Friday, December 10, 2010

New Diet Drug Recommended to FDA

A regulatory panel of advisers that the Food and Drug Administration usually follows the recommendations of gave the go ahead on further study of a new weight loss drug called Contrave despite heart risk concerns. It is made by a California-based company, Orexigen, that focuses solely on obesity drugs and has no other products on the market at this time. This news caused their stock to more than double to $12.20/share Tuesday after closing at $4.76 on Monday, December 6th. This is the third drug of it's kind that the panel has considered this year having rejected the other two which were Lorcaserin because of cancer concerns (seems it caused tumors in rats), and Qnexa shot down due to heart risk concerns also. The panel was not too impressed with the modest weight loss experienced by the test group of patients taking Contrave, but they went ahead and approved it anyway out of fear rejection could shut down development of any more such drugs when two out of three Americans are overweight or even obese. Staggering! They want the FDA to do larger clinical studies to examine the potential for heart risks over time.

So if I understand this correctly they want to see if the drug can kill you from a heart attack from losing the very weight that had you at risk of a heart attack in the first place. It sounds like you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Apparently the test patients exhibited a slight increase in blood pressure and pulse rate versus those on a placebo. Despite these lack luster results and the undesirable side effects, analysts are saying if it comes to market it could hit $1.2 billion in sales by 2018!! I can't imagine that because I hate any kind of side effects from drugs, and I absolutely refuse to continue taking them if I experience any. That's just me though, and I've come to learn over the years that you can't determine success in the market place by my likes and dislikes. That just goes to show you the desperation of people who have gotten themselves in this predicament of being grossly overweight that they would subject themselves to these side effects depredations and exposing themselves to cardiac arrest for the loss of a few pounds they could very well achieve on their own guessed it, common sense. Which leads me to say that I think turning to a drug like this would be another DOUBLE-DUMB weight loss choice.

7 Tips to Keep the Weight Off from Biggest Loser Winners

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Baby Diet?

That's right. If you have not as yet heard, there are new parents out there so obsessed with being slim that they are putting their babies on, of all things....a baby diet! Recent news stories have exposed this as a possible trend where parents restrict what they feed their babies to prevent them from becoming chubby. Some are doing it out of concern that a chubby baby is not aesthetically pleasing. Yes, one story floating about is about this neurotic ( my description ) father who raves about how "skinny" his infant daughter is. Yet others are restricting their babies intake so their children won't be chubby and then go on to be overweight adults.

Apparently there is reason to be concerned. It seems there was an article that appeared in the journal Pediatrics in March of 2009 regarding a study done by researchers at (ahem) Harvard University that found babies who rapidly gained weight faster than their length increased during their first 6 months were at a marked risk of being obese by the age of three. The study also found that this inordinate rate of early weight gain might be a better prognosticator of future obesity than weight at birth. Now this to me would corroborate the suspicion that obese parents are passing on this genetic programming to their offspring. The question is... is this genetic programming something that got altered or switched on by a lifelong practice of overeating. I suspect that it is. If our metabolism becomes accustomed to a certain way we do things then isn't it possible that it could also influence our genetic make up and ultimately what we pass on to our progeny? I am not a geneticist, of course, but isn't this just more common sense? We've all seen obese parents with similarly obese children. I've always thought that the parents are passing on their penchant for overeating to their children, but now this study from such and august institution as (ahem) Harvard would indicate that there's more to it than, might I say, meets the eye. These children of obese parents apparently have been dealt a disadvantaged hand from birth, because of the genetic programming that has been passed on to them. When you couple that with parents who are still into gorging themselves on a regular basis, you get obese kids. Go figure!

This craziness aside, the American Academy of Pediatrics maintains that a baby's physical and mental development depends on them getting extra fat and calories in the early months of their development. So to put an infant on some whaky baby diet is doing that child a grave disservice and is bordering on criminal in my humble estimation.

I am a firm believer that all babies should be breast fed if at all possible, save for some extreme extenuating circumstance for the life of me I cannot fathom. Good old mothers milk is the best baby diet food because it has everything a newborn needs to grow and develop. It also provides them with protection against disease and prevents them from developing allergies among a host of other indisputable reasons for doing it. This solves the baby diet conundrum before it even gets started. So, parents, please don't make a DOUBLE-DUMB FOOD CHOICE for your kids by subjecting them to these deprivations because of some neurotic notion you might have about your own appearance.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Report Card

I have to give myself a failing grade...yet again. No big surprise there, albeit some disappointment. I'm only a tad disappointed though because despite eating more than I had planned to, it was an enjoyable good time. So I'm not going to beat myself up about it, anymore that is, because I did do a little soul searching as to the whys of my over indulgence. Why I over-ate, for instance, despite my good intentions and a plan to curb my enthusiasm for all things food on this day of national thanks. What I came up with was the clear culprit, a Bombay Saffire Gin martini. I was not expecting my brother to have any of this potent potable available so I did not even consider it in my plans. Well when he announced that he did have a bottle, everything went out the window, because, after all, I could not pass on such an opportunity to indulge in this fine gin that I have held in such high esteem all these years.

The reality is that this nor my other all time favorite, Tanqueray Gin, really don't taste good to me anymore. There's a couple of reasons for that. One is just the fact that I've crossed over that chasm that separates the young from the senior citizen. Time marches on inexorably, and, if we're lucky, we get old. I believe that this has a lot to do with my lost ability to enjoy one of these juniper berry flavored libations that I have cherished for so long and always looked forward to having before a sumptuous dinner, because one of my good friends who also felt the same way about these two gins, cannot drink them at all. That tells me it's not just me that they don't taste good to, and even though he's a few years younger than me he's still getting "up there" as they say. The other thing I can pinpoint this loss of appreciation to was an incident that took place about ten years ago.  This same friend had me over for dinner and when we went into the liquor cabinet to fetch the 1.75 liter of Tanqueray Gin that he always kept on hand, there was only a smidgen left in the bottle. So we jumped in the car and went around the corner to the local liquor store to replenish. While on the way I asked him if he had ever tried the latest (at the time) super-premium offering from Tanqueray, which was "Tanqueray 10".  He said he had not and came back out with a 750ml bottle. What a guy! His guest's wish is his command, even at 30 bucks a bottle! He was and still is, I might add, the "host with the most". Well, accommodating as that may have been, it turned out to be a huge mistake at least for me. I was ten years younger, but even then I did not have the capacity to hold liquor like I did till I was well into my forties. The new offering was packed with flavor and intoxicating fragrance, not to mention the 94.6 proof potency of it. I let my exuberance get the best of me and knocked back a couple of generous martinis made with this glorious gin that made you smack your lips with delight. I was feeling the effects because I had lost my capacity to withstand the alcohol due to lack of practice and my age, but nonetheless thought I was OK. Then we sat down to a dinner of beautiful Porterhouse steaks cooked on the Weber grill. Of course, how is one to savor the king of steaks without the king of red wines, Cabernet Sauvignon? My friend and most gracious host did not disappoint by serving a deep purple-hued, full-bodied, robust selection of this noble wine, to which I could not refuse, even though I knew in my heart of hearts that I was pushing my luck. My luck did run out, as it were, because about midway through dinner the noble red on top of the two ample martinis proved to be too much. I had to excuse myself to go to the restroom, and rest is what I did after having to disgorge myself of the food and drink I had feasted on here-to-fore because of my over consumption of adult beverages. The next thing I remembered was my friend knocking on the bathroom door when I found myself asleep on the tiled bathroom floor. I was embarrassed but did not care because I was still not able to return to the table in any kind of presentable shape. I eventually came out feeling much better after having slept off the residual effects of the alcohol, but from that day forward a "Tang" or Bombay martini has never really tasted good to me again, try as I might to right the ship. It's a case of Paradise lost and there's no getting it back, ever. Believe me I've tried and tried, because I've been in denial ever since, all to no avail. They just taste like poison to me now, but the denial still persists. That's why I agreed to have one before dinner Thanksgiving Day. Alas, the result was the same, it tasted like gasoline. It also hit me like a lit match on gasoline because I have even less resistance to the effects of alcohol now than I did ten years ago when I was the hit of that ill-fated dinner party. Since it felt like I had ignited a runaway fire half way through the drink, I started loading up on the appetizers to tamp the fire that was stating to rage inside me. They did the trick, but now I was pretty full and the turkey was being carved. I did what was expected of me and ignored my diminished capacity and proceeded to load my plate, but with some restraint I might add. Still there was so much to "try" that my plate ended up, as always, with too much food.

