Want to find more flaws with your body? Buy a magazine!
Generally I don’t buy magazines, but when I do they are always about home care. I can’t get enough of having more hanging lights! But yesterday was different, I was at Walmart and I saw the headline Automatic Weight Loss and the picture of the slender Annie Potts, known for her role as Meemaw in Young Sheldon. I didn’t understand why they featured Annie Potts because according to Google she has always been thin, so maybe what they are saying is the secret to automatic weight loss is to have been thin since the beginning.
I decided to buy the magazine and when I flipped through it I was astounded to find the sheer amount of diets. The entire magazine wasn’t dedicated to showcasing one diet, there were at least seven. This is not including all the tips and tricks for fixing any number of body parts. Slim with seaweed, try honey, kombucha, berries, juicing, keto products (not the diet but all the ‘keto snacks’, tea, energy boosters, oil, recipes for pies, PIES!
On the eleventh page there is an article that stretches three pages long telling you that you can be confident in your body by masking your spider veins with a self-tanner, boost a droopy butt, calm razor burn, lift a saggy bust, slim the middle, tone bat wings, soften rough patches, end pit pudge, soothe rosacea flare ups, erase stretch marks, nix bacne with tea tree oil (this one really got me because she was applying it with a q-tips, essentially going over her imperfections with a fine tooth comb).
I thought I had flaws, but according to this magazine I am a monster! I don’t think I understood the need for body positivity until the moment I read this magazine. People are making money off of nitpicking the smallest ‘flaws’ that women can have. I say women, but I shouldn’t minimize the stress they put on men to lose weight, after all there were two men in the magazine; some guy who had switched to the keto diet and a ‘handsome’ harbour seal on the final page.
I finally got to Annie Potts bit, it was a laugh, if I am being honest. It had nothing to do with staying thin, instead the article focussed on being stress free. Walking, drinking water with fruit in it, soup, and practicing forgiveness. The only weight loss segment she had was her ‘Secret Slimming Solution’ where she says that if she has a craving she will eat sweet potato chips. Sorry Annie, but, I DONT BELIEVE YOU.
I think Annie either has the kind of body that knows how to handle carbs, or she actually doesn’t really eat carbs. I am guessing the latter. If I had a magazine, I think I would stick to one topic and really focus on it. This magazine bounced around a lot from one kind of diet to another and the person they concentrated on to sell it, doesn’t even have experience with weight loss!
I say for the remainder of my weight loss journey, I might stay away from the social magazines for a while. The amount of flaws that they introduce is disturbing, off putting, and discouraging, three things nobody needs.
When are you vulnerable to the times during the day when you get hunger pangs? Hunger pangs that tell you when you need to do a snack attack? I remember when I was going to school, every single morning class at around ten o'clock just like clock work, my stomach would sound the alarm ‘YOU NEED TO EAT!’. What really impressed me was that it didn’t matter if I had breakfast or not.
Mid-afternoon is another time in which the snack attack alarm might go off. In between being busy if I have a space in my day, my stomach lets me know that ‘feeding it’ should be a priority. Another time is when I am at home. Even though when I am at work I don’t eat snacks or anything other than a hard boiled egg mostly for my lunch. What happens when I am at home during the day, is another story. If I am at home with family members and they are wanting to have breakfast or lunch or a snack, my tummy and my need to belong jump into gear, and I hear myself answering ‘Yes! I’ll have that! And I’ll have that too!’.
Another time I find I am vulnerable is when I am out of my element, taking a trip, being at the airport or on a plane, or in a hotel, all of a sudden the new experience gets me thinking about food. I have a tendency to get that empty feeling that I need to fill or that agitation that you get when you are faced with a difficult task. Like for example, when it is that you have to study for something or you are working on a project. The other time is after dinner when I sit down in front of the TV, it seems to signal to my head and my heart ‘FEED ME’.
When doing physical activity it makes sense that you feel like you are doing something that makes you hungry, but the truth is that when you are sitting and thinking, it can actually feel like you are being physically active, because you are using up so much emotional and intellectual energy.
