Monday, November 22, 2010

The Other Side of The Twinkie Diet

I sincerely hope everyone reading this understands that my posts are random thought processes- not, I repeat NOT, the end-all-be-all of diet advice. I do not advocate going on an all junk food diet.

I just finished reading this article, one person's professional opinion of the long-term effects of a junk food diet:

I agree with the vast majority of the article. If you don't want to read it (you should, it's got some great points), then here's a brief summary:

She basically says that junk food is not food- it's chemicals and sugar and colorings- and that consuming such a diet on a long term basis will wreck havoc on your poor body. She agrees with the basic point the professor was trying to make- that losing weight is all about reducing calories. But, she (and I) want to make sure that people understand that being healthy is not just about "losing weight". It's about creating sustainable habits that will help you live a long, full, happy life. As I mentioned in the last post, how many of us could truly live on just twinkies? Bleah. And, if we could, how long would it take our bodies to start reacting to the fake non-food chemicals we're pouring into it?

The main point I want to hammer home is that we should be smart. Oh, be wise, what can I say more? Don't be afraid of junk food. If you truly want a Twinkie, then by all means, eat a Twinkie. Enjoy it, love it, then move on. Teach yourself to love healthy, wholesome food. The more you truly enjoy eating something, the less of it you will need to feel satisfied. And that's what it's all about- eating less, enjoying more. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Twinkie Diet

I promise I don't get all my facts and opinions from Calorie I do, however, get their daily newsletter, and most of the main articles I find very interesting and thought provoking. Here is a link to their featured article for today:

The article features the latest diet craze- the junk food diet. There have been professors and professional people who have lost weight and inches eating only junk food. I find much hope in this kind of research. Not because I want to justify eating nothing but junk, but because it proves that the main component of losing weight is cutting caloric intake. Yes, these guys ate only junk, but they ate reasonable portions of junk. They didn't have a whole box of doughnuts, they had one. Now, I personally, think the idea of eating only junk sounds revolting. Yes, I love junk food. But, have you ever eaten nothing but junk for a while? It makes me feel horribly yucky. After Halloween and Christmas (big candy and sweets time of year) I find myself craving a good, hearty, warm bowl of soup, or maybe a salad. I actually hate the idea of eating nothing but... anything. I crave moderation and variety.

My point is- you can eat anything you want and lose weight, you just have to focus on portion size.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Food for Thought

There was a very interesting article on Calorie Count today. It's all about how food affects our brain, and how our brain controls our food cravings.
What I found the most thought-provoking is the idea that what is "good" for our brains isn't always good for our bodies. The doctor featured in the article believes that we should learn to think of all food as drugs. Some foods give our brains better stimulation than others. So our brain "asks" for those foods, by way of cravings. Which makes me think of my brain as a very young child- no, I don't want carrots, I want candy! I guess then that I can teach my brain that the sugars in carrots will give it the happy feelings it's looking for, it just takes a bit longer than candy.
I don't know, maybe I read it completely wrong. Read the article, decide for yourselves and then tell me what you think. :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fleur rants

I think I can. I think I can. We all know the story of the little train, hauling a heavy load up a big mountain. He made it, even though there were some who doubted him. And why was he successful? Because he thought positive.
Our society tends toward negativity. We even go so far as to make fun of people trying to be positive. ("I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and dog-gone-it, people like me") It's not cool to think nice things about yourself. If you're cool enough, others will think nice things about you, and you can coolly acknowledge them. Do you see what's wrong with this picture?
So, here's my soapbox: You can't take good care of yourself if you don't like yourself. You can't like yourself if you're not nice to yourself. Do you like other people who are mean to you? I thought not.
How does a person learn to like themselves? Start by being grateful. Even if you hate your body, even if looking in the mirror makes you cringe, you can still find something to be grateful for. This is a good time of year to practice, but keep it up all year long. Can you walk? See? Hear? Taste? Smell? Do you have pretty skin? Do you have nice hair? Everyday tell yourself at least one thing about your body that you are grateful for. If it feels too prideful to tell yourself, tell your Heavenly Father. He gave you this body after all. It was a tremendous gift. Ever heard the saying about looking a gift horse in the mouth? Even if you don't believe in God, believe that your body is a gift. You didn't make it, you don't get to slander it.

Once you find that gratitude, it will make it easier to quit saying mean things about yourself. I very much believe in the need to laugh at ourselves. But, don't say ANYTHING about your body that you wouldn't say about your best friend's body. You might laugh about your best friend accidentally dyeing her hair orange, but you would never bad mouth her skin problems. Would you?

Get out of the habit of putting yourself down. When people give you compliments, learn to say "thank you" instead of arguing with them. It may feel totally insincere, and prideful, at first. But, you will get used to it, and then you may just start to believe their compliments. I know that if I build up my courage enough to say something nice to someone, I would much rather hear "thank you" than "oh, you're wrong and here's why".

Losing weight is not going to make you suddenly like your body. Well, maybe for a little while. :) But, then life goes on, and you will start noticing flaws again. It goes back to Forrest Gump- losing weight is just "one less thing". Conversely, if you like your body, it actually makes it easier to lose weight. Go figure.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Living in the moment

Yesterday two of my kids were home sick with fevers. So, of course, we had to have McDonald's for lunch. They don't get McD's very often, so sick days are kind of special.

I was sitting there eating my chicken nuggets and fries and had a realization. I realized I was paying attention to what I was eating, BUT, I was paying more attention to the food that was coming rather than the food that was already in my mouth. It seemed like such a small thing. But, it had a huge impact on me at the moment. If I'm constantly paying more attention to what is coming, rather than what I already have, how much satisfaction can I really get out of life? I was chewing and swallowing quickly so that I could get more in, sooner. I believe that's commonly referred to as "wolfing it down". Didn't satisfy. Go figure.

Not every meal has to be a totally zen, enlightened experience. But, I do need to focus more on what is happening right now. Anticipation can be a wonderful thing. However, the present is all we really have.