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Archive for: February, 2016
Feb
26

All The Things You May Be Feeling…

Diet

Do not underestimate how large a perspective shift it is to go from being a dieter to someone with a “thin mentality.”
Expect:

  1. That you will doubt yourself.
  2. That you will have a hard time letting go of “good” food versus “bad” food judgments.
  3. That you may wish you could say to yourself, “I will eat this, and diet tomorrow.”
  4. That it is a big adjustment to view eating as a normal response to hunger.
  5. That once you have eaten something you formerly viewed as “bad” you are “worried.”
  6. That other people won’t understand why you are eating differently.

How do you make it through all of this anxiety?

Keep your expectations low at the beginning.

Think baby steps.  Every time you eat an appropriate food in an appropriate amount (eating what you craved when you were hungry) you make a little step.  Your instincts and your body’s voice will get louder and louder the more you can do this.   And, you will get closer and closer to the weight you were meant to be.

But you will feel anxious as you begin your journey back to a normal, thin person.  Dieting took this from you.  It completely corrupted your relationship with eating.  You ate fruitcake, even though you hate fruitcake,  because you were so starved for something sweet you dug it out of the back of your cabinet.  But you CAN get it back.

And although it is a big change, it is permanent.  You will never have to diet again, and so, long term, it is 100000000000% worth it.  I am not exaggerating.

Follow on twitter if you want a daily nudge to remind you to stick with this, even though Jennifer  Hudson is telling you that Weight Watchers is Fab…

Feb
25

Diets and Depression and Anxiety

i hate mysef

Studies show that dieting frequently leads to lowered self esteem, and more depression and anxiety.  The study I am citing is from the University of New Zealand in the mid 1990s.  But honestly, I don’t need a study to tell me that.  Do you?  I have lived it.

So, if you need more motivation to build your thin mentality, consider that you will very favorably impact your mental health along the way.  NO I am not a doctor.  But as I say in my book, I am a “noticer.”  And too many people go through life not “noticing” things.  It is like we have blinders on.

“Notice” that diets leave you depleted, anxious and obsessed with what should be a very normal bodily function: eating.

And, if they worked (kept you thin for life) maybe, and I mean MAYBE?? it would be worth it-  But they don’t.

So- commit to your thin mentality.  The rewards are so great:  freedom from food obsession, higher self esteem- yes really!  Lower anxiety, and harmonious weight loss.

I gave an example in the post today to help you think logically about this.  Suppose you randomly starved your dog, and then let it binge.  Don’t you think he might become a little erratic?  Yes!  Well, if you wouldn’t do that to your dog- why would you do that to yourself?

Free yourself from dieting to get thin, get peace.  Life is so much better without diet anxiety!

Feb
22

Eating Healthful Food Without Hunger IS NOT Healthful

food-sandwich-660x440Eating really healthful foods, when you are hungry and crave them is great.

But I hear a lot of people express how “healthfully” they eat without any consideration of when and how much of that healthful food they eat.  It is as if they believe that the more healthful food you eat, the healthier they will be.

But that is not true.

Eating an organic avocado when you are not hungry is not healthful.

Eating an organic avocado when you are hungry and crave it, is.

That difference may not seem enormous to you, but it is.   In the first example, eating something “healthful” is a higher priority than  listening to your body to know if your body needs food.

And if your body doesn’t need food, then eating, not matter what it is, is not in harmony with your hunger.  And that disrespect of your body’s voice is not the way to build a healthy Thin Mentality that will bring you to your ideal weight, and a peaceful and stress-free relationship with eating and your body.

And there is some research out there that points to the value of giving your body a break from eating.  For example, instead of eating a lot of small meals, eating less often.  Interestingly, my healthy thin mentality has brought me to this kind of eating.  I go for longer periods of time without eating than I did when I was a dieter.  But please understand this very very important point:  this behavior is in complete harmony with my own unique hunger rhythms.   Whatever your unique hunger patterns dictate, respect them, whether your hunger demands that you eat less or more frequently.

