Wednesday, December 30, 2015

15 Reasons to NOT Make Dieting a New Year's Resolution!

This is a bit of a reprisal of an old post.  The reasons to not go on a diet (despite what every media outlet available will tell you) have not changed.  For additional insight visit the link below.

15 Reasons for NOT Going on a Diet in 2016!

Ah, time to once again consider New Year's Resolutions! Each year one of the most frequently made resolutions is to; go on a diet to lose weight. Think of how many times you have made that resolution only to become disillusioned and frustrated. If you have overeaten during the holidays (who hasn't?) or dropped your exercise program and gained weight, going on a diet is not the solution!

Because the diet industry (remember the multi billion dollar a year industry with a miserable success record?) knows that you may be thinking about dieting more intensely at this time of the year, there will be a media blitz promoting diets and diet products. Don't be swayed by their shiny print ads and flashy TV commercials promising quick weight loss accompanied by exciting changes in everything from your job to your sex life. Resolve to not go on a diet this year!

Here are my top 15 reasons for encouraging you to not go on a diet in 2016:

  1. You have experienced the mind numbing obsession with food and eating that follows outlawing certain foods.

  2. Evaluating your self worth according to whether the numbers on the hunk of metal we call a scale go up or down is an emotionally draining experience.

  3. When you have driven your weight down by following diet rules and constraints that are unrealistic in real life, the weight will be regained.

  4. Fixating on weight loss can distract you from more important life matters like family, friends, school, job, and spiritual pursuits.

  5. The people around you get tired of hearing the dreary details of what is allowed or not allowed on your diet, how many "points" cheese cake is worth, or how "bad" you were at the restaurant last night.

  6. Dieting can be a boring, monotonous and tedious effort that leads to binge eating.

  7. Food is not the enemy and therefore should not be the focus of any "war on obesity".

  8. Sharing meals is part of socializing. Dieting can be isolating.

  9. You have taste buds for a reason.

  10. The diet industry has sold you the lie that losing weight, being a certain size, etc. will lead you to all that you have ever yearned for in life.  Rebel!
11.  The time and effort you place into dieting could be invested towards learning a new hobby, spending time with friends, or nurturing self-care activities.

12.  Dieting is dieting.  It is not confronting the issues that complicate your relationship with food, eating, body image.  Dieting is placing a lid on a boiling pot.

13.  Restricting your food, being bound by food rules could actually lead to a life threatening eating disorder.

14.  Leading a balanced healthy lifestyle is a much better example to set for your friends and family members than exposing them to various fad diets.

15.  Plain and simple ... Diets Do Not Work!  They offer quick fix promises that will only lead to more body hatred and lowered self-esteem.

This year make resolutions that will enhance your emotional and physical life. Make resolutions that are challenging, yet reasonable. Here are some examples to consider:
  • Increase the fiber in your diet.

  • Add more veggies to your meals.

  • Try new foods and recipes to add variety to your dietary intake.

  • Eat breakfast each morning.

  • Find a physical activity that you enjoy and can do regularly,

  • Enjoy your food more. Taste and savor you meals.

  • Decrease dependency on eating out.

  • Love the body you have!

  • If your body needs to lose weight, allow the weight loss to happen as a result of gradual, healthful changes you are making in relationship to eating and activity.
Be patient with yourself. Progress not perfection. No guilt!
What are your reasons for not dieting in 2016? Please share!

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, balanced and blessed New Year!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Merging "Eating to Live with Living to Eat"

Nearly every day I have clients coming into my office saying that they want to eat "healthier".  They may be struggling with an eating disorder, high cholesterol, weight issues or diabetes.  I ask them "why?" As you might guess, I get a variety of answers.  Everything from "to live longer" to "weight loss".  Pursuit of health and fitness is an admirable and worthwhile endeavor.  Some, however, chase those goals with such a vengeance that they lose out on quality of life.  I really believe you find peace in the middle ground when you merge the two seemingly incompatible concepts of "eating to live and living to eat". Kind of fits with my favorite oxymoron of "structured-flexibility".

For all of the emphasis on healthy eating, exercise and weight management that we have heard touted over the last several decades, did you know our life expectancy is only a few years longer than it was in the 1970s?  Most of that is due to a decrease in infant mortality.  We ate Cheetos, drank real cokes and ate more fat and less fiber back then.  I grew up with a canister of bacon grease on my parent's stove and that lard was added to nearly everything.  My parents still lived to be 77 years old (dad) and 81 years old (mom).  Despite the increase in official dieting and dietary restriction in general, obesity rates are higher now than 40 years ago.

The idea for this blog came from an article by southern author, Rick Bragg.  His elderly mother requested genuine lard for her birthday.  Throughout the years he purchased big screen TVs for her that she never watched, new washing machines that she disdained ... so he just asked her what she really wanted.  Lard.  Good old pork fat.  His comment was: "Grease is good.  It has shortened many lives, probably my own, but is a life of rice cakes really life, or just passing time?"  Then I recalled the quote, "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."  It is perfectly normal to look forward to visiting a phenomenal restaurant on your vacation.  It just doesn't need to be the only thing about the vacation you are focused on.  Sometimes there will be meals that you consume as mere fuel for your body.  You are hungry and you eat what is available.  That is merging the concepts mentioned in the title of this blog.  Life is short.  Food and eating is a part of enjoying life.  Eat with thoughtfulness and not obsession.  Make peace.

This blog is written by a woman who 39 years ago did not share the eating of her wedding cake with her husband.  I was trying to be "healthy".  That moment in time is gone and will never be again.