I did my duty as best I could and finished most of what I put on my plate, and with the same result, that unique, oppressive, painfully stuffed feeling that occurs only at this time of year. I had good intentions and a plan to use considerable restraint so as not to create too great an obligation for myself that would force me to overeat. It all went out the window though when I opted to live in denial once again and have that accursed martini. Now instead of feeding my appetite, I had to feed the booze to sober up and that caused me to eat way too much. All I can say is I hope I'll be the wiser when faced with a similar choice in the future and make the right decision. Only time will tell.

See this Tip

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Day is Upon Us

Yes it's hear once again, already! Thanksgiving Day, the first of the big holiday season days of feasts. The day we all look forward to when we've finally accepted the fact that summer is gone and fall is really here. It's a nice holiday, despite the portrayal of it by television shows and movies, a time when family comes together to enjoy the fruits of their labors throughout the year. At least that's how it got started anyway with the pilgrims. In these plentiful times, the big economic chill notwithstanding, the basic idea still remains the same. So what better way to celebrate than with a big sumptuous feast on this day that has been set aside for a national day of giving thanks?

With the big feast just a few days away, what are the paradigms in your mind? Maybe you view it as a day when you can eat with reckless abandon. After all, what's all that food for anyway, right? It's expected of you to relinquish any reservations you might have about overeating and just let er rip. I mean what the heck, everyone else brought to the table their intentions of really giving it their best shot, why not you too? It's the national day of overeating, well maybe not officially, but unofficially anyhow. So who are you to question that and buck the trend? Well if you are at all concerned about a weight problem, maybe you should be questioning what your position on what it should be, for you at least. By that I mean how you are going to approach it? Are you going to load your plate up with every entree that's been prepared? It's only good manners, and we certainly don't want to offend the host by not eating everything that's been put out for us. I know that's the way I've done it for almost all of my Thanksgiving Day feasts. I want to "sample" everything, and by time I get about half way through the offerings available for dolloping on my plate, there's no room left on my plate! Sound familiar? The irony is I know damn well there's no way in hell that I'm going to be able to finish all that, but I keep on loading my plate anyway to where I build a second tier. Now I have to be careful what I'm loading on top of. You don't want to have mashed potatoes on top of your cranberries or vice-versa! Maybe on top of the sweet potatoes would work better. I've been doing that all my life and, try as I might, can never finish what I've taken. I must have a very short term memory because I keep doing it year after year. Although I will say that as I have gotten older I have gotten my sampling of each dish down to where it is inline with what a sample really should be. No matter, I still can't finish what I put on my plate because there's so many different things to "pick" from, and my appetite is not "major league" anymore either. I definitely am not in good standing with the "Clean Your Plate Club" after the Thanksgiving Day feed-bag! Even though I don't clean my plate I'm still left in a glazed-over stupor of an oppressive and painful fullness. I am a glutton not only for food but for punishment, albeit self-inflicted. At this point in the proceedings I have not even had dessert yet, but, Oh God, do I ever want it! So now my thoughts shift to how long I'll have to wait before my digestive system will have made enough room so I can indulge in a piece of each of those glorious holiday pies that have been calling out to me from the moment I laid my eyes upon them like the sirens calling Ulysses. Like Ulysses, if I go there my ship will be smashed upon the rocks. I don't care. I want them anyway, and at the first inkling of some open space in my abdominal cavity I will be trying my luck with those seductive temptresses of sweetness. I will be loading a smaller plate this time, but with the same mindless abandon and, alas, with the same doomed result. Damn the limited capacity!

If any of this has a ring of familiarity to it, I am not surprised. We all share this common experience, that is those of us fortunate enough to have this bountifulness to partake of. I guess there's an inevitability to it when this much food is put in front of us. The point I'm trying to suggest here is that we need to minimize the damages as much as we can. One way to do that is to scale back our ambitious appetites and just be realistic. Yes were expected to really hit it out of the park on this day, but is that what we really need? Remember that those pounds just keep adding up over our lives if we are not vigilant about how much food we consume even on guilt free days of gluttony like this most revered national holiday of Thanksgiving. Maybe the emphasis should be more on the giving of thanks to our creator than the orgiastic eating ritual that this day has come to symbolize. If we can pause and do that we might be able to gain a greater perspective on why we eat the way we do. I hope this will help get the mental image of how you are going to eat on this day of thanks in check with what you are trying to accomplish in terms of where you want to be with your ideal body weight. Don't get sidetracked by these short term exceptions; it will only set you back!
 Have a restrained, but happy, Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ooops!! I Did It Again!

Even though I preach about not letting your eyes get too big for your stomach and lowering your expectations
it is still very hard to keep my eating ambitions in check. What I did again was over estimate my capacity when making some pancakes for myself this morning. As I sit here writing this, my stomach feels like I swallowed a basketball. It must just be the mystique of eating a "stack" of pancakes that has become an ingrained program in not only my mind, but, and I think it's safe to say, the minds of most people. It's like it's just something you do when you put on the pancake feed-bag...load up, right? What else could it be? There I am dolloping the mix onto the grill and, all the while, in my heart-of-hearts know I am putting too much on the grill. Ahrg! No matter. I can eat them, and I'll be alright. I won't be too full. Ah, the little mind games we play with ourselves when it comes time to deciding how much we are going to "get" to eat. We delude ourselves into thinking we need this, and, of course, there will be no harm done. Other than the feeling of being oppressively full which is probably the least of the harm, but what about the way stuffing oneself pushes the abdomen out ever further? This is how we get a big "gut", by repeatedly extending the demarcation line ever farther. I'm reminded of that Looney Tunes cartoon where Bugs Bunny draws a line in the sand and dares Yosemite Sam to step over it, which the ornery and fearless Yosemite doesn't hesitate to do and at which point Bugs just draws another, and another line that Sam steps over with alacrity each and every time, ad infinitum, till they are drawing and stepping off into the sunset.

Isn't that the way it is for all of us? We have both those cartoon characters in us because we really do know where the line is, but we always error on the side of excess and step over that imaginary but, nonetheless, very real line in our minds. Then, once we do take that step, the other programming kicks in. Anyone know what that is? I'll give you a hint...Mom's clean your plate club. One of the most powerful and lasting pieces of programming ever devised, and by none other than our well-meaning mothers. When that food is on our plates we become duty bound to finish it, even if it means stuffing it down our throats till our eyes bulge out, and bulge they do! So I don't know about you, but I'm going to try and hang on to the image of that little ballet/duel between Yosemite and Bugs, in the hope that the next time "I'ma dollopin", it will give me pause, and I'll do the right thing and NOT step over that line again.
Ooops!!   I Did It Again!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Weight Loss Tales from the Front

Yesterday I stopped at an Italian Beef and Sausage stand type restaurant with a friend and co-worker who had never been to the place.These types of places are a hallmark of the Chicago area because of the strong Italian population throughout, and they have taken the beef & sausage there to an almost mythical status.Understandably enough you will only find these stands in metropolitan areas with a large Italian population.The appeal though is a far broader base than just with people of Italian descent, kind of like the appeal of pizza only not as big. This particular stand, actually it is more on the order of a restaurant than just a little shack-stand because it is in a nice new building that the owner had built, has nice tables and chairs so you don't have to eat your sandwich on the hood of your car. As is the trend in the restaurant trade over the past couple of decades this particular place gives you a huge portion whenever possible. The beef sandwich is monumentile; there has to be close to a pound of beef in there, which is superb, by the way, because they cook the beef rounds and slice them on premise themselves. That is the key to having the best beef, cooking it yourself. That is quite labor intensive though and requires some cooking space that the shack-stands don't just have, so they buy their beef from mass producer/suppliers and is never as good, but nonetheless still good enough. I ordered the sausage sandwich because they can't make a sausage that big, and besides I really love Italian sausage charbroiled to perfection and served on Italian bread and dipped in the beef au jus to where the sandwich is drenched. Throw some hot giardinara on it, and I'm in Heaven, baby. I would not have been able to finish the beef, and I did not want to schlepp the left overs around with me because we were making sales calls at car dealers in the area, and it just would have gotten in the way in his car. The sausage is always my first choice anyway; especially if I haven't had one in awhile.

