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  #61   ^
Old Sun, Jul-26-09, 09:39
Judynyc's Avatar
Judynyc Judynyc is offline
Attitude is a Choice
Posts: 29,974
 
Plan: SBD->atkins twist->paleo
Stats: 274/000/160 Female 5'6"
BF:stl/too/mch
Progress: 240%
Location: NYC
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Thanks for posting the newest blog, Demi! It is hard to eat truly clean food....especially with the costs of fresh "clean" food....its very hard for me.

I really like this response, made by SueT, to the previous blog re: thin people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SueT at Refuse to Regain
Like jake2_14, I've lost more than 1/3 of my body weight, and the fact is, I look fantastic. I'm also an author, speaker, management consultant, image consultant . . . I'm in front of people a lot and I am very aware of the message others are sending out in regard to how they feel about themselves. Frequently, people say to me, "Well, you're so tiny/you've been thin all your life/it's easy for you, you look good/etc." When I tell them I've lost nearly 100 pounds in the past couple of years, their jaws drop. One woman said, "Well, your value as a motivational speaker just went up about 150% with me!"

Because I'm in front of people and I know how to dress, I'm very cognizant of the message others are sending out regarding how they feel about themselves. We're frequently truly blind to how we're perceived and so not dressing well or not being "put together" doesn't necessarily mean one doesn't feel good about ones self or like one's body. But we POW folks know that we hid in our clothing or ignored our "look" altogether because it was just too painful to address. Because I look good, feel good, and show it in my style, I can almost feel the resentment coming off of people in waves. It's an Us-Them vibe that indicates I am the enemy, and I sometimes feel a pang of sadness as I realize how often I must have broadcast that sense to thin women. I also sometimes (to be brutally honest) must fight my own contempt of the obese women with whom I come in contact because I listen to what I absolutely know are excuses and dismissals and the unconscious defiance of the changes required to transform one's life. It's like when a woman (any woman) says to me, "Oh, I can't wear that kind of jewelry. It doesn't look right on me" or "I can't wear dresses like that." I want to laugh. OF COURSE you can wear this kind of jewelry or that dress--you just PUT IT ON. What they're saying is, "I don't know how to pull it off. I don't know how
to put all the pieces in place." So they defiantly insist it's NOT POSSIBLE and give me almost scientific reasons for their stand against such things. How different is that from weight loss?

Being fat for so long--my entire adult life, from my teenage years--I refused to believe I could pull it off and created elaborate mental corridors in which to hide. I have friends who say, "I've tried everything" (as I used to), and I bite my tongue. They haven't tried everything; if they had some grave terminal illness, they'd travel to the ends of the earth to find a way to address their conditions. Or maybe they wouldn't. Maybe they'd sigh and weep and say, "Nothing will work," and give up. I know that repeated failure breeds despair and despair can be insurmountable. I know it to the bottom of my toes.

I often sense people are even more resentful toward me when they discover I successfully fought that despair and continue to fight my obesity demon. My very presence won't let them off the hook, and thus they avoid me.
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  #62   ^
Old Wed, Aug-05-09, 00:53
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Plan: LCHF/IF
Stats: 217/197/160 Female 5'10"
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From Refuse to Regain:

Quote:
August 04, 2009

Refusing Under Stress

By Barbara Berkeley


Refusing to regain the weight you’ve lost is a big enough challenge on ordinary days, but what about on life-crisis days? Years of habit dictate that stressful times deserve food relief. Let’s call it “Food Soothing.” Drowning sorrows in a hot fudge sundae is such a cheap, accessible (and delicious) solution. Hey! You’re stressed out…no one will blame you!

There would be nothing wrong with Food Soothing if we were only in a Food-Worthy crisis once in a great while. The problem is that crisis moments are much more frequent than we realize. When my patients have a bad week and have been unable to follow a diet plan, the most common problem they point to is stress. Stress is invoked so frequently that it would seem to be an incredibly common occurrence in most lives. Here are some of the many daily stressors that patients cite as reasons they’ve soothed themselves with food:

• Worrying about a home or work project
• Having a sick relative
• Having trouble with a child
• Arguing with a friend, spouse, or colleague
• Having a marriage issue
• Going through a divorce
• Money problems
• Going through packing or moving
• Throwing a party or attending a large family event
• Traveling for work
• Fighting off a minor illness
• Dating
• Retiring
• Going through a home remodel
• Having a car breakdown
• Having a sick pet
• Worrying about a doctor or dentist appointment
• Being overscheduled

The list could go on for pages. As it turns out, there are basically very few days that don’t contain stressors strong enough to motivate Food Soothing. For this reason, I generally advise maintainers not to use the “just this once” approach when dealing with Food-Soothing urges. But what to do?

