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Jan
6

We Are All Different, Only A Thin Mentality Respects That

quote-we-don-t-need-sugar-to-live-and-we-don-t-need-it-as-a-society-mehmet-oz-140657I watch Dr. Oz to get fired up about how ridiculous food rules are.  He is always trying to get rid of some food that I enjoy.  Like sugar or bread…

He was interviewing a doctor who wrote a book saying that American wheat is poison.  (This is a topic for another day.)

To prove his point, he had 5 women eat some whole wheat bread one day and the next day they ate a candy bar.  They measured spikes in blood sugar after each.

So interesting…   Dr. Oz, is ALWAYS saying how simple carbs (like in candy bars) spike your blood sugar.  I would have thought he  would have based this on some kind of evidence.

Instead, he said that he didn’t think anyone had ever done this simple experiment before.  WHAT??  He constantly pushes whole grains to keep your blood sugar steadier, yet he never had any scientific proof of that???  Maddening!

The results showed that in 2 or 3  (sorry can’t remember) of these women, the whole grain bread spiked their blood sugar more than the candy bar!

I was not surprised.  Do you know why?  Because that is how it is for me.  I can feel it.  (Because I am paying attention to my body.)

What conclusions can we draw from this?

That food rules are irrelevant because they assume that there are minimal differences in:

1.  What kind of food individuals might require
2.  How much food individuals require
3.  How individuals metabolize that food.

Da da da…. we are different!

There is even a lot of variability within a person.   Some days you need more protein, some days more carbs, some days it is fat.  Whatever!

So why do we go on diets or pay attention to “experts” like Dr. Oz who advocate magic formulas that don’t respect these differences?

Some people need more food than others.  Some need more protein.  Some need more fat.  It is just the way it is.  You all know someone who can eat more and not gain.  Well, some people are tall and some are short.  What are you going to do about it?

You aren’t going to do anything about it.  You are going to say to yourself, “I have this body.  It requires a certain amount of food.  Maybe less than my friend, maybe more than my sister.  Whatever.  I am going to listen to my unique body to know what to eat and when.  And I am not going to pout because my friend gets to eat 200 calories a day more than me.  I have prettier feet.  So what…”  🙂

People!!! It is the money!!

If they don’t come up with “new” ideas, they don’t have a TV show.

And we are like sheep, following and paying.  Ugh Ugh Ugh

There is one truth that you can rely on.  Whatever created us took into account that we needed to have signals to know what to eat and when.  Otherwise, we would eat rubber and food  that had spoiled, or never eat, or eat too much.  We were given “senses” to guide us.

And we have thrown them in the trash and tuned into the “handsome” doctor instead!

And his pockets, and the network, and the pine nut, ginseng companies are all enjoying our money.  Meanwhile, we are NOT enjoying our lives as much as we could be because we are obsessed with our weight and eating.

And that obsession, instead of making you thin, is making you fatter.

You know it.  Your efforts bring you nothing but short term success or up and down weight control at best.

Eat in harmony with your body.  It is delightful.

Jan
4

Go Ahead and Google It

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 4.16.58 PM

Go ahead and google- “do diets work” or “diets don’t work” and you will find studies like this:

http://phys.org/news94906931.html#jCp

In case you don’t have time to read it, I pulled out some quotes from the study that you might find alarming:

  • “We concluded most of them would have been better off not going on the diet at all.”
  • “Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people.”
  • “Several studies indicate that dieting is actually a consistent predictor of future weight gain,
  • “One of the best predictors of weight gain over the four years was having lost weight on a diet at some point during the years before the study started,”
  • “83 percent gained back more weight than they had lost.”
  • “We asked what evidence is there that dieting works in the long term, and found that the evidence shows the opposite”

This kind of information isn’t “pushed” to you like diet ads.  But if you look for it, it is out there.

So ironic, alongside these articles are tons of “diet ads.” Ugh!  Be too smart for this.

Dec
21

Stay in the Moment – No Food Debt to the New Year

diet-resolutions

Sound familiar?

“I will just get through the holiday season, and try not to gain too much, and then really, starting Jan 1, I will be so committed.  I will go to the gym and eat really healthy food.  I will pack my lunch for work, only organic, low calorie food.  No desserts for me!  And by spring, when it comes time to wear shorts and sleeveless shirts, I will be much thinner!  Yes I can do it!  I might even go online to Weight Watchers.  Ok, this is great.  I am really psyched to really get it together this year.  Ok…Well, here I go to the office party, and there will be cookies there.  I guess I can have some since I am really going to start strong in January.”

Ha!