So why am I telling you about this anyway? Well, as usual, when I go to one of these huge-portion places there is always a gaggle of overweight to morbidly obese individuals there, that's why. This time was no disappointment either.These people always know where the major feed-bag places are. Where they can get the biggest bang for their food dollar. This is a must because they have the burden of having to satisfy their prodigious appetites that just seem to grow larger with each passing year not to mention the girth of their outsized bodies. What a cross to bear through life! Right at the table next to us and right in my line of sight there were two huge fellows. They looked like firefighters or something of that nature because they had the dark blue tee shirts on that you see firefighters wearing (ah yes, it was tee shirt weather yesterday this mid November in the greater Chicagoland area, although I think these guys could wear them well into the cold weather and not notice the chill). I don't know how somebody that large could be a fireman though, as the business of extinguishing fires is a pretty strenuous one to say the least and you have to be physically fit, something these guys probably have never been in their entire lives. They were big-boned guys, not particularly tall as I could surmise because they never stood up the whole time we were there, and they were eating the whole time. They were eating when we sat down and still eating when we got up to leave. It's almost like a job feeding yourself when you are that large; it takes a lot of time to "fill er up". There were other similar looking fellas in blue tee shirts there also who were quite large themselves, but younger and who had not reached the gargantuan stage yet but who are clearly on their way if they keep eating at an ever growing pace. These guy are just resigned to their fate. They must just figure this is the way it is and there's not a damn thing they can do about it, so they may as well do what they love best which is eat and eat and eat to their little fat-laden heart's content. What a job for those little pea-pickin hearts to have to supply all the blood necessary to maintain that enormous girth!

The problem here, as I see it anyway, is RESIGNATION pure and simple. If you are resigned to something is it ever going to change? If you are reading this then you are probably concerned about your weight and would like to do something about it. So maybe you're not  resigned to it, that is yet anyway. If that's the case, then three cheers for you because that is the first step, a desire to change. Change you can, because there is a damn thing you can do about it, and it starts by reducing your overall intake of food on a daily basis. That alone will start to make a difference, and if you can couple that with smart food choices and an ever decreasing intake you will be amazed at what you can accomplish. It just takes a little determination and the discipline to stick with it; if you can muster that up, you can get off that road to more and more excess pound accumulation. So, how bad do you want it, anyway?

Stop Suffing Yourself!!! click here....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Twinkie Diet

Well, the news is all a twitter today about a subject that dovetails perfectly with my previous post about ampm and the food supplied by  convenience-stores in general. If you haven't as yet heard about it, it is the already infamous "Twinkie diet" that a human nutrition professor from Kansas State University went on for 10 weeks to see if pure calorie counting is what matters most regardless of the nutritional value of the food. Turns out his premise held up, on his "convenience-store diet" he dropped 27 lbs in just two months! For this project the good professor limited himself to just 1800 calories/day eating one of those darling little sugar-packed snacks every three hours instead of meals. To avoid the humdrum of eating the same thing over and over he allowed himself to eat Little Debbie cakes, Oreos, sugary cereal and, not to be left-out, that all time snack food favorite, Doritos. To be sure to not totally disregard some semblance of good eating habits he also took a multivitamin daily along with a protein shake, and to eat his veggies he would either eat a can of green beans (yuk) or about four celery stalks.

The key here is that he cut his calorie intake from about 2600/day to the aforementioned 1800/day, which was following a basic tenet of weight loss and that is to consume less calories than you burn. So he went from 201 pounds down to a slim and trim 174 lbs. His weight is not the only thing that went down. An unexpected result of this experiment was the drop in his bad cholesterol (LDL) by 20%, and an increase in his good cholesterol (HDL) by the like amount of 20%. He also reduced his triglycerides ( that's what your liver turns fat into ) by 39%! Pretty impressive, eh?

Well you'd better think again, impressive results aside, if you are a junk-food junky, and you think this is a validation of your misguided ways, and you can now at last  have your cake and eat it too. This eating regimen may provide the kind of short term results you are looking for to loose weight, but do you really think this is a healthy diet, long term or short term for that matter? I remember hearing a guy on the radio ( I hear a lot of things on the radio in case you noticed ) relating how the carbohydrate diets that were all the buzz, I believe back in the eighties, had wrecked his health. He became diabetic along with a whole host of other nutrition related maladies. He finally woke up, smelled the coffee and began eating well balanced nutritional meals again and reversed his diabetes and rid himself of the other bad effects that were the result of the high carb diet. What are we talking about here with this Twinkie Diet? High carbs, right? It is my considered opinion that this Twinkie Diet is an insane approach to weight loss, not to mention one that would drive a person absolutely bonkers if they were to undertake such a mind numbing food regimen.

So my pronouncement is that the so called "Twinkie Diet" is a DOUBLE-DUMB FOOD CHOICE and not to be tried at home or anywhere else for that matter!

See Tips # 2
and #4

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

ampm rant

You're probably wondering what the ampm in the title is referring to. Well ampm is the name of the convenience-store chain that was formerly BP Connect which was the name of the convenience stores associated with British Petroleum's gas stations. In 2008 they rebranded the convenience stores to ampm. They are in a dozen or so states in the U.S.and also in Japan and Mexico. After having apprised you of that you might be wondering "OK what does that have to do with this weightloss blog?". Well it has to do with the commercials they've been running here in the states for the last couple of years now. They are really insipid little wonders of marketing and what they promote, using the voice of some guy who I swear sounds like Joe "Willie" Namath, the former great quarterback of the then AFL New York Jets football team that was the first team to beat the NFL in the super bowl of 1968, is the fact that they have, now get this, "more stuff". Yep that's it, just more stuff; that's their claim to fame. To prove that they have "more stuff" they show these shots of a guy loading up on "more stuff" in a brand-spanking shiny new store. When this hapless mope get to the checkout counter he suddenly remembers that he needs, you guessed it, "more stuff" just as the checkout person finishes ringing him up and is expecting the money. So what does he do? Right again, bucko, leaves the checkout counter to go back for "more stuff" which is when the guy with the Joe Willie sounding voice cuts in to rap up the commercial. At that point they've pretty well driven home the message that when you are in a place with "more stuff", you'd be absolutely crazy not to take full advantage and load up on as much "more stuff" as your arms can carry since they do not have shopping carts in a convenience store. OK. I know. It's a commercial and 99% of them are annoying, and insipid, and inane and whatever other denigrating adjective you can come up with to describe them. My problem with it is what they are encouraging you to load up on is their stock-in-trade which is essentially what is commonly referred to here in the states as "junk food". Precisely what anyone concerned about their weight should under no circumstance be eating except for once and a great while and that is in very small quantities. We are essentially talking about "garbage" food here, are we not? You know, chips, candy bars, even the hot dogs and hamburgers they sell in those places. It is essentially foodless food, because there is little to no nutrition to it, but baby can it provide the calories and not surprisingly, the unwanted pounds that we are so confounded by. Also, if you hadn't noticed, they are not at all bashful about what they charge for this dubious food that they purvey with the rational being, I presume, is the "convenience" factor. So for this "convenience" you get to pay two to three times more than what you'd normally pay for this "stuff" in a supermarket for something that is going to sabotage your chance of maintaining a proper body weight anyway. Well I guess if you're going to got to Hell-in-a-handbag you might as well go lock-stock-and-barrel and get fleeced while you're at it!

