Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Food Freedom, Mindful Eating

I am calling on all women and men who are always on a diet, consistently giving up foods they love worrying about overeating or even some of you who struggle everyday with food choices to put aside all of that craziness for ONE DAY and just eat what you want on Tuesday, June 7th.  On that day, no dieting, no counting calories, no food anxiety and absolutely no fear that you are eating what our society calls off limit foods. Just a day to eat what you want, when you want to but most of all enjoy it. A day when all foods are on the table. I call this a day of FOOD FREEDOM. Now, before you jump for joy, I am not suggesting that anyone eat hundreds of calories or binge eat all day long. I did not say eat as much as you want, just eat what you want, SENSIBLY. This will be a day of not only eating what you want but it gives you a chance to begin to practice MINDFUL EATING  so you can make choices that you can live with. YOU want pizza, have a slice or two not the whole pie. YOU want ice cream, have a scoop or cone with sprinkles and enjoy it, you do not have to eat the whole half-gallon. While I understand that these foods have high sugars and carbs in them, the reality is, these are foods most of us love and WE need to learn how to eat and enjoy them SENSIBLY.  If we do not learn how to eat sensibly, these foods eventually work their way back into our lives and the outcome most certainly will be eating till you cannot breath, then feeling horrible that you did something wrong. Why not learn that you can eat all foods even the one's that we consider off limits, OCCASIONALLY. Yes, you can sit and enjoy your choice by not depriving yourself. How about this thought, just bypass it and have the it later or whenever you want it. Again, this will be your choice but I BELEIVE that you can do this with time and practice. There is no GUILT here only MINDFUL choices. For most who binge or eat out of emotions it is time to look closely at change and what you are trying to change. I can almost guarantee you that most of us have some usually deeply-rooted habits that have become ingrained over a long time which require awareness to change. And that’s what mindfulness is all about. For those of you who feel you cannot just have one bite for fear of devouring it all, let me remind you that by learning this way of eating you will stop being a slave to food because food slavery is emotional death for anyone. While I am calling this day Eat what you want day, the goal is to begin to understand that you can eat mindfully. Mindful behavior is thinking about your choice before you react. THING FIRST, REACT LATER! This is the new and responsible way to eat especially for your sanity. I can almost guarantee you that when you eat what you want you will focus as to what is going in your mouth. When you are dieting, starving, or are restricting yourself the choice is mute. We both know that gets old quickly, then the wanting and craving begin, after that the next step is that you want everything in sight and lots of it. That is what is called on or off eating.  What I am trying to get across to some of you that is does not have to be this way. YES, it will take time but in the end you will have more control over your eating and your life.

How do I know this? BEEN THERE/DONE THAT. I was a slave to food and a binge eater for many years and this was a very unhealthy lifestyle.Those were the days I thought of nothing else but my next meal. Restrictive eating for weeks and then boom one day I had enough of that and then my brain as well as emotions went haywire and I would eat until I could not breath. Once I slowly began to learn that I could eat what I wanted it was like REALLY. I learned that I could say NO, have it later and  then take a sigh of relief, I could slowly breathe again.  Today, while I practice being mindful I still have my days of wanting to eat everything that I smell and see but I know I can make choices and that I am responsible for those choices. For some of you who are used to eating on or off this sounds crazy but I can be confident in telling you give yourself one day of freedom. I can honestly say that  basically I eat what I want in a sensible way. It works almost every time because I think about it MINDFULLY. I began to eat this way after many years of dieting, feeling depressed, losing/gaining weight constantly and feeling like I could never feel good about myself. Most of you know what I mean by this, letting food control our every move almost daily.  While I was on those crazy diets, (I have been on all of them) I would stay on program but when I went off I would eat everything in sight. Today while I can have ice cream whenever I want it, I only think about having it rarely because I can have it any time I want it. This is is how powerful our minds once we decide to start to change our way of thinking. Today, I very rarely have battles in my head fighting my daily choices and that is a GREAT place to be.

The research is now showing us that mindful eating is the new way to eat. YOU will be making choices that you can think about and live with and not just eat out of emotions setting yourself up for a binge leading to feeling like a failure and just feeling horrible. I know so many women who have told me that once they allowed themselves to just eat they lost weight because they could have any foods any time and where not restricted to some crazy food program making themselves crazy. So, while you may think it is not that simple, it really is, make a DECISION and stick to it, the choice is YOURS!!!! Let me know how you did once you get through one day! Remember, YOU CAN DO THIS!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Should I get weighed every day?

Many years ago a personal training client of mine who eventually became a very close girlfriend revealed to me that as a teenager her mother made her get weighed everyday. She went on to tell me that she remembered this ritual like it was yesterday and that many of her eating, food and self esteem issues all revolved around that 3-5 minutes a day. Because of this she was paralyzed for many years and isolated herself from the outside world as it was hard for her to socialize and that her fear of overeating in public overwhelmed her. It seemed that her mother would constantly tell her that she needed to be thin in order to get a boyfriend and that men did not want fat women as wives, so her solution to thinness was to have her get weighed daily. Yes, that would do it! That was over 45 years ago but somehow today this thinking has not changed. Not the boyfriend or husband part but the part as to why we allow those numbers to dictate us and for most women they do. We live in a society where the majority of women still believe that what we weigh is our biggest problem and that somehow when we overcome those dreaded extra pounds life will get peachy and the marriage proposals will come flooding our front door. Today in most circles the underlying message is clear, be thin at any cost. But I ask, what is that cost? Most times it is emotional and mental torture. My friend talked to me extensively about her issues with food and that food was certainly not the nourishment she needed but the enemy that robbed her a healthy life. Now while you might say that this is an extreme case I ask you to think about your own eating and food issues. Do they revolve around getting weighed daily, once a week, once a month of perhaps you do not get weighed? For some women getting weighed it still a mental ritual, have good weigh in day, I feel great, a bad weigh in day, I feel horrible and I binge might even be on the horizon.. Think I am wrong, go sit in any controlled weight loss group such as weight watchers  and observe the members once they come off of the scale. Now I have nothing against weight watchers and I am talking about every women as there are some who have accepted that we are all not going to be a thin but we can all be healthy without letting the scale rule us.  Wherever you stand on this podium the fact remains that most women are ruled by the what they weigh and that list of reasons goes on and on. Although I have not seen my friend for quite some time as our lives took different paths  I sometimes wonder if she got the help she needed, or if she is still ruled by those 3 numbers on that  aluminum flatbed. So, when should you get weighed? That is up to you and while I have nothing against getting weighed just do not let it dictate who you are and rule your life! Have a blessed day!