Do you see the craziness of this!  You eat more in the holidays because you are so sure that this year your diet will work and you will keep weight off.  It will be different.  Oh boy, those ads on TV do a number on us.

OK, now just STOP,  Do NOT do this to yourself.  Stop putting off your life.  You are right here in this moment. What are you going to do?  Are you going to shove a cookie down your body now because you are going to diet in a couple of weeks.  That is not fair to your “future self” is it?

Don’t treat your “future self” that way.  Don’t give your “future self” a food debt.  NO NO NO

Stay in the present.  If you are hungry for something sweet and you go to your office party and there are some wonderful little treats there, go ahead and have enough to quiet your hunger for them.  This won’t take long!  Pay attention.  Then, get on with your life.  Don’t use that cookie as a license to binge for the rest of the day because you already messed up!!!!

There is no magic diet.  Those raspberry ketones will not save you from fatness.  Nothing will, except you learning to eat in response to your body.  Your body is your best friend.  It wants you to start listening.  Stop fantasizing that any other way will work.

And you know what?  When you do, you will realize that all along you had the tools within you to listen, eat enough to keep you happy, stress free, and binge free, and be a nice weight for you.

And keeping your body happy, satisfied and not overfull is a wonderful way to be.

Dec
4

Feeling Fat Makes Your Desperate- Don’t Lose Your Common Sense

mich bloated sac

There you are, feeling fat.   You had lost weight, but over Thanksgiving you lost control.  The pumpkin pie was fabulous.  You remember feeling full and asking for more food anyway.   And now you feel awful.  You try to estimate how long it will take you to make up for all the eating you did over the holiday.

You feel desperate.  Then you look through some magazines and see some celebrities saying how they lost weight doing this or that- (Have you seen the crazy Instagram shots of people “waist” training?)

And you let those pictures effect you.  You think maybe you just need to find the right diet and you will be okay.  You consider drinking detox tea every day like that Jenner girl.  Or you decide that you will just go on Nutrisystem one more time.

AH!  Stop letting glamorized stories of dieting influence you!  You have dieted before- you always gain the weight back.  Insanity is repeating an action and expecting a different consequence, right?  Don’t be “insane!”

Stop trying to get thin by dieting.  Instead, learn how to get thin and healthy  by developing your thin mentality.  And remember, being a dieter and having a thin mentality are completely different.

And remember these truths:

  • Eating when you are hungry is normal and will not make you fat
  • Eating when you are not hungry no matter how healthy the food is fattening
  • You probably  need less food to calm hunger than you think.
  • You fear being hungry because dieting made you ignore your hunger.
  • When you respect your hunger and non hunger,  you normalize your relationship with food

Feeling desperate because you are unhappy with your weight leaves you vulnerable to ridiculous diet plans and silly celebrities who are paid to promote different ways to “get skinny.”  Don’t fall for it.  Your body doesn’t need a “detox.”  Your body needs you to listen to your hunger and non hunger.

 

Oct
9

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.

Jun
14

How Do You Measure Success?

overweight looking at scales-1436140

As a dieter, you were used to weighing yourself to see how “successful” you were.

And part of what motivated you was getting on that scale every morning and seeing “where you were.”  And when you started gaining it back, that weigh-in ruined your day.

I understand because I did that too- for years- oops, decades-  ugh.

But I implore you,  as you develop your thin mentality, do not use the scale to punish or praise yourself.

This does NOT mean that I want you “giving in” to being fat.  That is not why I recommend that you stop weighing yourself all the time.

I have just found that weighing yourself all the time is consistent with a diet mentality, not a thin mentality.  Naturally thin people do NOT weigh themselves all the time!

And we are copying the behavior of the naturally thin people, not the dieters, because we don’t want to be dieters for the rest of our lives!   We want to be normal, non-obsessed, naturally thin people.

Think about it this way.  If you adopt the behavior of a successful person, chances are, you have a good, very good, chance of becoming successful yourself.  Similarly, if you adopt the behavior of a naturally thin person…

So- instead of measuring success with your scale, measure it with how many times in a day you exhibited behavior consistent with naturally thin behavior.

For example:

You woke up this morning and cut a ciabatti roll in half and put it in the toaster.  You got it out, and buttered it.   You put your favorite preserves on the side cause you like to dip the bread in it.  Then, when you were half way through you asked yourself, “Do I really want the rest,or am I just eating it because it is in front of me and is still warm and smells good?”  You think about it and realize that a naturally thin person would stop eating now.  The bread was wonderful, but you aren’t hungry anymore.  And you say to yourself, “When I am hungry again, I can eat it.”