I once not too long ago heard a gentleman being interviewed on a radio talk show about healthy eating and the piece of advice he gave that struck me as a common sense thing but nevertheless quite an astute observation was to "never eat gas-station/convenience-store food" as a way of avoiding unhealthy eating habits. I could not offer a better piece of advice myself, even to someone who does not have a weight control problem. So here goes. Eating gas-station / convenience-store food is a DOUBLE-DUMB FOOD CHOICE!
ampm rant
See this tip....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Who is Jeremy Schoemaker and Why is He the Subject of This Post?

The answer to "Who is Jeremy Schoemaker?" is, he is the guy that became famous when he posted a picture of himself holding a check from Google for advertising revenue of $132,994.97 for one (1) month of clicks!!! This was from his ring-tones site that was getting upwards of 5000 visitors a day! He has a blog that teaches people how to make money online, and if you're interested in finding out more about Jeremy and his Shoemoney system for helping people make money online you can go here .

Now the answer to the second part of the question in the title is how it relates to the subject matter of this blog. Jeremy had a severe weight problem all of his life to the point where he had balooned up to 490lbs as an adult. He finally gave up trying to loose the excess baggage himself and elected to undergo gastric-bypass surgery that so many chronically overweight individuals are opting for these days. As you can see from the picture it worked because he is at "normal" weight now for his size. To be sure he is still a bit large, but in his defense he is a big, large-boned guy to begin with who can still pack the food away pretty good. I know that he can pack it away because I got an email from him relating how he consumed a couple of pounds of king crab legs in his hotel room between conferences at an all expenses paid seminar where he was a featured speaker. I guess he figured he was going to maximize the benefits of the gig and decided to load up on the crab legs. That's a lot of super-rich shellfish to be consuming for anybody; especially with all the melted butter that is usually used to embellish the already succulent flavor of those large crustaceans. Personally I think he should have restrained himself because he still is pretty heavy, and loading up with all that high cholesterol food is definitely not doing your heart health any favor.

What prompted me to write a post about Jeremy and his lifelong weight problem was a video interview with him that was sent to me via email. The interview was about his life story, from birth to his present day success as an internet marketing icon. Early in the interview he makes reference to his burgeoning weight problem as a young child. What did he attribute that propensity to? None other than his being a member in good standing of his maternal grandmother's "Clean your plate club"! How about that? He's pinning it all on the early brainwashing that he received as a child! That's right. He said from early on he and his siblings were encouraged to eat a lot in order  to grow and of course eat everything they put on their plates. His grandmother even had an honorary club for it, the aforementioned "Clean Your Plate Club". I'm assuming Jeremy was the outstanding member given his size. He said at age 13 he was already a 300+ pounder! Wow!

Now, I agree that we should eat what we put on our plates, but on the front end we should also exercise restraint and moderation, because if you load that plate up and you have to clean it up.... well, I think you can figure out what you are letting yourself in for, especially if you are a reader of these posts and my tips. Also if you are a reader of these tips you know there are strategies on the back end if your eyeballs do get too big and you get carried away and put enough food on your plate to feed yourself for a week.( Can you say "doggie bag"? )  In Tip #1 I make mention of this phenomenon that most of us have been exposed to growing up, and here it is, a guy with a lifelong track record of overeating saying that  the early indoctrination he received as a mere child was the genesis of his struggles. Now that, people, is what I think I can safely say is validation! So what do we take from this sad tale of an individual's losing battle with obesity that resulted in him having to opt for surgery as his only salvation? Do the surgery? Maybe. That might be your only answer if you are at the end of your rope, and of course you can somehow afford it. It is definitely an option with a track record of success. However, if you are not there yet then you need to find another way. The pages of this blog offer you another workable way to get your eating habits under control. These tips give you another way of looking at your approach to eating. In them there are alternative strategies to your previously locked-in, automatic behaviors that you feel you just have to keep doing. They give you an awareness, a mindfulness ( love that Zen reference ) to take charge of your eating practices. In the end, isn't that what it really comes down to anyway?
 Who is Jeremy Schoemaker....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Shocking Diabetes Prediction by the CDC

The CDC ( that's the Center for Disease Control,  for the uninitiated ) today, Friday October 22nd, has predicted that the number of adults with Type 2 diabetes could TRIPLE!!! ( emphasis mine ) from 1 in 10, the current level, to 1 in 3 by the year 2050. That's an astounding increase, but at the same time not a surprising one given the culture of overeating that exists in America, the land of plenty. The CDC says about 24 million adults currently have diabetes and most of them Type 2 diabetes which is linked strongly to poor diet and a lack of exercise. Type 2 is also known as Adult Onset Diabetes as distinguished from the unfortunate kids who have the disease as a result of heredity, like former Chicago Cubs 3rd basemen Ron Santo, who had to give himself insulin shots during games and have candy bars handy to counteract the swings in blood sugar from too high to too low so he could stay in the game. Those individuals are saddled with the disease through no fault of their own. On the other hand, for Type 2 diabetics the onus for acquiring the disease rests entirely on them for a life of overeating, poor eating choices, and not exercising. Think about that for a moment, these undisciplined people could have avoided this terrible disease simply by gaining control of their eating habits and getting a little exercise! That is what is astounding to me, anyway. It's the idea of bringing this on yourself when all you had to do was watch what and how you ate. If you think I'm overstating the case when I say that this is terrible disease try these stats on for size: in 2007 diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., and is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults under age 75, as well as foot and leg amputations not caused by injury. I don't know about you, but that's enough to put the fear in me. I love to eat but certainly not so to bring that hell-on-earth down on myself! If that's not enough to get your food consumption under control then I don't know what is. I think people just turn a blind eye to it (do you see the irony of that?), and continue on their merry way, doing what they've always done because it's easier, and Oh so much fun feeding your face to your fat-laden heart's content. After all, it only happens to other people, not you, right? That's a convenient little stratagem we all have engaged in, isn't it? I mean, come on, we're special and bad stuff doesn't happen to us, right? Why? Just because we don't like thinking about anything bad happening to us, so ergo nothing bad will happen because we can't imagine it. I believe that is known as the fallacy of  Circular Definition or circular reasoning. The question is, are you guilty of this kind of fallacious thinking when it comes to justifying why you do what you do, not just when it comes to your eating habits, but anything for that matter? If you are then maybe you should take a long hard look at yourself and try to ascertain why. Why it is you do what you do.
 See Tip # 4

Monday, October 18, 2010

Do You DQ?

If you're wondering what DQ in the title of this post refers to, it is the marketing short-hand for that venerable  franchise that became famous by selling soft-serve ice cream. If you guessed Dairy Queen, then you get the prize. To be sure, I don't have a problem with "DQ" or their products. However, this latest post of mine is on the order of a rant, because last night during a commercial break for the NLCS baseball playoff game between the Phillies and the Giants or was it the NFL game between the Colts and the Redskins, it really does not matter which, because either way they are reaching a large viewing audience with these games. I don't begrudge them for doing that, but what I do have an issue with is the offering that they are promoting in these slots. You see, the great minds in the corporate ivory tower at DQ's HQ (catchy, eh?) decided some time ago that in order for them to grow the franchise they needed to get into the hot foods fast-food business also and to compete with the likes of  KFC, McDonald's, Wendy's, etc. to get a piece of that bottomless-pit  market. I don't blame them for that either, it's just this latest menu item they came up with and are now promoting. The entree is three or four breaded and fried chicken strips with a side of fries, and the kicker here that set me off on this tirade is what they pitch like it's a crowning flourish is...are you ready? TahhDaa... Texas Toast!!! Wow. Really?? Texas Toast? Man, that just makes me want to run out at the first chance I get and snag one of those babies. Chicken strips and an order of fries? Great, who doesn't like that. I know I do, and when it comes to good fried chicken, I crave the stuff. Then they couldn't find anything else to put with it to complete the package, so they had to heap on another helping of carbs to follow those fries. That is my problem with it. All they had to do is add a side of coleslaw to it. That's something that's good and good for you. Come on already! It's made with cabbage, a great green leafy vegetable that's loaded with nutrition, a natural fat burner food, and one that many fast food chains that offer fried foods include with their meals. Maybe that's just too obvious a selection, so they decided to pander to the penchant of American consumers to opt for carbohydrate laden meals. Again, that's just what we need, another "food" offering that contributes to the obesity pandemic in this country. If you are reading this, it's probably because you are concerned about a burgeoning weight problem of your own, and hopefully you have the good sense to stay away from such an unwise selection of this sort when you are making your food choices. That is where it starts, you know, with our daily choices of what we are going to put in our mouths to sustain ourselves. That's what we all need to get control of, and I don't think I have to tell you that this is clearly not a choice that you will not pay the price for in added girth. I hope this illustration leaves you the wiser, and that you will opt for your long term benefit, because remember, everything counts and, alas, adds up in unwanted pounds if we make the unwise choice.