When I started running, I bought some books about how to train. I particularly like “Galloway’s Book on Running” (Shelter Press, 1984). Jeff Galloway is an Olympic runner who ran with greats like Frank Shorter and Bill Rodgers in the 70s and has currently run over 120 marathons. He is considered an expert in his field. Distance runners like Galloway know a lot about something that maintainers face every day, the struggle to continue on despite discomfort. I did not buy “Galloway’s Book on Running” to learn something about maintaining, but that’s what happened.

About halfway through my first mile of running, I had started to notice a little voice in my head telling me that I would feel a lot better if I stopped. This message would go away for a while, then come back more and more insistently. Sometimes the cue would be so strong that I would pull up and stop running altogether. After all, that is what my body was telling me to do. I was just listening to my body. While reading Galloway’s book, I was startled to come across a description of this “messaging” phenomenon. Here is what Galloway said:

The Mind is Divided: “The power of the mind to push the body to its potential is limited by an internal conflict. The logical side (left brain) does not communicate with the creative side (right brain). A primary mission of the analytical side is to steer you into comfort and away from stress. The more stress you generate from running and other areas, the more negative messages: “slow down,” “stop,” or what is even worse, “why am I doing this?” If you don’t have a mental strategy for dealing with this barrage of negativity, you’ll start losing confidence in your ability to achieve your potential…”

Galloway then goes on to describe strategies for defusing the left brain which include distracting yourself, making yourself laugh, and repeating mantras. I have found, however, that simply knowing my pesky messages are to be expected helps me ignore them. I am learning to notice the message and simply take note of it.

“Oh, that’s my silly left brain talking,” I’ll say.

I now realize that I don’t have to listen to this message. In fact, it doesn’t really mean anything. I’ve learned to take an assessment of myself when the message comes in. Am I really suffering? Am I hurting? Can I still breathe? Do I feel a whole lot different than I did five minutes before? The answer is almost always no. If that’s the case, I keep on going and take a curious attitude. When will I get the next message? Will that one be any more linked to reality? It’s kind of interesting.

This type of thought-noting shares something with meditative practice. Meditators are taught to be aware of thoughts that come into their mind but not to get involved with them. They are told to look at them, almost like balloons that float across the consciousness and then to let them float away. In other words, our thoughts and impulses don’t have to control us if we practice minimizing them. Distance athletes have learned how to do this well; how to get to goal. So why can’t we do the same? We maintainers are the distance athletes of the weight loss world.

After reading Galloway, I realized that I had been employing a similar technique for some years in maintaining my weight. When messages came into my mind that told me I’d feel really good if I bought that Snickers or ate that pie, I had learned to identify them, look at them curiously and let them go. Over time, I had learned to detach these thoughts from any urgency. They became sort of lifeless, or perhaps neutral. Without really knowing it, I had figured out that they were just news flashes from my left brain and were not much related to reality. Once I learned to get a little more zen with these incoming thoughts, I found that a sip of some drink or a handful of blueberries satisfied my soothing needs just as well as the high-calorie stuff and with a lot less consequence.

I’m wondering if any of you have discovered a similar phenomenon? If not, try examining those left brain messages and letting them fly away. You may just find that you’re a marathoner after all.

http://refusetoregain.com/my_weblog...der-stress.html
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  #63   ^
Old Mon, Aug-10-09, 02:33
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Plan: LCHF/IF
Stats: 217/197/160 Female 5'10"
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From Refuse to Regain:


Quote:
August 09, 2009

Rethinking & Reseeing The “Naturally” Thin

By Lynn Haraldson-Bering


Barbara wrote in her July 22 blog entry “The Thin Doc’s Dilemma”: “I am maintaining a 20-pound weight loss myself and would be vastly heavier if I had not reversed the process and put a permanent end to it. I live exactly the life and follow exactly the recommendations I make to my patients. In fact, you could even say I am the living lab for the program I preach.

“Nevertheless, overweight people don’t trust thin people to ‘get’ it. You may even find this to be true as a maintainer of larger amounts of weight, someone who was quite heavy for most of your life. Once you become thin, you seem to cross an invisible line. Like the rich, the thin are different.”

In our country, thin is the minority, particularly people who have been thin all their lives. Having been thin for five minutes during my adult life before losing weight this last time, I admit that I’d harbored a certain level of jealousy of thin people and, I realize now, a certain amount of suspicion that they could never understand how it felt to be overweight or what it was like to struggle with food issues. After all, if you’re thin, you have no problems, right? At least that’s the story I told myself for years: “If only I was thin, I’d be happy.”

Now that I’ve been a member of the “thin club” for a few years, it’s time I rethought my views of thin people and tried to understand where my remaining mistrust lies. A few reader responses to Barbara’s blog started this process.

