You Can Do Hard Things
- POSTED ON: Aug 31, 2012

I recently ran across this inspiring post:

"The Best Advice:

I've had some success-- I suppose I can admit as much at this point, although it feels weird. So now I get a lot of people who PM asking for advice, or saying they look up to me, and flattering though that is, it's silly, because I pretty much just follow the rules (okay, the ones that make sense) and it all comes out in the wash. So I usually don't have much to add when people ask how you get where I have gotten, there's no great mystery: the reason I have been successful in some ways that others have failed I usually pass off as luck.

But that's not entirely true. I just realized it. There actually *is* one more piece, and because I love ya, I am going to share it with you now. Sounds trifling, but it contains volumes.

Here it is: YOU CAN do hard things.

I know, you're saying, "What's your point?"

Sometimes, when faced with a challenge-- especially if you're a recovering addict as so many of us are, when you approach something difficult, your inner voice says, "Holy crap-- I can't DO that"...and you do an about-face-- you reach for the drug (or food) of choice. To feel uncomfortable..and not to comfort yourself, is a hard thing --

but you can do hard things.

When it's late and you're tired, and you know you are supposed to walk, you said you would, and it's looking like it might rain-- it's hard as hell to lace those sneakers up and get out there---

but you can do hard things.

Protein shakes can taste yucky. It's hard to remember all those calcium supplements. It's hard to get 64 oz of water in. It's hard to plan meals, buy expensive and healthy choices, stay out of the cake in the lounge at work--

but you can do hard things.

You don't have to self-medicate. You don't have to eat those chips. You don't have to duck and avoid every unpleasant, difficult challenge in your path. Sometimes, the best bet is to admit their existance..."Yes, hard things, I see you trying to get in my way, but you know what? I CAN DO HARD THINGS!"

Sometimes this means having to survive a host of feelings you never felt before because you never let yourself feel them before-- stress, confusion, anger, rage. You can't numb them out or sand off their edges-- you have to stand right in your space and let them have a go at you-- and grit your teeth, and say to yourself, "Go ahead, get in my way. I'll get through this. I can do hard things."

And you will find that you will survive them. And as you survive them, you will face new ones, standing a little taller, because in time you will eventually understand and rely on the fact that you can do hard things. And eventually the "pass me some Ben and Jerry's--my boss is a jackass" response gives way to something new-- something that sounds more like this:


In The Future
- POSTED ON: Aug 29, 2012

 “I have noticed is that it is very easy to deny ourselves things  IN THE FUTURE
- we can all promise to have no treats - next week or tomorrow.
But change happens RIGHT NOW.
There is no magic clean slate that happens when … you start Day 1 of a new Diet…
The truth is that it is all one life and that each action you take right now
will affect the next set of results you receive.“

This is a Wise quote from a regular member of a forum which I frequently visit. 


Brain Over Binge - A Review
- POSTED ON: Aug 28, 2012

I recently purchased and read Brain over Binge (2011) by Karen Heidebrech, and feel that it deserves the attention of a review here on DietHobby.

Brain over Binge gives an informative scientific perspective on binge eating as well as an interesting personal account. Instead of viewing bingeing as a symptom of complex psychological problems, Heidebrech explains why traditional eating disorder therapy often fails. She explains how she came to understand her bingeing was a function of her brain, and how she used the power of her brain to recover.

Brain Over Binge gives an alternative method of “eating disorder” recovery. The author uses principles of contemporary neuroscience to explain the traps of disordered eating, and how she herself has found recovery from her own binge behavior.

Traditional eating disorder recovery focuses on labeling one’s eating behavior as dysfunctional, then identifying underlying reasons or triggers for that eating behavior, and then having the person attempt to control, correct, or respond differently to their own flaws or environmental stressors. This is an impossible task, because one can never control all of life's stressors and personal vulnerabilities, and believing that this is the only way to recover is often a set-up for failure.

Instead of focusing on emotions, stress, self-esteem and many of the other common explanations offered in conventional treatment, Brain Over Binge provides that binge eating is the result of allowing the urges that spring from one's "animal" brain to override the wisdom of one's "highest human" brain. By surrendering all the power to the animal brain, the binge eater ends up feeling as if she/he has no choice but to give in to the urge to binge, no matter how irrational or self-destructive it is to do so.

Brain over Binge presents a 5-step process for taking back your power over the urges. Heidebrech backs up the simplicity of the cure with an explanation of the research that supports the credibility of her approach. She also relates her own experience to show that one can recover from binge eating without having to be perfect or live a stress-free life.

Bingeing doesn’t always result from external situations. Bingeing itself creates more and more cues to binge in response to everyday life situations. The more situations one responds to by bingeing, the more cues there are to binge. The answer is not to get rid of everyday situations, but to interrupt the cycle, which is done, paradoxically, by dismissing disordered urges as "neurological junk," thereby avoiding reinforcing the behavio...