I rate this latest menu offering from Dairy Queen a Double Dumb Food Choice because it doubles down on the carbs with the bread and fries and to be avoided by anyone serious about getting their weight under control.
Do You DQ?
See Tip #2

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Natural Fat Burning Foods

There actually are natural fat burning foods, and incorporating as many of them as you can into your daily eating habits will go a long way towards helping you achieve your weight loss goals. A food that helps burn fat is one that burns more calories than the calorie content of the fat burning food itself. When that happens you are burning off stored fat. In large part these fat burning foods are plant foods, but there are others that facilitate the natural burning of fat from the body such as fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel. These fatty fish contain Omega 3 fatty acids and they inhibit the production of Leptin, a hormone that slows metabolism. That is why I devoted a previous post recommending that you eat more fish. I also recommend that everyone take a good fish oil supplement to further enhance your ability to burn fat and also for the other benefical influences they provide such as improved brain function.

 Another natural fat burning food is low-fat dairy products because they contain protein and calcium, which together promote weight loss and increased muscle mass. Eating three servings of low-fat dairy a day will stave off both fat and the hunger you might be experiencing when you are trying to cut back on your intake of food.I have also recommended eating nuts as a low fat way to stave off hunger to hold yourself over till the next meal. That's because nuts are high in protein and also help burn more calories than they actually have. Walnuts are loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids, and we already touched on what they can do to help you burn fat. Another great natural fat burning food are raw almonds because they are high in magnesium a key element that helps your body regulate fat burning hormones. They are also a good source of protein, fiber and vitamin E, a proven antioxidant.

Not to be left out of a list of fat burning foods is the incredible edible egg. Eggs are loaded with protein, amino acids and vitamin B12 which breaks down fat into energy among its many other benefits. Eggs have gotten a bum rap over the years from so-called "nutrition experts" for their contribution to the build-up of cholesterol in the blood stream. Without getting into a lengthy discussion about the pros and cons of cholesterol, that questionable contribution has largely been debunked as junk science. Now the prevailing wisdom is that you are doing yourself a grave nutritional disservice if you exclude from your daily consumption at least one egg. That is the minimum daily recommendation to prevent  Wet Age Related Macular Degeneration a disease that will leave you blind in your old age. So eat your eggs!

The natural fat burning foods we've discussed so far are all in the protein family, and they take more energy to digest which aids in the burning of fat and also stabilize blood sugar levels. So you don't want to shy away from consuming protein when you are trying to lose weight, because protein is a building block of life and your body needs it to function properly. The other main group that comprises the major portion of the list of fat burning foods are fruits and vegetables especially those high in vitamin C. Now we know that citrus fruits are very high in vitamin C, but did you know that red bell peppers contain three times the vitamin C as that of an orange? The reason for that is the red color so any vegetable you choose that is reddish in color is rich in vitamin C and something called phyto-nutrients.Green leafy vegetables contain little caloric content and are so rich in fiber that you burn fat when you eat them due to the energy it takes to digest the fiber.

A list of fat burning foods would be incomplete without a discussion of berries which enough good things cannot be said about. Number 1, they are a virtual treasure trove of antioxidants which destroy free-radicals, those pesky little things coursing through our systems that contribute to aging and the overall deterioration of cellular function. Berries are good sources of fiber and vitamins which as we have already said aid in fat burning.

To sum up, you simply need to include more fruits, vegetables, nuts and low-fat dairy products and let's not forget fatty fish in your daily eating regimen as well, if you want to burn more fat and experience more health and vitality. Always keep in mind though that you need to eat everything in moderation, don't want to eat a barrel of low-fat yogurt everyday to gain its many benefits, because you'd end up being as round as a barrel, which, obviously would be self-defeating.
Natural Fat Burning Foods

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Arby's Pastry Turnover Ad Rant

I've been seeing these television advertisements lately for Arby's, for the uninitiated that is a fast food chain here in the States whose unique selling proposition was a roast beef sandwich. They first came on the fast food scene back in the 1960's and they were all the rage because they used to slow roast a round of beef in a rotisserie that was placed right on the counter for everyone to marvel at. It was a meat lovers sight to behold, too! This beautiful large hunk of beef hanging and being supported by 3 large-link shiny chains, slowly turning and getting a deep dark caramelized crust was just too much to resist. All me and my meat-loving high school buddies could think of (well, almost all we could think of) was when we were going to get back there and feast on one of those sandwiches made with that rare roast beef. They served it on a sesame seed hamburger bun and you could embellish it if you liked with one of their three sauces: two barbecue style with one being hot and spicy, the other being a horseradish sauce that they called Horsey sauce. As I said, the meat was served rare and really didn't need any help, but those sauces were good especially the Horsey one and it made for a little variety. Then in the early 1970's everything changed because those pin-heads in the ivory tower at corporate decided to fix something that wasn't broke, at least in my estimation anyway. All of a sudden gone was the counter rotisserie, and they began serving this ersatz beef product that looked something akin to particle board. Sacre Bleu! I was absolutely incredulous at this drastic change, because the meat bore not even a remote resemblance to their late great offering. What a disappointment; needless to say I stopped spending my hard earned money at Arby's. Oh I've I tried them again in the past few years, because they have advertised on TV different sandwiches like a Reuben, which I love, but when I went in to get one they were pricey and a shadow of the good looking sandwich in the TV ads. Upshot being, I don't need to spend money on this either. So you probably gathered by now that I've written them off my retinue of fast food places I stop in from time to time.

Now in their new ads they come up with as a kicker this sorry looking turnover filled with chocolate that that they drizzle a swirl of more chocolate sauce, of all things, over the top. What a joke. Yeah, that's just what this fat over stuffed culture needs is another lard-ridden pastry to wash down a sorry excuse for an expensive sandwich. I can't imagine that appealing to anyone; at least someone who is being mindful of their weight and what they are putting in their system. So I guess the point of this rant is if you too have seen that ad, and it has piqued your interest as something you'd like to try, maybe you'd better think again if you are serious about losing the excess lbs!

 I rate this menu selection a Double Dumb Food Choice because it's a carbohydrate nightmare.
Arby's Pastry Turnover Ad Rant

See this Tip
And this one too...
This Tip applies as well

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weight Loss Tales from the Front

The other day I had lunch with my old boss from the mortgage company at a Fuddruckers hamburger restaurant. I am a big fan of this particular burger chain because they do a really good job on all aspects to provide a great product and overall enjoyable eating experience. I have not been in one for a while so I did not know that they had expanded their burger selection from 1/3 lb. all the way up to 1 lb! That's right One Full Pound. I can't imagine stuffing that much into my stomach, but people must do it all the time otherwise they would not have it up there on the menu. Now if you read my first post this is the same boss who is a serial over-eater that I talked about in that post. Well he has not changed his ways and is still as aggressive as ever when it comes to ordering up his victuals. He did not disappoint and stepped up to the plate with a 2/3rds of a pound burger selection from the menu, which he loads up with all the trimmings that they offer to put on top. Oh yeah, and how can a man fully savor his out-sized burger without a heap of  battered and fried onion rings on the side? When they called our number to pick up our order he asked the assistant manager type that handed us our trays if he could have a larger helping of mushrooms to the already sufficient amount ( in my humble estimation ) sitting on top of his burger. The guy questioned him saying "You want more?", and then begrudgingly gave him another dollop while trying to maintain some semblance of the "customer is always right" demeanor. It was clear though, the guy thought my former boss was taking advantage and being somewhat of a mooch, and that he was a little irritated even though he did his best to conceal it. Big Jon, that would be my former boss, had no problem annihilating this over-sized package of food that he had laid out for himself, plowing through it like it was all in a days work. He's a stocky guy with a Buddha belly who gives no indication of ever changing his gorging ways. He's a great and generous guy though, and I just wish he would wake up and realize what he's doing to his appearance and long-term health, for that matter.