As always, the moral of the story is to respect your body’s voice and these principles:

  • Eating healthful food without hunger does not foster your healthy Thin Mentality
  • It isn’t eating “healthful” food that gives you a healthy body in your ideal weight range, it is eating food in response to your unique energy and nutrient needs that does.
  • You can eat all the healthful food you want, but if you don’t connect eating with hunger, your relationship with food will not be stress free, permanently slimming and…fun.

Oh yes, fun matters.

 

 

Feb
18

My Grandmother Didn’t Know What She Weighed

scale cry

I remember asking my grandmother how much she weighed.  She giggled and said she had no idea.  She thought hard back to her last doctor’s appointment, and came up with a number, but she wasn’t sure she remembered it right.

She has been my model for building a thin mentality.  She was tiny, ate whatever the heck she wanted, and lived to be 86.  She loved her lamb chop, her baked potato with butter and salt, and a small vegetable serving to go with her Manhattan  cocktail.

She had candy all around her apartment, and as a little kid, I noticed her attitude was so different than my mother, a rigid dieter, who weighed herself constantly.

So, as part of me transitioning to a thin mentality, about 12 years ago, I stopped weighing myself.  It was scary, for sure.  Oh my, I am going to blow up if I don’t have the reckoning of the scale to face every morning.

Not true, that is a diet mentality.  Instead of that external cue to tell how much I should eat that day, I now rely on the best signal for eating:  true hunger, of course!

No longer am I deflated by a number on the scale, and no longer am flattered by it.  It is a by-product of my thin mentality, not the goal.  Do you see how different that is?

Please understand that this is not an “out.”  This doesn’t mean I don’t care about being thin and that I think you should give up.  To the contrary!  I am trying to show you and model for you the kind of thin behavior that is a permanent solution,  an enjoyable journey, and is good for your health.

Haven’t you ever eaten something because the number on the scale was down?  Yep, I bet you have.

Feb
18

Dieting Makes You Think Bad Things About Yourself-Like You only like Junk

IMG_1466

When I was a dieter, I thought that I was a huge eater, that I craved junk, and that I was always hungry.  I never thought that if given any choice, I would order fruit.  I thought for sure I would order pancakes.

This perspective was reinforced every time I broke my diet.  I would ravenously chow down all kinds of junk.  I would eat until I felt ill.  I would “binge.”  And this behavior made me believe that I was hopeless and would never be able to be a naturally thin and healthy eater.

Well, guess what.

The reason I behaved like that was because all the dieting I had done.  I didn’t binge because I was “bad,” I binged because I had tried to be so “good!”

When you take that restrictive, joy-sucking mentality away, your true food personality emerges.  With no fear of a future diet, and with no “payback” from diet restrictions, you and your body relax.  You start to realize that eating for the “hell of it,” or eating without hunger is not joyful or fabulous.

Eating when hungry is! So you begin pairing eating with hunger and that normal and healthy relationship between hunger and eating emerge.  And that healthful pattern allows you to normalize both your weight, and your relationship with food.

If you don’t believe this is true, I understand.  I didn’t think it could be this simple.  But, it is. It truly is.  Messing with your body by dieting is so much more impactful than doctors tell us.  Your body does not want you to scare it by ignoring hunger.

Get your hunger/eating relationship back in order and great, no Fabulous, things happen.

One day at a time, one eating occasion at a time.  You CAN do this.

And remember, waiting to eat until you are hungry, is not denying, it is simply delaying.

 

 

Feb
17

Lifestyle Experts Are Just Selling Diet Advice

lifestyle

 

Doctors frequently recommend “lifestyle coaches” to help overweight patients figure out what to eat.  But, lifestyle choices can be summed up so easily- lean meats, limit sweets, lots of fruits and vegetables and exercise. We all get that, it isn’t complicated.  Problem is, it doesn’t work.

