All This Angst…Unnecessary

worryDo you ever think about how much time and energy you spend on worrying about your weight, calories, eating.

I hate to say that I regret part of my life, but I can tell you I wish that I could talk to my younger self and teach myself what I am trying to communicate to you.

All that wasted time and energy on losing, gaining, losing, gaining.  Such a pity.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to find daily support for your thin mentality. You need to do this until you feel strong enough to defend your thin mentality against all of the dieting messages you hear from the media, and, honestly, from your friends and family.

So, until you are strong, please check in with this blog, or Facebook, or leaf through a few pages of my book everyday.   Or, if you find this thin mentality message elsewhere, that is great.

I am so happy that the Facebook page is starting to get some good conversations and comments going because I think it is so important that you see others making progress, and having problems, and solving them!

For instance, if you over eat one day, remember that panicking about that is a diet mentality.  Use that “over eating” as a way to remind yourself how it feels to be overfull.  It ISN’T fun, is it?

Eating when hungry is fun.  Yes, eating is fun!  Over eating is not.  (Dieters think it would be fun to stuff their faces with chocolate- but that is because they are stuck in a “good food” vs  “bad food” world…  A few bites of chocolate when you crave it is wonderful.  Bingeing on it is NOT).

But don’t berate yourself after a binge.  That is a diet mentality too.  Relax, learn, improve.  🙂

Share your thoughts and concerns, if you like, here (in the comments) or on Facebook.  It is also good because it helps me to figure out what I should talk about in this blog!

I just noticed a slight hunger pang.  (Not pain, pang- it is NOT painful to be slightly hungry)  So now I am just saying to myself, oh good, I will have a little something wonderful before I go to bed.  (Eating before bed, a big dieters no no-  But not for me anymore!)  I am not going to rush to eat right away.  I want to make sure my body wants something.  I will wait for stage 2 hunger and then I will enjoy.


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!!



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!


The Stages of Developing your Healthy Thin Mentality



Remember that your thin mentality will get you to a normal lean healthy weight.  It will not get you weird skinny because Mother Nature is wise.

So, for those of you who want to be underweight, please understand that to be underweight, you have to develop an abnormal eating mentality, and that is not what this site, or my message, is about.

I advocate using your healthy thin mentality to deliver your body to its ideal weight range.  Again- not super skinny.

And this happens in stages.

Stage 1

You realize that dieting has made you food obsessed and has not gotten you permanently thin.  You regret all the sacrifices you made as a dieter and are saddened by all the disappointments you endured.

Stage 2

You are ready to learn how to develop your thin mentality.  You make that solemn promise to yourself that you will not diet again.  You do as much as you can to learn about the differences between being a dieter and being a person with a thin mentality.  You begin to make the transition.

Stage 3

You feel unbelievably free.  And that freedom scares you and makes you question whether or not this is too good to be true.  You know that you are doing the right thing.  It feels right.  It feels normal.  But you have a lot of anxiety during this time because you fear that you will gain weight.  You try to keep your focus on the one golden rule:  Stop eating when hunger is gone.  You know that as long as you do that, you will be okay.

Stage 4

You start to have a little faith and confidence that you can do this.  You enjoy eating what you crave when you are hungry and you are happy that  this is not making you gain weight.  In fact, your clothes are starting to feel looser.  And you start to really believe that maybe, just maybe, you can be a thin person, not a dieter.
You are glad you made a pledge to never diet again, and although you meant it at the time, you feel stronger in that commitment now.   People are asking you what you are doing, but you know that it is best to get stronger in your thin mentality before you try to defend it against other people’s opinions.  You know they mean well, but you also know how pervasive the pro-diet propaganda is in our culture, and you don’t feel strong enough yet to try to convince others of the wisdom of practicing thin behavior, not dieting behavior, to get thin.