Another truth is, that boredom is a huge motivator that can trigger your stomach and brain into thinking that you need to be doing something, and eating is an easy answer. Eating can be one of the greatest distractions ever, and when you think about eating, food could actually fill your entire day, such as; planning your meals, preparing your snacks, checking the cupboards, looking for ideas and options, packing your bag for ‘just in case’, going out with friends, cleaning up, and then setting up, not to mention the grocery shopping.
Distractions are actually a really important coping technique because it takes you away from bad behaviour. Once you start looking at food differently, and stop obsessing about food then you are definitely going to have to find new things to fill your time. It is important to be able to determine when you will allow yourself to engage in the snack attack. For all of the other times that you want to remain in control, and say ‘not now!’ to your grumbly tummy or your sheer boredom. You will need to create a list of options for yourself so that you can redirect yourself away from the snack attack and towards something that fills your day, fosters your good feelings, and your need to belong.
Daily Meal Routines
It is good to remember that your nutrition is your lifestyle choice. How you design your daily meal plan is going to be based in how you want to live life. Therefore, it makes sense that if you want to change your lifestyle, you are going to have to change how you eat and what you eat.
Historically, ‘science says’ that people do better eating three meals a day with maybe a snack in between. Generally speaking, if that is what you do or strive to do, most probably you grew up this way. The three meal a day meal routine is based in a belief system.
Sometimes, I think what happens is for those of us that do not enjoy breakfast the skipped meal gives permission to eat more at night. I think the thought is, if you eat breakfast you are not going to want to eat at night. This actually isn’t true. When people eat in the evening after dinner it is actually a lifestyle choice. Eating is apart of relaxing, being in community with your TV, provides a sense of enjoyment whether you are with others or alone, adding to a sense of belonging and comfort, and so it is a practiced ritual.
To change it, would mean you would have to find something else to do. And whether you ate breakfast or not or had your mid afternoon snack or not, doesn’t actually have any influence on night time snacking. Calories rule and are always going to count for your daily total intake of food. So when you think about it, what is most beneficial about your day is to pay attention to your daily carb intake total as well as your daily calorie intake total. Therefore, you can plan your daily nutritional intake based upon that. If the daily number choice is what rules your new lifestyle, then it actually really won’t matter so much when you chose to eat during the day, so long as you follow your new lifestyle rule.
If you are looking at becoming a vegetarian, as a new lifestyle choice, you might have to also look at the fact that it might actually be a lot easier for you to gain weight on such a diet, because of the carb and calorie daily rule. The challenge is being able to fit in those protein sources.
Something else to consider is that when family members want a different diet it can become more complicated in order to prepare a simple meal. Generally speaking, the core of the meal can be the same and then family members can pick and choose from the core, and dress up their meal differently depending on individual tastes.
Some people love repetitiveness in their food creations because this makes food preparation simple and easy, but sometimes people experience taste fatigue, and so it is good to be able to have different options for dressing up food differently. Like for example, I love devilled eggs! But a girl can only take so much mayonnaise and paprika. So, I experiment with my devilled eggs, I add in bacon, or tuna, yesterday I tried adding in capers and they were delicious! Today, I will try adding in smoked muscles. Same amount of carbs and calories, totally different taste experience!
Global Consumer Trends
Consumers and brands are becoming more aware that they have a digital persona to nurture and grow as much as they have a physical self, creating a growing tension where everyone is fighting for attention and nobody is safe from scrutiny and backlash.
Constant digital connectivity, where people are replacing physical interactions with digital updates, can increase feelings of loneliness, social isolation and depression, creating a demand for products and services that help consumers learn to disconnect and resolve health-related issues.
The concept of what it means to be an adult has changed beyond recognition, and people are adapting to lives that don’t fit the mold.
Consumers are treating their bodies like an ecosystem and seeking solutions that complement their health and evolving needs.
A growing momentum to take on new challenges is driving consumers to reach new heights and uncover new passions.
Plastic is not inherently bad, but our throwaway use of it is. Consumers are reviewing their own behaviours to prevent plastic pollution.
