Thursday, September 29, 2016

"It's always going to be about the weight"

In the NBC show “This is Us” Kate, who has struggled with obesity her entire life, makes a very true and depressing statement to her friend who's attempting to get her to focus on something other than dieting and she says to him, ”It’s always going to be about the weight”.

Those who are obese know this feeling all too well.  For when you are obese you feel constantly judged by everyone, even those who love you. Obese man/woman then becomes how we define ourselves and that identity warps the world around us.
We perceive kindness as pity or a cruel joke. We hear laughter from the "cool" group and assume it's another fat joke. We are also afraid to eat anything except salad in public, and walking into a gym filled with "fitness people" is like wearing Clinton t-shirt at a Donald Trump rally.  No matter where we go we can’t escape the feeling of being judged.

It’s like walking around with a huge zit on your nose, you can’t hide it! We believe the only thing anyone will notice about us is our weight and no one will ever see the person we are on the inside through all of this fat.

But it's not true.
I know now that those perceptions are false and that most people are just kind and they can laugh for many reasons, and only having a salad at a steakhouse is far more embarrassing than just enjoying a real meal. Also "fitness people" can actually be okay sometimes.

But even knowing the truth it doesn’t change the fact that society, the media, and a few bullies helped us in creating this world of shame, embarrassment, and guilt.

To escape to a new more accepting world, you need to not make this all about the weight but instead, it needs to be about how you honestly see yourself.

My friends, the transformation on the inside precedes the transformation on the outside. You have to first love and accept who you are before the world will. After all, no one judges you harsher than you judge yourself, right?

The key is what you choose to focus on.

When your goal revolves around the scale you leave victory up to chance and your identity is still tied to your weight.  However, when you focus on changing your lifestyle because you love yourself and feel you deserve the best life possible, you can't lose!

It's a Jedi Mind Trick you do to yourself.
"It's not I want to lose weight because I'm fat and disgusting and no one likes me" (words I've used many times in the past to describe myself) but "I'm going to lose weight because I love myself and I deserve to live the greatest life possible."

That's the main point and yes this is far too simple because we have years of baggage, both in our minds and on our bodies, but this is a start.
Shifting your mindset is the beginning of creating a better world for you.

Love Russ


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

7 Tips to help you deal with hunger

When I was over 300lbs I literally had several months of stored calories in my body fat and I was baffled as to why I always felt hungry. 
It's important to understand that the hunger you and I feel has little to do with the amount of food we eat and more to do with the time's we normally eat. The hormone Ghrelin causes us to feel hungry and it's released just before we'd normally eat. So whenever we change the routine you can expect to feel extra hungry.  The good news is Ghrelin will adjust to your new plan and if ignored it generally goes away. 
It's also important to note that hunger is not the same as cravings and that's a topic that deserves its own space.

Hunger goes with weight loss like muscle soreness and going to the gym. It's more difficult at first but gets better the longer you go. *Cravings do the reverse as they tend to increase with time.



Here are 7 tips I used to battle hunger in my weight-loss journey:


1. Large glass of ice cold water with fiber powder
2. Strong mint gum! Ever eat after brushing your teeth? It makes ice cream taste like cigarettes. I always carry mint gum with me in case of an emergency so I can quickly pop one in my mouth when tempted.
3. Like #1 I'd chew ice chips
4. Sugar-free popsicles (Coolness is a trend)
5. Lots of protein, it helps me feel full and boost to TEF
6. Adding coconut oil, protein powder and fiber powder to almost everything
7. Last but most important. Accept who you are.
You are a beautiful person who loves to eat. After you lose weight, you are still a beautiful person who loves to eat just a smaller version. You can't fix who you are and there's nothing wrong with it. Food is meant to be enjoyed, it's a gift. All food can have a purpose which is why I despise calling foods "good" or "bad". If you eat something "bad" you feel "bad" and there's no place for guilt and shame on the journey to success.

The truth is if you are skinny but have to eliminate your favorite foods to get there you will still be miserable. And if you eliminate those foods to lose weight and bring them back after, there's a strong probability you'll just gain the weight back. 

You want a fun and healthy lifestyle, not a diet.

A successful lifestyle will allow who you are on the inside to coexist with how you want to look on the outside. This is extremely important and It took me half my life and many failed diets to finally figure that out.


True, a lifestyle takes longer to lose weight than extreme dieting but it will guarantee long-term success. Because if you're not miserable while losing weight you can follow it forever.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Intuitive Eating and Spiking Part 1


My Spike Lifestyle is very much what I'd call "Intuitive Eating", in fact my very first Spike Day was born out of desperation and then intuition. 
Up until 2003, Cheating/Spiking absolutely went against my beliefs on weight-loss. My whole life I was taught some foods are good and some are bad,  that foods like ice cream, pizza and donuts are what will and did make me fat. So I avoided them like the plague.  
"I'm shocked at the beliefs I used to have about food and obesity but like many I was brain-washed by the mainstream and diet industry."
Then a miracle happened and my beliefs were turned upside down. In 2003 my weight was 330lbs and I was determined to finally lose weight once and for all. I was motivated like I had never been before. 
As usual everything was going as planned when I hit the plateau. Even worse I was being bombarded with food cravings. 