Emily wrote: “Working in an office of mostly women, the topic of discussion often turns to weight. And today the thinnest of the group says 'I know you think I'm crazy, but I really do have weight issues. I've been heavier, I've been smaller, and I love food. It's a constant struggle for me...' and the conversation continued from there. And it was really interesting to get to know her on another level, and think of her in a different way.”

I’ve heard the same thing from thin coworkers throughout the years and merely dismissed their concern (although I didn’t see it as a bona fide “concern”) with, “Honey, you have NO idea what it’s like…” Talk about assuming a lot. Out of my own insecurities, I missed countless opportunities to explore what living life as a thin person really entailed. No wonder I lost and gained so many times and am just now figuring it out exactly how to stay thin.

Now the shoe’s on the other foot. If I were to start a job somewhere, no one would know I’d been overweight unless I told them. And I wonder how many people would just dismiss me if I said I had to be careful how I ate without explaining that I once weighed 300 pounds? How many Emilys are really out there, open to listening to a person who on the outside appears to be a non-struggling thin person discussing her weight issues?

The other comment that got me thinking about this subject was Maura: “To be honest, as a formerly overweight person who struggles on an almost daily basis to keep my weight in check, I see thin people differently now. I see that most thin people do things to take care of themselves – they go to the gym or practice yoga or go hiking. They're active. You don't hear them talking about what's on TV every night.

“I also see they tend to make healthier choices when it comes to food. They don't eat the entire portion of the questionable ‘food’ restaurants serve. And if you talk to them, you find out they don't do this because they like it (the food part, not necessarily the activity part). You learn that they too practice weight management. They may not have to be strict with it the way I do because they've never really been overweight, but they still practice it.

“I think overweight people tend to fall into a trap of thinking that being thin is natural for ALL thin people. I have thin friends – who have been thin for as long as I've known them (20+ years) and they work hard at staying thin. Most of the time they eat healthfully and they exercise consistently. They also hear the call of Thin Mints and sometimes will indulge with a ‘binge’ session and devour a package in one or two sittings.

“The difference? They don't eat Thin Mints every day. And they don't whine about not being able to. They just go out there and do what they need to do most days and enjoy a few indulgences along the way.

“I think I'm far more inclined to learn from always thin people and formerly overweight people (especially them) now that I've lost weight. I realize it was MY thinking that was my biggest hurdle. When I whined ‘How can you understand?’ what I was actually doing was asking for validation for my rationalizing away behaviors that were keeping me fat.”

Learning from thin people. It never crossed my mind until now. How can I learn from people I am jealous and suspect of? It’s impossible until I address my own biases and insecurities.

Since Barbara’s blog, I’ve made an effort to examine my first impressions of people in the grocery store, coffee shop, and other public places. I’ve noticed that when I see overweight and obese people, my first subconscious impression tends to be, “There’s an overweight/obese person. I feel comfortable around (and sometime sorry for) him/her.” When I see a thin person, my first impression is often, “There’s a person who could never understand me.”

This made me wonder how I view my own self as a thin person, and I have to admit an uncomfortable truth. When I look in the mirror, I don’t think, “There’s a person I can trust.” Ouch. What I usually think is, “You’re gonna gain weight someday, you know that, right? You’re not REALLY thin.” Like that commercial, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV…” I’m not really thin, but I fake it well in real life, at least for the time being.

Rethinking thin. It truly is a completely different mindset and way of life. And I am going to make an effort to look for opportunities such as Emily had to talk with other thin people, if they’ll indulge me, about how they stay thin.

Just when you think you have it all figured out…Again, you all continue to educate me on my maintenance journey

http://refusetoregain.com/my_weblog...rally-thin.html
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  #64   ^
Old Mon, Aug-10-09, 04:49
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
Posts: 21,791
 
Plan: LCHF/IF
Stats: 217/197/160 Female 5'10"
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Progress: 35%
Location: UK
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Quote:
The other comment that got me thinking about this subject was Maura: “To be honest, as a formerly overweight person who struggles on an almost daily basis to keep my weight in check, I see thin people differently now. I see that most thin people do things to take care of themselves – they go to the gym or practice yoga or go hiking. They're active. You don't hear them talking about what's on TV every night.

“I also see they tend to make healthier choices when it comes to food. They don't eat the entire portion of the questionable ‘food’ restaurants serve. And if you talk to them, you find out they don't do this because they like it (the food part, not necessarily the activity part). You learn that they too practice weight management. They may not have to be strict with it the way I do because they've never really been overweight, but they still practice it.

“I think overweight people tend to fall into a trap of thinking that being thin is natural for ALL thin people. I have thin friends – who have been thin for as long as I've known them (20+ years) and they work hard at staying thin. Most of the time they eat healthfully and they exercise consistently. They also hear the call of Thin Mints and sometimes will indulge with a ‘binge’ session and devour a package in one or two sittings.

