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Jun
27

Response to Question About Bingeing

Stop-Binge-Eating
Here is my response to an email from someone who was feeling very down about having binged.  She wanted to know if it is possible to have a sugar addiction and how to handle that urge to binge.


Now of course I am not a doctor, and I don’t want anyone with diabetes or a true issue to go undiagnosed.  So please make sure your doc says you are ok.But here is what I realized about sugar and sugar addiction.When I was a dieter, I thought I had an issue with sugar.  You know why?  Because when I actually allowed myself to eat sugar, I would eat so much of it.  I would go a month without anything sweet and then eat a bunch of candy or whatever.  And then, of course I would feel awful, be unable to properly metabolize all of that sugar and “crash.”  I truly thought that I couldn’t eat sugar.

But…when I started to develop my thin mentality, I realized that if I ate normally, with normal intake of normal food that my normal body craved, I could handle sugar just fine.  People hoard food, like sugar, after periods of deprivation.

So…discontinue the deprivation!

And you know what?   I enjoy one “serving” of sweets now way more than I ever enjoyed a whole bag of snickers.  And the fact that I know I am allowed to eat what I crave, including desserts, has had another interesting effect.  Desserts have lost their power over me.  I can enjoy a very small amount and be completely satisfied.  I know that whenever I want cake, I can have it.  So, no big deal.

And don’t underestimate this next point:

When you give up diets, you have to believe, deep in your heart, that you will NEVER diet again.  Why?  Because if you think you might go on a diet, (for instance if this “thin mentality” thing doesn’t work) then you will sabotage yourself.  You will binge because you will think-  “I don’t know if this is going to work so I might as well binge because after all I can go on a diet again.”

This mentality will poison your efforts, I promise.

And then remember this.  You are trying to make a tremendous change.  Of course it is hard, and has ups and downs.  But remember that even if you “mess up,” as long as you take that as a learning experience, you are still getting closer to a thin mentality.

Yes, the thousands of calories that you ate while binging take you a step backward in your body getting thin.  Yes, of course, I understand that and I know how frustrated and sad that makes you.

But remember that the choice you WISH was there, IS NOT THERE

You don’t have the option of going on a diet and becoming a thin, “relaxed-around-food” person.  Please remember this NEVER works.  So you either say to yourself that you will yo-yo diet for the rest of your life, or you will stick with what you know is smarter:  learn how to behave and eat as a naturally thin person.

There is no reason in the world you cannot be that person. I don’t care how fat your family is.  I don’t care if you have been fat since you were three years old.

We are not designed to be fat.  You were not.  Say to yourself,

I am a naturally thin person but I have been taught that dieting will make me thin. Dieting has made me fatter.  I am going to reconnect with the body that I was born into.  I am the only one who can do this- connect to my body.  I will eat when I am hungry.  I will not fear food, I will see food as a pleasure that I deserve.  I will not fear hunger.  I know that I can eat whenever I am hungry.  And for all of this pleasure and guilt free eating, I will promise myself one thing:  I will wait for a hunger opportunity to eat.  Delay, not deny.

So don’t beat yourself up.  This is hard!  I don’t lie like the diet industry.  But hard doesn’t mean bad.  Hard means interesting, challenging, and worthwhile.

OK?

Thanks for emailing me to let me know how you are doing.  Stay with this. It is the only permanent solution and it is worth it.

Nov
30

Don’t Let the Diet Industry Make More Money Off of You

delicious-eating-fashion-girl-hair-hat-Favim_com-64777_largeWhy are we constantly hyperventilating over finding the perfect food combination for optimum health or the quickest way to lose weight, or the best exercise?

How did we all get so caught up in this?

Well, it is because diet and nutrition companies make money on promoting nutrition and weight loss products.  In the United States alone, it is a 65 BILLION DOLLAR a year industry.

And to sell these products, they have to create a need.

So through an extraordinary amount of advertising, the diet industry has convinced us that we need them.

But developing your thin mentality is cheap!

It won’t make any company any profits.  And, it won’t require lots of supplies or special foods.

It is funny, though.  I think that we have all gotten so used to eating and dieting, that at first you might miss the the angst of dieting.

I mean it does give you something juicy to talk about with your friends, right?

But, believe me, once you stop dieting, you will think of other, much better topics of conversation!  You really won’t miss it at all!

