Marcia's Blog is a lifestyle change and dieting blog written by a beloved and respected nutritionist/weight loss counselor/lecturer Marcia Bodenstein. She has helped thousands of kosher consumers achieve and maintain weight loss.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

It seems I cannot open my computer without some news about dieting. I can't pick up a magazine or newspaper without an article about weight loss (and then the next page features a recipe for a gooey cake), and I can't turn on the radio or TV without an ad for some miracle pill or medicine to make losing weight quick and effortless. Fact: more money is spent on diet, nutrition and obesity research than on cancer research. Why? Because more people are overweight than have cancer! Today's AOL website news? Obesity may be due, in part, to a viral infection. It seems that "Adenovirus of a family of viruses that causes colds could be the culprit in some cases of obesity in humans and other animals".
Great cop-out, no? What next, an obesity plant, like poison ivy? Please, let's not use the virus excuse, like when we used "my glands don't work properly" (the only gland that didn't work was the mouth). Weight loss is the result of eating less calories than you expend, limiting processed foods and fats, exercising and hydrating properly. Weight management is making lifestyle changes, changes in thoughts and behaviors, changes in expectations of ourselves, our bodies and the food. It is about using the food as nourishment, not nurturance.
What the editors of Prevention Magazine call "the Ten Commandments of Weight Loss" can be used as a guide to keep us on the right path (like the 10 we received at Mt. Sinai)
1. Believe in Yourself
If you don't think you can do it, chances are, you won't. Talk to yourself - tell yourself "I am teachable" "I can change".
2. Set the right goals
Not number goals, those never work (I have to lose 5 pounds this week is not a goal - that's your body's job) The goals I'm talking about are behavior goals - the drinking water goals, the exercise goals, the planning and preparation of food goals. Start small and write them down. This takes the goal from a fantasy to a reality.
3. Eat more
Yes, I'm serious. Eating more (every 3-4 hours) keeps your blood sugar stable and your metabolism revved up so that you will not feel hungry and burn fat more efficiently.
4. Eat smart
Have you ever eaten in a stupid (sorry!) way? Then you know how to eat smart. Ask yourself whenever you are eating - is this going to bring me closer to my goal or push me further and further away?
5. Get moving
Activity is important whether a person wants to lose weight or not - it boosts the immune system, helps release endorphins (the feel-good hormone), strengthens muscles (including the heart muscle), helps ease depression, and is important for a host of other body functions - including weight loss and weight loss maintenance!
6. Build muscle
The more efficiently your muscle works, the better your rate of fat burning. Three days a week, 15-20 minutes each, of strength training helps keep calcium in your bones, tones the body and keeps those calories burning even when you are in bed reading that great book!!
7. Binge proof your life
Keep those favorites out of the house! Eat breakfast! Keep a food diary!Always have a healthy alternative available! Keep busy!
8. Talk yourself thin
When you see that binge food and the conversation in your head says "come on, it's only one", "I deserve a treat" "I need this" - you are talking yourself right into unhealthy habits. Your job is to talk yourself OUT of overeating, not INTO it!
9. Make motivation easier
Write a list of why you want to lose that weight, and read it DAILY! Review all the positive changes you've made. Look at the weight loss the calculation - how much did you weigh at the beginning, and how much now?
10. Reward yourself
No - not with food, but with a non-food reward. A new tape, agood book, a nap, an uninterrupted phone conversation, a bouquet of flowers, 1/2 day off from work, a babysitter so that you can have some much-needed alone time. No one will appreciate your hard work as much as you will - certainly you will not find that appreciation in a box of cookies!