“The difference? They don't eat Thin Mints every day. And they don't whine about not being able to. They just go out there and do what they need to do most days and enjoy a few indulgences along the way.
The ‘thin’ mindset she is talking about here, is exactly the same mindset that I have had to adopt to successfully maintain.

The ‘Eureka!’ moment for me to change my mindset finally arrived for me at a family dinner just before I hit my goal weight. Both my SILs, who are thin and ‘have never had a weight problem’, were there, and I noticed that both of them only ate one portion of dessert, unlike everyone else who went back for second or third helpings. It occurred to me that their behaviour around food was something that I had seen them do on other occasions before, but it hadn’t really registered with me. It also occurred to me that they are both active and play a lot of tennis. One also swims several times a week.

So I asked them outright if they actually made a conscious effort to keep their weight in check, and yes, it turns out that they do. They do watch what they eat, they eat healthily, and though they do ‘treat’ themselves now and again, it isn’t on a daily basis. On that particular day, they made the choice to have a ‘treat’ but to leave it at that.

In the past, I had also made a choice. The choice I had made though was to eat what I liked, when I liked. If I wanted that second helping of dessert I would have it, and blow the diet. After all, tomorrow is always another day, but unfortunately, you carry the consequences of the previous day’s behaviour with you.

And that was my 'Eureka' moment ... finally realising that getting to goal wasn't the hard part. I had done that before, but had always gained back the weight and more. The hard part was actually maintaining that goal by changing my mindset to that of a 'thin' person. To realise that I couldn't eat what I wanted, whenever I wanted and not gain weight.

So I made another choice. I do care of myself now, I am very active, I go to the gym, I walk a lot, I make healthier food choices. I do have food treats, but only now and again, not on a daily basis, and I don’t over eat food just because it’s there.

I do what I do to remain ‘thin’. In other words, I practice weight management and I choose to remain ‘thin’.

Last edited by Demi : Mon, Aug-10-09 at 05:02.
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  #65   ^
Old Mon, Aug-10-09, 08:07
Judynyc's Avatar
Judynyc Judynyc is offline
Attitude is a Choice
Posts: 29,974
 
Plan: SBD->atkins twist->paleo
Stats: 274/000/160 Female 5'6"
BF:stl/too/mch
Progress: 240%
Location: NYC
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Great Eureka moment, Demi and thanks for sharing it!!!

I did enjoy this particluar blog from them....it does speak to a lot of what I've felt and thought too. Knowing women who have never had weight problems in their life and having asked them how they see and think about food....I came to see that it was their mindset and not their genes, that enabled them to manage their weight.

I do have to admit though, that I did need to learn what an actual portion of certain foods is.
I was at the grocery checkout yesterday when I had a moment. The girl doing the checkout for me was telling her friend what she going to eat for dinner...and I quote "fried chicken, rice, beans and avocado". I was like this: But I kept my mouth shut....until I couldn't keep it shut any longer and then I asked her if the avocado was her green veggie for that meal....and it was.
I then went on to tell her that it would be healthier for her to have 1/4-1/3 of the avocado as part of a green salad and that the avocado itself is very high in fat, albeit good fat...she does need to not eat the whole thing in one sitting.

I used to eat it all in one sitting...that along with hummus as I would down an 8 oz package it'd be gone in one sitting( the list goes on and on but I will refrain from it here). Not only did I not know what a serving size was...I didn't give a crap either....talk about having a shitty attitude.

I had to shift my attitude to learn all these things....but learn them I did.

Thanks again Demi!!

ps- I also want to add to this that those who manage their weight naturally through life, don't have all the drama about it they I've had...or that I see around here and all other sites on the 'net. They just do it!! No drama about it.

Last edited by Judynyc : Mon, Aug-10-09 at 08:14.
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  #66   ^
Old Mon, Aug-10-09, 12:15
lcgrrl2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judynyc
Great Eureka moment, Demi and thanks for sharing it!!!

I did enjoy this particluar blog from them....it does speak to a lot of what I've felt and thought too. Knowing women who have never had weight problems in their life and having asked them how they see and think about food....I came to see that it was their mindset and not their genes, that enabled them to manage their weight.


Yes, I was talking to my boss Friday afternoon, she's been thin her entire life. She said that if she eats too much one day or one meal she automatically cuts down the next day or meal. She said she understands my obsession with food now. She quit smoking recently and her mind is full of yearnings for reeses pieces. Last week, she thought about them constantly, but only allowed herself one small bag a day (instead of a meal). She'd never obsessed over food until she quit smoking. Had no concept of how all consuming those sugar/chocolate cravings can become for some of us.

