Monday, March 29, 2010

Lose Weight Without Dieting...WHA, WHA, WHA, WHAT?

I want to tell you all about a book that I was asked to read and review. I've read it a few times in the last couple of weeks and I am really digging its concepts. The book is called WOMEN FOOD AND GOD by Geneen Roth:

Notice my addiction to Post-it thingies...

Anyway, don't let the title fool you. It is not a religious book. It's a spiritual book.

And it is not a book for only women. It's a book for anyone who has ever struggled with their weight (ME, ME, and ME!).

The premise of the book is way too complicated for me to summarize in a few words. But, I'm going to give it a whirl anyway. Basically, the book is based on Roth's philosophy that the way we eat reflects the way we live our lives. For example, when we eat an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream in one sitting (or box of chocolates, or package of Oreos), even though we are not REALLY HUNGRY (Just me, right?), we are acting on feelings such as stress, doubt, depression, anger, or fear (to name a few).

The book goes on to say that we need to be extremely inquisitive as to why and when we eat and not worry so much about WHAT we eat.

And? Are you ready for this one??

Roth also says that WE SHOULD NOT DIET ANYMORE (HOLY CRAP!) because we are only depriving ourselves.

The best way to adhere to her concepts, AND STILL LOSE WEIGHT, is to follow Roth's Health Eating Guidelines. Here's a rundown of the they pertain to me. WARNING: IT'S CONFESSION TIME.

1. Eat when you are hungry.
This means that when I reach for something to eat, I should ask myself, "Am I really hungry? For real? In the pit of my stomach?" Because when I ate a bag of corn chips with a crapload of bean dip and salsa at 9:00pm at night JUST BECAUSE a friggin Taco Bell commercial came on the television? I was not hungry. I was bored. And I was being a pig. And that is completely unacceptable behavior, people.

2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car.
Oh, please! Do I look like the type of person who has eaten an entire McDonald's value meal in my friggin car? Complete with an apple pie? You're damn skippy, I am. Guilty as charged. And I know some of you have, too. Call me. We'll start a support group.

3. Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music.
Dudes, this totally makes sense. My friend Debbie and I used to have these marathon telephone conversations. We would literally talk on the phone for 2 hours at a time. And the whole time? I'd be all, "Hold on, Deb. I need a snack." And I would eat my way through things like chips and cheese AND THEN insist that I had to counter the effects of all of that salt with something chocolate or cookies. And the whole time, I'd be blabbing my head off, completely unaware of how many calories I was ingesting. Oink, oink.

4. Eat what your body wants.
In her book, Geneen Roth says that if you give your body permission to eat what it REALLY wants, you take away guilt and deprivation. It's sort of like reverse psychology. See, if you tell yourself, "Today I can have 6 hot fudge sundaes for lunch, if I really want them." The truth of the matter is, you've given yourself permission to have them. But, you won't really want them. You know what's funny? The other day, my husband and I were discussing what we wanted for dinner. The weather was warm-ish (60's) and I could feel that spring was in the air. I looked at my husband and said, "You know what I could go for? A really good salad." And my husband was all, "Where's my real wife? And what have you done with her?" Hahaha.

5. Eat until you are satisfied.
This means DO NOT eat until you are ready to explode or blow chunks.

6. Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
This reminds me of a story about my sister, Natty. Once, when she was just dating her husband, she wanted to impress him by cooking a lovely pork chop dinner with all of the fixins. She also wanted him to think that she was this dainty, prissy little woman. So, while he was sitting at the table with her, she helped herself to ONE pork chop, a smidgen of potatoes, and a respectable helping of veggies. The minute he excused himself and went to make pee pee, she stabbed a second pork chop with her fork and ate it like a savage beast before he came back to the table. According to Geneen Roth, this behavior is a NO GO. Um...Natty? If you are reading this post, I would like to apologize for throwing you under the bus. However, I am happy to be able to prove that I am not the only glutton in the family.

And finally...

7. Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.
I would like to amend this guideline by adding "and good wine." Yum.

So, that's it my friends.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. If you are interested in learning about changing your food related behaviors, I think you will, too.

Now, step away from that cake, dammit (or in my case, the CREME BRULEE)!


cmoursler said...

These are really good guidelines...the only caveat I would put in there is that someone may not know the difference between head hunger, heart hunger and stomach hunger.
Good post.

Kyle Gershman said...

Let me see if I can blow nearly all of these in one example. It was not uncommon of me, as a self professed food addict, to eat a value meal (and and extra sandwich) in my car while moving on my way home to eat dinner. beyond full, in a totally distracted environment, all alone and non-disclosed to loved ones, etc. You can't make eat it and find a garbage can to dispose of the evidence before making it home without eating with gusto. It was what I freaking wanted to eat, likely more than what I was going to eat at home...

hmm...I think that almost covered, I'm depressed...JK...I haven't been "that guy" for a long time now.

Interesting book...

Bippy Mama said...

When Ruthie was about a year old, I made a conscious choice to learn to feed her well, b/c I didn't want her struggling with food like I do. I researched and came across Ellyn Satter. Her rules of eating are very similar, with the added notion that there is a responsibility in eating (when it comes to feeding children and your family). You provide the food, making sure it is healthy, and a calm atmosphere in which to enjoy it; they decide what to eat and how much to eat. No coaxing the kids, no saying "just one bite of your chicken for dessert." Satter even goes so far as to say serve dessert with dinner (not a concept I can get on board with, but you can pick and choose sometimes what you'll adopt and what you'll adapt).

When I tell you this has revolutionized how my family eats, I am not kidding. My kids eat veggies. They fight over broccoli! My kids love spinach and fresh fruit and chicken and beef and salads and soups. Do they eat fast food sometimes? Sure they do. But more often than not they ask for healthy food.

I recommend Satter's books on top of this one. Great stuff!

Amanda said...

Sounds pretty interesting, Sally!

That said, the whole "eat with the intent to be in full view of others" thing... well, I have a problem with that. Because if I eat that walnut jam cake I made in full view of others, they will want some too. And that just ain't gonna fly.