Once Upon a Time. . .


. . . In a galaxy far, far away!  Am I mixing my phrases here?  Does it make you feel confused, dazed, and certain you’ve opened the wrong posting.  What I’m talking about are stock phrases. Stock phrases are also known as catch phrases and something a writer should resist using.  Yet in life we use them all the time, especially when it comes to dieting, exercise and weight loss.

Body awareness, body size, dieting and weight loss are all deeply personal topics. Taken to the public forum discussion of someone’s weight can be devastating. Sometimes you can’t say anything right. Ask a woman when she is due and find out she isn’t pregnant. Ask how someone lost weight and discover they gained 40 pounds. Food issues and disordered eating are at the core an emotional condition. Don’t add to the problem by saying the wrong thing.  You feel bad, they feel bad. Just greet your friend and love them for who they are. They will find the inner peace to get to their perfect body. If you didn’t realize how frustrating this can be — read through this list and try to tell me it doesn’t raise your blood pressure.

  • Just eat half of the food you put on your plate
  • Eat less and exercise more

    Outback Steakhouse. Great desserts - but also try their fish!

  • You just have to do more cardiovascular exercises
  • Have you always been so weak-willed
  • Eat an apple or orange if you want a sweet — then you can skip the Chocolate Thunder from Downunder
  • Always eat breakfast
  • Drink water before you eat
  • You just have heavy bones
  • You’ve lost weight, I can see it in your face (yeah, what about my butt?)
     Skip the chocolate thunder and feel satisfied with an apple?  Give me a break!  The intention might be to help guide you to a healthier and thinner body, but they are catch-phrases which can cause more harm than good. Statements like this and the thousands more out there can leave us feeling confused and defeated. I know you are trying to help, but it isn’t necessary. There is no need to comment on or fix someone who is overweight, let them take care of it.
     I’ve learned that advice falls on deaf ears. When it comes to diet guidelines I can talk until I’m blue in the face, but unless you do the discovery yourself — you will FAIL. Once I recognized this fact I changed how I work with clients. I do give advice about food based on a health coaching session and their food journal. The process leads them toward an “ah-ha moment” in their food search. I don’t know what will make the light bulb go off for them I just lead them to discover it for themselves. Then they have more ammunition to win their battles.
     The other evening a woman handed me her diary and said, “I think I’m not eating enough vegetables.” She was right, but she also didn’t have enough protein in her diet. I don’t care if your protein source is animal or vegan you have to make sure you eat enough protein! Now each person has a different level of “enough” and her body was holding on weight. (Hence the deduction Watson) Her journal told me she was only getting about 4 oz. of meat a day. Obviously that wasn’t enough or she would be dropping the unwanted fat.  The body needs protein to survive. She came to the conclusion that she needed to eat more vegetables and protein.  Did I tell her not to have the few sweets she listed in her journal? No — because the woman is losing some weight. She’s satisfied and not stressed and her diet is healthy even with a cookie here and there. This minor adjustment of vegetables and protein will show her in a week or two if she needs to cut the cookies out or not.
    You must think I recommend everyone have a cookie every now and then. They have to decide if they can do that. For some they eat the bag. I’ll be able to tell the degree of addiction by the diary and if they mention a daily cookie I am sure they eat the bag. In those cases we talk about eliminating the idea of cookies. It’s exactly like the issues with alcoholism. There are times when you just have to walk away. If you never take the time to discover your triggers and the food that your body needs to function then you will be a constant yo-yo dieter. Take the time to lay the groundwork and discover which foods work best for you.
     It is what you make of it!* Be conscious and present as you eat and exercise and find your best path to fitness. Here is a teaser from The Zen of Body Restoration.  FOOD for thought.

“Finding Balance   Your body is very different from mine.  My perception of food is very different from that of my co-author Jeri Levesque which is one reason why she is such an integral part of this project (besides the fact she is an amazing writer and great fun). We all bring different things to the table and eat accordingly.

Where we can have issues is with the “should-a, would-a, could-a” of the fitness and weight loss world.  There are more suggestions in the ethers than radio signals and the primary focus of The Zen of Body Restoration program is to teach you how to establish your own balanced program. You know the basics of nutrition but you must understand how food affects you.

Tracking the Affects of Food.  Let me explain how sugar affects me.  I get nuts.  I begin to find little things in my husband that bother me.  My children get on my last nerve. I wonder why I am even bothering to keep working at my job?  I don’t want to hurt myself or others, I just want to run away and play on a beach somewhere.  Watch your reactions and be slow when you introduce sugar into your diet again.

The key is to track your food. The tracking will be a little different then what early man did as he walked through the forest in search of roots and herbs or an animal. You need to understand which foods provide the best fuel for your body. For this you have to use a food journal. You’ll never be able to remember what you ate  two weeks ago let alone how you felt without writing it down. A pocket-size or purse sized notebook will work.

The first two weeks of the Tracking Food Plan is unrestricted eating with daily entries into the food journal, followed by two weeks of restricting sugar, gluten and dairy. Reintroduce each food item one per week and track your mind and body’s responses. Leaving anything out of your diet forever isn’t being suggested here. Cutting out foods forever isn’t necessarily best for you. Pay close attention to how you feel.

Doctors have been using this method with their patients for years. The process is to eliminate the foods known to give people rashes or gastrointestinal distress. Physicians are sometimes more stringent and have patients eliminate fish or fruits. If there are foods you already don’t eat for any reason I suggest you still stay clear of them. Start with eliminating sugar, gluten and dairy.

  • Stay clear of refined sugar. If you use honey use raw honey, or sweeten with either Stevia or Agave.
  • Stop eating Gluten (breads and pastas).  Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley.  It’s often in other products from processing.   Gluten free diets are the rage right now, but as your Mom would warn, “If everyone is jumping off a cliff do you have to fall head first into the rocks below too?”  Clean out your colon and prepare your system to be balanced and healthy.
  • Stop eating Dairy. Why?  It’s higher in calories.  Big surprise!  Two reasons for eliminating dairy is to help you see fast immediate results by eating foods that are lower in calories. . . Statistically, more people have digestive issues with dairy products than with many other food groups.  Check your food journal and gauge your body’s responses during and after eating dairy.  If the results are dramatic, sudden alleviation of bloating, cramping, and unpredictable colon blows, consider eliminating dairy from most of your diet. You are the best judge of what your body tolerates and celebrates.”

As you begin to reintroduce the foods make sure you keep track of how you begin to feel. Is your body lighter? Do you bounce along in your flip-flops? Can you feel your body move inside your clothing because it isn’t tight anymore? The changes can be subtle. If you are tracking you are less likely to miss the cues from your body. Stay focused and you will hear the guidance being given daily. ”

Be Well!

*In my humble opinion: The person who coined the phrase “It is what it is” should be taken out and flogged. We are in control of our lives, our diets and our world. Try not to forget that.

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