As far as what I ordered, well I have to admit I succumbed to the ambiance of excess and stepped up to the 1/2 pound selection, even though I came to the realization about 15 years ago that a half-pound burger is too much for me to eat anymore. I did it because I don't frequent the place and did not want to short change myself on the experience. A 1/3rd pounder would be plenty when it comes to filling me up, but I just like to sink my teeth into a substantial amount of meat. So I indulged myself knowing that it will be a long time before I come back, and that I've been vigilant about not overeating on a daily basis so I could allow myself this excess. This goes back to what I said early-on about not having to deny yourself anything for ever. You can splurge once in awhile, because it's not what you do once in awhile it's what you do every day that makes the difference. REMEMBER THAT DICTUM! It is key to your success in weight loss or in any of life's undertakings, for that matter. I had gotten about half way through consuming that beauty when, sure enough, I was getting the cue from my stomach that I was getting full and should probably stop soon. I ignored it and blithely pressed on as if never having a clue. Ah, the bliss of ignorance, even if it was only pretend ignorance!

So, we had just started our feeding frenzy when my former boss decided his burger experience was not yet complete and got up to get something from one of the many self-serve counters they have to cater to your every whim, and when he came back he remarked somewhat amazed by the fact that one of the guys at the counter actually had the One Pound burger on his tray. He referred to him is that big guy, so, of course, I looked up to see who he was talking about and there were three guys with their backs to us still standing at the counter doctoring their selections. They all looked about the same size to me and not that big. So I said which one, to which he replied the one on the end to our left. I offered that he did not look that big, and my former boss replied that his stomach was huge just as the guy turned to move away from the counter and we got a look at his profile. I mean his whole profile! Here was a guy who was not that tall or big in stature with this bay window profundus protruding from the front of this body. He had to have a 60 inch waistline! It was truly enormous and for such an average sized guy. Now here was a guy who I'm sure could see how big his stomach had gotten, because he didn't look like he was blind to me, who was obviously resigned to the fact that this is just how big he had gotten and was going to keep eating in the lifelong fashion he had become accustomed to regardless of how he looked because that had become his standard operating procedure. After those three guys moved away from that counter then a couple of really huge guys bellied up to it with the emphasis on belly. These guys were well stuffed giants with huge waist lines with a girth that only Omar the Tent Maker could drape. Such is the kind of clientele a place like Fuddruckers attracts because they cater to such insatiable appetites with the gigantic portions that they offer on their menu. Man! I'd hate like hell to have to feed those guys, because it would break my bank not to mention my back. Their monthly food bill alone is probably like the debt of a small third world country! It would seem to me that would be incentive enough to cut back on your eating habits just to reduce your gargantuan food bill. I guess not though, because these guys seem to be resigned to it just like all the rest.

My point here with these Tales from the Front are to illustrate what you should not be doing, in case there was any doubt in your mind about my purpose here. You definitely do not want to emulate these poor souls. So if this illustration bears even a remote resemblance to you then maybe you should look at yourself in the mirror and take serious stock of yourself. Ask yourself why. "Why am I doing what I'm doing?". This is where any meaningful decision must start if you are ever going to get your daily eating habits reduced and under control.
Weight Loss Tales from the Front
See Tip # 1  

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Lose Weight by Eating More Fish and Less Meat

Now don't get me wrong here, because I am not one of these goody-two-shoes nutrition "experts" who is anti-anything meat. There is nothing I love more than a tender juicy steak! For that matter any meat product is fine and dandy with me. Having issued that proviso though, it is a good idea to incorporate more seafood into your diet. Now I know there are some people who cannot tolerate even being in the presence of seafood. A guy who's mortgage shop I worked in was like that, and whenever I would bring some left over seafood to warm up in the micro wave for lunch I'd hear it from him immediately. I would try to minimize it by warming it on the lowest setting and for the shortest possible time. That didn't pass the smell test (so to speak) either; even if he was out of the office during lunch, when he'd come back an hour or so later he'd still catch it (no pun intended) and call me on it. I don't know what his problem was, but there was no fooling him. A problem it was though, for him anyway, because eating fish is the most healthy thing we can eat. The people who live on the island nation of Indonesia are plagued with the thyroid condition known as goiter. Why, and I know it's counter intuitive, because they do not eat any fish! How a people who are surrounded by water do not eat any fish is a mystery to me, but the key thing they are missing from their diet by neglecting to harvest natures bounty from the waters around them is iodine. Consequently most of them are walking around with these huge growths protruding from their throats. It's absolutely hideous, not to mention a needless shame.

We all should be eating fish at least three times a week especially if that fish is Salmon ( pronounced Samon, by the way. That is one of my pet pronunciation peeves when I have to hear these precise individuals pronounce the silent "L" in salmon, but again I digress, because I could go on and on about other pronunciation faux pas here. So relax. I'll spare you.) Salmon is loaded with good fatty acids in the form of Omega 3s which in our normal diets we don't get much. We get more of the Omega 6 fatty acids that we get from vegetable oil, which causes an imbalance in our systems and can create a host of health issues not the least of which is heart disease. The reason for eating fish is just the reduction in the animal fat that meat has and the propensity for that fat to accumulate and cause us to get fat and consequently overweight. I know it's not easy because you have to do a little planning in addition to choosing fish over meat when you're at a restaurant. Now I'm not talking about eating battered and fried fish here for the obvious reasons. The best way to eat fish is baked with olive oil or grilled so that you get the maximum health benefit from eating it.That said even eating fried fish is probably better than eating meat. Like everything else, you just have to make a conscious decision that you are going to incorporate more fish in your diet and then work out a plan how you can do this.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Power of Tuning in to How Full You are Getting

I really can't say enough about getting yourself in the habit of always paying attention to how full you are getting while eating. This one practice alone will not only enable you to control your intake as you implement it every time you eat, it will reduce the amount of food it takes to get you full! That, my friends, is the key. Now I said enable, and by that I mean it will give you the awareness you need to take action. The action being to pull yourself up short and stop eating when you realize you are full or about to be. That takes will power and discipline because it is so easy to ignore the realization that you are full and keep shoveling it in, especially if the food is really good. If you can stop yourself from eating when you reach this point every time, you will notice that it takes less and less food to get you to that point. So what you are doing is gradually reducing the size of your stomach and its capacity to hold prodigious amounts of food. This is the slow and non-invasive version of that stomach operation that is all the rage now. I can't imagine having to resort to something so drastic as that surgery. The people that do it obviously can't reduce their intake for one reason or another. I still can't feature it though, because there are just to many things you can do, (ahem) like apply the tips I am giving you  here, for instance.

I'm telling you, if you can tune in, and I use the word "tune" because you have to set your antenna to the station, if you will, that monitors the feedback you are getting from your body and brain, you will absolutely be amazed at how it will decrease the amount of food necessary for satiation. This provided, of course, if you will heed the message and discontinue eating. Now I'm not telling you to slam on the brakes as soon as you feel yourself getting full. Nothing could be farther from the truth, you just need to realize you are getting full and start thinking about how you can stop and then work into it gradually, allowing yourself to eat a little more as you approach the tipping point. A good thing would be to pause and think, then when you resume eating, SLOW DOWN, because you are near finished and slowing down will allow you to prolong the experience and the enjoyment, especially if the food is great. That way you won't come away feeling deprived or cheated out of putting on a good feed bag. So the trick is to ease yourself from the eating process. If you can do this, and you can if you make up your mind, you will start to see those excess pounds rolling off in no time.