Thanks Judy, for reminding me to check out this thread. Very good information indeed.

Denise
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  #67   ^
Old Sat, Aug-15-09, 00:58
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Plan: LCHF/IF
Stats: 217/197/160 Female 5'10"
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From Refuse to Regain:

Quote:
August 14, 2009

The Age That Counts

By Barbara Berkeley


Lots has been made of calculating your “real age”…an interesting device for assessing how old you may be on a cellular level. In reality, no one can tell you exactly how much older or younger you are when you change the way you live and eat. Nevertheless, these kinds of quizzes remind us of the fact that our lifestyle choices cause real life consequences and can reap honest-to-goodness rewards.

I am more interested in another kind of age; one you might not have heard of. AGE is an acronym for “advanced glycation endproducts,” a mouthful of a term with the world’s most appropriate initials. In fact, when our bodies accumulate advanced glycation endproducts, they age. AGE’s are result of a process that begins when sugars in the heated environment of our body attach to proteins. Once hooked together, these altered body elements begin to warp the structures that contain them, disrupting their function. This kind of damage can occur in places like cells and the walls of blood vessels. When body elements are damaged, inflammatory reactions often occur in response. Indeed, harmful body Inflammation is an important consequence of AGE formation.

Diabetics have chronically high blood sugars and form lots of AGEs. Most doctors and scientists believe that the complications of diabetes – things like atherosclerosis, kidney failure, retinal damage and nerve problems – are the result of too much sugar in the blood. A knowledge of AGEs takes that understanding one step further. It is likely that the AGEs formed by the availability of sugar are the actual cause of the damage.

If you are diabetic or know someone who is, you probably already know about one type of AGE. The blood test that doctors use to monitor long-term blood sugar control is called a Hemoglobin A1C. Hemoglobin is a protein that lives in our red cells, each of which has a lifespan of about 120 days. As a protein, hemoglobin is one of the body elements which is susceptible to glycation. In other words, when a lot of sugar is around in the blood, it will attach itself to the hemoglobin and get permanently hooked on it. Since any particular red cell will be around for a few months, doctors can get a general idea of how high the sugar has been by looking at how much glycation has occurred. In people with normal blood sugar, there is hardly any sugar hooked onto the hemoglobin protein. In poorly controlled diabetics, there is a large amount. Since Hemoglobin A1C is just one of zillions of potentially glycated elements, we can assume that the rest of the body has suffered similar glycation damage.

AGEs are found in the retinal blood vessels of diabetics and they are known to accumulate in their peripheral nerves as well. AGEs can be seen in the parts of the kidney that become damaged in diabetes. AGEs can also affect the type of “bad” cholesterol you carry, making it more likely to enter vessel walls and start clogs forming. It is also important to note that even healthy people have AGEs. They begin to accumulate in our bodies during our embryonic life and continue to form as we grow older. The process is usually slow, but it is vastly accelerated by having a lot of blood sugar around; thus the greatly increased risk for diabetics.

Recently, researchers have begun to look more intensively at the accumulation of AGEs in healthy people. It is very possible that people who have more AGEs are aging more quickly. In this regard, an interesting theme has emerged. In addition to making AGES, we may be racking up an excess by ingesting them.

AGEs are made when sugars and proteins are heated. The body is warm and essentially contributes to the “cooking” of these two elements. Similarly, the sugars and proteins in foods can form AGEs when cooked at high temperatures. Although it seems hard to believe that eating AGEs could harm us, there is evidence accumulating that this may indeed be the case. A 2007 research article in The Journal of Gerontology (http://biomed.gerontologyjournals.org/cgi/content/full/62/4/427 ) reported that:

1. Even healthy people had evidence of AGEs in their blood
2. The older you are, the more AGEs
3. The number of AGEs you have is directly correlated to how much harmful inflammation is going on in your body
4. Eating food with a large number of AGEs elevates the AGE level in your blood. This effect is more pronounced in older people, but occurs in everyone.

Cooking foods at high temperatures by broiling, baking, frying and grilling elevates the AGE content. Cooking with liquid lowers the content. At the moment, recommendations for low-AGE eating suggest that foods be cooked by slower, lower heat techniques. Poaching, boiling, steaming and using slow-cookers are suggested methods.

Once again, AGE related research points to the wisdom of eating more ancient diets. Keeping blood sugar low by avoiding large amounts of starch and sugars makes bodily AGE formation more difficult. Eating a diet that is high in uncooked elements like fruits, vegetables and low fat dairy and lower in cooked foods that require high heat is in keeping with the way most maintainers eat. There is also some research that suggests that calorie restriction is effective in lowering the production of AGEs. Because maintainers have learned to eat judiciously, they are already keeping total calories low.