The consumers want something quick and easy and at the same time want foods that are home made using whole foods instead of processed foods as well as whole grains. Also trending is that fruit and vegetable consumption has increased while dairy, pork, and beef consumption has decreased.
I think what’s happening is that people are highly influenced by trends, they want to follow what is easiest, simple, or what’s cheapest. A few years ago everyone was crazy over kale chips, now all you see are smoothie bowls, next it will be a stick of celery dipped in dark chocolate!
Trends are not necessarily based in what it is that actually works for you. It is good to remember that each one of us is different based on our genetics as well as environmental factors. As well, diet influences the balance between what is healthy for us as well as what might be a disease state or a chronic illness. Most common disorders are actually diet related, representing an imbalance.
In order to know what it is that is healthy for you means that you have to really get to know your body. It is great to give these trends a try and it is also really good to recognize that they won’t work for everybody. Everybody can handle a different amount of daily intake of carbohydrates.
Trends are fun and sometimes trends define a generation, like for example when you think about the trend of the TV dinner. Take it from freezer to oven, peel back the tin foil top to let the steam escape, set up your TV tray in front of the TV, and chow down!!
Perhaps fried chicken in one little square, mashed potatoes in another little square with butter, gravy in a little triangle, and cubed carrots with peas in another little triangle, and a little brownie or apple crumble for dessert. Extremely processed, high in salt, high in carbohydrates, which really was the only thing that made it tasty! Extremely well cooked, yet fun, simple, easy, no work to be done, and cheap! Just throw the tray away!
The goal of this trend was to hit all the food groups, with very little work, therefore it was defined as healthy and family oriented, and as long as you didn’t go for the bag of chips after dinner, because you were still hungry, you’d probably be okay.
With spring comes new life, new goals, and a new you. I am becoming a completely different person! Just last year fashion wise, you would never have caught me dead, in a dress, skirt, or shorts, but, surprisingly I have since changed. Yesterday, I went to Pennington's to do some clothes shopping, and decided while I was looking around, that this summer, will be the summer of all summers, I will be proud of my body and my weight loss.
I grabbed up a midi skirt and a pair of shorts. I have always wanted to try the style of the midi skirt and with my new beige lipstick it matches perfectly! The shorts are cute with lace on the side. I think its been longer than ten years since I’ve worn shorts for fear that my peers would make fun of me cellulite. As for skirts and dresses, my chub rub (the rubbing of the thighs) was debilitating, the last time I wore a skirt was at my prom.
To others, the act of wearing a skirt or shorts is just common practice, but for me it is a giant mile stone in my weight loss journey because when I think of wearing a skirt I think of my thighs rubbing together, uncomfortably in hot weather. Here is another thing, I tucked in my shirt and it looked good!! I have always admired the tucked in top in your shorts look, but I was never able to pull it off because of my body shape. Now that my stomach is flatter, since I have lost my excess weight, I can tuck in my shirt and feel confident that it looks right.
I recently broke my weight plateau, and with my new outfits I feel like I can take over the world! Soon, in the first time since before I can remember, I will be under 200 pounds. It has taken me years to achieve this milestone, but I finally feel like I am taking my future by the horns, and accomplishing everything that I have always dreamed of!
The last time I can remember recording my weight is when I was 12 years old when I stepped on the scale, I weighed 217 pounds. My dad said that I weighed more than him! You can imagine how mortified I was at this statement, a 12 year old girl, no taller than 5 ft 4” weighed more than her 6ft tall dad.
For the first time in a long time I am excited for the summer months to come!
Crescendo Eating VS. Crescendo Fasting
I am a crescendo faster! A crescendo faster, is someone who fasts between meals, who cuts themselves off of eating at a certain time in the evening, fulfilling a daily ritual. For example: dinner at 5pm stop eating at 7pm, and then fast until 9AM the next morning. I do it a little bit differently because I don’t get home from work until 8pm or sometimes up until 9pm and so I cannot have dinner until at least 8:30pm. So, as a crescendo faster, I make it a rule to stop eating by 10pm, and then I fast until morning and continue to do so by only having coffee for breakfast with cream, until I have for lunch, usually a hard boiled egg sometime between noon and 2pm. Then I fast again until I get home for dinner.
