Part of my real-world research as I lost over 90 lbs involved following naturally thin people around. Asking questions. Posing challenges. Discerning habits. My merciless stalking, if you will, produced a wealth of information I had never learned in my food addicted upbringing.
Naturally thin people are not thin because they are smarter, stronger or have more willpower than other people. They are thin because they have developed habits that serve THIN, instead of making FAT. Here are the top six:
1. Never Eat Unless Hungry – Naturally thin people know hunger cues, and see them as signals for action. Without the green light, they don’t eat.
2. Stop Before Full – Naturally thin people never feel stuffed or uncomfortable. They feel a satiation cue which stops them right before they are completely full. Their connection to their bodies is strong, and they honor the feedback they get from their physical body.
3. Waste Food, Not Waist It – People who never struggle with their weight don’t worry about throwing food out when they are full, whether that means a to-go box, or the trash can. They know that refusing to “waste food” means “waisting” it, which is just like carrying your garbage around on your body for everyone to see.
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.
What a year!
I will never forget 2013!
It was a year of huge transition, growth and learning for me. Some years sweep by in a blurr, a flurry of activity, like when you are pregnant and anticipation is carrying you forward to an inevitable conclusion.
Some years crawl along like the slow, tortuous screeching sound on a blackboard, like the third year of weight loss when you’ve lost 55 pounds and know there’s more to go… but it’s just not happening. Those are the years when a huge opportunity arises: the opportunity to face yourself and refuse to do what you’ve always done before… which is give up.
But this year didn’t crawl or whirl.
I cringe when I see her tiny hard body. I’m filled with disgust for her negative influence. She may be unaware, but she has many robotic ambassadors roaming the world in influential places – movies, media, fashion, music.
And she’s at it again. She’s a perpetual iconic figure who continues to regenerate, and live in our brains, and make us very fat.
I’m talking about Barbie.
Yes, the doll.
Here’s the latest Barbie to hit the market, ripe for holiday buying by moms, dads, aunts, uncles, cousins and substitute Santas everywhere.
As a former food addict, and someone who’s wrestled more jeans than all the supermodels around the world, Fall brings a special challenge.
Call it a test.
The jeans test.
The softer summer clothing gets packed away and the brutally honest denim emerges.
Since I rarely weigh myself, every year, I wonder if living in the stretchy fabric of summer has given me permission to regain a few pounds.
(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 grew up in a cranky Southern female family that emphasized looks over achievement, the perfect body over brains, style over substance. I was ninja trained in the black arts of judgment, comparison and self-hatred by a mother who could eviscerate the toughest-skinned cowgirl with an evil look or a few words. In the face of unbearable beauty, her final clawing words were:
“Yeah, she’s pretty, but she knows it, so that cancels it right out.”
It wasn’t easy knowing you’d never be good enough, and, if you did have the luck to grow up pretty, you couldn’t even enjoy that knowledge without the dreaded cancellation effect occurring.
Talk about a lose-lose situation!
I was only ten when she put me on my first diet. Even though I wasn’t fat, there was fear I would be… because she was fat. Mama taught me to closet eat and to use food for every possible doubt, fear, delay or frustration. She also taught me to diet with a vengeance after days, weeks or months of channeling the power of food into bodyfat.
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Even though this Winter in Wisconsin has been a very looooonnnnnngggg ordeal, it is finally looking like Spring. And I’ve become a spring cleaning whirlwind.
One of the metaphors of losing a substantial amount of weight is holding on. In order to lose weight, I had to let go of old ideas. The less I grasped at trivial things out of a mental sense of scarcity, the more abundance I found. And stuff… well, letting go of the saboteur in my mind was tough, but it mysteriously made throwing away the crap in the attic easy.
So, I love letting go of stuff. And I was busy letting go of lots of clutter in my home office this weekend when I opened a drawer that is sticky and often stuck. It obviously hadn’t been opened in years. I knew that because, inside, were…. old bank statements. Very old bank statements.
Some of the statements were so old they had returned checks inside (yes, that old!).
So, I sat on the floor and dragged this over:
As I began to feed the shredder, I was fascinated by what blurred past my eyes. It was a little snapshot of a true lifestyle change.
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