Today, our culture is big on doing.
It’s also big on measuring, judging, denying and overindulging.
Research shows the incredible rate of weight regain after a diet resulting in a 30-lb. loss to be 97-99%.
Doctors are so desperate to make change, the American Medical Association has reclassified obesity as a disease, so they can justify highly invasive and expensive weight loss surgery which, by the way, causes complete regain in between 66-78% of patients, depending on the statistics you read.
Despite extremes taken to lose weight:
1. Via exercise: injury ends roughly 65% of weight loss efforts made with exercise, usually because exercisers are going beyond their fitness levels to excessive amounts of exercise.
2. Via fad dieting: look at cleanses – can you think of a more ridiculous idea ever suggested to a food addict, that they simply and suddenly STOP eating?
The fact remains YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING TO LOSE WEIGHT.
That’s because losing weight is not a DOING thing. Witness the things we DO:
- We adopt our employers’ idea of how much we should overwork and overstress.
- We overfill our schedules when every sane person knows they should only book 60% of the calendar because STUFF HAPPENS.
- We think we are more valuable or important when drama reigns in our lives, driving excessive eating, drinking and drugging.
- We take prescription drugs instead of addressing WHY we are anxious, depressed or overweight.
So, losing weight isn’t about food, or calories, or the gym.
It’s about WHO you are BEING in your life.
Whether you’re being what (you think) society expects you to be, or being the important big wig at work, or even being the subdued wallflower who never voices her needs because she doesn’t want to bother anyone, or using all your precious energy taking care of everyone else… it’s the state of BEING that needs addressing.
- Living truthfully about your needs means you don’t choke them down with a donut.
- Expressing emotions clearly and truthfully means you don’t medicate them with a box of cookies.
- Refusing to hide or pretend is a positive fat melter.
It’s time to stop DOING and start BEING thin.
(Regarding The New York Times article “The Mental Strain of Making Do With Less.”)
I spoke on NBC15 news last week about persistent problems that threaten our daily intelligence – the inspiration for this segment was an article published in The New York Times, entitled “The Mental Strain of Making Do With Less.”
What happens when we have an issue, problem or condition that constantly takes up a good deal of our available “bandwidth” – the energy, attention, focus, emotionality, and thought processes that go on beneath the surface?
We actually have less capacity to handle the important things in life: Career, relationships, environment, meaningful connection, pleasurable pursuits, and personal fulfillment.
These often unexplored topics are where we feel scarcity in our lives, or where we feel ourselves lacking, like esteem, intelligence, money, weight. And what do we create when we run the energy of scarcity in our lives?
I was once fat. Many people prefer another word but I like “Fat” and, since it was mine, I figure I get to call it any name I want.
In the year 1996, I weighed 242 lbs.! That’s quite a bit of fat, no matter what you like to call it. Like most people, I wasn’t fond of my fat. I desperately wanted to change it, and I had tried for over 20 years to solve fat. My first diet was at age 10. And, when you try to solve something for 20+ years, and aren’t successful, you get pretty pessimistic about the whole damned project.
The way I saw it, Fat got in the way of finding a career I loved. It got in the way of relationships. It affected how I felt about myself.
And, by 1996, I was seeing it pretty much as UNSOLVE-ABLE!
This wasn’t just an obstacle – it was the biggest obstacle of all time in my eyes. No matter what I had tried, and I had tried every diet, intervention and exercise modality known to wo/man, the excess weight always came back.
Like a stalker!
Like it had FAT GPS!
And I thought I was the only one in the world who had this problem!
Continue reading »
Continue reading »
Sending a son off to college is a challenge. I expected that.
You expect emotional impact on your “momself.” The cost is astonishing! Then, there’s the uphill climb through amazing hills of paperwork, applications for everything from residence halls to scholarships to individual study programs.
What I never expected was the guilt-evoking barrage of sales packages, all suggesting ways to spend money to alleviate the “momguilt” of sending junior from his childhood home into the big, bad world.
Get this one, which arrived today:
After a long lead-in about how lonely and bereft DS would be at the big/intimidating university, and the assurance that the big/intimidating university will be doing their part to help the student assimilate, I am reminded that most students don’t get enough encouragement from home!
However, in our foodcentric and food focused society, there is really only ONE answer!
The popular movie, The Hunger Games, is raking in the profits after capitalizing on the word-of-mouth from readers of the popular teen book and a boatload of publicity.
I wish I had come up with this name for the book I am writing. The Hunger Games – doesn’t it sound like a self-help book for pulling yourself out of food addiction?
Well, here are some REAL Hunger Games we play. Which one’s your favorite?
