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Archive for: March, 2016
Mar
24

Ah – The Big Soft Drink Debate

BloombergOur nation’s diet mentality makes legislating against large sugary drinks seem appropriate.  We are trying to “protect our children.”

But, this is like putting a band aid on a huge gash.  It doesn’t help because it isn’t addressing the problem.

Here is the problem:  People don’t eat or drink in response to true hunger or thirst.   They eat and drink based on:

  • Time of day
  • Getting a “good deal” (that extra large soda is five cents more)
  • Habit
  • In preparation for a future diet (might as well eat today, tomorrow I diet!)
  • -boredom-  “eat-o-tainment

Etc.,etc., etc…

But no one teaches their children to listen to their body to decide what and how much to eat or drink.  Mothers read the latest fad diet or magic food combinations and indoctrinate their children.  This is all done with good intentions, I know.

But, why give your child a list of rules, when you could give your child a much better, long term solution.  Teach your children to respect their hunger and satiety.  And the best way to do that is to model a thin mentality.  Because kids copy their parents.

Back when I was a dieter, I would lug in cases and cases of diet soft drinks into my house, month after month.  I thought I loved it, I was such a dieter.

When “released” from my diet mentality, everything looked different.  Why would I drink six diet soft drinks in a day when one real one, or actually one half of a real one, was what answered my craving.  And yes, I guess the 75 calories I drank of cola was more than the diet coke I drank, but it was also completely satisfying, and probably way better for me than quenching my thirst with huge amounts of 30-ingredient diet soda.

I no longer quench my thirst with diet drinks.  I drink water.  Believe it or not, I prefer that, honestly, I am not being “good.”  And when I want a sugary drink, for whatever reason (who cares! it isn’t “evil”)  I have it and then move on.

So, yea, I guess to protect the diet mentality people from themselves, we need to legislate against huge sugar drinks.(?!)  Well how about helping people develop their “thin” mentality instead?

Mar
18

Response to question “What about Emotional Eaters?”

tv dinner

What do we humans do to comfort ourselves?  We rest, we eat, we hug.  Basic drives, right?

There is nothing wrong with providing your fantastic body with some comfort in the form of food that you love!  People may call that eating emotionally.  I call it normal.

When I am “down” for some reason and want to take care of myself, I wait for hunger and take extra effort to take care of myself in the nicest way I can.  And that includes eating the food I love the most, in a nice setting, etc.  Whether that is at my kitchen table, or in a restaurant, or in my bed, while I am watching TV.  Yep!  I eat in bed watching TV- a big dieter no-no.  But since my thin mentality is strong, it is no problem.  I have my snack or whatever in the most comfortable place I can find (my warm bed, especially since it has been so cold out!) and enjoy myself, feeling taken care of, and wonderful.

I do not feel guilty or bad afterward.  Why would I?  I waited until I was hungry and had myself a wonderful little meal, enjoyed it until I wasn’t hungry anymore, and then relaxed and read, or watched TV or whatever.  What a wonderful way to end a hard day and “comfort” myself.

This is possible for me because my body and I have built a “trust relationship.”   I will not starve my body on a diet and my body will not push me into bingeing.  I promise my body that I will feed it when I am hungry, and I will not push food into it when hunger is absent.

You need to build that same trust with your body.  Because, at this point, you may picture yourself eating emotionally by finishing a whole bag of potato chips.

Let me emphasize:

No, that is not what I do, nor is it what I recommend for anyone.  Instead, follow this thin mentality behavior:

If I feel the need to comfort myself (eat emotionally) I first tell myself, “fine, as soon as I am hungry, I can comfort myself with food.  Then when I get hungry, if I am craving potato chips, and I do, (I don’t know or care why, I trust myself)  I take a little bowl and put a handful in it.

You may say,”Well if I can eat what I want, why don’t I just take the whole bag?”