People fall into a good food/ that leaves them obsessed with food. Normal people when put on a diet (and lifestyle change is another word for diet) become abnormally obsessed with food.

Doctors need to advise patients to reconnect with their hunger and satiety cues, as well as with their cravings.  This will enable patients to calmly, reasonably, and happily chose the proper food for themselves with ease.

Craving isn’t a bad word. It is mother nature’s signal. The profit driven diet industry including doctors like Dr. Oz, have a huge stake in making us think we need “experts” to tell us what to eat. And those experts frequently do not treat us as individuals,

If you are a 35 year old 180 pound lady, your recommendations will not be different from the 35 year old 180 pound lady sitting next to you- but you may be very different indeed. And your body knows that, even if the doctor in front of you doesn’t.

Reconnect with your body, and you won’t need to pay an “expert” to tell you how fabulous antioxidants are.  You will crave foods rich in vitamins, including antioxidants, as well as foods that aren’t.  And that is fine.

Feb
17

Why Are Food Journals A Crutch

food journal

A lot of diet experts recommend food journals.

I don’t.

Here is why.

Chronic dieters use food journals to supplant their own hunger and non hunger signals.

Instead of figuring out if they are hungry, they look at their food journal and count up the calories or points.  Then if, they have not eaten their daily allotment of calories, they eat something.  If they have already eaten the days rations, they don’t.

Think what this does to you over time.  It makes you disassociate normal biological eating and non eating cues with a numbers on a piece of paper.

Your body is different every day, though.  You may need more food on Wednesday because you worked out hard on Tuesday.  Or you may need less on Sunday because you just laid around on Saturday.

It is fine and normal to have varying energy needs from day to day.  And your food journal doesn’t reflect that.

Food journals are just another way that the diet promoters get you to feel like you need help to know what to eat.  And this “need” has created a market place for all those diet programs.

Stop writing down what you have eaten and you have to rely on listening to your body for clues.  That seems scary, just like giving up the scale, “How am I suppose to know what or how much to eat, or whether or not I have been good?”

Well this is the key.  You have to start listening and paying attention to your body because the crutch of a food journal and scale are gone…

Feb
16

The Difference Between “Full” and the “Neutral Zone”

NeutralZone_Splash

Please notice that I never say eat until “full.”

Feeling full is too much.

Your goal is to wait until you are distracted from your life by a persistent hunger.  And then, eat enough to get you in a “neutral zone.”

That neutral zone is where you aren’t hungry and you aren’t full.

If you want to be a naturally thin person, this is where you stop.  Do you feel deprived?  No! Deprivation is dieting and not being “allowed”  to eat when you were hungry.  That is serious stuff.   We underestimate the negative  effect that unanswered hunger has on our bodies, and minds.  It messes us up.  I avoid unanswered hunger at all costs.  (And by the way, I feel lucky food is available to me- yes, we are lucky.)

I avoid fullness at all costs too.  Why? Because it feels bad.  Overloaded.   Sluggish.

Skip along in that wonderful neutral zone, where you get hungry and then eat enough to feel good.  Then wait for your hunger to return.  Then eat.

I promise, when you get into a nice rhythm with this, you will be so comfortable, confident and enjoy a life that includes the pleasure of  food you love.  You will have ZERO  motivation to binge or eat old nasty cookies you found in your holiday closet.  Ha! Yes, I did!  (thankfully, a long time ago)

Happy, relaxed, no big war going on inside you body, or your mind, over food.  Oh boy.  I want that for everyone.

Feb
15

“Victim of Circumstance” Eating

cafebiz_buffet_westernWhen you diet, you are easily “victimized” by circumstance.

For instance,

  1. You forget your protein shake, so you give up and just eat the leftover cake from the office party.
  2. A last minute dinner invitation makes you sad because you already had all the calories you were going to eat that day.
  3. You walk by your favorite ice cream store and they have that unusual flavor you love and you feel like you should get even though you aren’t hungry because you don’t know when they will have it again.