Now go and make up your mind you are going to do this starting with your very next meal!
 See tip # 3...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Eating Yourself into Major Health Problems

This is another example of someone experiencing disabling health problems and setting the stage for even greater health issues because of an unbridled appetite. Yesterday I was at the other local food market, a grocery store because it does not rise to the level of supermarket, that I frequent. It was early Friday evening and it was pretty quiet, such that the check-out lady was flipping through the advertisements in a local newspaper when I walked up to pay for my single item, a half-pound of that Mickleberry Baked Ham that I mentioned in the previous post. It was on sale, and I always snap it up when it is, because it is a little pricey. Even at full price though it is well worth it, because it is a delicious baked ham. One of the things I love about it is there's no sugar of any form added to it. It's just the pure taste of a perfectly baked ham. I don't know if there's any connection but lately the last couple of times I've bought it, I've found myself in a conversation about someone who became grossly overweight later in life and caused themselves unnecessary health problems. So when I stepped up to the register I said hello to her. She's someone I've struck up a familiarity with because she remembered me from the other local supermarket that I go to where she once worked. She immediately started lamenting the fact it was going to be a long slow night. She then allowed that she needs a job where she can sit down, and I agreed with her saying that I can't work a job anymore where I'd have to be on my feet either. She then said her brother can't be on his feet anymore. To which I asked how old he was. She shot back "he's 49". I replied incredulously "only 49". "He's still young" I said. When you get into your sixties 49 is young. So I asked what his problem is and she immediately said his weight. As he got older he just started eating more and more to where he's carrying the kind of weight that crushes your joints. She said he was never overweight and was a good-looking guy when he was younger. Then she proceeded to blame it on his wife, whom, I think it's safe to say, she has no love for. While she was still muttering on about her sister-in-law, I bid my adieu and walked out of the store.

So why am I sharing this with you? I guess because there are examples all around us of people who are systematically destroying their health, stamina and ultimately their lives as a result of their failure to take a step back and ask themselves a probing question like "Why am I doing this to myself?". Instead they resort to the mindless resignation of just doing the same thing over and over without any regard for the long-term damage being done. I guess that's the easiest thing to do. Besides, eating is a pleasurable activity and gives us that feeling of being loved. Remember that Pillsbury jingle, "Something lovin from the oven"? The problem is it's only love up to a point then the love changes to self-loathing. If this describes you, and you don't think the Pillsbury dough boy has a particularly appealing physique, then isn't it time you took that mental step back for some introspection as to why you do the things you do? That is where the journey starts, in the theater of the mind. If this post is speaking about you, then let the journey begin now.
Also Tip #5....

Sunday, August 29, 2010

On Eating Yourself to Death

The other day I was at my local supermarket waiting my turn for service at the deli counter, and there was an elderly gentleman standing next to me who was ahead of me in the queue. When he ordered the Mickleberry baked ham that I was about to order, I struck up a conversation with him about how good that particular brand of ham is. I did this for a couple of reasons the first of which is my appreciation for the ham and the second of which is I like talking to elderly people. This guy looked to be close to the age my dad was when he passed away, 82, and I guess it just strikes a sympathetic chord with me when I see someone in that age group. His response to me was that it had a little fat on it, but that at this stage of the game it did not matter to him. I replied that it is the fat that makes it taste good, and from there the thread went on about how people think they're getting a good piece of meat when it is very red with no fat in it, and we both agreed that meat with no fat is nothing but a piece of shoe leather once it is cooked. The majority of the public have been conditioned to think just the opposite and shy away from meat with any fat in it. Not me! I look for meat with fat, and if I spot a cut with little rivulets of fat laced throughout it, I pounce on it like a Puma just in case there are any other fat lovers nearby waiting to do the same. When you get a steak, or any other type of meat like that, it's like eating Prime grade meat but without the steep price tag, which makes it all the more enjoyable!

Back to my conversation with the seasoned citizen, his comment about allowing himself to indulge in a little fat consumption because of his advanced age led him to volunteer the story about his friend who recently passed away. After his friend retired all he did was sit on the couch and watch television day and night. That would be enough to make you want to end your life if not drive you absolutely starkers. The whole while what do you think he was doing? You guessed it, eating constantly, probably as a defense mechanism to keep from going insane. His weight balooned up to 290 lbs, and with that came a whole host of problems, not the least of which was Type-2 Diabetes. From there, as they say, it was all down hill, because he only lasted three years out of retirement. This is sad on at least a couple of levels: the guy obviously had no other interest outside of work and coming home to eat, watch television and sleep was all he did. When the work component was taken out of the equation, well he just did what he knew and that was watch TV, and eat. The guy did not have the initiative to find something other to do with himself than waste away on the couch. That is too bad, but, really, he's to blame for his own untimely demise, and, who knows, maybe he had a secret death-wish, and this was just his way of going out happy. Although I don't know how happy you could be once you contract Type-2; I don't believe that it's a picnic by any stretch. Anyone see the irony there?

This little anecdote shared with me by a complete stranger, although one I felt a kinship with, just got me thinking about the over importance we as humans attach to eating. My God, is it that important to just keep gorging yourself when it's so evident what it's doing to you? It's hard for me to fathom, but I guess not everyone shares my philosophy about eating. The question we all need to ask ourselves is very simple, and that is "Why?" Why do we eat the way we do? Then try to divine what your own special relationship with food is, and maybe you can gain some greater understanding why you eat the way you do. Once achieved you will have gone a long way towards not eating yourself to death!
 Tip #5 would apply here...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

On Not Letting Your Eyes Get Too Big for Your Stomach

This is so important because what you load-up on your plate can create an obligation for you to overeat. I think we can all agree that the great majority of us were "trained" as pups to eat everything we put on our plates. Now maybe it took us awhile for that lesson to be drummed into our little heads, but once we learned it we were programmed for life. I know that's the way it was for me because I was a pretty fussy eater when I was a kid and left food on my plate plenty of times. Once I grew up enough to appreciate what my well intentioned parents were trying to teach me, the light bulb went off in my head and all of a sudden I had this new respect for all things food. Hence forth, if it was on my plate it did not stand a chance of being left on it when the sparks stopped flying. Now, finishing my food became a badge of honor and a matter of great pride, as I preened myself on how much I was growing and how "big" I was getting. How big you got when you're growing up was more important if you're a guy, because it stood to reason that if you got big than no one was going to mess with you, and you'd automatically be able to fend for yourself, at least that was the underlying logic of the process. There's probably a scintilla of truth to that, because if you're big it will make most people think twice about treading on you. Problem is, we subconsciously carry that eating philosophy with us into adulthood.

My point here is to make you aware of your programming, so that you can make a conscious decision to override it. If you can do that you will have taken a big step towards taking control of your eating habits. The place to start is not creating an obligation, even if it's in your mind only, that is going to cause you to do something that runs contrary to what you are trying to achieve and your new way of being. You just make it so much easier on yourself when you exercise some restraint upfront rather than after you've loaded up your plate and now your faced with this huge guilt-laden burden of finishing what you took. You can always go back for seconds, that is if you are really still hungry and not going back for more out of pure gluttony!
Refer to Tip #1
Also, see Tip #5

Monday, July 19, 2010

Learning from Your Mistakes

In my last post I shared with you the mistake I made resulting from the head of steam I had going into making a batch of blueberry pancakes for myself the other morning. This "head-of-steam" got built up because of my excitement over finding a new whole-grain based pancake mix from a venerable brand like Quaker Oats, which I'm a big fan of because I eat their oatmeal at least three times a week. I do this mainly to soak up the cholesterol waiting in my digestive tract to be assimilated into my blood supply. However, I also have come to enjoy eating those oats very much, and they really fill you up and stick with you. They will hold you till it's time to eat lunch unlike cereals you add milk to that leave you wolfish after just an hour. A side benefit of eating oatmeal is the "morning constitutional" you have a short time later. There's something to be said about a good healthy evacuation in the morning! Enough about that here though because I digress.