OK, here is why.  Because I know, from experience, that when I crave potato chips, I am usually satisfied with a handful.  They are delicious, but hold no magic power over me the way they did when I was a dieter.  And since I am “allowed” to have them whenever I am hungry, it just isn’t a big deal.  I enjoy them, a lot, but they aren’t magic!  I can put them down!

You will be able to too.

Start right now.  No more diets. Take that possibility away and your whole view of food and eating changes completely.  Your motivation to eat emotionally when you are not hungry will get weaker and weaker.

You will normalize your relationship with food.  Then, when you need to comfort yourself with food, you will do so appropriately.  (Appropriate amounts, when hungry)

The diet industry has taught you that this isn’t true.

I am telling you that IT IS!

Mar
17

Thin People Versus Dieters- Who Uses What

artificial-sweetenersWhen I went on my first diet,  my goal was to diet, lose 10 pounds, and then stop dieting.

But that is not what happens.

You diet, you lose 10 pounds, you stop dieting and the weight comes back.  So what do you do?  You diet again, lose weight, then it comes back again.  Then you diet and lose weight and you gain it back again.

I did this for decades.

Now that I am a naturally thin, diet free, happy eater with a healthy Thin Mentality I realize how different being a dieter and having a healthy Thin Mentality are.

Do you?

Do the following sentences apply to a dieter or a healthy Thin Mentality eater.

  1. You lose weight and your weight remains stable for decades
  2. You devote time every day to evaluating your food choices
  3. You weigh yourself to see if you are doing okay
  4. You eat foods based on how they make your body feel.
  5. You limit social activity so you can be sure you have proper food.
  6. You don’t weigh yourself, or you weigh yourself just occasionally.
  7. You have a closet full of clothes that fit.
  8. Getting dressed in the morning is a pleasure, not frustrating.
  9. You are influenced by others when you are deciding what to eat.
  10. You eat when you are hungry, and delay eating anymore until hunger returns
  11. You eat breakfast because you are trying to avoid being hungry.
  12. You love being hungry because then you can have the extreme pleasure of eating something you love,
  13. You use little chemical packets containing “who knows what” to sweeten your coffee instead of a little sugar because you think that those packets are more healthful than one or two 16 calorie pack of sugar in your coffee.

Key:  Healthy Thin Mentality:  1,4,6,7,8,10,12.

No change I have ever made in my life has made a more positive impact on me than learning the value of my own body and its wisdom.  I want that for every single one of you who reads this, it is that good.  Let me know how I can help you do this – I am putting as much out there as I can, but, for example,  would you want to participate in a (free) webinar?

I am always looking for more ways to spread the sanity of a life without diets, and a life that is fully rooted in the amazing pleasure of food and eating.  Suggestions welcome. 🙂

Mar
11

Take This Quick Thin Mentality Quiz!

watch-dog-computerSee how you do on this little 5 question “test” of diet mentality versus “thin mentality!”

1.  You wake up and are not hungry, so you don’t eat.  But you know that food won’t be available when you are at a meeting later this morning.  What do you do?

  • a.  Just eat anyway, it won’t taste that good because you aren’t hungry, but you really should eat.
  • b. Bring a small portable snack in your purse or briefcase and find a moment or two to eat it when your hunger starts distracting you.
  • c. Don’t eat and just suffer through the hunger when it hits you.

2.  Your best friend made a delicious cake for you for your birthday.  She clearly worked really hard on it, and now she has put a piece on the plate in front of you.  What do you do?

  • a.  Just tell her that there is no way you are going to eat that cake.  You are not hungry and you just aren’t going to sacrifice your thin mentality to be courteous by eating it.
  • b.  You take a couple of bites and rave about how good it is and how much you appreciate it.  You ask if you can take the rest home and enjoy it later.  You give her a big hug and tell her every time you take a bite you will remember what a good friend she is.  Then you take the cake home, enjoy it with your family, freeze some for later if you don’t think you will eat is so you won’t waste it.  And you are thankful that you have a great friend.
  • c.  You eat the piece she gave you.  It looks so good and you don’t want to hurt her feelings.