It is like going down a river in a canoe and being bumped and re-directed with no paddle of your own.  Whatever way the current goes, you go.  You aren’t in charge.  You are a victim.

Does that sound like how you want to live your life?

When you eat with a thin mentality, you are ALWAYS in charge.  You are not a victim of anything, or anyone, or any circumstance.

Let me illustrate what “thin mentality” people do in the situations mentioned above:

1.  If thin mentality people forget their lunch (it wouldn’t be a protein shake!)  he or she would still take care of their hunger in a nice way.  They don’t just shove down random leftovers.  They don’t say “Well, now I can’t do my diet plan today so I might as well just eat badly today and then start tomorrow.”  (Does that kind of thinking sound familiar?)

2.  If thin mentality people get a last minute invite to dinner, and they want to go, they go, hungry or not!  They aren’t afraid of sitting at a table with food because if they become hungry, they eat something, and if they aren’t hungry, it is be no problem because they know THERE IS NO PLEASURE IN EATING WHEN NOT HUNGRY.

When you can eat whatever you want, when you are hungry, you happily dismiss food when you are not.   (Twelve years ago I would not have believed this either, but I promise it is true.  You have been trained by the diet industry to believe that you would be a “non-stop eating machine” without food rules.  YOU WOULD NOT.)

3.  Many people with thin mentalities love ice cream.  And when they are hungry for ice cream, they eat it.  So, if they are walking by their favorite ice cream store, and their favorite unusual flavor is available, and they are hungry for that, they go in and get it.  If, however, they are “not in the mood” for ice cream and they want a sandwich, it would not occur to them to have that ice cream instead.  It would be like scratching your arm when your foot was itchy.

Can you imagine anything more normal than navigating through your “food” day with no worries, angst, or self incrimination?

Another example of the dieter:

“Oh I ordered a small order of pasta and they brought me the large and I ate it all.  I am so mad at myself and feel like I will never be thin.

This is a thin mentality person:

“I ordered a small order of pasta but the server brought me the large one instead.  I ate as much as I wanted, and then brought the rest home.  I gave it to my roommate and she loved it!”

The person who has rejected dieting isn’t vulnerable to eating the whole serving because she or he is used to making their own choices all day, everyday.  The dieter is used to being told what to do, so when a plate of food is served to them, they are very vulnerable to eating it all.  Does that make sense?

When all your food choices are made for you, you lose your own ability to navigate food choices yourself.

Reject food rules.  Eat what you want, when you are hungry, stop when you aren’t hungry anymore.  Period.

Feb
13

What kind of “dog” are you?

group of five dogs

I finally figured out what kind of dog I am.

I used to think that I could diet my way to being a greyhound-  long limbed and really thin.  Well that is silly.  I don’t have long limbs-  how was I going to change that?

I am a cocker spaniel.  Average height, average length limbs, etc.

It is important that you recognize what your body type is.  I am not promoting that you accept being overweight.  I am saying that when you understand what “thin” is for your body, you have a better chance of success.

I wonder how many people were actually a pretty nice weight, and then went on a diet, lost weight and then gained more back, ending up fatter?  And then, of course, repeated this cycle until they really became heavy?

If only they had realized that their weight was actually in a good range for them, how much heartache and unhealthy dieting would they have avoided?  Probably a lot.

If you are a short person with a larger upper body, you are not going to change that.  Your proportions are part of you, and that is just fine.  Learn to love your “breed.”  Right?  I know I never see a dog that I don’t think is cute-  how about you?

A thin mentality is about wisdom.  It is about a long term approach to a problem that has haunted many of us for decades.

Learn to eat when hungry, know what your body type is, and put an end to all the frustration.  It really is a happy way to be.  And your self esteem will improve dramatically when you aren’t constantly judging/berating yourself for the proportions you were born with.

I am not advocating that you give up your goal to be ideal weight.  But you must know what an ideal weight is for you.  And remember, don’t you love all kinds of different shaped dogs??