Nov
4

Listen to Your body, Not the “Expert” of the Day

salt

I cannot tell you how happy I was to see the New York Times article, “Salt, We Misjudged You.”   The article states, “New evidence suggests that eating less of it (salt) can actually worsen your health.”

So, once again, the experts tell us one thing, then the experts contradict themselves…

Salt, like sugar,  is one of those life-sustaining gifts from “Mother Nature.”   They are fantastic.  And as a person with a thin mentality I can, and do, enjoy salt and sugar every day.

You can too.

I am NOT telling you to eat more salt or sugar.  I AM telling you that if you crave something, like salt, you should provide it to your body— when you are hungry!

Scientists can do a thousand experiments on salt intake.  That is fine. But today, as I sit and eat some scrambled eggs, I don’t need their validation.  I am going to put salt on ’em and enjoy them tremendously.

What is your “salt?’  You may have no idea because you have been trained to ignore your body.  But if you start listening, you will learn a lot about yourself, and what combination of foods your body wants.

I know you don’t believe you can do this.  But you can.  It is normal.  Eating according to diet rules is abnormal.

Naturally thin eating is:

Eating exactly what you want when hungry and Stopping when you aren’t hungry anymore!
again:
Eating exactly what you want when hungry and Stopping when you aren’t hungry anymore!
again:
Eating exactly what you want when hungry and Stopping when you aren’t hungry anymore!

Once your body trusts that when you are hungry you will provide appropriate food, you are on the road to recovering from your diet mentality.

Trust yourself!  Even if your diet mentality is decades old, as mine was, it is possible to recover and enjoy a fulfilling relationship with food, and have a thin body.

It is great, and it is worth the effort to “re-train” yourself.
Or would you rather diet for the rest of your life?  Ugh!

Jul
14

My Response to Email Re “Slip Ups”

mistakeDear D,

So glad you like the book.

Yes, Of course I had slip ups.  And of course, so will you.

You are so right the key is how you handle the slip ups!

When you realize you are eating even though you are not hungry try this:

Step 1

Recognize what you are doing:

“I am eating even though I am not hungry.  I am putting food into my body that my body is not asking for.  It is enjoyable.  But not as enjoyable as eating when I am hungry, and I am trying to learn how to eat like a thin person, and I know this isn’t right.”

Step 2

Delay eating whatever food you are “struggling with” for just a few minutes

Could I just put this down for ten minutes and see how I feel?  Could I just delay eating this for those few minutes?”

Put it in the fridge, or in a baggie or whatever.  Let ten minutes go by.  See how you feel

Step 3

Give yourself permission to eat it when you are hungry.

No matter what the food– candy, muffin, hamburger, chopped salad- you MAY eat it as soon as your body says you are hungry.  And people who are overweight are ALLOWED to be hungry!

If you are still really having a hard time saying no to it even though you are not hungry have a little bit more and then try putting it down again.

While you are doing this say to yourself that every minute you DELAY eating it, is a step closer to eating when you are actually hungry.

That delaying of eating,  NOT the denial of food, is the crux of a thin mentality.  So every minute you can wait is going to build the strength of your thin mentality.  

You will get better and better at delaying gratification until you are hungry.  You will get comfortable with it, it won’t feel like punishment.  It will feel like you are finally eating as Mother Nature wanted you to eat..

Give you body a chance to show you how happy it is eating in harmony with your natural instincts to eat and NOT eat!

And yes, diets have taught us that if we start a binge, we might as well finish it.

NO!  Eating one extra brownie isn’t great.  But using that one extra brownie to eat three more is, as I wrote on Facebook recently, really really silly!

Stay in the moment.  Stay in the moment.  Stay in the moment…

There is no tomorrow where you can make up for today’s excess.  Today is all you have, right?

Don’t expect perfection from yourself.  That is a diet mentality, right?  Just move forward, and that slight side to side “wiggle” will get less and less over time.

For your child:

The best thing you can do for her is to model good behavior.  Don’t TALK about it.  DO it.  Talk is cheap.  The actions you take will impress her beyond all of the words you can say.

Yes, children need to be guided.  Guide her with questions like this, “Are you hungry for something warm and delicious like soup or something cold and crunchy like grapes, etc.”  She will get in touch with her own signals this way.

And, if she is hungry for a cookie, that is ok, as long as she is hungry for it and stops when she is not hungry anymore.  Kids need guidance on what kind of portions would probably suffice.  Don’t overload her plate with any kind of food-  “good” or “bad.”

