8 Reasons Why Mindful Eating Fails

8 Reasons Mindful Eating Fails

Mindful eating is not easy to do if you’ve been on and off diets for a while. Many Mindful Eating “gurus” will tell you that you are failing because you are still restricting foods you eat. So, essentially, that’s having a mindset of still being on a diet. Mindful eating is NOT a diet. If you are learning this on your own from reading blogs, you’ll probably notice that most (if not all) of the gurus teaching this are thin, or relatively thin.

This raises reasonable assumptions in your mind. One of them being that these gurus were once fat and then did Mindful Eating (or intuitive eating) and lost weight. The other assumption can be that they were never heavy and are teaching you how to eat like them. Well, assumptions are not always correct.

Will I Lose Weight Eating Mindfully?

Let’s deals with the first assumption. Some people do lose weight using intuitive eating. Others gain weight, and still others stay the same weight. Think about a diet. There is almost a guarantee that after the suffering of going through a diet (any kind of restriction, or even “lifestyle change), you have a 95% chance of regaining the weight you lost, plus adding additional weight to your starting point. And it doesn’t matter if you exercise.

However, if you can maintain the practice of mindful eating, you will not be obsessive about what you eat, when you eat, or how much you eat. You will learn to trust your body, and pay attention to the natural signals of hunger and being full. Isn’t that a better way to go through life?

Rebuilding Trust In Your Body

To me, this is the most important issue with regard to the practice of mindfulness. It’s accepting that your body knows what the correct amount of food to eat is at any time.There’s never a once size fits all approach to how much to eat, like when you’ve been told to weigh your food, or make it fit into the palm of your hand size portion. This is totally worthless. And  if you’ve been a chronic dieter, you’ve probably gotten used to being hungry, ignoring your feelings of hunger. There are times when you are going to be hungrier- like after doing some hard exercise. You NEED more food at those times, and not eating is harmful to your metabolism.

Self Hatred

You’ve also been, at least dissatisfied with how your body looks. That dissatisfaction can be minor, or very extreme to the point where you HATE your body. Those feelings causes a physical response of stress within your physiology which have been clearly researched. Those negative mindset with hate filled words written on her bodyfeelings raise your cortisol level – the stress hormone. Your body feels attacked, and it doesn’t matter if the attack is from outside you, or inside you. It’s all the same.

Women, in particular have been conditioned to focus on their appearance from a very young age. We’re told as little girls that we’re so pretty, our clothes are pretty…. and that becomes the way we know we are valued and accepted. It’s not the same for boys who are told they’re smart or strong. And you can see the effect in life. Females are always concerned about their body- what clothes we wear, wearing shoes with high heels that can break your back, putting on make-up, dieting…. on to plastic surgery to fit what society says is the way we “should” look.

I’m particularly disgusted with the way that women feel like they have to be sexy and show off their bodies practically everywhere they go! When I go to the beach, women are almost naked. Men are wearing appropriate swimming attire that won’t get pulled down or off in a wave! I love tennis, but to see the difference in sports attire between men and women is sickening. Shorter and shorter tops and bottoms for women, and men wearing sports appropriate clothing. It’s time to wake up women!

It’s time to jettison this conditioning, this brainwashing and stop focusing on how our bodies look. Get out of the YOUniverse, and see your amazing, unique qualities that make you special. Dieting is part of the brainwashing – and it’s the “cure” (of fat) that CAUSES the condition (fat).

Realize that mindful eating is only going to be effective when you have learned how to manage stress. Your stress reaction is both a psychological response as well as a physical response. It can be to an event, or to harassment. You pick the things that you allow to stress you. Please don’t add self-hatred of our body. Stop dieting!

 

 

 

Is It Your Thyroid?

Thyroid Gland Responsible for Your Weight Gain?

My entire life, I had a disordered perception of what my body looked like. I was a serial dieter. I’d try one diet, lose a couple of pounds, and then they would quickly return, bringing along with it an additional pound or two more. I was convinced there was something wrong with my thyroid gland. After all, my mom had a diagnosis of thyroid problems and was on medication. I must have inherited it, I was sure! 

Wrong Blood Test to Diagnose Thyroid Issues

But my doctor did one blood test: TSH: Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, and proclaimed me “normal”.  There’s nothing the matter with your thyroid he insisted. I couldn’t believe him. How is it possible to eat next to nothing and be unable to maintain weight loss – or even GAIN weight? 