In other words, we’re on the right track! Enjoy your lower body weight with the knowledge that your lifestyle and eating choices may also be protecting you from the premature ravages of AGE and aging.

http://refusetoregain.com/my_weblog...hat-counts.html
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  #68   ^
Old Mon, Aug-17-09, 22:53
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SidC SidC is offline
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Low fat!? Ayii. Otherwise, your basic low glycemic index diet, which many of us have found to be a good thing, indeed.

I appreciated the previous post on "being thin." I'm thin now, and expect to be for the rest of my life. I did yo-yo earlier trying to do low fat diets, being hypothyroid, etc. But Atkins (and synthroid, to be fair) was the solution - it did change my mind set and eating habits. Permanently. It's been said, let me say it again - it's not a diet, it's a way of life.
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  #69   ^
Old Tue, Aug-18-09, 03:08
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Demi Demi is offline
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Plan: LCHF/IF
Stats: 217/197/160 Female 5'10"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SidC
I appreciated the previous post on "being thin." I'm thin now, and expect to be for the rest of my life. I did yo-yo earlier trying to do low fat diets, being hypothyroid, etc. But Atkins (and synthroid, to be fair) was the solution - it did change my mind set and eating habits. Permanently. It's been said, let me say it again - it's not a diet, it's a way of life.
Sid, you've certainly hit the nail on the head as to what is required for successful maintenance; a complete change in one's mindset and eating habits, and to see it as a way of life, not a diet. It took me a while to realise that, but now that I have, there's no turning back!
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  #70   ^
Old Tue, Aug-18-09, 03:14
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Plan: LCHF/IF
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From Refuse to Regain:

Quote:
August 17, 2009

True Confessions of a Once Thin Person

By Barbara Berkeley


Like someone who has committed a crime and never reported it, I feel compelled to confess. I simply must wade back into the debate about who the thin really are.

Many of you have written with generous spirit about your realization that thin people are not genetically blessed, but simply work at it. Recently, Cari posted this on our site:

"And the thin people? Now that I AM one, I realize that, when I was obese, I also bought a pack of lies about how the "thin half" lives. I was angry because I believed they didn't have to work at it and were just genetically blessed. I also thought that "thin" equalled "fit" -- nothing could be further from the truth!"

Unfortunately, my confession is going to burst that bubble.

Until I was 40 years old, I was indeed endowed with an incredible IBM (intake balance mechanism). At 5’6” tall, I had weighed between 110 and 118 pounds my entire adult life. In my family, I was known for my enormous appetite and my capacity to eat endless amounts of just about everything. My favorite foods were Mallomar cookies which come in double-box packs. Once, a guy who wanted to date me bought me two cases to get my attention. I generally would eat both boxes of Mallomars at one sitting and would have multiple back-up packs in the pantry. At another point, I lived in Brooklyn about a half-mile from Junior’s restaurant which makes a world-famous cheesecake. I used to buy pineapple cheesecakes whole and eat them in a day.

I tend to eat the same favorite foods repeatedly – I mean daily for months. At various points in my 20s and 30s I had the following food “addictions” and ate huge quantities of: Egg Mc Muffins, Chicken McNuggets, Wendy’s taco salad, Nathan’s hot dogs (2 at a time) and French fries, Pinwheels cookies, Devil Dogs, Yodels, garlic and parmesan crackle bread, BREAD (a loaf at a time), spaghetti, Hostess cupcakes, York Peppermint Patties, Nestle Chocolate Bars, Cadbury Chocolate Bars, Chipwich ice cream sandwiches, chocolate dipped cones from Dairy Queen, and a whole bunch of other stuff I can’t remember. In addition, I ate large meals. Looking back on this list, I realize that I’m lucky to be alive or not to have developed heart disease.

What’s particularly amazing is that I grew up very frightened of heart problems. When I was 15, my very skinny 50-year-old father had a heart attack while eating a hamburger at lunch. The whole family was around the table when he developed sweating and chest pain. I’ll never forget it. In fact, my father’s heart attack was probably what motivated me to become a doctor and later to learn more about diet and exercise. Although my Dad was sedentary, smoked, and ate a diet that was pretty much confined to red meat and French fries, the fact that he had a heart attack at 50 indicated a family risk. Despite growing up under that cloud, I did absolutely nothing to change the way I lived. (My father survived, by the way, and just celebrated his 96th birthday, thanks to stents, bypass and a complete overhaul of his eating and exercise habits.)

But I haven’t confessed everything yet. I now must tell you that I was also completely – and I do mean completely – sedentary. As a teenager and young adult I played no sport, belonged to no gym (they weren’t around yet) and avoided anything that involved activity. I did like to dance a lot and didn’t mind sweating up a storm at clubs in New York or later as a folk dancer in the Israeli and Balkan folk dance scene in the city. But that was it. No running, no biking, no raquets, no nothing.