I was about to snap mentally when an intuitive voice, God, told me to "give-in". I knew this voice was giving me permission, or more like direction to eat what I'm craving without guilt. 
So I did, and not only did it fix my craving issue, I lost weight! MIND-BLOWN! 


Intuitive Eating and Spiking Part 2 - The Ugly Truth




Fact, losing weight is easy. Don't believe me? All you have to do is stop eating and I promise you'll lose weight. Too extreme? Well you could eat but just eliminate one entire food group and you'll lose weight.  Or, you could even just simply eat less calories than you burn and you lose weight. 
The truth is everything works, every fad diet, every point or no point plan, and liquid shake meal program works, as long as they get you to restrict the calories you eat.  This truth is why we have a billion dollar weight loss industry. It's easy to tell you what to do when there is no wrong answer.  Truth is, pretty much anything you can buy will help you lose weight BUT the ugly truth is it only works in the short-term! 
And the super ugly truth is; when you gain the weight back, the weight loss industry will BLAME YOU you for ITS failure and you will believe them. So much so that many of us go right back to the same broken plan the next time. Because in our mind the plan worked because we lost weight but we failed when we gained it back. I'm telling you my friends that the exact opposite is the Real Truth. They failed and continue to make money off our misery and desperation. 

It wasn't your fault and hopeful that one day everyone who is struggling with this vicious cycle will know the truth and the guilt will be set free. 

Intuitive Eating and Spiking Part 3

Listen to your body and don't deprive yourself


I just read this awesome article on the Principles of Intuitive Eating that I want to share and discuss. 
  



 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating



I don't feel right posting the whole article but I encourage you to click the link and check out all 10 principles. 



First I have to say that I highly disagree with Principle number eight. 


8. Respect Your Body Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect to realistically squeeze into a size six, it is equally as futile (and uncomfortable) to have the same expectation with body size. But mostly, respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It's hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical about your body shape.
I'm not saying don't respect your body but I am saying you don't have to accept your "genetic blueprint" and based on my transformation I really doubt there is such a thing. I truly believe anything is possible if the desire is there. How lean you want to go is a personal choice and simply being happy and content with your body and life is the ultimate goal.  I wasn't happy being overweight and I used to dream of looking the way I do today. 


However I love Principles 1-4 because it's about our relationship with food and control. Those are two of the most important factors that determine long-term weight loss success.


1. Reject the Diet Mentality Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently. Get angry at the lies that have led you to feel as if you were a failure every time a new diet stopped working and you gained back all of the weight. If you allow even one small hope to linger that a new and better diet might be lurking around the corner, it will prevent you from being free to rediscover Intuitive Eating.


2. Honor Your Hunger Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat. Once you reach the moment of excessive hunger, all intentions of moderate, conscious eating are fleeting and irrelevant. Learning to honor this first biological signal sets the stage for re-building trust with yourself and food.


3. Make Peace with Food Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat. If you tell yourself that you can't or shouldn't have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that build into uncontrollable cravings and, often, bingeing When you finally “give-in” to your forbidden food, eating will be experienced with such intensity, it usually results in Last Supper overeating, and overwhelming guilt.


4. Challenge the Food Police .Scream a loud "NO" to thoughts in your head that declare you're "good" for eating minimal calories or "bad" because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created . The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating. 


 A transformation on the inside will lead to a transformation on the outside.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Good the Bad and the Ugly of Foods and Long-Term Weight Loss




  • The Good: Any food can serve a purpose
  • The Bad: Believing that certain foods make us fat
  • The Ugly: Depriving yourself of the foods you crave to lose weight







I think it's time to quit labeling foods "bad" and "good". The truth is you could eat anything and still lose weight. It's "good" to truly enjoy the foods you love, and it's tough to fully enjoy what you believe to be "bad".

I used to have a very abusive relationship with food. I'd love it, hate it and then hate myself. Then I lost a bunch of weight eating anything I wanted one day every week.
Now, I'm of the opinion that all foods, even those high in calories and low on nutrients can serve a purpose. For example; the purpose of a donut is to taste mighty damn delicious.

The key is to be in control of what you're eating and your cravings.

So if you want a donut, have a donut, BUT have it on your terms. You want to make it clear to yourself that it's your choice not cravings or peer pressure.

Personally it was the "surprise" attacks that got me; like donuts at work. When I'd I give up "bad foods" in past diets and came across free and tasty goodies. I'd have an internal freak-out crisis. It was so hard to say no when I missed them dearly. Like the Mark Twain quote,
  "There's something about the forbidden that makes it completely desirable".

It's so true!

All food has a purpose, even if that purpose is simply pleasure.

Now when I bump into free and yummy donuts I have the power to say, "yep that looks awesome, so I will have one just like it on Saturday". I control what, I control when and nothing is off-limits.


I'm not trying to argue that all foods are equal. I'm just saying that you don't have to abolish any food or food group in order to lose weight.