It was a very long road, until I learned the truth about the ignorance of endocrinologists, and their proclivity to dismiss a woman’s symptoms and instead rely on a blood test that isn’t even checking their THYROID GLAND. It’s checking to see if the pituitary gland is releasing a hormone!  Thanks to Janie Bowthorpe for her amazing book which gave me the education I needed so I can speak intelligently to a doctor who wanted to dismiss my concerns. (I had to fire MANY doctors before I found a good one!).If you have found your weight increasing even though you’re not eating more, and have symptoms (see below), you may have an undiagnosed problem with your thyroid gland.

Yes, gaining weight is a very complex subject that is interwoven with many systems in your body. Your thyroid gland is the “master gland”, and thyroid hormones circulate throughout your body. A very sophisticated system can be thrown off easily as a response to lack of certain nutrients and minerals, or even stress…

Proper Diagnosis but Poor Choice of Medication

Furthermore, even with a diagnosis, and treatment, many people complain that pharmaceutic medications are not adequately fixing their thyroid problems. Many doctors are reluctant to prescribe medications that are made from dessicated thyroid glands from animals. They prefer to depend upon synthetic pharmaceuticals, and are not even willing to try treating with the alternative, even though many patients have a much better response to the animal product. And of course, your prescription drug plan probably won’t pay for it either! You don’t even need fancy blood tests to tell if the treatment is working. All you need is your thermometer! 

Symptoms of Hypothyroid

Be aware that there are many symptoms, you may have a few, or many! Although there are a number of disorders possible – Graves Disease (Hyperthyroid- more characteristic of weight loss), Hypothyroid (slow metabolism), and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland) a condition where many of the symptoms are both hyper and hypo!

There are many doctors that now believe that the standard blood tests do not adequately diagnose thyroid problems, and they are treating patients based upon symptoms, not just blood results!

Brittle nails

Cold hands and feet

Cold intolerance

Constipation

Depression

Difficulty swallowing

Dry skin

Elevated cholesterol

Essential hypertension

Eyelid swelling

Eyebrow outer 1/3 thinning

Fatigue

Hair loss

Hoarseness

Hypotension

Inability to concentrate

Infertility

Irritability

Menstrual Irregularities

Muscle Cramps

Muscle/Joint Pain

Muscle Weakness

Nervousness

Poor memory

Puffy Eyes

Slower heartbeat

Throat Pain

Weight Gain

If you have a preponderance of these symptoms, don’t take “NO” for an answer. If you are being treated with synthetic thyroid (Synthroid, Levothyroxine, etc) you may still have symptoms because these are not the best drugs according to many thyroid sufferers.  You will be amazed at how much better you feel when your thyroid gland is working as nature intended it.

The Best Way To Diagnose and Treat Your Thyroid Condition

Yes, there are alternative and complimentary treatments available. A great way to do a test at home is to check your body temperature and pulse. If you have cold hands and feet, that’s a first sign that you may have problems with your thyroid gland.

The next step is getting an accurate diagnosis to find out if you have a thyroid condition! Because I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (and had many symptoms of both hyper and hypo thyroid) I’ve read a ton of books and articles about the thyroid, and it’s really helped me to understand the tests that should be done, and to interpret the results. I highly recommend you read  Stop the Thyroid Madness: A Patient Revolution Against Decades of Inferior Treatment by Janie A. Bowthorpe, a woman who has gone through it all with inept and ignorant board certified endocrinologists. She finally became an expert herself by researching, speaking with thousands of other thyroid patients and finally finding good physicians.

Will I Lose Weight With Proper Thyroid Medication?

I want you to know that just by getting treatment for Hypothyroid symptoms is no guarantee that you lose weight. There may be foods to which you may have a food sensitivity.  Gluten can be problematic for those with thyroid problems.  Many doctors believe that for the majority of people with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (auto-immune disease of the thyroid) “gluten” (anything with wheat, and some other grains) should be eliminated from your diet. It’s not an easy condition to manage.

If you are not eating enough and often enough you will find that your body temperature is low.  Over-exercise can impact your thyroid condition by being stressful for your body. Lack of sleep is also very bad for your thyroid (and your health in general). Your thyroid gland is VERY SENSITIVE to stress! 