The purpose of this post is to share with you how I learned from the previous day's mistake and resultant stuffing of myself to start out the day. I still had some batter left over and decided to have some pancakes again a couple of days later. There was enough to make a couple more cakes of about the same size when I first whipped-up the batch. Well I was about to repeat the same thing I did two days earlier just as a matter of routine. I got the first one cooking and had the second dollop ready to slap on the griddle when I pulled myself up short and asked "do I really want or need to do this again"? The answer was "no, I did not", because I was not that hungry to begin with, and even if I was, it would probably still have left me with that uncomfortable feeling of being stuffed again. Something I surely did not need to start the day off again. So I opted just to have the one I already had going on the griddle and be done with it. This left me a breakfast for another day and a good way to economize, which has become quite necessary in this do-with-less economy that we are in.

As it turned out that one pancake was plenty for me. It left me full but without that stuffed feeling. To think how close I came to repeating the same error I had made just a couple of days earlier gives me pause. Pause to think how many times we all just do things as a matter of rote, that mindless programming we all operate on a majority of the time. If we can just be more aware of what it is we are about to do, then that alone will go a long way to curtail our excesses. We just need to stop ourselves and ask "Do I really need to do this?". You have to be vigilant about whether or not what you are about to undertake squares with what your ultimate objective is. If it is contrary to that then I think you know what the right decision is. DON'T DO IT! 
Tip #1 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Setting Yourself up to Fail

I want to tell you how I set myself up this morning to overeat and be left with that uncomfortable feeling of being stuffed. We have to go back to yesterday when I was shopping at this small supermarket/convenience type store up the street from where I live. I was looking for some whole grain pancake mix, because I try to limit  my dough consumption to whole grain items as much as possible. Well I found this new product from an old-line company, Quaker Oats, and I decided to try it. I still had some blueberries left from my last purchase over a week ago, and I was looking forward to making a batch of blueberry whole grain pancakes with them. I love blueberry pancakes! The kind with the berries mixed in the batter. This business of sprinkling berries on top of your pancakes to me is the stuff of pretty pictures designed to whet your appetite. The blueberries are best mixed in the dough and cooked with it. This creates a flow of blueberry juice that you just don't get unless you cook them, because eaten raw they are really not a juicy berry. Tasty but not juicy. I load up the batter with em so that when cooked there's enough juice released that that you don't need to adulterate your cakes with any cloying syrup of any flavor.

So how did I set myself up for a stuffing? It was just the idea of having this new product that looked exciting, and I was invested in the idea of enjoying a nice batch of them with my blueberries mixed in. Where I went wrong was I got carried away with how much batter I dolloped onto the skillet. Now I only eat a short stack, that's two pancakes, so I'm thinking in the back of my mind that I had the portion thing covered, but I let my eyes get too big and made the size of each cake a little to big. When I was adding the batter to the skillet my thought process was "Is that enough"? after the first dollop. In hindsight, the answer was a certain yes because I don't have the capacity that I once had, but, no, my enthusiasm got the best of me and I thought "nah, that's not enough", so I added another dollop, not as big as the first one, mind you, but in retrospect more than big enough. Since I was cooking two pancakes, I doubled down. All the while, knowing in my heart of hearts I was making a mistake and setting myself up for discomfort. You see, one of the results of portion control is that after a while you can't eat as much as you did when you were gorging yourself on a daily basis, because your stomach shrinks. Anyway it was too late, I had made my decision, and being a member of the "clean-your-plate club" I was duty-bound to finish what I had started. It's a curious thing when we delude ourselves into thinking what we are about to do will be alright even though in our gut we know we are on an ill-fated course. We just seem to turn a blind eye to our better judgment and forge ahead as if it weren't so. Well I can tell you with a great deal of certainty that it is always so, and as I sit here and punch these words out I can also tell you that I am  uncomfortably full still. The reason why I am  sharing this tale with you is for the moral to take away, so that when you are faced with a similar circumstance hopefully you'll remember this little anecdote, and you will listen to that inner voice and pull yourself up short so as not to set yourself on a self-defeating course that you are "duty-bound" to stay on. The moral is to be keenly aware of your inner voice, also known as your "gut feeling", because that is your built-in true compass in life, and what you should be obeying. If you can heed what it is saying you will not be setting yourself up to fail, and this applies to all areas of living, not just feeding your face.

Now make it a great day!

Refer to Tip #1

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Real Life Illustrations of Common Sense Weight Loss Tip #1

To re-iterate, lowering your expectations as to how much food you think you need is key to getting your food consumption in line with your actual physical needs and not your emotional or psychic needs. I'm sure we all can think of examples where our eyes got too big for our stomachs, and you can also probably think of other people's over ambition when it comes time to order or fill their plates. A lot of it has to do with the situation, eg. if we're at a holiday feast or an all you can eat buffet ( going to those is just setting yourself up for over-indulgence), where we are expected to "put on the feed bag".  What I'm talking about here, though, is everyday practices, because it's not what you do once in awhile, it's what you do on a daily basis that makes the difference. Now, if you go to all-you-can-eat buffets often then you are asking to be in the super heavy weight crowd.

I'm going to share with you a fairly recent example of how someone I worked with let his runaway conception of his appetite order a bunch of food he did not need nor could finish. It was around lunch time and my stomach was telling me I needed to put something in it, because when I get hungry I can't concentrate, and do things of a mental nature (I do not do physical work for a living anymore). That is because I'm just sitting there not doing anything physical, if I were doing manual labor or exercising the pure physical exertion would override the appetite, and the appetite only comes back when we stop what were doing and rest for a while. If you doubt me try working out before dinner, and then go right to the table after your workout. You won't have an appetite for about twenty to thirty minutes after you stopped working out. I may have just hit on a good weight loss technique there. Anyway, back to my to story, so I'm thinking about going to Taco Bell for one of those burritos I'd seen them advertise for 89 cents, a good sized and good quality sandwich for next to nothing in price. How can you beat it? Well I made the mistake of announcing that I was going out and if anybody wanted anything brought back. I say mistake because my boss decided to take me up on it. Well he's a "stocky" guy in his mid-thirties who still has these grand delusions, shall we say, of how much food he needs to order when it's time to eat. He proceeds to order five (5!) hard shell tacos. I guess that was just the appetizer course because then he said to get him one of these "grande" something platters. If that weren't enough he added some other item to it that was a stand alone meal in itself. OK, I asked for it, so what's the problem? All I had to do was just pick it up, right? Well, it was a mistake because he did not have any cash on him. Typical boss, right?  My spend went from less than a dollar to twenty bucks and some change! Here I am trying to economize in this hard-scrabble economy that's so hard to make a buck in, and I get way-layed having to shell out enough for twenty lunches if I ate that special burrito everyday! I rationalized it because he is a generous guy who buys pizza for the office frequently, and it was just my turn to reciprocate.

As it turns out, he gets burned-out trying to force feed himself all that food before he's even half way through what he ordered. So he ended up giving it to this other young guy in the office who had the good fortune of just walking in after a morning of beating the bushes on the street. My boss did give it his best shot at trying to finish, though. As a result he was painfully stuffed to the gills and in that semi-comatose state that we all seem to find ourselves in after gorging ourselves on a Thanks Giving Day feast. Well, this is a pretty regular occurrence for him, almost daily I would say. I mean you could count on hearing him say everyday after lunch "Oh God, am I stuffed!" This is just a long standing habit with him, and, regrettably, he has the girth to prove it. The guy is carrying about fifty pounds too much weight. I think it's pretty obvious why. It's what he does almost systematically on a daily basis. OVER EAT! He has programmed himself to do it. That's what I'm talking about with Tip#1. I'm Basically giving you a way to gradually de-program yourself from your destructive over-eating habits, and it starts with what portion you allot for yourself before you put the first bite in your mouth.

 See Tip #1