Nobody's Perfect
- POSTED ON: Apr 17, 2011

 

                                

Nobody’s Perfect.
I’ve spent much of my life trying to fix my various flaws.

One of my life’s dynamics has been thinking
that if I could fix everything that’s wrong with me
it would make everything else around me okay too.

Finally, insight came that instead of focusing on fixing my flaws,
I need to Accept them…even love them.

For a long time, I thought that if I Accepted the things I felt were wrong with me,
I’d never be able to change them.
But really, love is what leads to real healing and transformation,
and ultimately it is the only thing that can actually create changes in us

 In truth, all of what each of us perceives as personal “flaws”
is a subjective value judgment, based on our own interpretations
our own perspectives.

We can obsess about certain aspects of our bodies:
on our appearance; on our personalities; on our lives or work circumstances,
and judge them to be “bad” or “flawed”.

But in truth,
they are what they are.
We are the ones who place the “bad” meaning or interpretation on them.
It is very human to experience a sense of feeling flawed
in certain aspects of our lives and at particular times in life.
There's nothing wrong with us for feeling that way.

However, feeling flawed can rob us of our energy,
our passion, our happiness, our confidence and our lives.

It's one of the most painful ways we can allow our egos to run us,
and it can have devastating consequences if we aren’t conscious of it.

Here are some ideas about how to move from feeling flawed
to a place of acceptance, peace and love.

Acknowledge what's true for you, personally. The first step is telling the truth.
Trying to avoid, run from or pretend our flaws don’t exist doesn’t work..
Admit and express the underlying emotions. If we can identify,
acknowledge and ultimately express the true emotions we feel about
these perceived flaws, we can create a real sense of freedom for ourselves.

Forgive ourselves. Self-forgiveness is something that some people
don't have much experience with. Many of us have been trained
to be hard on ourselves, and to believe that forgiveness must come
from someone or something outside of us.
However when we are able to forgive ourselves,
we create the space for real change and healing to take place.

Appreciate
. To appreciate means to recognize the value of something.
Sometimes dealing with our personal flaws teaches us a great deal about ourselves.
When we learn to appreciate and be grateful for what our difficulties have taught us,
we can move away from self-pity,
because It's impossible to experience gratitude and victimhood simultaneously.

Love. The ultimate antidote for all suffering is love.
Our ability to bring love to our flaws, to care for them with kindness
and compassion …like we would care for a child, a pet or a loved one,…
is what will ultimately cause the transformation we're looking for to take place.
When we love our flaws, we create an environment where we're either able
to make the kinds of specific behavior changes we truly want,
or able to learn to love and accept ourselves,
whether any change in the “flaw” takes place or not.

All of these things are much easier said than done.

Admitting the truth to ourselves, expressing our real emotions,
forgiving ourselves, appreciating our flaws, and loving all aspects of ourselves,
both the positive and the negative, gives us the opportunity to actually transcend our flaws.

Doing this takes a great deal of intention, support, compassion and patience.
It’s easier to take a pill, to get busy and distracted, to whine and complain, or to
pretend things are fine or continue with the other avoidance techniques we are good at.
But this is the way to can genuinely heal ourselves and end our cycle of suffering.


Calorie Accountability
- POSTED ON: Apr 16, 2011

                           
DENIAL:  "If I don't know it, it isn't true",
is a big problem in weight-control,
and many people prefer ignorance,
in order to avoid facing unpleasant facts.

Here's a news quote concerning
the implementation of that New York city law
which requires chain restaurants to post calorie information.

It points out the truth that many people are not happy to learn
that their food choices are extremely high-calorie.

Take off the labels’

“Some people actually tell us we should take off the labels,
because it discourages them from ordering what they want,” he said,

Despite the eye-opening revelations, whether New Yorkers will switch
to lower calorie meals remains to be seen. They may just switch menus.

That’s what Fowler, the woman who was dining recently with her friends
at T.G.I. Friday's, decided to do.

“I’m so upset,” she said, noting some entrees — like the Jack Daniels ribs
and shrimp dinner — contain almost 2,000 calories, and the desserts were
more of the same (the brownie obsession is 1,500 calories).
“I wish they wouldn’t have done this.”

But then Fowler noticed that the waiter had handed her friend an old menu,
which didn’t have calorie counts on it.

“You got a menu without anything on it?” she asked her friend.
“Can I have yours?”

The mentality of the woman mentioned above is a common one.
She would like to feel guilt-free while eating high-calorie foods.

It does feel great not to be responsible for our poor food choices.
and
It is difficult to be Accountable for the food choices we make.

However, Calories always count,

whether one consciously chooses to control calorie intake
by actually counting them,

OR

whether one chooses to unconsciously control calorie intake
by limiting the amount of food they eat,
........through counting points or food exchanges;
........by the nutritional content of their food; or
........by the frequency of their eating events.

The fact that Calories always count
is an unpopular, rather unpleasant, Truth that many would like to forget,
and I sometimes experience hostility from people for the reminder.