And teach her to check in with her hunger, “Have you had enough?”     Give her a chance to hunger and express her hunger for a whole variety of foods.  Make finding new foods fun.

Most of all, though, model thin behavior for her.

Your questions were so good, that I think I am going to put this answer in the blog on my website, because I am sure you speak for many with the struggle to handle a “slip up!”

Take care and thanks for the email!

Have a great week and stay committed to this!

May
2

Bonuses Based on Dollars Made Not Pounds Lost

rich-businessman-lie-around-cash-clipart-picture-male-cartoon-character-35918329

I received an email from a Facebook fan who has lost a nice amount of weight since last spring and feels very happy to have gotten rid of her diet mentality.  But she is smart and knows that she needs to constantly reinforce her thin mentality because diet companies are relentless in their messaging.

The following is her email:

Saw a great programme on in the UK yesterday. It’s was an investigation into weight watchers and their products. Basic gist of the programme was:

*compared weight watchers products with similar regular products and weight watchers were more expensive and either more points than the normal similar product or there was a lot less in the weight watcher products!

*weight watcher staff that hold the meetings get paid in relation to how many people in the class and how many products they sell not on how much weight people lose!

*they compared a weight watchers ice cream with a regular ice cream, the regular had 4 ingredients the WW had over 14 many the presenter couldn’t pronounce!

*they interviewed a member who had been there a year. She was 4lb lighter than the day she started 12months prior. They worked out that it had cost her £101 per 1lb lost! She was devastated.

Very interesting programme, made me feel good.

I really appreciate that she sent this to me.  It is great to see people learning to call out the diet industry.

Focus on building your thin mentality.  I should say re-building, because you WERE born with one.

But the hundreds of thousands of ads you see for diets (like the newly thin celebrities dancing around in the weight watchers commercials) have made you believe that diets are the way to thinness.

NOPE!  Diets make you dieter for the rest of your life.  Ugh, how awful.

But, learning to behave like a thin person is the way to be thin for the rest of your life.  And naturally thin people do not diet. They eat when they are hungry and can’t understand why you would shove food down when you are not.

Do you scratch your arm when it doesn’t itch?  Not very rewarding.

When you know you can always eat when you are hungry, turning down food when you are not is not hard.  Just look at your plate and say, yes I can eat all of this.  As soon as I am hungry.  Then put it away nicely, and as soon as you are hungry, enjoy!

Folks, wait for hunger, Delay, not Deny.  You can do it, one meal at a time.

Dec
3

Radio Show – Why I didn’t fit in

boo me in purseSomeone asked me to be on the radio.  They clearly didn’t look at my website or Facebook page very well.

I didn’t fit in well at all…  (Yes that is me with my dog-just love this pic so thought I’d share…)

They built a show, one that they hope will bring in advertising revenue, based on “healthy lifestyles.”

It was the typical, tired, overused cliches and rules about dieting and how to get thin.  A phrase that was used a lot was, “How to make it through the holidays without gaining weight.”

Is that really the best we can do?  To “make it through” the holidays?

A caller called in and said that he eats an apple before going to a party so that he eats less at the party.  Everyone cheered- what a  “good” way to make it through the holidays- ??

That is such a diet mentality.

Here is a thin mentality dealing with the holidays:

I love the holidays- there is so much good food that I don’t usually get that I can enjoy.  I get that smoked turkey from my aunt, there is eggnog and roast beef and special roasted vegetables at my sister’s house and I cook more than usual, including that strata for Christmas morning.

It is a wonderful time of the year to enjoy satisfying my hunger.

Before a special meal,  I make sure that I am in Stage 2 hunger when it will be time to eat.  (Not desperately hungry like when I am at Stage 3, just pleasantly hungry.)
I have learned over the years how to time this very well. You will too!

If I know I won’t make it to dinner without getting over hungry, I eat a little something I love from the appetizer table.  (not an apple at home by myself!!)  But, since I like the actual meal better than the appetizers, I would never fill up and waste my hunger on that.  (There are sometimes when I prefer appetizers, but not over the holidays!)

Anyway do you get the idea?

It is a mindset that isn’t afraid of the holiday food!  I appreciate holiday food.  But, since I can always eat what I crave when I am hungry, there is ZERO  motivation to over eat.