So, here is where crescendo eating can come into play; crescendo eating is about feeling ravenous so much so that you eat anything in sight while waiting for dinner. So, for example, if you are the type of person who either doesn’t eat lunch and fasts for the rest of the day and then gets home for dinner, but dinner isn’t ready and then you start to eat as you wait for dinner because the truth is you can’t wait for dinner, then you are a crescendo eater. Your hunger reaches an intense apex, where you just can’t hold on anymore, and at that point anything is up for grabs!
As a crescendo faster, what I do when I come across a situation in which I arrive home and I am ravenous, is that I have a good assortment of cheese, meats, olives, dill pickles, devilled eggs, etc., available to me in the fridge, so that I can within seconds put together a charcuterie board as an appetizer, which fills me as I wait for dinner to be ready. Zero carb, fills the emptiness, makes me feel accomplished and positive, cuts out my wolf-man, and allows me to eat regular portion sizes of dinner.
I, in discussion with Dr. Laurie have realized that we have this technique in common. Even though I work from home, I have a tendency to eat a late night meal myself, and I have found that having an assortment of low carb/no carb available to me within seconds, as both appetizer and dessert, allows me to feel not only full, but pampered, because if I am experiencing any sort of lack or emptiness, I get to fill it until such time as I feel full and fulfilled. At a certain point in the evening I have had enough, and I put it all away in plastic baggies, to be continued.
This charcuterie allows me to end my day positively and encouraged, as well as successful. I put the leftovers away, begin my bedtime ritual, and part of the daily ritual is also the start of the fast.
Some obsessions are more photographic than others. Like for example, Opra Winfrey, who was on the air for over 20 years as an interview talk show host, and ended her talk show reign, in order to recreate herself as a magazine editor. Since then she has her magazine called ‘Opra’, like all other mainstream magazines, show images of airbrushed perfection. These eye catching images bombard us through; advertising, the media, and especially the entertainment industry. The one thing about Oprah has on her side, different from all others on TV and in print, is that she has no problem showing how she has struggled with her weight over all of those twenty years of mainstream success. With her success has also come struggle, and we have had the opportunity to join in with her in her struggle.
As in her magazine and her show when it was on TV, she has had the opportunity to look her best. In the media she looks gorgeous and polished. Her goal for her TV show was that she wanted all of us to live our best lives. As much as this was her goal, I am sure that this fame came with a lot of stress.
I would imagine that being constantly out in the public eye would take an enormous amount of self-maintenance and continuous ongoing perpetual self-care. I think that this pursuit of helping others while in the eye of the public, was and still is, a powerful obsession. Besides Opra wanting to help others with their life circumstances, she also tried to show her true self, with all of her struggles with self-esteem issues as well as weight loss issues that has overcome her for many years. In one of her shows she showed herself dragging out her lost fat (in a major weight- loss diet plan she had taken on). The excess fat that she had lost, she dragged behind her in a red wagon. She also did real life, reality type programs as when she showed the world what she looked like when she wakes up in the morning without makeup, without any kind of preparation for the world, not airbrushed.
Julia Child once made the comment, “The tomato hides its grief. Internal damage is hard to spot.” This is a great statement that outlines our human struggle, in which we can only really identify what goes on for others with what we can see on the outside. But the truth is, that everyone has their own issues that we can not always see.
Advertising, media, and the entertainment industry show us glamorous desire, designer clad self-abuse. It comes in slick sophisticated packaging to sell insecurity. How many of these glossy magazines do you have piled up and have flipped through for inspiration? How many self help books do you have piled up, either read or unread? Motivation is a great inspiration, yet the truth is that we need to be able to make sense of what has been presented to us as societal ‘norms’, and what is actual reality. The internal damage, as suggested by Julia Child, is what needs to be healed in order to begin to really be able to live our best lives.
