Sugar Binges
- POSTED ON: Apr 21, 2011

 I recently heard someone say:

"I  plan on making the most out of tomorrow’s holiday.
Even if that means I'll be shoveling plain sugar into my mouth
and eating until I vomit."  

The above-quote is a good description of binge behavior.
Some people are only joking when they say
 that they are going to eat sugar until they vomit or feel like it. 
This may only mean they will actually have a few pieces of candy 
and/or cookies which will seem like a lot to them. 

But, some literally do Binge on a regular basis,
and this means they  actually do eat a large amount, 
such as one or more family size bags of candy/and or cookies
and these people...despite a great deal and time and effort....
are not able to overcome this "addiction-like behavior".

People are mentally and physically different.
One-size-does-not-fit-all.

I think there can be no doubt that Taubes, author of  Why We Get Fat
is correct when he says that sugar is a special kind of food,  
because i
t seems to "hijack" the brain.

Sugar seems to be an issue with almost everyone,
how
ever the definition of "bingeing" seems to differ between individuals.
For some, "bingeing" means "giving in" to a piece or two of cake
and for others it means eating the entire cake."
Most people equate "bingeing" with "Emotional Eating", 
but perhaps Taubes is correct when he says 
that this isn't merely a mental or behavioral issue. 

Maybe there's actually a large physiological issue...
......maybe
our respective bodies are different in more ways than size.

Some of us seem to be more sensitive to carbohydrates than others.
There are some people for whom even "healthy" complex carbohydrates...
such as baked potatoes and whole kernal corn... can trigger binge behavior.

 


Over The Long Haul
- POSTED ON: Apr 20, 2011

 

Over The Long Haul m
ost diets or exercise plans work, 
if they are followed consistently long-term.
When people begin a new diet or exercise plan
they feel hopeful about their chances  
of success at achieving their individual goals, 
and during that first burst of enthusiasm 
is when they most tend to be most faithful to it.
But a year or two later, we don’t hear too much
from those people about  program X or program Y,
about what their weight and their fitness level is like at that point.
With both weight-control and fitness, 
maintenance is THE difficult long-term issue.
So it’s important to pay attention to what behaviors
that we can realistically continue over the long haul..
Each of us is an individual, with different likes and dislikes.
We need to take our own personal tastes and abilities 
under consideration when making our diet and exercise choices.
Then we need to make those diet and exercise behavior choices into Habits.
Over time, those positive Habits will become part of us
and our bodies…and attitudes…will change. 
But this does not occur without Effort.
The bodies of most fat, or formerly fat, people want to be fat;
and following the desires of those bodies
seldom results in long-term weight reduction.
 There really isn’t any going ON or OFF a diet. 
Eating is an endless necessity of life.
Everything we choose to eat at every point in time,
is the diet we individually choose,
and….for the most part….our bodies will reflect those choices.
Personal responsibility applies in every area of our lives.
Deciding NOT to “diet”  is in fact an eating choice.
We must use our minds to discipline our bodies,
similar to the way a loving parent provides care for a willful child.
There’s no temporary or easy way to do this.
It is important to Acknowledge and Accept the fact 
that this willful child within us isn’t ever going to “grow up”.
We will never be able to end our parental responsibilies.
That child will ALWAYS need special loving care,
and we are the only ones who can provide it.


Recipes When Tracking Food
- POSTED ON: Apr 19, 2011

      

                                 

 Here’s a question I received about Calorie Counting.

"One thing I always wonder about calorie counting:
how do you account for cooked foods or whole meals?
For example, an apple is easy: it's so & so calories.

However if... (like we did today for dinner)... your meal consists of
a) potato salad b) cucumber salad and c) cheese pie

How would you go about counting all that?
Would you have to input all recipes & divide by helpings
to know what you've eaten?"

And Here’s my Answer to that Question.

DietPower, the software food journal I use,
has a simple function that allows me
to input label info from new foods into its food dictionary.
It also has a simple function that allows me to input new recipes,
using foods that are in its food dictionary.

I would use the search function in its food dictionary,
and find potato salad,
then input how much I ate (1/2 cup?)
Same thing with cucmber salad and cheese pie.
Each of the 3 specialized foods could be as easy for me to input as an apple.

During the past six and a half years,
the DietPower program has been extremely helpful to me.
After I've input a food or a recipe once,
it becomes part of the program and is forever in my software dictionary.

As part of the process of entering a recipe the first time,
I have to determine how many servings are in it.
The program then immediately responds
with correct nutritional values, including calories.

When I first started using the program,
I'd put in one of my favorite recipes
and divide it so that one serving was the amount I usually ate.

SURPRISE... sometimes I found my chosen serving
was TWO or THREE times more than the calories I thought I was eating....
so then... (during the initial input process)... I adjusted the recipe
to a more reasonable number of servings
such as 12 servings, not 6 servings.

This taught me how much I should be eating,
and served as a Forever reminder as to just what size
my serving of that particular food should be.

When I log my food for each day, I just use DietPower's search function
Up comes my food or recipe,

I put the amount I ate...1 serving, or 1/2 serving or whatever,
and instantly I have all the nutritional values of what I ate...
or what I PLAN to eat... because sometimes,
when I see the total calories in advance, I alter my plan.

I've now been using DietPower a very long time
so most of my standard recipes are now in its Dictionary.
When I cook a new recipe, I just add it in.
I also enter as a Recipe,
frequent combinations of foods I eat,
such as a particular Sandwich or even a complete standard meal.
That way I am able to log an entire meal as easily as I could log an apple.

If I am going to eat in a restaurant,
I plan approximately what I will eat in advance.
I Look online and find that item or a similiar item,
and put the restaurant nutritional info for that food item into DietPower.
Then, after my meal, I make minor changes to reflect what I actually ate.

Anytime I eat something I haven't prepared, I can always find
something similiar in the DietPower food dictionary, 
or find the nutritional values of a similiar food somewhere online.
Once I put that food into the DietPower dictionary, it is there for future use.

Most people eat about the same foods month after month,
so once the initial work is done, tracking food is very easy,
and takes only a few minutes each day.

I find doing this a very enjoyable and extremely valuable HABIT.
Any Skill or Habit takes work to estabish in the beginning,
but the payoff can be remarkable.


Goals Don't Come Easy.
- POSTED ON: Apr 18, 2011

 

Personal Diet Modifications have their place,
but making any Food Plan into a Habit,
requires Consistency and Patience.

It is impossible to successfully make a Food Plan into a Habit,
if one changes the Plan every time one fails to meet its Guidelines.
No one is successful all of the time.

 To build a successful eating Habit it is necessary to:

Recognize a failure,
Accept that failure,
Resolve to reduce future failures,
Continue working to follow that Food Plan.

We have to overcome obstacles one at a time
Goals don't come easily,
but there is no accomplishment without work,
and no "win" without something to beat.

It's natural to get discouraged when roadblocks appear.
We invest time and emotion into creating the perfect plan,
and then something comes along and screws it up.

  Sometimes all we have to do
is to get back up and move forward again.
Obstacles are like that Wizard behind the curtain—
--once we see them up close they are much less intimidating.

Next time we take a step backwards,
let's not pile up guilt.
All we have to do is take two steps forward
and we'll still be further along than we were before.

It doesn't matter how many obstacles we face.
We only have to beat the most recent one.

 


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.


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