When I turned 40, I found that I was in for a rude shock. Sometime after that fateful day—the day I walked around with a pin that said “40 isn’t old—for a tree,” I discovered that time had robbed me of my gold-plated IBM. One day, my thighs started to look like lumpy sacks filled with bagels. What was this? Dear readers, I was too naďve to know. I stopped eating cookies and the bagel bags slimmed down a bit, but once thinner I started chowing down again. Eating without a thought was all I knew, after all. Soon I started to look like a puffy pyramid. I bought big baggy jeans and wore skinny tops because I was still thin from the waist up. I began a 15-year battle with an enemy I didn’t understand, losing weight once a year and gaining it all back within a month or two. I gained 30 pounds over the weight I’d been most of my life. By this time, I was already treating obese patients. I still didn’t get myself.

My own weight battle ended about six years ago when I suddenly had an insight that put together everything I’d learned about nutrition over the years. The Primarian Diet popped into my mind like the proverbial lightbulb going off. I tried it. It worked. It continues to keep me thin.

So now for the analysis of my story. There’s quite a bit to say.

First: My confession does confirm that there are some thin people you can legitimately hate. Super IBMs are real. They do exist. HOWEVER, they rarely persist into middle age. I think it’s safe to say that thin people in their late 40s and beyond are unlikely to be metabolic supermen. They are probably working at it and working hard, just as I am. Data compiled by Harvard’s famed Framingham study recently predicted that mostly everyone in the town of Framingham, Massachusetts, would be overweight by the end of their life. I believe that is because even the hardiest IBM will be beaten and broken by the SAD (standard American diet). When I think of what I threw away by eating all that crap! It’s truly heartbreaking.

Second: Doesn’t my confessional sound familiar? You’d think you were reading the first chapter in a book written by someone who’d been 400 pounds and had found redemption in weight loss. In other words, I was just like any other American food addict. But I never was blamed for my eating, called lazy, slovenly, or told that I had no willpower. It wasn’t until I started to look like a sack of bagels that my food consumption became a moral failing. Therefore, I conclude that no one’s food habits are moral failings. They are simply the addictions that result from exposure to a horrible food environment. It takes all of our energy to break free. If you’ve done it, you’re a hero.

Three: The lightbulb that pointed me to the Primarian Diet represented a singular moment. I saw. Your lightbulb may have led you to another kind of diet or some other formula that works for you. Whatever the specifics, it resulted in your finding the metabolic solution that fits your physiology. The veil was lifted from your eyes. You were enlightened!

So, the next time you see a thin person who appears to eat at will, you might consider pitying him. You are the wise one, not he. And once his IBM betrays him, he will have a long and difficult path to finding his truth. If he is like most Americans, he will fail. Rejoice that you have traveled so far down the road, that you see your way clearly and that you are happily anticipating what lies ahead.

http://refusetoregain.com/my_weblog...hin-person.html
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  #71   ^
Old Tue, Aug-18-09, 08:58
Judynyc's Avatar
Judynyc Judynyc is offline
Attitude is a Choice
Posts: 29,974
 
Plan: SBD->atkins twist->paleo
Stats: 274/000/160 Female 5'6"
BF:stl/too/mch
Progress: 240%
Location: NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demi
Quote:
Originally Posted by SidC
I appreciated the previous post on "being thin." I'm thin now, and expect to be for the rest of my life. I did yo-yo earlier trying to do low fat diets, being hypothyroid, etc. But Atkins (and synthroid, to be fair) was the solution - it did change my mind set and eating habits. Permanently. It's been said, let me say it again - it's not a diet, it's a way of life.
Sid, you've certainly hit the nail on the head as to what is required for successful maintenance; a complete change in one's mindset and eating habits, and to see it as a way of life, not a diet. It took me a while to realise that, but now that I have, there's no turning back!


I'm going to jump in here too and agree with both of you.
Its a total change of mind!! it has to be that for long term as I know that if I constantly felt as if I were on a diet, I would not last.

As for this latest blog from Barbara Berkeley.....while I have a lot of respect for her and her blog....this particular blog actually brought up some anger in me.
I can only speak from my own experience....I had to endure untold pain and humiliation being morbidly obese for 15 yrs of my life.....it changed me. I can't muster up much compassion for those who've never experienced it. sorry if that makes me seem bitchy but its honestly how I feel.
20 lbs? give me a break!!

I'm going to give this more thought and hopefully will find some compassion for this.
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  #72   ^
Old Tue, Aug-18-09, 23:12
SidC's Avatar
SidC SidC is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 1,955
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 160/103/115 Female 62 inches
BF:
Progress: 127%
Location: Edmonton, AB Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judynyc
I can only speak from my own experience....I had to endure untold pain and humiliation being morbidly obese for 15 yrs of my life.....it changed me. I can't muster up much compassion for those who've never experienced it. sorry if that makes me seem bitchy but its honestly how I feel.
20 lbs? give me a break!!