When you have a meal like this, give yourself a gold star.  And soon, when your wall is covered in ’em, you will have transformed your diet mentality into a thin mentality.  And, over a period of time, your body will match your mentality.

How long this will take depends of course on how much you have eaten for reasons other than hunger, (in other words, how heavy you are.)   Yes, it will take a while – if you are very heavy.  But really, what choice is there?  Are you going to diet, lose and then diet and gain?  Please, do not fool yourself and say, “Oh no, I really do think that I can diet and keep it off.”  You know, that isn’t true.

Remember,your body doesn’t want to be fat.  It is waiting for you to respect its “I am NOT hungry anymore” signals….

If you put it on a diet, you will lose, then gain, and what you gain will be all fat, and your metabolism will be slower and you will be worse off than when you started.  How do I know?  The best predictor of the future is the past…

Jun
8

Diet Myths Sabotage Your Thin Mentality

healthy_substitutes_for_food_cravings2   One of the most enduring diet myths is that you can “replace” a high calorie item with a low calorie item and “save” calories and your body will not know the difference.

Nope.

If you eat less in an effort to save calories, you do save them temporarily, but the effect of that lower calorie meal is that you will need more food later.  Doesn’t that make sense to you?

So instead of substituting a non fat, fake-sugar yogurt for the yogurt or food you really like, just eat the food you really crave, when you are hungry.   And as you eat it, truly enjoy it, without guilt or telling yourself you “should” be eating something else.

The diet industry has created that list of “shoulds” for you, and they make TONS of money making you believe their list is more important than the signals you get from your own body.  Do you let some company tell you when to go to the bathroom?  No, you rely on your body.

You “should” eat what your body is asking for.  And your body will surprise you with how many variable and wonderful foods it will crave- including really healthful stuff.  It will be far more satisfying to you, and help you calm down your food and eating/not eating obsession.

And how do you lose weight doing this?

Well once you understand that you can’t fool your body, you must start trusting your  body instead.  And the weight loss comes when you successfully match eating and hunger.  When you eat when you are hungry and stop when hunger is quiet, you will be eating appropriately for YOU.  And if you are doing this and not losing weight, try paying more attention to the “enough” signal.

And remember, you are the only one who can listen to your body.  If you don’t, no one will!  And wouldn’t that be sad?  If your fantastic, smart body went ignored for your whole life?

Bottom line:  (I don’t mind telling you the truth)  We need less food than we think… But when you can eat whatever you crave,  whenever you are hungry, you will be fine.  It is not eating when you are hungry that is so hard.

 

Jan
11

If Diets Worked, We’d All Be Thin…

call me

Do you think putting your food on a smaller plate is going to trick your stomach?

This is one of the New Year gimmicks that always shows up.  Oh yes, to help people eat less, just give them smaller plates.  If that worked, we would all be thin.

Of course it doesn’t work because people have the beautiful gift of hunger.  I say beautiful gift because eating when you are hungry is such an extreme pleasure.  But conversely, of course, NOT eating when you are hungry is miserable.

But back to the plate.   The small plate doesn’t work because your body knows how many calories it received.  And if you don’t eat enough food to satisfy your hunger because it didn’t fit on your plate, you are not making progress.  You are simply using a very arbitrary measure (the size of a plate) to guide you.

With your thin mentality you use your unique body’s voice to guide you in what you need to eat, and how much, and when.  You no longer rely on the size of a plate, the calculations of your “fit watch,” or by calculating points.  You rely on your own hunger and your own lack of hunger to guide you.

Why has this wisdom been so discredited?

I hate to beat a dead horse, but honestly the answer is money.  Diet companies make money by convincing you that you need their expert guidance to know what to eat.  Food companies package smaller portion sizes and charge more money because they have convinced you that you can’t be trusted to know how much to eat.  Even doctors, nutritionists, personal trainers etc., make money by repeating diet advice to you.

But if diet companies, food companies and health care professionals had the answer, why would obesity be such a problem.  And not just obesity.  Why would people who successfully maintain a smaller weight loss be so rare?

You don’t need special foods.  You don’t need special scales.  You don’t need anything except to reconnect eating and hunger.  This is normal: You itch, you scratch.  You need to use the bathroom, you go.  You see something funny, you laugh.  You are sad, you cry.  You are hungry you eat.  You are not hungry, you do not eat.

Ignore those highly paid celebrities who say that some program worked for them.  THEY ARE PAID ACTORS.  They are allowed to lie.  They make millions of dollars being spokespeople.  Do  you really think that Marie Osmond eats Nutritsytem meals….?

