Our mind is a very powerful force. It can motivate us to achieve many things. Our determination and hard work is also imperative if we are to achieve success in anything whether it is to graduate from school, excel at a hobby or improve our health. It is for this reason that many times people who are very overweight have such a difficult time losing weight; it is such a long, hard road. What most people trying to undertake this task (I was also in this group before my RNY) do not realize, it is a life long commitment to eating healthy and exercise. No, it does not mean you have to give up cheesecake forever. No, it does not mean you are going to be the next female body builder. Moderation is the key. I compare it to my enlightenment to learning Spanish. I had three years of Spanish in High School and a year of Spanish in College. The best advice that was ever given to me was when I was on the school site council at my oldest daughters first school (in Bakersfield, CA). It was a magnet school and about 50% Hispanic so we had a lot of bilingual families. My daughter’s 5th grade teacher, who was very fluent in Spanish, told me to ‘think in Spanish’. After that piece of advice the flood gates opened wide for me! All those years I ‘translated it in my head’ when it was just so much easier to think in the language. So rather than worry about a weight or thinking you might be fat, why not just ‘THINK THIN!’ and see what happens? I know I am!
I found various sources and compiled a list which include my own observations:
1. ALWAYS EAT BREAKFAST: Yes! I really do agree, breakfast is the most important meal of the day but seems to be the most skipped meal. It makes no sense. You have already gone several hours without eating, so your blood sugar is low. I will attest, my tiny little Grandma started each day out with a truck driver style breakfast and pretty much grazed the rest of the day. She was 110 lbs soaking wet but I bet you she could pack away more than I could come breakfast time! I start my day with an almond milk and fruit smoothie followed by a small mid morning snack. One thing to consider too, if you go too long without food, your metabolism will start slowing down. It is better to give it a good solid breakfast and medium lunch with a lighter dinner. Other foods that are good for breakfast, Oats with fresh blueberries, muesli (this is a favorite of Princess Kate if you remember my post “Eating Like a Princess“), eggs with whole grain toast and grapefruit or low sugar, high fiber cereals with 1% or skim milk and cut up fruit. I would advise only having starchy things like waffles, pancakes, bagels, etc occasionally as these are simple carbs and are generally low protein but high sugar and not usually very high fiber. They do not keep you full long. I am a creature of habit and adore my smoothie. I rarely have anything else. It is delicious, filling and healthy!
2. EAT IN MODERATION: Yes! It is really true, it is not what you eat as much as how much you eat. While post RNY you do have to make changes in your diet to more healthy foods, the basic overall principle is that you just cannot hold more than about a cup of food per meal. The best example is this: I tell people after about a year post RNY you can generally hold a “Subway” 6 inch sandwich, provided you are good and hungry. I eat about 1/2 the amount of an average woman. My slight, but very ‘achievable return to goal’ regain has to do with a red light food I am trying very hard to stay away from and am doing a lot better. Also, my fibromyalgia has been in over/super/mega flare and when it does that, I just cannot move an inch for walking. Portion control is not the issue for me. The good news is, if you eat pretty healthy, I generally recommend that you stay on your set course and just cut down by 2/3 and add some walking, raise your water drinking and see what happens! You might be surprised. And yes, you must allow for that occasional splurge. Not splurging has derailed more healthy eating plans than anything. If you are really, truly craving something, have it. Do not use it as an excuse to blow the whole day. For instance, if you are craving a piece of cheesecake, eat your normal, healthy day’s worth of food and then treat yourself to a small piece of cheesecake. FRAME OF MIND ALERT: thin people do not say, “I have blown my day” if they have a piece of cake or go have an ice cream cone. It is simply an occasional treat. I used to be morbidly obese, I know the thinking all too well; “I blew my day, I will start tomorrow…. I will start Monday…. I will start after so and so’s party…. I will start for New Years.” Eat well, then eat the cheese cake and enjoy!
3. EAT A VARIETY OF ALL THE FOOD GROUPS: There is every ‘diet’ one can imagine out there. However, the bottom line is simple. One must take less calories of the right kinds of foods in than they metabolize in to lose weight or take the same amount of calories in they metabolize to maintain. There is low carb, low fat, eat high grains and no fruit, eat monkey brains with iguana toes! Seriously! The bottom line is simple! Fruits and vegetables with whole grains and lean meats (if you are vegetarian, substitute with cheese, tofu, eggs, whatever your protein choice is) along with some dairy and a small amount of good fats (avocado, peanut butter, olive oil, etc). Of course, there is the occasional treat as I already mentioned. So many people have gotten rich writing books stating ‘this is the secret to weight loss’. There is the Atkins, South Beach, etc. I maintain if one must follow a ‘diet’ the best, by far, is Weight Watchers. Why? Because they simply give you a calorie system (using points) of the different food groups and bonus points for those occasional treats. Add some walking four or five times a week along with plenty of water and it is not rocket science! That is why gastric bypass works! It is forced portion control along with forced healthy eating. You have no choice because of your new ‘plumbing’ and there you go, you lose the weight!
Sometimes things get over complicated. Along with that we live in a highly stressed and far too busy society that is spread way too thin. Many families subsist on fast food and now the obesity problem is starting to plague our children. By developing a frame of mind that is healthy and just simply a way of life, one will soon adapt to this as a normal way of thinking.
Stay tuned next week for part 2 of “A Thin Frame Of Mind” for more tips and a recommendation that does not directly impact weight loss but does impact overall health. It is a step I have taken with my husband and myself and have noted a vast difference in the way I feel when I eat! Until next time. K.