Some of these commandments will become more important to you than others - use them as motivation and inspiration along the way.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hello again. I love your comments - keep 'em coming. To "lovetoeat" - I understand just what you're saying...but the mistake, I think, is when we think that there's a"there". There is no there; it's just the day-to-day operation of our lives and looking for the joys in the small things that are not so small - zipping up a skirt without straining, looking in the mirror and liking what we see, receiving an invitatioin and actually wanting to go, feeling "powerful" with our food decisions and eating behaviors. I think we sometimes overlook and don't appreciate those little moments. "Weight", a "number on the scale" is not THERE. What do you think?
We seem to play out three themes of our lives.
1) We eat when we're not hungry
2) We dont eat when we are hungry because we're dieting and
3) We start to eat when our bodies are hungry but carry it out far beyond the point of satisfaction.
Very often we don't realize that it is our own negative attitude and our choices that determine our eating behaviors and our weight. It is all about US. Here are some "secrets" to changeing attitudes:
THE SECRET OF NO VOTING - your weight is not a democacry - it is a dictatorship and YOU are the dictator. No one gets a vote on if you eat, when you eat, whether you eat, how much you eat, if you are losing weight too slowly, too quickly, what program you should be on, blah, blah, blah. Someone will always have something to say - YOU have to be satisfied with what YOU are doing.
THE SECRET OF IT'S MY CHOICE - chronic dieters often believe that their weight is a result of "fate" and that we overeat because of outside influences (the kids, the job, etc.). Actually we choose how we feel - low self-esteem, crankly, edgy. We choose not to be an exerciser or take care of our bodies. Beating ourselves up and abusing ourselves wont make the situation better.
"Today I choose to like myself" "Today I choose to take care of ME" "Today I choose to exercise for my mind and my body"
THE SECRET OF THINKING YOU ARE FINE THE WAY YOU ARE TODAY - We always think weare going to be "better" when we lose the weight - that gives us the message that we are not OK today. We see ourselves as flawed and unworthy, so why bother to try? The secret is that you are the best person you can be today! You do this not because of what you will become but because you love yourself NOW!
THE SECRET OF SELF-MOTIVATION: SELF-NURTURANCE - It's always important to ask ourselves "what is best for me today" "what nurtures me?" it is neither nurturing or motivating to overeat, to judge ourselves harshly and punish ourselves, to feel guilt-ridden about eating, to deprive yourself of enjoyment,to neglect to exercise - why not choose to feel good?
THE SECRET OF CONQUERING THE INTERNAL SABOTEUR - so many things can act as sabotage to our program - people, places, things, situations and events - BUT - the biggest sabotage is inside of ourselves - that little voice that says "it's too hard" "you can't do this" "just this once". Ignore the message!! After being ignored the voice gets fainter and fainter. If you give in, that voice becomes more powerful and louder. Just refuse to act on the message....
What SECRET has worked for you?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Hope you all had a great week. Thank you, anonymous, for your comment and for reminding us that we do have to work at it "all of our lives" - the same way we have to brush our teeth "all of our lives", stay within a spending budget "all of our lives", raise the children "all of our lives" (even when they are married and leave home, right?). So this is another challenge, albeit a big one. Let's differentiate, though, between sacrifice and deprivation. Being deprived, "poor me", means being miserable and unhappy, jealous of what other people are eating, lusting after the sweets. Sacrifice can be explained this way: If you have ever decided to make a big purchase - a house, a car, a college education, often you have to make a decision to spend money in a more conservative way. BUT when you walk into that new house, sit on those leather seats of that brand new auto, or extend your hand to receive that degree, you smile and remind yourself that all the sacrifices were absolutely worth it. SO, when you "sacrifice" certain foods or certain behaviors and then you buy smaller size clothing, refrain from eating in an unhealthy way and then get a clean bill of health, ask yourself "was this sacrifice, or deprivation"? Wasn't is worth everything you didnt eat? There is nothing that tastes as sweet as the taste of having power over yourself and your destructive inclinations. No one ever goes to bed and says "I wish I had had that binge"; when you lay your head down on that pillow with the knowledge that you did the best things for yourself, no food can beat that lovely peace of mind.

So, we can look at this as deprivation OR accept the opportunity to take care of ourselves , a second chance to accept the responsibility which we have been commanded to do- to guard our bodies and our health.

How will YOU look at this challenge?