The longer you are a thin mentality person, the less tolerance you have for over eating.  It is a terrible feeling to overload your stomach.  It ruins the evening- or day.  I haven’t done it in a long long time, but I remember the feeling well.

It was always especially bad after dieting.  After weeks or months of strict eating, I would just lose it and binge.  I know you know the feeing.  To be free of that is such a triumph.  I never ever ever worry about that anymore.

I am not special.  This is normal.

I hope you had a good holiday season.  I hope you enjoyed great food when you were hungry.  I hope you stopped when your fantastic body said, “enough.”

It takes some trial and error for a thin mentality to take hold.  Be willing to get through it.  The reward:  thin, happy, relaxed around food.  (For the rest of your life.)

Happy 2013 🙂

Sep
15

Email from Californian Ex-dieter Documenting Progress

VegietableThis email is from someone who found this site and decided it was time to stop dieting.

By the way, I would never publish anything emailed to me, even without your name, without permission from you.

I got the OK to share this, and I hope it is helpful for you to read this.  Remember that your journey is your own, and may be substantially different from the following example.

“Good morning Meg,

My book arrived thank you!  I have read a little over half.  This past weekend and yesterday I reminded myself everyday that I’ve given up the diet mentality and food no longer controls me, it was a very liberating weekend.  Yesterday was a true learning day in terms of feeling my real hunger.  I waited to eat in the morning, ate what I wanted.  Was hungry again at 11, so ate, normally I’d wait till 12.  I was hungry again at 3, so ate again, again ate what I wanted, I was craving chicken 🙂  Got home at 5, not hungry.  Slightly hungry at 6, began eating left over veggies from the day before, and this is where I faltered for the day, I over ate the veggies past fullness because they were just veggies right?  Wrong, I than craved something sweet, I had a bowl of frozen yogurt, but not that I was stuffed I may as well eat something else I liked, I ate half a bag of frozen blueberries, again, already stuffed and not hungry.

I got your book on my porch about an hour later, perfect timing!!  Nice to be able to read and reinforce what I am going through.

I realize I might have these moments during this learning process of reconnecting with myself, and I am okay with that.  I didn’t berate myself, or tell myself its no use etc, because I know it was a matter of the lesson learned.”

Feb
10

Not Losing Fast Enough?

fat

What happens when you understand the wisdom of a thin mentality, but you aren’t losing weight fast enough?

I understand your frustration.

But you didn’t gain the weight overnight, and you will not lose it overnight.  If you do lose weight fast, you will gain it back-fast too.-  Your powerful body is programmed to survive and if you starve it, it will send you massive eating signals that will cause you to regain all of your weight and then some.

I always remind you to look at your own personal history, or people you know, to see how true this is.

So as you build your thin mentality, you will have to make peace with slow weight loss.

But think about it.  If you lose a pound a week, (if you are very heavy, it could be more) and it is permanent and doesn’t require skipping parties, or buying special foods, or abstaining from the meals you love, the time goes quickly.  You aren’t suffering on a diet.  You are making a permanent change that will last for the rest of your life.

And that is way better than losing thirty pounds in two months and gaining it back in one-  Yea it was quick, but gaining weight back is the WORST!

Having said all of this, here are a few things to think about to make sure you are using your thin mentality:

-As you eat, check in with your hunger level often, “How am I feeling, Could I be done? Do I need more?  Does the food still taste amazing?  Are my taste buds still singing?

– Remind yourself, “I can stop eating, and if I find distracted by food and the thought of eating more, I can always eat again.”   Or, “ Yes I love this food so much and I want to have it all, and I can, just not all at once-  I will save it for later!”

-Prepare for those times when you need a little something to eat, but don’t have time for a big meal, or for those times when you stopped eating too soon.  Having a little snack, something you usually like (for me it is peanuts) in your pocket or purse gives you the confidence to stop eating at a meal because you know if you get hungry, you have a little something with you.

-Take notice of your hunger rhythms and learn from it!  Learn about yourself so that you can take care of yourself appropriately.  For example:  If you notice it takes your stomach a few minutes “tell” you that you have had enough, remember that!  Perhaps take a little break and give your body a chance to tell you that you are satisfied.

Living your life with a healthy thin mentality will bring you weight loss, peace, improved self-esteem and respect for your body.  It will free you from obsessive thoughts about what to eat, who much you weigh, how much weight you can lose by this party, this summer this whatever!  The war is over.