3.  You worked out three days in a row and feel really good about that.  When you go out to dinner that night you are really hungry.  What do you do?

  • a.  Realize that working out does make you hungrier!  You simply pay attention to both your hunger and satiety signals.  You may end up eating a little more than usual because you have been so active, but you still rely on your body to guide you.  Instead of saying to yourself, “I worked out a lot and should eat more,” you say, “Wow, working out made me a bit hungrier, so I will enjoy some more food until my hunger is quiet.”
  • b.  You order more food because you know that you burned a lot of calories over the past few days and you deserve to eat more.
  • c.  You are worried about eating more than usual so you ignore your hunger and just try to get by with the least food possible.

4.  You have a Christmas Party tonight and you are still at home and are already really hungry.  What do you do?

  • a.  Just stay hungry and go to the party and try to eat foods that aren’t too fattening.
  • b.  Eat a meal now and then go to the party.
  • c.  Have a small snack, just enough to take the edge off, and then go the party and enjoy the beautiful special food when your hunger starts distracting you again.  And when your hunger is calm, delay eating anymore until hungry again.

5.  You are visiting with your family and are hungry and craving a baked potato with butter and sour cream and salt and pepper.  You make yourself a nice plate and sit down to eat it in front of your family.  You get some looks of disappointment from your Mom who mutters that the potato would be better for you without all that butter and sour cream.  What do you do?

a.  Realize that your mom has a diet mentality and that she thinks she is helping you.  Just smile and tell her thanks for caring and keep eating your potato with butter and sour cream until you are not hungry anymore. (Which is different than being full!)  And you think to yourself that once you thin mentality is really strong, you will share your “journey” with her because she would be happier with a thin mentality too.

b.  You try to explain to your Mother what you are trying to do.  When she starts talking about nutrition and fat you do your best to explain.  When the whole family starts saying how ridiculous it is to eat butter if you are trying to lose weight, you just keep trying to explain.

c.  You scrape off the butter and sour cream and do your best to please your mother.

 

Okay, how did you do?  Answers:  1b, 2b, 3a, 4c, 5a.

No matter how you did, remember that replacing your diet mentality with a thin mentality is a process.  It goes against a lot of what you hear and see.  That is okay though!  Just come back here for support and you will eventually understand the wisdom of this.  Your body and soul both will thank you!

 

 

 

 

Mar
10

Sugar Isn’t Poison

sugar

One of the most important behaviors of a healthy thin mentality is to stop demonizing foods. This gets tricky because some people think I am ignoring the value of good nutrition when I say this.

But a healthy thin mentality is 100% compatible with good nutrition. The difference is that instead of having an external cues to eat healthfully, the healthy thin mentality person relies on internal cues.

This is a huge difference.

In other words, a dieter plans out meals and eats in according to rules like, “eat four servings of raw vegetables a day.” This directive doesn’t take into account anything about the dieter- the dieter’s likes, the dieter’s hunger level, the dieter’s preferences.

And the dieter talks about sweets or processed flour like they are arsenic.

The healthy thin mentality person, by contrast, eats vegetables because they taste good and their body craves them. And the healthy thin mentality person also eats and truly enjoys foods that a “dieter” would think are “poison.” But they eat them in amounts that are harmless, and in response to a true craving for them.

The bottom line is that dieters tend to eat really carefully and then binge or “fall off the wagon.” Healthy thin mentality people eat reasonably all the time. There is no motive to binge or go off the wagon- there is no wagon. They have reconnected to normal, healthful reasons to eat.

When you get yourself back to this state of mind and of eating- where you eat because you are hungry, you eat exactly what you crave, and you trust that your body will steer you to the food you need, you enjoy a freedom that no dieter will ever experience.

