Tag Archive for Change your Thinking

Want To Lose Weight? It’s Simple, Honest. & Another Success Story – Use It For Inspiration.

jigglemacineI was checking out at the grocery store the other night and the lady behind me, who had a few pounds to lose, was unloading her items onto the conveyor belt.  She had a cart full of Diet Products: diet bread, diet soda, diet ice cream, diet frozen meals, diet cookies, diet cheese.  She looked at me and said,” time to do this again because I’ve gained so much weight with this snowy winter”.  I wish I could have said something, but that would have been rude.  She was a stranger. I save unsolicited advice for my kids and husband, (who appreciate it tons and hang on my every word).

Just an hour earlier, I’d wrapped up a nutritional consult with someone who’s under a tremendous amount of stress (seriously, if there were a competition, she’d win.  I don’t know how she does it.)  She comes from a heritage and country where rice and noodles are common and normal. (sounds like America, but it’s not.) She’s lived here several years and feeds her family traditionally.  She and I have met before about her weight and her willpower, and my advice is the same now as it was then.

To both ladies, and everyone out there trying to lose weight:  Traditional dieting,fat banished w tapeworms where you cut calories and fat, and maybe use Diet Products, is PROVEN to MAKE YOU GAIN WEIGHT.  PROVEN, in study after study.  You might lose a few pounds or several initially, but if you lost the weight DIETING, you’ll gain it back.  Unfortunately, the havoc you wreck with your hormones (thyroid, estrogen, neurotransmitters, insulin, cortisol) and your liver, will slow your metabolism and create signals in your brain that are focused on GAINING weight in case the starvation situation happens again.  

Let me repeat:  If you’re eating products like pasta and bread, or any sort of Diet Product, you’re putting substances in your body that make you GAIN WEIGHT and cause disease.  Also, those foods are addictive.  “Moderation” doesn’t work with these foods.  As long as you’re eating flours, sugars, and chemicals, you’re nurturing the addictive areas of your brain.  If you want to lose weight you’ll have to Ditch Those Foods Forever.  Scary?  I know.  And sad too.  Trust me though, once you’re free, you’re FREE. You won’t miss them once the addiction is gone; as a matter of fact, fake foods and processed foods will taste horrible once you switch to Real Whole Foods.

Here’s the amazing thing:  we’re all smart people.  In most of life, if we try something and it doesn’t work, we move on.  That’s normal.   That doesn’t happen with Dieting.  It’s NEVER worked. Ever. In all these years.   I’ve counseled people now who’ve literally done more than 20 attempts at losing weight through several different and some repeat Diet Methods.  There’s some initial weight loss, regain, additional gain, and eventually, NO WEIGHT LOSS AT ALL using methods that previously worked.  And yet, there’s this odd willingness to keep trying the same old thing over and over and over.  What’s the definition of Insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Listen to what your body is telling you:  Flour, Sugar, and Diet Products make your mind and body sick.  You’ll never lose weight permanently, feel energetic, and be healthy as long as that’s your paradigm.  Ever.  If you read this and you think, “no way can I give up my cereal/crackers/wine/girlscoutcookies etc, know this: your addiction centers are calling your shots.

You can quit, you can change, you can lose weight and feel great, but ONLY on Real Whole Foods.  Really, google “keep weight off after dieting” and read the depressing headlines that pop up.  If you’re struggling, get in touch with me.  People with the same addictions to food that you have have successfully changed their life because they developed HABITS and ATTITUDES about their health and their food that makes their body happy and calm, as opposed to the stress and anxiety of Dieting.

Here’s that Success Story, use it for strength.  Cindi is a single mom with a more-than-full-time job and 2 boys who play lacrosse every day up and down the East Coast.  She’s busy, and she’s managed to make Real Whole Food work for her and her sons.  ( No, she doesn’t have a cook.)  It’s just an attitude, a lifestyle pattern, remember that other quote I love: It’s just an effort until it’s a habit.