1. Diet/Avoid Food All Morning and Binge the Rest of the Day
This is the surest road to excess weight. I did it for years. I thought I was “saving up calories” for the rest of the day and exercising my willpower muscles, but I was creating more hunger and programming my body to store fat faster and more efficiently. I was also losing touch with what real hunger felt like and teaching my body I would not respond to its natural hunger cues.
2. Plan Days/Events/Activities Around Eating
OK, my bad on this one. It’s still my favorite example though. I used to choose an Overeaters Anonymous meeting because it was near one of my favorite restaurants. Since I was the one doing it, I can cop to it now. It’s so counter-intuitive, it’s amazing. Many of my clients tell me they hit goal weight in Weight Watchers and have already planned their “reward binge” or mapped out the directions to the nearest fast food restaurant. Yeah, it makes no sense, but it happens. A lot. It’s a sign nothing has changed.
Do you choose events or movies because you like a restaurant nearby? Does “being in the neighborhood” sound like a good excuse to hit a favorite type of food? Or do you say, “Who knows when I’ll get a chance to eat this again?” That’s not a real reason to eat, just a Hunger Game.
3. Eating as Entertainment (Food Focused or Foodcentric Lifestyle)
When you get together with friends, family or a partner, is your main focus eating? A movie is entertainment. A bike ride is activity. Eating is functional. It’s the gas station. Fuel. It can taste great and transport your taste buds, but if it’s your main source of entertainment, it’s time to branch out and see more of life.
4. Fear of Hunger
Many of my clients stash food in their cars, offices, gym lockers, computer cases and bedrooms so they will never be without a fix. What’s so scary about being hungry? Well, it’s usually not hunger we really fear, but the needs underneath. These needs, often subconscious and unexplored, are darker and usually created long ago, in childhood. However, it doesn’t matter if it’s unlikely to happen (running out of food or not being able to get to food in our society???), fear loves to run our behaviors.
5. I’ll Fix it Later
This is my favorite. We live under the illusion, reinforced by the diet industry, that choices today are unimportant because we have the ability to fix our weight later. Have that rich, fat-laden five course meal and promise to run every day next week to make up for it. Turn into the drive-thru – it’s OK because you’re going to the gym tonight.
This is simply untrue. Dieting rarely works, and reinforcing this negative belief (or LIE) of the “quick fix later” just makes it feel true. The truth is, once fat is processed, it’s more difficult to remove and resists dieting and excessive exercise. In fact, the longer you work out, the less fat you will burn every minute.
Understanding how the body works is the key to ending the Hunger Games in your life. Being consistently healthy is simpler and more effective than playing games too.
If you (or anyone you know) is ready to end the Hunger Games in life, share this post with them and check out my next enLIGHTen Your Life! class starting soon! Click here for information.
This month’s book contest features the “Just Tell Her to Stop: Family Stories of Eating Disorders“ , by Becky Henry.
This fascinating book offers a different perspective on eating disorders. If you have experienced disordered eating, or have children who might be susceptible, it’s a must read. Parenting a child in today’s world, which is focused on controlling food, food addictions, setting up bizarre behaviors with food, binge eating and food struggle, isn’t easy. It’s a food focused and foodcentric world. This book helps you understand the struggle for control.
Two ways to win!
1. Go to America’s Weight Loss Catalyst Facebook Page by clicking here and hitting the “Like” button. You’ll be the bonus of tips and motivation every morning from the facebook page!
2. Visit any other blog post right here on this site and post your comments, opinion or questions. We’re always happy when you share the blog posts by using the buttons at the bottom of the page too!
You get one entry for every action you take!
Share the Catalyst experience on social media and you’re automatically entered to win this month’s book: Just Tell Her To Stop: Family Stories of Eating Disorders by Becky Henry!
This week has seen a lot of discussion about a new diet book which targets girls ages 6-12. After the initial outbreak of criticism, the author appeared on several talk shows defending his book as “empowering.” I spoke on the news about it Thursday.
I have to admit I’ve been wrestling with conflicting feelings about this. On one hand, I want to have the guy banned from Amazon and every other bookseller. His complete ignorance of the damaging and diminishing effect of diets on young women is simply deplorable.
On the other hand, we live in a country where we enjoy freedom of speech.
And yet, we have laws and policies that protect children from harm. And this is harmful.
To complicate matters further, as a blogger, do I speak up and risk giving him more exposure, or do I remain silent?
Recently, I was looking for a journal to take to a training session and came across an old one. I had kept it while my husband was in the middle east with the air force during the Enduring Freedom campaign. I knew Tony would miss some important days while he was away from home since our son was only 8 years old at the time.
I remember the war was scary to Colt and, while his dad was away, he didn’t want to hear about war or fighting. If something came on the news about it, he would grab the remote control and change the channel. Continue reading »
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