Please remember that at first, you food choices will be tainted by your diet history. But over time, you will realize that if you truly crave a cupcake you can have one, the glamor of that cupcake subsides.

Don’t get me wrong, enjoying a dessert is a beautiful and wonderful part of living with your thin mentality. Dessert isn’t arsenic- it is a wonderful part of life. And believe it or not, you will come to enjoy your favorite vegetables too- because it will be your choice and in response to your body- not because some book told you to eat four servings a day!!

Mar
4

You will crave nutritious food too!

spinach-arugula-cranberry-walnut-salad

So I was at a restaurant eating a nice salad that was crunchy and delicious last night.   Someone I know, who knows I run this website said, “Oh, I thought you could eat whatever you wanted.”

It never occurred to her that a salad could be something that someone would actually want.  Well it is!

As you develop your thin mentality, you have to be open to the idea that you will actually crave nutritious foods, as well as desserts, as well as salty foods, as well as high protein foods etc., etc.   Don’t try to talk yourself out of it!  Instead listen to what your body is asking you to provide.   That voice is probably soft right now, because you haven’t listened to it for years.  But, it will get louder, the more you listen to it.  You will get better and better at “hearing” what you need.

Opening a menu at a restaurant and knowing that you can order anything you want is a great.  After years of looking at a menu with a dieters’ perspective- (Well the chicken without sauce would be safe, or I could just get a shrimp cocktail, because that is low in calories and then get a side salad with just lemon juice, bla bla bla)  it is so refreshing to have those restrictions lifted.   Remember, that when you were “good” at a restaurant, you would frequently have something out of your fridge before you went to bed because you were still hungry.

So you would go out, not eat enough, kind of resent that feeling, come home and have a bowl of ice cream, and end up ingesting more calories, ironically, than if you had just had the reuben sandwich you really wanted in the first place!

Dieting is a trap.  Learn to eat with a thin mentality.  Enjoy your food in an amount appropriate for you (until you aren’t hungry anymore!!!) and then Get On With Your Life!!

Mar
3

You Can’t Control Everything, But You Can Be In Charge of You!

 

progress not perfection

Life throws stuff at you, right?

You had all good plans to eat a low calorie lunch, but then your boss asked you to eat lunch with a client…You stocked your fridge with healthy vegetables and yogurt, but then your friend came to town and asked you to dinner.  You plannedto go the gym, but you forgot your sneakers.  Whatever!

Instead of getting all stressed out and feeling “victimized,” just focus on your reaction.  That keeps you feeling powerful, and in charge- not “in control,” which is different.  You can’t control everything, but you can be in charge of how you, just you, react.

For example, when you go out with a client instead of eating your lunch from home, there is zero reason for that to make you over eat.  NO NO NO!  Stay in the present, enjoy your lunch, eating what you crave and STOP when your hunger is quiet.

Yes, I sound like a broken record on this subject!

But, it IS that simple.  Just start doing it. First time is the hardest/weirdest.  It gets easier.  It gets EASY, yes easy.  It is normal, and instinctual and you have just been trained out of it!

A thin mentality life is more than just eating an appropriate amount for your hunger, likes, and needs  It is a perspective that is fluid, adaptable and enjoyable.

So, when your friend calls you last minute to invite you to dinner, your reaction isn’t mired by worry over what you will eat.   You are joyful, not worried.

Doesn’t that sound better?  Don’t you think it is worthwhile to build a thin mentality life?

Benefits

-No food scares you

-You eat food you love

-Nutritional choices come from you (yes they do!) instead of from following some rigid plan

-You Relax

-You feel more joyful

-You calmly, harmoniously lose weight and get to an ideal, healthy weight for you

-You love doggie bags

-Your self esteem rebounds (nothing is worse for your self esteem than a diet mentality!)

Think progress, not perfection, and get started.

Mar
3

Best Exercise of All?

lift

I taught aerobics for years- and spinning.  And I worked out a lot.  And I lifted weights. And I love tennis

Do you know what exercise I would keep if I had to do just one for the rest of my life?

