is up in arms.

Eating a 510 calorie Burger King sundae when you are hungry for some fat may be perfectly appropriate for you.  Remember that eating fat is important for brain function, and some studies say that even for mental health and anxiety.   I only point these studies out because I want to show you that science can swing both ways on issues like this.

Then later in the show, a guest spoke of his book Incognito, Inside the Brain to talk about how your brain would perceive that bacon sundae.  Then Mika, the host and a truly righteous dieter, admits that her brain would tell her she wanted to eat five of them!  How sad!  When I was a dieter, my brain would have said that as well.  As a thin mentality person that sundae has ZERO power over me.

I don’t think my body would ever crave that, because that is not the kind of food my body likes.  I like plenty of high fat, sweet things, but not that.   There is no value judgment here.  I simply know me, and my hunger, and what I tend to crave.

You are different.  And isn’t that nice?  And isn’t that what makes the world go around?

So, back to the bottom line.  No food is evil.  The starving children in Uganda will tell you that.

But eating when you are not hungry will cause you to be fat.  Whether you are eating too many vegetables, too much fat or too much pasta, you will get fat overeating anything.

So choose your food based on the biological cues your body is sending to you

The vitamin companies make money convincing you that you need them.

The diet industry makes money convincing you need them.

Fight back!