The best thing you can do, is get yourself informed.  And there is a genetic predisposition to inheriting it from YOUR family- and they may not even have been properly diagnosed. Don’t fool around with this disease – it is your Master gland, and addressing the problem can improve your health, your mood, your weight, your ability to think, and even long term health issues! In fact, Dr. Broda Barnes did exhaustive research with thousands of people, and realized that heart attacks are CAUSED in great measure by untreated thyroid conditions! 

The book above will give you the information you need so that you can be an advocate for your health with your doctor. Not every endocrinologist is going to honor your requests for special testing and treatment.  I recommend you get informed so you know if you have the symptoms, and then can find the right kind of doctor to help you! It’s not going to be easy, but when you feel better, you’ll know the effort was worth it!SaveSave

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Mindful Eating is Yoga for the Stomach

Yoga for the Stomach

 

Mindful eating, or intentional eating is focusing your mind on the process of eating. The goal of yoga is focus your mind  on your body and your breath as you are doing asanas (positions). Mindful eating focuses your mind on the taste of the food, and your perception of fullness.

There are so many subtleties you can focus on while practicing yoga: how is your body aligned, are your muscles tighter on one side or another, how far can you go into the position, etc… With mindful eating, I realized that I’m doing a kind of yoga.

How to Eat Mindfully

I had a friend who once commented that he never saw anyone take so long to eat a small piece of chocolate. And it’s true! When I was on a chronic diet in my past life, I didn’t want to waste eating anything that didn’t taste good. And since I wasn’t eating a lot of food, I wanted to make it last longer. So, when I was going to have that treat of chocolate, I made it last by  breaking it into small pieces. I’d put in on the tip of my tongue and let it start melting. Then I’d move it around my mouth keeping my mind on where I was tasting it, the texture, what color it felt like, what aspects of the chocolate I loved the most. As you see, I could probably write
a booklet on the taste of chocolate and why I love it so much. It was like doing mouth yoga and then stomach yoga when listening for signs that I had enough.

 

If the phone rang while I was eating chocolate, they could WAIT until I finished! And no, I was NOT going to rush! I love Trader Joe’s big bar of Belgium chocolate because it breaks into small squares. And I break those square into smaller pieces. And NO, it’s not because I’m dieting – because I will NEVER DIET AGAIN. It’s a waste of effort – and you are probably at a point in your life where you understand this, because you are reading on this site! All those years of restricting and starving ended up making me gain weight each time I was fooled into trying a new and better diet.

Your Brain Changes the Way You Perceive Taste

And by the way, did you know that as you are continuously eating a particular food, your brain actually makes it not taste as good as it was when you first started eating it? Think about this: if you are a coffee drinker, the first sip in the morning tastes the best, correct? And then as your drinking it, you get less of a delight as you get to the bottom of the cup.

You taste in your mouth, not your stomach!

Now, I am NOT telling you to eat less food or be on a diet. But what I’m trying to explain is this: enjoy what you eat. If you just stuff it into your mouth mindlessly, you’re not going to enjoy it that much, and more likely to OVER-eat because you’re not paying attention to your stomach’s feeling of satiation. The slower you eat, the more your stomach has a chance to tell you when to stop eating because you’ve had enough. And that way you don’t have to use some artificial one size fits all portion control size like those worthless diet plans use!  Eat mindfully, eat intentionally what you like and what’s good for you, and until you’ve had enough.

Can’t Stand Your Body

Can’t Stand Your Body?

So many women state that they hate their body or can’t stand themselves the way they look. This is their reason for going on a diet.

But why and how do women get to this point of hating their body? If no one told you when you that your body was flawed in some way, or if you were never taunted about your looks, you would never had be concerned about dieting!

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Wanting to look like others was probably a survival mechanism that comes from the far past. Early Humans lived in tribes and survived because they were part of a tribe. You had to fit in with your tribe to be accepted. To be cast out or shunned meant almost certain death. That meant conforming to the standards and way of living of the tribe was very important to the members. 

Today’s standards for being part of a tribe means that you are slender. Those present day requirements to be thin in order to be part of your tribe is spread with advertisement, the movies and media. And in the present, that has to do not with survival, but how these Diet Industry corporations make money.