And by the way, remember when Terry Bradshaw  (famous football player) was a spokesperson for Nutrisystem?  Have you soon recent photos of him?

Develop your thin mentality and repeat after me, “Diets do not work, and in time, make you fatter…”

 

Mar
8

Why I Don’t Weigh Myself

Feet_on_scaleLet’s talk about the scale again. I know this is a sticking point for many of you.

When I first rejected dieting and began to build my thin mentality, I was nervous that I would gain weight. So, at first, I did weigh myself every few days. I actually think that this slowed me down, but hey, maybe you are worried like I was so I want to tell you how I handled it.

Now- let me review why weighing yourself is counterproductive. Let’s say you get on the scale and you weigh less than you thought. What happens? In my case, if I weighed less I would think things like, “well, I guess I didn’t eat as much as I thought I did, I have to remember that I can eat more and not gain.” Or I would think, “wow, I guess today I can be a little less strict on myself.” And then if I had gained weight I would think, “Damn, I must have eaten too much- ugh,” or “I am so mad that I weigh more- I worked out so much, that doesn’t seem fair,” etc. etc.

Does this kind of response sound at all familiar to you?

But all of these responses are absolutely silly because they treat that number on the scale as an accurate measurement of your progress. Please remember, that your scale doesn’t deserve so much respect. Over time, a scale can certainly show a pattern of loss or gain. But from one day to the next, a scale can make you think you gained, when you are really just swollen from drinking a lot from working out, or make you think you lost weight when you really are just dehydrated. Etc.! There are lots of things that influence what your weight, from day to day!!

So weighing yourself interferes with what should be the only relevant question when you are deciding if and what to eat, “Am I hungry?” In other words, if you weigh more and you are upset, you may not eat what you need because you are focused on the number on your scale. Or if you weigh less, you may shove some extra food in as a “reward.” Both of these are silly.

Also, when you have the crutch of a daily weigh in, you feel like your weight won’t get out of hand because you are checking it everyday. At least that is how I thought!! So that is why I was really reticent to give up the scale.

But, when I finally did stop weighing myself, I can tell you that this is when my ability to really hear my body’s voice took off. Instead of saying to myself, well, I will eat this tonight and if I don’t weigh more tomorrow, I will know that it was an okay thing to eat, I had to listen to my body and ask the tough question, “Am I truly hunger for this right now?”

Do you see the difference here and how weighing yourself can distract you from that question?

So my advice to you- give up the scale as soon as you can. If you occasionally peek, okay, but please remember that peeking can lead to over and under eating, BOTH of which are bad because they disconnect you from….YOU!

Feb
18

So Juice is Evil?

orange_juice

Another response to a comment from the “Weight of the Nation.”

One of the experts said that we should NEVER drink juice.

OK, so here we go again, with a “good food” versus “bad food” mentality…

The expert said that juice is a “bad” food because it is high in calories.  So he thinks he is helping by saying that you should never drink juice, because then your calorie consumption for the day would be lower, and then you would lose weight, or at least not gain.

If you want to be a dieter for the rest of your life, following food rules instead of your own personal biology, then go ahead and follow this advice.  Count your calories and don’t waste them on juice…  You will forgo the foods you love, strengthen the disconnect between what your body wants, and what you provide.  Yes, you may diet your way down a few pounds.  But remember, what is the best predictor of the future?  It is the past.  And when you diet, you lose weight and then you gain it back.

But that kind of a life isn’t good enough for me.  And I hope it isn’t good enough for you.

Why would a wonderful, beautiful food, like fresh squeezed orange juice, be banned from my life.  I just  had a glass- and I love it.  I “crave” it.  It tastes like health to me.  It is pulpy and cold and sweet and thirst quenching and one of those simple pleasures in life.

Do I drink a gallon of it?  No!  And why not?  Because since I know that I will never diet again and that I can have OJ anytime my body asks for it (I have learned to listen, and SO CAN YOU) I drink a small glass and am completely satisfied.

And my body knows that I drank it.  By that I mean that I am not ingesting calories that go unnoticed.  And my body also knows what nutrients are in what I drank-  it is “processing” them.  So later on today, I may not crave something full vitamin C.  I may crave a protein heavy chicken salad with crunchy vegetables in it.  Who knows!  I am not worried about it.  I drank the juice I was craving, and now I move on.

But this expert would have given me big points for pouring myself a large glass of ice water instead of the juice I wanted.  How miserable!  I needed juice, so I drank it.  And now I am done, moving onto more important things.