Stage 5

You are starting to feel relaxed around food and eating and you enjoy your food more and more.  You are becoming very familiar with your hunger, and what foods you truly love, what foods take care of your hunger the best, and how to know when to stop eating.

When people ask you how you have lost weight, you are starting to get more comfortable talking about your thin mentality, and defending your decision to listen to your body instead of the “experts” to get and stay thin.

Stage 6

Some days you still wonder if this is all too good true to be true.  But you are starting to have a lot of optimism and confidence.  And although you know you can eat whatever you are hungry for, you notice that you are getting used to that freedom.  And that is good.  You enjoy desserts and french fries and other once forbidden foods, but you actually find that since they aren’t taboo, a bit of the thrill of eating them is gone.

Stage 7

One morning you wake up and realize that you are that thin person you always wanted to be.  You don’t obsess about food, you are happy with your weight, you have energy in your life for other issues besides your weight.  You are comfortable, relaxed and happy.

These stages are just a rough outline.  And you may cycle through them in a straight line, or you may waffle back and forth a bit.  That is fine.  You are unique, and your journey will be unique too.   And some people will take three months to get to stage 7- others may take 3 years.

There is no better alternative.  You know that.

Believe in yourself.  Listen to your body.  Respect your cravings.  Value your hunger.

It is a gift that means wonderful enjoyment is in the near future.  And stop when your hunger “sauce” is gone.


The biggest loser sends terrible message


I feel a rant coming on.

Sunday night, I hop into my cozy bed with my remote and land on The Biggest Loser.  How awful.  Before I could turn away, I saw a family getting counseling by some TV doctor throwing a whole bunch of “bad” food in the trash.

That is the worst thing you can do.  Seeing food you bought being thrown out may feel momentarily cleansing.  But life is not like this.  You cannot cleanse the world of “temptation.”

It would be so much more helpful for these people to learn that food has no power over them.  This purging of food  reinforces the “scary” food syndrome.  It gives the food power over you.

Thin mentality people wouldn’t dream of throwing food away like that.  It would seem incredibly wasteful and irresponsible.  Most of that food looked like it would last in their pantry for months.  It would have been very reasonable to keep that food, and learn how to respond to their cravings for it in an appropriate way, when true hunger existed.

And by the way, so ironic that the blond host of the show did a little “green” commercial spot during the show.

There is nothing less green than throwing away food.

This is why I give money to Heifer International for each book I sell.  We need to understand that we are lucky to have food available to us.  We need to appreciate and enjoy it and savor it and applaud it and not THROW IT OUT!!


Waffle House Was Yummy

wafflehouseoutsideI went to a diner last night – a Waffle House that just opened near me.

Years ago, when I was a dieter, I would have had to negotiate this meal very carefully.  What can I eat that isn’t “bad.”  I would have had plain eggs, fruit,  dry toast and diet coke.

This is how it works for me now, with a thin mentality.

I ordered two eggs, ham, and a  waffle- because it was a new Waffle House and I had never had one of those famous waffles.  It came with hash browns.  It was a big plate of wonderful food.  I also had coffee with cream.

I ate most of the eggs and ham.  Then I ate a bite or two of hash browns and about one quarter of one waffle with syrup and butter.  I enjoyed every bit, had a wide variety of flavors etc. and it was great.

I took home a doggy bag.

If you added up the calories in what I ate, they probably would have been about 600-700.  I didn’t think about the calorie count last night.   I just am letting you know approximately how much food we are talking about here.

If I had eaten a “diet meal” like I used to, the calorie count would have probably been about 500.  I wouldn’t have enjoyed it nearly as much.  And then you know what I used to do?  When I got home after having a meal I didn’t love, I would have a bite or two of some treat when I got home.  That would easily have added another 200 calories to what I ate.

So, the point is, I would have probably eaten about the same amount of calories as a dieter as I did eating what I had last night.  But last night was way better.  I felt completely free, satisfied, experienced a fun meal, and when I got home, it didn’t even occur to me that I needed a little “treat” before bed.

