Welcome to the very, very late March newsletter. I hope it finds you all doing well. I am dedicating this newsletter to the sweetest, gentlest little soul I have ever encountered, Kimosabe, who passed away in my arms last Thursday morning, March 8th. We miss you Kimo!!
So, March, Spring/Autumn, St. Patrick’s Day and the Vernal/Autumnal Equinox, so much going on. Longer days up here in the Northern Hemisphere and shorter days in the Southern. Whether it’s about Spring and New Beginnings or Autumn and Harvest time, I think it is an ideal time (with so many of us trying to lose weight) to address the issues of dieting, weight and the confusion associated with all of it.
Sometimes, doesn’t it just seem as if all the doctors, scientists and dietitians are trying to keep us confused? First, fat is bad for you, oh oh, maybe it isn’t. We all know the difference between bad and good fats, but in addition, according to the New York Times, a low-fat diet does not cut health risks in women, and they did not distinguish between good and bad fats. First eggs were good for you, then they were bad, now hey maybe, they are good for you after all. Chocolate was bad, then it was good, now again well, yes but not in large portions and maybe even then we don’t know for sure. And this list goes on and on. First bad and then good or vice versa. I was just reading the other day an analysis of three different diets, the creators of which all think theirs is the best for losing weight. First one included six small meals a day, the second one was only three and the third one was actually only one meal a day. Confusing, you bet!!!
I believe that we are simply getting too much information, but too much on certain limited aspects of any of these issues, and we are getting it too soon, before facts have actually been verified. Hospitals and universities send out press releases and publish scientific findings, then drug companies hire doctors and consultants as their experts to promote their latest drug whether it be to lose weight or cure depression or fix an erection problem. And throughout all of it, we are really only getting part of the story. Part of one study or one test or one theory, never a comparison with all the other studies, tests or theories that might pertain to that one issue.
Another thing, when we write about diet and weight, most of you automatically think about obesity and overweight issues; and these are serious issues indeed, but what about the increasingly common underweight and eating disorder problems, particularly among our young people and even more so our young women. Those young girls and women who literally starve themselves because our society (with its dangerously underweight models) has made women of all ages feel that if they aren’t a size 6 or below, they are fat and unattractive! Hey people, Marilyn Monroe was a size 12 and one of the sexiest women alive. Where did this idea that we women must look like sticks come from and how has it become such a huge problem, especially here in the U.S., but I’m sure over much of the world.
The truth is, moderation solves most of the problems and confusion regarding food, diet and weight; and in reality most of us really do know what a healthy diet consists of, we just don’t want to do it.
But, weight issues are rarely just about weight. More often than not, they include abandonment issues, a lack of fulfillment, satisfaction, confidence and happiness. It is almost always linked to how we perceive ourselves and it is this internal raging of feelings, emotions and negative behavior patterns that must be addressed as well as food choices. Releasing negative thoughts, feelings and emotions will allow you to move forward in your life with any goal including weight and a positive self-image.
As we live our lives, we tend to carry around crap from our past. Just as with any weight, both emotional and physical, the longer you carry it the heavier it gets.
This is just the beginning of issues involved in diet and weight. There is much more than this affecting us and our choices. We live in a world that is hectic at best and almost overwhelmingly stressful at worst. So many of us feel as if our lives are spinning out of control and quite frankly, we simply do not have the time or energy to make a meal and actually sit down and eat it; so we tend to rely on fast foods and processed meals from the market.
As stated by Ida Kendall and Pat Dennis in their workshop “Eating to outsmart food addictions” food hooks people by triggering the exact chemical reactions triggered in the brain by hard drugs or nicotine.”
How scary is that? I think we all by now know just how hard it is to kick these kinds of addictions. As they discuss in this latest workshop, “… there are neurotransmitters and brain chemicals that conspire against us to create food cravings especially since junk food temporarily eases stress and pain…. Food addiction asks of us a compelling question: How can our minds overcome what our bodies are telling it to do?”
A good question indeed and I’m sure you are all asking now, just how. The good news is that yes, we can change existing behavior patterns, by taking control of our thoughts, using hypnosis to internalize the process even fast and quicker, and getting the right kind of support and advice. According to Ms. Kendall and Ms. Dennis, “we can outsmart existing patterns by creating new reward systems for our behavior. In fact, awareness and motivation are half of what it takes to win the battle.”
Knowledge is indeed power, so long as we are taking the time to really get knowledge and not just bits and pieces of information. And in addition to this, knowledge about ourselves. Look at yourself, how you feel, what do you see. If you don’t like it, remember our external world is a mirror of what is going on inside. This is true knowledge.
You can take control of every aspect of your life including weight and there are lots of resources out there to help you, I am only one of many.
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
In lieu of my usual poetry section, in honor of St Patrick’s Day and because Terence sent it to me
May you have warm words on a cold evening,
a full moon on a dark night,
and the road downhill all the way to your door.