Advertising essentially sets, reflects and then promotes the standards for what is acceptable in today’s society. Unfortunately, it’s still politically correct to fat shame, insult and ridicule overweight individuals. If you don’t conform to the standard of being thin, you are going to be teased, bullied and eventually shunned by the tribe to which you belong. That can mean your school mates (for younger people), your job, your religious institution, and even your family.  

I’ve heard horrible stories of people shouting out of their car windows to heavier people insulting them. What kind of cold hearted person thinks they have the right to do that??

Thankfully, advertisement and media has been changing slowly to incorporate more diversity: people of color, gays and now a few plus size characters. The place we want to achieve is that they are just characters; not part of the plot simply because they are black, gay or fat. This is good change, but it takes a long time until it is mostly accepted by society as the norm.

Fat Shaming Starts Early

Did you learn to hate your body when you were just a child? Why are girls as young as six years old starting diets? It’s from society’s pressure expressed through the taunting in school. Heavier children are the focus of bullying more than any other group. And this hurtful teasing often exacerbates the weight issue due to the stress it causes in a child. They are separated from the group, and may end up using food as comfort and getting them heavier.

Many parents also put this pressure on their children- “you’re going to get fat, you can’t eat this”, not allowing children treats, restricting their diets. Unfortunately, the medical industry, where doctors lack actual training in nutrition and obesity fall right in line with what the Diet Industry and media are pushing. They encourage parents to limit their child’s weight through diet, instead of investigating what the actual cause of a child’s weight gain is due to. Is there a genetic factor? Is the child being abused? Is the child sleeping adequately? Is the child under stress?

genetics affect weight obvious in father and son

Prevent Dieting in Children

There is a way that a parent can help a child not grow into a fat adult. Their job is going to be helping the child to see their own positive attributes, encourage them in activities they enjoy, and where they feel they can excel, and take away the focus- ESPECIALLY for GIRLS, on their appearance. Pull up photos of role models like Oprah and others at different sizes, who are popular and appreciated for who they are- NOT what they look like.

Unless there is a physical reason, such as an inherited body type, children can grow into their weight once they have dealt with the issues that are causing them to have excess weight. Dieting will only CAUSE the outcome parents are trying to avoid: making the child gain additional weight, and have a weight problem for life!

Your Negative Mindset

If you been conditioned since you were a child to feel like your body is not acceptable, those negative thoughts and feelings have become part of you. If creates a negative mindset that has a profound affect on your weight. When you say negative statements, using negative self talk your brain “hears” this talk as if you were being attacked. It’s stressful! Your physiology responds to this stress by raising cortisol levels. This actually changes your metabolism and puts your body into a state of “fight, flight or freeze”. In essence this negative self talk is sabotaging your efforts to manage your weight.

How To Learn to Appreciate Yourself

Self-acceptance is a very important aspect of being an healthy, well-adjusted adult. Unfortunately, so many women have confused their self-worth with their appearance. They have forgotten that the most beautiful aspect of a human being is what is inside them – not their exterior appearance. Pressure from society and from corporations that make tons of money do it by focusing on women’s insecurities about their appearance. Lots of money can be made from women who feel insecure about how much they weigh, how old they appear, the size of their breasts, etc..

all the things you could hate about your body

That’s where the tribe mentality comes into play. Women who have come to hate their bodies because they don’t conform to the “norm” need to work on developing self-acceptance, and self-confidence for themselves. We cannot blindly accept that everyone has to, wants to or CAN conform to the norms. Our genetic inheritance and life experiences will change our body. If you are lucky enough to live a long life, time and gravity will change and age us. But in exchange we get wisdom: if we accept that as our gift. For many women that wisdom teaches them what is important, and gives them the hindsight to realize that years spent denying themselves the food they desired so they would look sexy was a waste of time.

love yourself like your dog loves you

Love Yourself Like Your Dog Loves You

When you can get to the point where YOUR opinion of yourself is the one that counts,  life will be happier for you. In fact, one of my favorite quotes is:

“Your opinion of me is none of my business”

Can you imagine how much better off you will be when you realize that whatever anyone says to you is simply THEIR opinion?! You don’t have to defend yourself, you don’t have to get angry at them. It is only their opinion, and they are entitled to that, just as you are entitled to yours.

Then the trick is to re-learn to love yourself based, not on the shallow dimension of appearance, but on who you are, and what you give to others. Love yourself like your dog loves you- tall or short, young or old, fat or thin. THAT is real unconditional self-love and appreciation. It will change your life – and you’ll be a shining example for all those around you.

ps- Don’t forget to get my report  – and, please comment and share your thoughts to help others know they are not alone….