There are some people whose bodies allow them to control their calorie input
by the implementation of a few rules.
and within those simple rules or guidelines, their bodies show them what to eat.
One of these ways is commonly known as "intuitive eating".

Some people think everyone is born with that ability, however,
there are a great many adults whose bodies lack that capability.
Those people need to exercise more conscious control of their food intake.

There are many ways to limit calories without counting them,
and some of those ways can bring great success.
I personally have found a way to make calorie counting an enjoyable Habit.

I keep a food journal in my computer.
Every day I click a few buttons to enter all my food, and my software program
DietPower, tells me my calories and other nutritional values.
In this way I become aware of my eating Truth.

I am Accountable for all my food choices.
I've been on many different "diets" or "food plans",
but for the past six and on-half years, I have detailed records of exactly what I've done,
and the choices I've made.  This is what I've done to be successful.

To be Accountable is a difficult, adult thing.
But whether we count calories, or limit the calories of our food intake in some other way,
Calorie Accountability is necessary for successful weight-control.
 


39 Years Later
- POSTED ON: Apr 15, 2011

"Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble,
it's a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself, it is still a beautiful world.

You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams
it is still a beautiful world.


How Many Carbohydrates?
- POSTED ON: Apr 14, 2011

Some of you might be interested in the above
 detailed nutritional information chart which is based on
my daily food-intake data over the past  six years.


Around the middle of 2010,
I became interested in experimenting with low-carb issues,
primarily due to Taubes’ Good Calories Bad Calories,
as well as my own weight-maintenance difficulties.
I made several brief (failed) efforts during 2010.
At the beginning of 2011, I started a Low-Carb Experiment-of-One
In the years prior to that time, I did not consciously try to restrict carbs.

Calorie Restriction has always been
my primary method of weight-loss and maintenance.

While reducing my calories, I made a conscious effort to eat a reasonable amount of protein.
Even though I primarily ate low-fat, fat is in just about everything.
So, due to my calorie restriction,
there were simply less calories available to take in as carbohydrates.

Taubes’ writing has made me aware of the fact that
in every diet throughout my lifetime….and there have been a lot of them….
my calorie restriction has also inadvertently resulted in a reduction of carbohydrates.

I remember that in years prior to the end of 2004,
during the times when I wasn’t restricting calories,
my primary food was carbs
…sugars, simple and complex carbs, and fat.
I believe that, at that time, I ate about the same amount of protein that I do now.

 I have detailed daily records of my food-intake from 9/20/2004 through today.
For the past 2398 consecutive days, I have entered all my food into my DietPower log.
The DietPower program stores that data, and makes it readily accessible to me.
I can easily access my data in “averages” for specific time periods,
or for exact amounts within individual days.
This gives me the ability to make an accurate personal analysis of my own behavior.
which is limited of course, by my own insufficient skills of analysis.

I began maintaining my current weight in January 2006,
and have now done so for the past 5 years.

During that 5 year period, I have experimented with a number of different issues,
involving food-intake and exercise,
by using a number of different methods and ways-of-eating.
Eating more, eating less; exercising more, exercising less etc.

Leaving the issue of ongoing Hunger and Cravings aside,
I’ve been concerned about the fact that..
..….independent of any exercise or ageing issues…..
my calorie requirement to maintain my current weight has dropped over time.

It is impossible for anyone outside a lab to ever accurately count calories,
because all calorie counting involves estimates along with a reliance on food labels.
Therefore, the ACTUAL CALORIE NUMBER, can be inaccurate.
However, my focus is on my personal Calorie deviations over time.
I weigh/measure foods and count the calories in them
the same manner, and by the same methods
so...Over Time... I am actually measuring my own behavior BY my own behavior…
…which I believe is as accurate as anyone can ever be in real life.

The FACTS are:

To maintain at or near my current weight:….
1st year of Maintenance: 2006 – Calorie intake 1505
2nd year of Maintenance: 2007 – Calorie intake 1408
3rd year of Maintenance: 2008 - Calorie intake 1179
4th year of Maintenance: 2009 – Calorie intake 1045
5th year of Maintenance: 2010 – Calorie intake 1076

This calorie deviation is not explainable by exercise or aging…
and probably not even by carbohydrate intake.

During my 16 months of weight-loss my calorie intake averaged around 1200 calories,
and I lost from 190 to 115, which is 75 lbs.

During the first two years after that, I maintained around 115 lbs
while eating about a 1450 average calorie intake.

During the 3rd year, in order to maintain close to that same weight,
it was necessary to drop my calories about 250 calories a day.

During the 4th and 5th years, in order to maintain close to that same weight,
it was necessary to drop my calories an additional 120….
which is about 370 less a day than I ate during the first two years,
and about 150 daily calories less than I ate during my 16 month weight-loss period.
There simply don’t appear to be any factors….
….outside my body’s own desire to regain lost weight….
that adequately explain this to me.

As a result of the above-information, I have come to the personal conclusion that
the simple Calories-in/Calories-out, together with the Theory – 3500 calories = 1 fat lb,
just don’t adequately explain what is going on inside my own body.