— mostly related in one way or another to this months newsletter.
The last time many of us wrote in a diary about our love lives, we were probably wearing braces or agonizing over acne. Well, blow off the dust and crack that lock.
Seems it may help cement your bond with your partner if you write down your deepest thoughts about your relationship. In one study, couples who did so were more likely to be together months later compared to the couples who were told to just write about anything. The pairs who wrote about their relationships also had more positive things to say to each other.
When you see a look of panic cross a loved one's face, offer something that will have an immediate impact: your hand.
Perhaps it's instinct to do that anyway. But now there's hand-holding data to back it up. In a recent study, the touch of a loved one had real power in times of crisis. Brain scans of people under duress revealed that threat-related brain activity diminished when a loved one grabbed their hands.
Writing about your emotions can help produce clarity and calm, not just in your relationship, but in other aspects of your life as well.
Write down your deepest thoughts about your career, your family, your pets, your dreams for the future -- anything. The simple act of focusing for a few minutes on those important things in your life may help you feel more enthusiastic or positive about them.
Even if journaling doesn't make your love life or your career the epitome of perfection, there are other very real health benefits.
It can lower stress, lift depression, boost immunity, and cut down on trips to the doctor.
One of the easiest ways to strengthen your abdominal muscles -- and support your back -- is through good posture.
You may feel like you're already standing straight, but in reality, most of us stand like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Practice good posture by bringing your head and neck back. The key element is breathing in to tighten your gut. That's the component that lifts your chest and will give you Marine-like posture.
Does skipping your usual cup of decaf make you cranky and irritable? You might be hooked.Here's some surprising news: Decaf coffee can still contain enough caffeine to boost your mood, wake you up, help you concentrate -- and get you hooked on caffeine. Three 8-ounce servings may contain as much as 21 milligrams (mg) -- enough to do the job. Other signs your body craves the fix? Headaches or sleepiness when you skip it.
Does plate size really matter when it comes to watching your weight? Or is it a silly trick your stomach probably won't fall for?
As it turns out, in this case, size does matter. Researchers found that when you dish up your meal, you're likely to clean your plate, regardless of serving size. And when you use a large serving spoon and a large plate or bowl, you're more likely to help yourself to over 50% more food than if you use smaller utensils and dishes. To avoid doubling the self-sabotage, think petite. Petite plates and petite spoons mean petite you. .
Cutting calories may slow down the aging clock as well as peel off pounds.
A labful of evidence has shown that feeding animals a healthy but low-cal diet for the long-term delays aging and increases lifespan. But suggesting this diet works in humans has been controversial, with a capital C, and difficult to study. A research team managed to test it and found that the same life-extending mechanisms that work in animals may occur in humans, too. Moral: Eat light, live longer. Bonus: You can throw out your fat jeans.
If you work at a desk job, you may need to work harder to ward off extra weight.
Sitting for more than 6 hours per day can significantly increase a person's risk of becoming overweight or obese, a study of 1,500 men revealed recently. Fight back against a sedentary desk job by taking frequent walking breaks, exercising at lunchtime, and walking or biking to work whenever safely possible.
Add a good night's sleep to your checklist of helpful weight-loss aids.
Sleep deprivation interferes with appetite-suppressing hormones, increases stress hormone levels, and decreases a person's glucose tolerance, all of which may contribute to weight gain. Another way sleep loss may help pile on the pounds: late-night munching. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day to help achieve sounder sleep.
If you're trying to lose weight, for heaven's sake don't starve.
Instead, change what -- not how much -- you eat, so you walk away from a meal feeling full, not frustrated. Instead of a big bowl of spicy chili, have an equally big bowl of zesty gazpacho; instead of a wedge of berry pie, have a whole pint of juicy strawberries. In other words, cut calories and fat, not portions. It works, say scientists.
- A higher protein diet doesn't have to be carb free to help you lose weight.
Severely restricting carbohydrates is not the reason some people experience weight loss with a high-protein diet. It's the protein that sates their appetite and helps them lose weight. In a study, people who ate just a bit more protein each day, while eating less fat and an average amount of carbs, felt sated earlier, ate fewer calories, and still lost weight.
If you have found this newsletter to be helpful to you and you know someone who you feel could benefit from these thoughts and messages please pass it on.
Linda Simmon, C.Ht.
Ida and Pat will be guests on my radio show on March 29th.
I hope all of you can join us.
For more information about Ida and Pat and their workshop, you can write them respectively at firstname.lastname@example.org (Pat)
or email@example.com (Ida).
For more information about my radio show, either visit my website, or www.contacttakradio.com and click on my picture.
At the Center 4 Holistic Interventions, there will be an upcoming workshop, "Eating to Outsmart Food Obsessions,"
with founder and hypnotherapist Ida Kendall.
To get a taste, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every Thursday night, Ida offers Transformational Breathing classes for healing body, mind and spirit.
For a breath of fresh air, call (818) 435-2893.