Jan
14

Dieting Changes How You See Yourself

 

 

junk food eater 600

You have a lot of beliefs about yourself and eating.

Some of them may be true.  Some of them may not be.

Example:

“I have a huge appetite.”

“I don’t like vegetables.”

“I am a junk food junkie.”

But please consider this:  constant dieting perverts your view of YOURSELF.

Dieting has made you think things like: ·

” I am always hungry.”

“I would eat sweets all day long if I could.”

“I am doomed to be fat if I don’t constantly diet.”

But dieting isn’t a normal state.  Your behavior on a diet doesn’t reflect the “normal you.”   Dieting makes us to lose touch with how we really are, as eaters! And even if you aren’t currently on a diet, if you THINK that there may be a diet in your future you don’t behave normally. Do you see this?

A future diet changes your present behavior. Bottom line:

1.     Dieting perverts your relationship with normal eating.

2.     Dieting perverts your view of yourself.

3.     Dieting perverts your body by causing you to over eat both before and after a diet.

When I stopped dieting, my entire view of myself as an eater changed.  Long held beliefs I had regarding what I liked, how much I wanted to eat, etc., faded away and were replaced with my true preferences, eating patterns and hunger and satiety signals. I want this for every person who reads this blog.

What you discover about yourself will be different than what I discovered about me.  And learning about how you are as an eater is really important to your physical and mental health.

Listen -!

Food and your relationship with food is a really important part of your life.  Food gives you life.  Right? And many of us have played roulette with food for a large part of our lives.  Casually betting on this or that diet. We have not recognized the disastrous impact that dieting has on the essential act of eating.

We have played with a beautifully balanced system without respect.

Get your normal relationship with food and eating back.  No weird diet rules.  No food demonization.  No desperate attempts to lose 5 pounds in three days. Banish your diet mentality from your brain, heart and soul.   Listen to the beauty of your body’s voice and get reacquainted with the real you.

Jan
8

Dear Rigid Dieter and Exerciser

Unhappy Depressed Woman

Today’s blog isn’t for everyone:

I am not directing this to someone who is looking for an excuse to avoid workouts and overeat.   I am talking to the rigid dieter and exerciser who is afraid to trust herself.

It is for people like “Kelly” who posted on Facebook yesterday.  (Aug 4 2013)

They are fit, have their weight “under control,” and feel like they are doing the right thing.

Here is the truth:  They do not have their weight under control.  Their weight is controlling them.

It does take strength to follow a rigid workout and eating schedule.  Yes it does.  I have done that myself and I understand this mentality.

But there is no joy, wisdom or freedom in this.

Here is why:

When you fight your body, you lose.  When you work with your body, you win.

  • Fighting your body is ignoring hunger.
  • Fighting your body is eating at pre-scheduled times whether or not you are hungry
  • Fighting your body is working out even if your knee is sore.
  • Fighting your body is eating vegetables when your body is craving protein.
  • Fighting your body is skipping sleep when you are tired.
  • Cravings, hunger, fatigue and soreness are your body’s voice.

Work WITH your body by respecting these and you WIN.

Lose the rules, the rigidity and the “perfection” mentality.

Replace it with responsiveness, respect for the wisdom of your body’s voice, and a long-term vision of your body and your health.

As with many things, calm, gentle progress lasts.  For example, an exercise plan you can actually follow for the rest of your life beats the “insanity” stop and start programs that result in burn out.

And learning to eat the way Mother Nature intended will get you off the diet treadmill, and yo-yo weight gain/loss/gain.

And for those of you saying that our current food supply is so “fake” that it has disrupted our ability to eat like this, I respectfully disagree.

First, because I live it, and I know that my body is perfectly capable of taking in calories from all kinds of sources and responding appropriately.  If I eat some “low nutrient” food one day, guess what, I crave “better” food the next.

And, it is wiser and long-term more important to avoid demonizing any food.  Your body will take care of that for you.  You WILL crave healthful, wonderful food.

First step:  Promise your body that you will not diet anymore and begin to trust yourself and your own wisdom.  It is in there, currently being wasted by many of us…

I am launching a new website very soon to help you make this transition.  It includes a work book that goes with my book Diets Are Fattening  (available on the book tab)

Be optimistic about this.  You can do it, and you will enjoy a normalized relationship with food, eating and your body.  And you will calmly get (or stay) in your ideal weight range.