There is a quote from Ernest Hemingway - “memory is hunger.”
I think that quote is a really interesting because a lot of those memories of food is from what we deal with from the past. Some people try to rewrite their memories, revisiting them in order to reflect the world that they actually really wanted. The difficulty with this is that the reflection is not a reflection of our true self, our authentic self, instead it becomes a version of our false self, where we are not truly authentic, and these revisions of our recollections become a masquerade. This is when we develop the ability to, in essence, put on a mask, and the mask is meant to disguise and cover up bad feelings.
This becomes secret keeping behaviour, in order to keep self-loathing hidden, and hides our desperate desire to be loved, and to be approved of. Sometimes it rears it’s ugly head in perfectionism, a masquerade of worshipping something that cannot be attained, that ends up diminishing who we are, rather than enriching who it is that we are. Historically the image of the perfect woman is a woman that is demure, quiet, listening, beautiful, prepares delicious meals, is serene, thin, and sensuous, while focussing their creative energy on the home, creating a sacred haven for family.
Life today for women is a lot more different than this description. Every moment of every day is filled with inexhaustible demands from family and work today. Every moment of everyday is filled with an emotional rush, in order to focus on and attain success in all of the different aspects of life. Life has a tendency to be about getting things done, and what is interesting about that, is that there can be so many demands. The faster we try to run to accomplish those tasks of life, the more conflicted we can become. We think that we’re running to accomplish, but really, we are just marching on the spot. Instead of gaining clarity and focus, instead losing all clarity and focus while accomplishing nothing. This leads to the feeling of overwhelm, the need to become hysterical in order to get attention; creating confusion and disorientation.
Instead of feeling like we belong, in order to be content with ourselves, how we feel in life, we feel off balance. In order to regain balance, we need to be able to restore a sense of authenticity, we need to nurture ourselves and this nurturing is not about perfectionism, it is about acceptance. Perfectionism is a neurosis, it as actually feminine self-loathing disguised as self improvement, it is insidious, promoted by magazines and advertising and shows on TV, while creating an invisible addiction that is hard to recognize.
It is hard to recognize because we are bombarded through the Martha Stewart’s of the world. Of course, to achieve this level of perfectionism, Martha Stewart has a six hundred membered staff and it is actually the staff that brilliantly and beautifully creates perfectionism, while Martha is off doing picture perfect domestic creations.
With publication of Martha’s domestic abilities of perfection, then all of a sudden perfectionism is culturally sanctioned and culturally approved. The thought is, that when in pursuit of perfectionism, you get to run away from your pain and problems. And you get to keep looking good! While it is that you obsess over every detail and actually get nothing done. Not a healthy way of being and not healthy for your weight, just look at Martha.
One of the first tasks in order to identify your trigger foods is to identify which foods spark your need to eat and the powerful impulses to continue to eat.
The first is to do with sugar, sugar has the ability to trigger the brain just like alcohol or opioids. These trigger foods that contain sugar cause a spiralling effect once eaten, that says to your system ‘that felt so good! Eat more!’ by causing increasing hunger pangs as well as cravings.
The next is to do with flour. It is easy to understand that sugar is an issue for those who love their sweets, however people are less likely to be able to identify that flour can also be a spark. The reason being, that flour disguises itself as ‘healthy’ packaging. Made of flour is; whole wheat pasta, multi grain bread, sweets, rye, and oats, all of which are quickly metabolized. Flour too, is actually sugar to the system, and delivers a high load of sugar that creates the same spiral that says to the body ‘eat more and more and more.’, triggering hunger pangs and cravings.
Some claim that it is the gluten in the wheat that promotes this opioid like response in the brain. The truth is, that it is the flour that does so, and people with a sweet-tooth can move from overeating sugar to being just as addicted to breads, muffins, bagels, and pretzels. Highly fatty foods can also be an issue, because generally speaking, they are linked together with carbohydrates. These high fat foods containing the combination of both fat and carbohydrates can be a potentially difficult cocktail creating disturbances in the brain.