You can say that fruit and dry toast would have been more healthful.  If you examine one meal of mine and compare it to a diet meal, you could make a case that that individual meal was less fatty or sugary or whatever.

But that is not how nutrition happens!  You have to look at the whole picture.  What is your next meal, and your next and your next.  And I know that my body, which is “on my side” will request that I eat some vegetables and fruit some days and waffles and syrup on others.

Yours will too!  Free yourself from your diet mentality and trust that your body wants good nutrition and will guide you to it.

As you get your thin mentality going, I know you are afraid that you will gain weight, not lose weight.

But you will never gain weight if you eat only when you are hungry, and stop when you aren’t hungry anymore.  Remember, you didn’t get fat eating when you were hungry!!

And say to yourself, as you look at the second half of the hamburger that you ordered, ate half of, and aren’t hungry for anymore, “Yes, it still looks good.  And I can eat it all- just not all at once!  When I get hungry again, I can finish it.”

It really is a fun, nice way to live-  I promise.  And way “cooler” than being a stoic dieter.  ugh-  or constantly struggling with being overweight- ugh.


So Juice is Evil?


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.


The Ole “Drink More Water” Trick

You need to drink more water...???!!!

You need to drink more water…???!!!

When I worked for Nutrisystem, they told me to tell people to drink more water if they weren’t losing weight.

It was an easy thing to say, wasn’t “dangerous” and gave people something tangible to do to try to speed up weight loss.

The problem was that it was a bunch of “you-know-what.”  I am so sorry I went along with that.

Dehydration is definitely not good for you, but pushing water when your body isn’t thirsty is not necessary or beneficial to weight loss.  There is plenty of science on that.  Just google it.

Bottom line- drink when you are thirsty, eat when hungry.  Mother Nature did figure things out nicely for us!!

And the diet industry is simply preying on our desire to find a quick fix or one-liner that will speed our weight loss.  And they charge us for it!! Geez!


Are you tired?

tiredI can tell you from years of experience that  a thin mentality is so much easier when you aren’t tired.

Remember that everything is easier you are rested, right?  We forget that.

As you make the transition from being a dieter, to behaving like a thin person instead, give yourself every advantage.  And that includes prioritizing rest.

I can hear some of you saying that getting enough rest/sleep just isn’t going to happen.

I say make it happen.  Find a way.  Get creative.

A successful thin mentality capitalizes on your body’s natural instincts and rhythms.  And these are just so much easier to hear when you don’t have “fatigue” interference.

When I stare into the fridge, and I am tired, I don’t hear my body as well.  When I am in this position, if I possibly can, I try to go to sleep first, then eat.

Please make sure you hear that correctly.  I am not saying that you shouldn’t eat if you are hungry.  But when I am tired and grumpy, I am not good at hearing what my body needs.  So I say to myself, go rest, then when you wake up, eat whatever you crave.

This is very different than denying yourself food, like when you are on a diet.  I am merely postponing the eating until I can actually enjoy it.  Because when I am  tired and kind of hungry  it isn’t nearly as rewarding to eat.

I savor being hungry and having an opportunity for enjoyment.  I am not going to waste it when I am tired.  And if I am tired, but know I really need to eat something before I rest, I do.  But it isn’t that great, and I eat as little as possible to get myself satiated enough to be able to go lay down.

The theme here, as with much of my advice, is that I try to make eating as wonderful as I can for myself.  I eat when I am truly hungry.  And if I am tired when I eat, my body isn’t as good at “thanking” me for eating.  It doesn’t taste as good, and it isn;t as satisfying.

So, a brief review:

It takes commitment, focus and dedication to buck the diet industry in favor of re-igniting your thin mentality, the one you were born with.

Give yourself every advantage, and that includes being able to distinguish hunger from fatigue. They are related and those signals can get crossed.  So, if you think you might be tired, try rest before eating.  It will be much more rewarding.