Weight lifting.

Now don’t cringe.  I am not talking about body building.  I am talking about lifting enough weight that I feel it the next day but it doesn’t “hurt.”  I turn on great music or if I am at a gym I bring ear phones or just people watch while I lift or whatever-

I have been doing this for about 15 years.  I used to just do cardio, cardio, cardio.  And I noticed that I didn’t really change my body.  I was lean enough, but no real muscle built.  And neither did the people in my class.  We had fun and our hearts were in great shape.  But I wanted some good muscle.

And reasonable weight lifting has got me there.

Here are the positives to weight lifting-

You build muscle-  no you won’t bulk up unless you are super rare-  I have never seen a woman bulk up without drugs and/or  heavy lifting

You get great cardio workout-  Nothing works the heart more than some weight lifting.  You don’t get that sustained high rate unless you try to move through your routine quickly, but you get really good at recovering quickly and that is a good measure of fitness.

It can be done very conveniently with modest amount of equipment

It can be made up of a huge variety of moves and reps

It keeps your body young- young=muscle!

It keeps you strong

Of course you need to know what you are doing, lift appropriately and with the right form.   But this isn’t brain surgery.  A few trips to a trainer or following someone good on YouTube and you are all set.  It really isn’t as complicated as the exercise industry has made it.

Does this complaint of mine sound familiar?  Yep!  It is a lot like the diet industry-  They make it complicated so you feel that you have to pay a lot to “figure it out.”

So…

Please remember my favorite saying —  What is the BEST exercise of all?  Pushing away from the table when you aren’t hungry anymore.

And if you are only going to do one exercise- lift weights!

I was thinking that I could do a couple of YouTube vids showing you all what I do-  let me know- comment here, if you would like that.

I am here to help you break free of the diet habit and get the healthy body and healthy mind and soul you want.  You can do it.  Please keep coming back and let me know if you have ideas on what would help you the most.

 

Mar
3

Dieting is Expensive, Your Thin Mentality Isn’t

Stivers-5-02-04-Crash-dietOne of the greatest things about having a thin mentality is that you get to be picky.

I don’t ever eat something I don’t really want.  I like the tops of muffins.  I never eat the bottom part.  My diet mentality would have said, well, you are eating this muffin so you might as well eat the whole thing.

No way!  I am not going to eat anything that I don’t love!  Why would I?  Instead of shoving down that part of the muffin I don’t like because I have “allowed” myself a muffin, I eat just the part I like, and if I am still hungry, and want more, I get another muffin and just eat the top.

Are you saying, “Well, that is expensive?”

I guarantee that eating with a healthy Thin Mentality is less expensive than being a dieter.  So if occasionally I throw out part of a muffin I don’t like and buy another one, I know I am still way ahead.  I take food home from restaurants where a dieter would gobble up every part of their “allowed” dinner.  I buy treats in bulk because I am NOT afraid of them.  I don’t have to buy special diet food, etc., etc., etc.

With a thin mentality, you eat what you want, when you want it.  If it is dinner, but I want breakfast, I eat breakfast.  I don’t have to check some rule book.  The ONLY focus is that eating must be in response to physical hunger, and it has to answer what I am craving.

Eating for any other reason is like scratching when you don’t itch.  And when I “itch” for breakfast at 6 pm.,  that is what I eat.  If I ate spaghetti instead, it would not answer my hunger or make me feel happily satisfied.

It would be like scratching my arm when my foot itched.

Give yourself a chance to discover your true likes and what you hunger for.  Your unique preferences are a part of you.  It is actually really fun to discover them, and to respond to them.

Remember, eat when you are hungry.  Eat the kind of food your body is craving.  Stop when your body isn’t asking for it anymore.

Remember the point of diminishing return?  The first bite is the BEST.  The fifth bite is only okay.  That is because your body doesn’t need you to keep eating anymore…