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Eat Less & Exercise More

a healthy woman is unhappy with her body because she has a little extra flesh on her stomach

How Did You Start Gaining Weight

The thing I’ve learned from decades of dieting and meeting women who like me is this: we are all different in how we first started gaining weight. I found out through extensive research and interviews, that the reason we’ve gained weight is not as simple as “I ate too much, and exercised too little”. 

No Self Control

But that’s what the Diet Industry had convinced the public. Then the public started blaming people who are heavy for having a “character flaw” because they had no self-control. And they even convinced many of us dieters that there was something wrong with us – after all, look at the ads of all the women who went on some diet and lost 49 pounds in a month. Why couldn’t WE do that? It must because something is wrong with us? Don’t believe it!

What other industry could have a 95% failure rate and still make billions of dollars a year?

The pressure of society, doctors and the media on people who had failed at dieting has become even more extreme. Nowadays, people think they have the right to say whatever they want to another person, be it cruel, prejudiced or just plain untrue. This puts tremendous stress on people who are being fat shamed. Continuously told that you are going to get a terrible disease or die from being overweight is incredibly frightening – and false according to actual governmental epidemiological statistics!

Once everyone “knows” something, it takes on a life of its own and becomes the “truth” – even if it is NOT factual. Unfortunately the more sure someone is of the truth, the louder they get screaming and blaming heavier people.

Lies About Dieting

The fact is that EVERY KIND of diet, including Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Paleo, vegetarian, etc. failed to maintain weight loss for more than 2 months to 5 years for 95% of people who went on a diet. And in fact, each time you go on a diet, the PROBABILITY is you will regain the weight you struggled to lose and add additional weight because you went on a diet! This creates the yo-yo syndrome. That’s when you diet, regain the weight, and then after a while get disgusted with your new heavier weight and diet again.

Why then, are doctors prescribing a “cure” that actually causes additional weight gain? That’s essentially what a diet is!

This is the reason that so many women have actually cycled their weight up higher than it would have ever been IF they had never dieted in the first place.

What can you do once you’re stuck at a high weight and still can’t stand your body the way it is? Are you going to fall for another false diet claim, and get back into that vicious cycle of dieting and regaining weight? Or, are you ready to finally take a different path?

If you want to learn the real facts get my expose, Mindful Eating is NOT the Cure by subscribing to my myth-busting and supportive newsletter.  Don’t get fooled again!

 

Comfort food

Does Comfort Food make you feel better?

When I learned that ICE CREAM is the same combination of sugars, fats and protein as mother’s milk, it all made sense to me! No wonder it’s considered comfort food!

In our brains we link things that happened at certain important events in our lives. And food it top of the list, because it is so comforting. Subconsciously, eating ice-cream brings up a first memory of pain (from hunger) being relieved by a bottle or breast (if you were lucky enough to be breast fed!) So food becomes something we associate with pain relief!
Emotional eating is a double whammy
But of course there are all kinds of foods that we could use to make us feel better – cookies? Remember when you were really good, or you mother wanted to reward you, she’d give you a cookie?

So the important issue is, not so much what your comfort food is, but what makes you reach for that and eat it mindlessly?

Stress Triggers

Why do you head to the refrigerator when you’re not hungry? You even know the answer: stress… Stress triggers emotional eating. (and yes, boredom can be stressful).

So what good is it to go on a diet? When things are going fine in your life you may be more able to stay on a restricted eating plan. But when your boss yells at you, when the person you loves gets into a fight with you, when bills come in that you hadn’t planned for, when you’re in pain….. Then we reach out for something to comfort ourselves. And for many people that is comfort food.

Overeating or Under-eating

And for others, maybe you are like I was….. instead of eating more, I lost my appetite and essentially stopped eating regularly.. it could go on for days.

Stress is very much in control of both how much you are eating AND your cortisol level which determines what happens inside your body related to weight and health.

The thing that most people don’t understand- and that includes doctors, is over-eating and under-eating can have the same effect on your metabolism. BOTH can cause weight gain!

So what can you do? A diet is NOT the answer….

Do you overeat comfort food from stress? Or, are you like me and end up losing your appetite and practically stop eating?

Please comment below so others can see that they are not alone.

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