I'm going to give this more thought and hopefully will find some compassion for this.
I was only fifty pounds up, but that's still a lot packed onto a 5'1" frame. It's all relative - both height and feeling. But you fought the battle and won. That's what counts. Cheers to you, and to everyone who has faced down those pounds, one at a time.
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  #73   ^
Old Wed, Aug-19-09, 08:01
Judynyc's Avatar
Judynyc Judynyc is offline
Attitude is a Choice
Posts: 29,974
 
Plan: SBD->atkins twist->paleo
Stats: 274/000/160 Female 5'6"
BF:stl/too/mch
Progress: 240%
Location: NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SidC
I was only fifty pounds up, but that's still a lot packed onto a 5'1" frame. It's all relative - both height and feeling. But you fought the battle and won. That's what counts. Cheers to you, and to everyone who has faced down those pounds, one at a time.

Hi Sid...and yes, your 50 lbs on your tiny frame is a lot.

I do believe that Barbara is a rather tall lady...maybe 5'7"? and reading this blog, made me realize that she never truly suffered with her 20 lbs gain. It was her intellect that enabled her to fix her situation with her weight.

It was not like that for me at all.....I seemed unable to learn my lessons as I was in an all consuming reactive state and using food to drug myself for years and years. Seeing my truth and facing it, was crucial to my being able to complete the journey and have some sort of healing. I had to really suffer for a very long time, it felt as if I was brought to my knees. That was my journey.

While her confession is real....and I do enjoy their blogs....this does make me see something in it that I had not looked at before.....she sells her book by blogging on this subject. A very good way to capture your target audience is to blog to them.
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  #74   ^
Old Wed, Aug-19-09, 11:15
ValerieL's Avatar
ValerieL ValerieL is offline
Bouncy!
Posts: 9,388
 
Plan: Atkins Maintenance
Stats: 297/173.3/150 Female 5'7" (top weight 340)
BF:41%/31%/??%
Progress: 84%
Location: Burlington, ON
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I think I knew from the outset that Barbara Berkely had never been really overweight so her blog post didn't surprise me. Actually, I was pleased to read the confirmation that there are truly people that don't worry about their weight, eat what they like (including crap) and are naturally thin. Frankly, despite Lynn's earlier blogpost on it, I think that is far more common, especially in the under 40 set, than those that work really hard at keeping their weight in check.

However, I share some of your issues with her, Judy. There really are different levels of experience with obesity, maybe like the different levels of hell? While each level of a struggle with weight feels just as all-consuming and painful to each person as they are there, it doesn't change the fact that in absolute terms, there are big differences between being 20 lbs overweight and 100+ lbs overweight.

Sure, the person who is 20 lbs overweight feels the pain of that struggle deeply and it might affect her as profoundly as being 200 lbs overweight affected me, but the reality is that my experiences were probably far more terrible. And I accept that as much as my obesity defined me, molded me and was me for so long and I will always feel the pain of that, I have to admit that my experience was not as bad as the experience of someone who has been 300, 400 or 500 lbs overweight.

I'm learning to take from the Refuse to Regain blog the parts of it that I can learn from, and leave the parts that are contrary to my opinions and feelings on my journey. On many points, I don't connect with Barbara's experiences, and even with Lynn's, I notice big differences between her experience of maintenance and my own. I am reminded frequently that she is still relatively new in maintenance and after five years of it I find I'm less intense about some things than she is still.

It really is quite a personal journey, different for all of us, isn't it?
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  #75   ^
Old Thu, Aug-20-09, 09:07
Judynyc's Avatar
Judynyc Judynyc is offline
Attitude is a Choice
Posts: 29,974
 
Plan: SBD->atkins twist->paleo
Stats: 274/000/160 Female 5'6"
BF:stl/too/mch
Progress: 240%
Location: NYC
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Yes Valerie...you are right on all points. Thanks for being so eloquent on this.
I agree that the length of time you and I have been maintaining, does seem to shift things...I know it has for me. My first year it was still very novel...now these few years later....it seems like that past is a fog to me. The pain of my former size remains vivid to me.... the futility of my many unsuccessful attempts also stays with me.

Getting back to Barbara's confession.....intellectually, I know that she is onto something here...creating a communtiy of successful maintainers in a world where we are in a very small minority.

I know that when I started out in 2004, seeing others who had already lost all their weight, gave me huge hope...they were my diet gods. What I did not see enough of were those who were being successful at maintaining....I hope that we give other newbies hope that it is possible to keep it off. Especially those of us who have lost over 100 lbs.
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