Binge Avoidance + Adaptive Thermogenesis
- POSTED ON: Aug 24, 2012

It's hard not to binge on delicious food.
For more about that experience, go to the bottom of the page, and
Watch an entertaining video at the end of this article.

However, that is NOT the ONLY reason why weight-loss is hard.
I've been reading about "Adaptive Thermogenesis" .
Physical systems (like machines) stay the same.
Biological systems (like humans) adapt.

Weight-loss and maintenance have less to do with motivation and will-power than most people think. 
It fact it has far more to do with how your body adjusts to, and is capable of, resisting a calorie deficit.
Putting less fuel in the tank of one's car will always cause the car to drive a shorter distance.  However, the human body adapts to less fuel ....meaning eating fewer calories.... by becoming more ‘efficient’ and running the same distance on less fuel than before. That is the big difference between simple physics and biology

For a better understanding of the issue of energy-in/energy-out, read my Summaries of what Gary Taubes has to say about it. 
WWGF - Chapter 6 Thermodynamics for Dummies, Part 1
and Chapter 7 Thermodynamics for Dummies, Part 2.

Here is a great article by Dr. Arya Sharma M.D. on this issue:

The Role of Adaptive Thermogenesis in Resistance to Weight Loss

No intentional weight loser continues to lose weight till she disappears.

Sooner or later every diet, every medication, or every type of bariatric surgery will result in a weight loss ‘plateau’ (better referred to as a ‘floor’) - a weight, beyond which losing even more weight (and keeping it off) becomes an almost ’super-human’ feat.

However, there is considerable variation in how much weight people can lose and keep off. Although the average sustainable weight loss with ‘eat-less-move-more’ (ELMM) approaches is about 3-5% of initial weight, some folks manage to lose considerably more, while others struggle to even simply stop gaining weight.

This has less to do with motivation or will-power than most people think.
In fact, it has far more to do with how your body adjusts to and is capable of resisting a calorie deficit.

While putting less fuel in the tank of your car will consistently decrease the distance that you can drive, our bodies adapt to less fuel (i.e. eating fewer calories) by becoming more ‘efficient’ and running the same distance on less fuel than before. That is the big difference between simple physics and biology.

Biological systems adapt - physical systems (like your car) stay the same.

In the case of humans (and animals) we call the adaptation of e...

Realities of Weight-Loss Maintenance
- POSTED ON: Aug 23, 2012

Here at DietHobby, I share my own experiences and opinions as I work to maintain a very large weight-loss. I am now in the 7th year of maintaining at normal weight after spending much of my lifetime in morbid obesity.  Those who are interested can see more details in the ABOUT ME section under RESOURCES.  Recently I posted detailed records of my average food intake together with a summary of my weights during those periods. See Records: My Past 8 years

One of the things I've personally discovered from my own experience is that weight maintenance is very difficult, and it takes an enormous amount of ongoing, consistent effort.   When I first reached my goal weight, I had some vague idea from things I'd read, that the first 5 years of maintenance were the most difficult, and if and when I could achieve that point, it would become much easier. 

In my own case, I have discovered this not to be true.  Even though the first couple of maintenance years were difficult, the subsequent years became MORE difficult.  Maintenance did not become easier after 5 years, and I can honestly say that here in my 7th year, maintenance is more difficult than it has ever been. 

My detailed records confirm my subjective experience that .... not only do I need to eat fewer calories than the BMR or RMR charts indicate to maintain the same weight, ..... but, when I raise my daily average calorie intake ... even slightly for a brief time, or for a lengthy time period... I gain weight.  However, for the time period of the past 3 to 5 years, I've discovered that decreasing that average calorie intake to the same extent, does not cause a corresponding weight-loss

As an example.... if we use conventional wisdom, and assume that an excess or deficit of 3500 calories = a 1 lb fat detailed daily food-intake and weight records indicate that during the past 3 to 5 years,  if I eat an excess of 3500 calories I will definitely gain 1 lb fat, however, when I eat a deficit of 3500 calories I will NOT lose 1 fat lb.  In actuality, the 3500 calorie calculation appears to no longer be applicable to my body.  Water weight aside, and referring to fat weight only, it appears that it takes far less excess calories for me to gain 1 fat lb, and that it takes a far greater calorie deficit for me to lose 1 fat lb.  During the past 5 years, I've run many personal experiments testing this particular issue (even using different micronutrients), and each time, my results have confirmed this to be true for my own individual body.

Not only is this a frustrating condition, it is one that almost no medical professional addresses.   Probably, this is reasonable, because there is no actual scientific research on formerly obese people who have lost large amounts of weight, and have maintained it for long time periods.  I personally, am a member of the National Weight Loss Registry, and I have d...

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