This is the same truth in regards to salt. Salt is also put together in combination with those highly processed oils, which also alters the same reward pathway as sugar and fat. It is good to be selective about which fat you eliminate from your diet; it is the unhealthy ones that need to be avoided.
Another item is that of caffein. Caffein is in foods such as; coffee, tea, pop, chocolate, and is in most weight loss products. Some, can manage drinking lots of coffee every day, way more than the recommended two cups per day, and the truth is, if too much caffein is consumed one can experience symptoms of withdrawal such as headaches, irritability, and fatigue. Caffein consumption can cause insomnia, anxiety, stomach irritability, gut pain, acid reflex, and heart palpitations, if not consumed in moderation.
It is also good to take artificial sweeteners in moderation as well. Some people think they can substitute refined white sugar for more natural brown cane sugars or honey. For people who are actually addicted to sugar they are under the mistaken belief that changing to sweetener intake will just naturally lower their weight and take away their cravings for sweets, but this is not true. There is a tendency to slowly increase artificial sweetener intake slowly over time, just the same as increasing other food choices as well.
It’s important to recognize that your trigger foods are the ones in which you find yourself overeating, with excessive food intake. Over indulging is seen as normal behaviour in mutual food sharing experiences. For example, all you can eat buffets, holiday meals, and events where cakes and other sugary foods are highlighted. Identifying binge eating can be difficult, but any time when there is excessive, anything, is indicative of a problem area of a trigger food, like for example, hoarding food, secretive binging, constant over indulging, excessive exercise, periods of restricting food intake, purging, or using laxatives, or just plain forgetting how much has been eaten during your day, are all indicative of your trigger foods.
Follow Up Report
Why Do I Self-Sabotage?
Yesterday I talked a little about my current struggle with my weight loss journey. The fact is I am so close to my goal weight, but I continue to self-sabotage very easily, and I continue to make excuses for my actions of overeating and I keep giving myself permission of not following my new lifestyle. I made a plan that consisted of a fast (which I am successfully doing today) and limiting my carb intake to zero to shock my body and starve it of carbohydrates.
The real question that still needs answering is, why do I self-sabotage?
I asked Dr. Laurie this yesterday and she told me that self-sabotage occurs through the feeling state of self-hatred. I didn’t understand this at first because of course I don’t hate myself! How could I? I am proud of what I have achieved through the means of weight loss and otherwise. I am happy where I am today and excited for the future! So how is it possible I could hate myself?
Dr. Laurie explained to me the the ‘self’ is comprised of all forms of self. Your former self, the self you wanted to change, your current self, and even your future self; there are many forms of ‘self’, and many opportunities to hate one of them.
Today I talked to Dr. Laurie about my younger self. I imagined a safe, calm and relaxing place for myself, included the people (my resources) that I could feel I could depend on and ask advice from. Then I had to add my younger self into the picture, and I hated it. I didn’t like that I was reminded of who I used to be, what I used to look like, how I used to act. I didn’t like that all the feelings of pain, guilt, shame, heartache, and sadness came rushing back. Needless to say, I was uncomfortable. I felt the trauma of my younger self, a feeling I thought I had let go of long ago.
I had associated failure, disgust, inadequacy with myself. When I thought of my younger version I hated her just as much as I felt that everyone else did. I found myself becoming overwhelmed with emotion.
After discovering my feelings for my former self, we entered the stage of meditation. I closed my eyes and was completely relaxed, I gave my shame a colour and imagined it as tiny particles sticking within my body. Through breath work I expelled all the nasty little particles and relieved myself of shame.
I have never felt so relaxed and at peace. When I entered the meditation stage I was afraid and nervous and angry, but afterwards I was completely serene. I revisited my former self and was pleasantly surprised to find that I had severed the emotional connection between my current feelings and former self.
Shame is not the only negative feeling I felt however. I will still need to work through my other feelings and negative emotions, but I do feel like I am taking a step in the right direction. I fully believe and trust in myself that this journey, no matter the hardship, the struggle, the stalls, this will be the one that is successful.