I feel certain that this is PARTIALLY due to the fact
that I am maintaining  in a "normal" weight-range LONG-TERM,
after many years of obesity,
which puts me into the category of
a "reduced obese" person,
No Scientific Research Study Results exist in that area,
for many obvious reasons.

However, I am also personally very interested in the fact
that "The GREAT CALORIE THEORY" i.e. 3500 calories = 1 fat lb.

doesn't actually seem to accurately apply for many people
who are at the height of their morbid obesity,
or for formerly "reduced morbidly obese"  people
who are maintaining in a "normal" weight range.

I am becoming convinced that there are unknown factors regarding this issue
that have not yet been discovered by Science.

However, I'm not waiting for that discovery to determine my personal eating behavior,
because it might never happen....Not in my lifetime anyway,
and I have really grown fond of  living inside a normal size body.
My plan is to continue to engage in whatever eating behavior it takes
for me to maintain my current body size.

 


Experimenting with Diets
- POSTED ON: Apr 13, 2011



I enjoy trying out different Diets,
and my personal style is to "carve out my own path".
Therefore,  I'm usually involved in some type of dieting Experiment-of-One.

"Good Calories Bad Calories", by Gary Taubes, published in 2007.
is an excellent book, however, it is about 500 pages long
with more than 100 reference pages,
and was written primarily for medical professionals.

I’ve read it at least 5 times, and I still haven’t absorbed it all
because it is really hard. I have a doctorate in law,
with an extensive history in legal research,
but I still found it to be difficult reading.

The new book by Taubes,
"Why we get fat and what to do about it", (2011)
was written geared to people like me…those who are not medical professionals.
It is 250 pages and is a far easier to read.
Although it isn't what I would call a quick read.
This is the book that DietHobby is now featuring in BOOKTALK

This year, I am experimenting with Low-Carb
because I have not yet found a Way of Eating to maintain my weight-loss
that I enjoy enough to continuing doing for the rest of my life.

Low Carb is one of the few ways of eating
that I have very little personal experience with.
My body desperately wants to regain its lost weight,
and maintenance takes constant vigilance.
I’m hoping that low-carb will help eliminate some of my food cravings,
as well as some of my hunger.

I’ve also spent a lot of time experimenting with Intermittent Fasting,
and some of that was by using the 24 hr fasting method
suggested by Brad Pilon. in his e-book, "Eat Stop Eat".
I own that book as well; have read it thoroughly several times;
and think it is probably the best book around that addresses Intermittent Fasting

I will probably do more experimentation of Intermittent Fasting in the future.
Neither Calorie Counting, Low-Carb or Intermittent Fasting are mutually-exclusive.
A 24 hr fast is one way to further reduce insulin,
and many low-carb people use it for that purpose.

My primary purpose for Intermittent Fasting has been to reduce my calories
for up to one to three days a week, in order to drop my calorie averages.
For me, the primary difficulty with Eat Stop Eat, or any Intermittent Fast,
is not keeping my calories low on a fast day. I can do that.
On Fast days my practice is to eat dinner only, around 350 to 400 calories,
with no snacks after dinner.
          

However, on “normal” days, the days before and after an intermittent fast,
I have great difficulty eating only normal amounts,
and not compensating by eating more food than my normal calorie allotment,
and sometimes those fasts will trigger binge behavior for me.
This might not be the case IF I were eating low-carb,
since it is the sugars --refined carbs, and starches—complex carbs
that allegedly trigger those cravings and binges.

Low-carb eating is different for everyone, and
on pages 204 and 205 of his new book, WWGF,
Taubes clarifies his position on this matter.


“The fewer carbohydrates we consume, the leaner we will be.
This is clear. But there’s no guarantee that the leanest we can be
will ever be as lean as we’d like. This is a reality to be faced.

As I discussed, there are genetic variations in fatness and leanness
that are independent of diet. Multiple hormones and enzymes affect
our fat accumulation, and insulin happens to be the one hormone
that we can consciously control through our dietary choices.
Minimizing the carbohydrates we consume and eliminating the sugars
will lower our insulin levels as low as is safe,
but it won’t necessarily undo the effects of other hormones….

This means that there’s no one-size-fits-all prescription
for the quantity of carbohydrates we can eat and still lose fat or remain lean.

For some, staying lean or getting back to being lean might be a matter
of merely avoiding sugars and eating the other carbohydrates in the diet,
even the fattening ones, in moderation; pasta dinners once a week,
say, instead of every other day.

For others, moderation in carbohydrate consumption might not be sufficient,
and far stricter adherence is necessary. And for some, weight will be lost
only on a diet of virtually zero carbohydrates, and even this may not be
sufficient to eliminate all our accumulated fat, or even most of it.

Whichever group you fall into, though, if you’re not actively losing fat
and yet want to be leaner still, the only viable option…
...is to eat still fewer carbohydrates, identify and avoid other foods
that might stimulate significant insulin secretion…and have more patience.
(Anecdotal evidence suggests that occasional or intermittent fasting
for eighteen or twenty-four hours might work to break through
these plateaus of weight loss, but this, too, has not been adequately tested) “
 


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