I am a 54 year old mother of two teenage, very active boys.  I am the Program Execution Director for a large business unit of a major defense contractor.  I commute roughly four hours each day and have a demanding job while at work.   I am active and energetic and am used to feeling good most of the time.  I have suffered from periodic migraines for many years along with annual bouts with colds, bronchitis and allergies.  Overall, I felt pretty healthy and other than my migraines, I viewed the colds, etc as somewhat routine.  I love to cook and make many of our meals but we eat out often or I turned to convenient meal options at home (tacos with taco seasoning mix, recipes including packaged ingredients, lunch meats) due to my hectic work and my boys’ hectic lacrosse schedules with year round games and tournaments.  Over the last year or so, I began feeling increasingly achy, particularly in my knees and joints.  I also was unable to shed the extra 10 pounds that I had gained over the last couple of years despite following multiple regimens (very, very frustrating and demoralizing!).  I was tested for arthritis and went to the orthopedist as well for a knee check…..nothing abnormal.  I continued to exercise regularly by walking, lifting weights, doing yoga and ballet barre work but always felt very stiff even after yoga stretching and ballet.  Given that there are so many variables to how a person feels, along with the marching of time, I just assumed I felt bad because I was getting older and had a stressful life.

I have known Debbie Abbott for over 9 years and have trained with her regularly throughout this period.  She is extraordinarily positive, compassionate, educated, and interested in learning and teaching friends and clients about nutrition and health in a non-judgmental, kind manner.    I value immensely my time with Debbie as I always feel good after being with her.  I mentioned how I was feeling to Debbie during a training session and she suggested I do a nutritional analysis.  I completed the paperwork.  Debbie also suggested a simple 10 day detox that consisted of organ supportive supplements and easy-on-the-liver-and-organs organic whole foods such as a fruits and vegetables, homemade broth, lean protein AND NO CARBS other than those from fruits and vegetables.  Debbie was very supportive leading up to and during my detox, offering to gather the foods that I needed and bringing over homemade bone broth to kick start the process.   I have to admit that I did not have very high expectations for this 10 day period as it just didn’t seem like I was doing that much that was different from my regular eating routine.  Boy, was I wrong.  I got on the scale routinely during the 10 day period and the number was going down almost every day.  At the end of the detox period, my weight had dropped almost 10 pounds and my general feeling of achiness was subsiding.  I did another 10 day detox.  After the 20-day period, I had dropped 14 pounds and my knees and joints felt much, much better.  It was as though my system had been clogged and my revised diet and supplement regimen had freed the clog to enable my body to function normally again!  I went through the detailed nutritional analysis with Debbie after the detox and she recommended specific supplements and enzymes for me to correct what appeared to be a general inflammatory condition that had probably developed over years.  I have now been taking the supplements and eating (for the most part) a sensible whole foods diet with very few carbs for over 15 months.  I do not place limits on any real foods, including the use of butter and nuts.  My weight has remained stable within a pound or two over the 15 months and overall I feel very good.  I have not had a migraine in 15 months which is remarkable as I was having one almost every month prior!  I have not had a cold or any digestive upsets in 15 months.  As a matter of fact, this is the first 15-month period since I was in middle school that I have not gotten bronchitis and had to go on antibiotics!  I am mindful of the things that I buy and eat by asking myself if the food will do anything for me and my boys nutritionally……..sounds like a little thing, but over time it works.

I am thrilled that I now have a sensible diet that is flexible with few restrictions.  I eat well and feel good almost every day.  I am thoroughly convinced that the marching of time is not a leading indicator for feeling bad and that what we eat is hugely important!  I am very grateful to Debbie for her insight, support, and nutritional guidance.  If you have the opportunity to work with her or interact with her, seize it!  You will be rewarded in many, many ways.  – Cindi Shelburne

How to Get Slim and Fit in 2014

5 of us snorkelingWe’re back from Culebra – Happy New Year!  On the one hand, it’s so exciting, and on the other, it’s hard to believe that a whole year has passed, …again.  Did you come out different or better or changed, or are you the same as when 2013 started?  I know from emails that many of you want to change, but are struggling with the “how”.  Here’s an email that sums it up:

“Hi Debbie, i was hoping you might be able to point me in the right direction…. i need some help. my weight is getting out of control again, and i know it’s because i’m not eating right and i don’t exercise enough. bottom line. and no magic pill is going to help me. i need to make a lifestyle change. i just need to. my problem is that i need to find something that is 1. easy to follow 2. won’t break the bank 3. i can still go out to eat on occasion and still enjoy myself when it comes to social functions 4. something i’ll WANT to do for the rest of my life 5. isn’t too drastic to the point where i’ll have to cook for myself and then make something different for my boyfriend – essentially, i want something that i can use for the whole family. and of course fancy dancy 30 item recipes that take hours to make aren’t on the single mother wish list either. i was looking at your website and see you follow paleo, maybe? ”

YES I can point you in the right direction:  make all your foods quality meats, fats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.  Shun grains and sugars, the body turns them into fats/triglycerides very easily, and you’ll get all the carbohydrates you need in the foods listed above. Don’t eat chemicals.  MOVE every day.  If you can join a gym, join a gym.  If you can’t, walk, do push-ups, follow YouTube workouts – there’s about a billion free ones.  Don’t make 30 ingredient meals:  meat, vegetables, butter/olive oil, salt and pepper.  Simple.

I LOVE that she says “no magic pill is going to help me”;  if there was a magic pill, we wouldn’t have 70% of our population overweight.  The same goes for gadgets and diet programs:  waste of money.  If you want to get healthy and lose weight, it’s ALL ABOUT YOUR MIND.  Easy to follow? Going out to restaurants? Cooking for a crowd? Paleo is the answer for me, because I believe to my depths that eating crackers, pasta, bread, soda, and convenience foods are poison to my body. When I travel or cook for a crowd or pack my lunch every day, there’s no struggle.  That’s the point you want to get to:  No Struggle.  Then it’s easy to pass up all the foods that make you sick and overweight.

How do you get to that point?  It’s what you fill your mind with.  Read books like Wheat Belly or Grain Brain (no time to read? get Audible or buy the books on CD);  read my blog, or Chris Kressers or Mark’s Daily Apple; listen to podcasts that are on LivinlaVidaLowCarb (kitchen, car, workouts, etc) from doctors and experts with the latest science. Order the Paleo magazine.  And here’s my biggie drum beat:  Plan Shop Chop Prep Pack.  You’re not going to “luck” into a healthy lifestyle and a healthy body, it’s only going to come with effort.  Pretty soon though, the amount of effort required becomes less and less as your brain changes from the “calories in calories out” model to ” food is medicine or food is poison” model.

You can’t change your body (permanently) unless you change your brain. Willpower is Very Limited; every diet ends with a binge.  Educate yourself about how your body works, and the effects different foods have on you. Make this a priority instead of “weight loss”.  Weight loss and Health are the SIDE EFFECTS of changing how you think/act/feel.  Want to work with me?  I can change how you think about food and eating; not in one magical conversation, but over several.

You can leave 2014 very very differently than you entered it if you realistically tell yourself that you’re going to take a whole year to re-educate your mindset. Be determined, be confident, be bold; 12 months sounds long, but it’s not.  Time flies and before you know it, a whole new you will be here.

For Every Diet, There’s an Equal and Opposing Binge

christmas goodiesI hope I’m not beginning too many posts with “I got an email”, but honestly, I got an email that probably applies to so many of us, that I have to answer it here.

Hi Debbie,

I’ve been reading your blog for a while now. I meant to make this the one December in my life that I didn’t gain so much weight that I hated myself in January.  I was determined to “stay on the wagon” as you put it the other day.  But I’ve fallen off.  I feel hopeless. Between the parties and goodies that people are bringing into the office, I don’t see how I can possibly lose weight in December.

There’s more, but you get the gist.  Here’s my answer:  please don’t give up – and don’t plan on trying to lose weight in December either.  How bout for now, you practice different thoughts ?  That’s the point of the Mantras (this week’s Mantra is “I think long term.”):  to change your actions, and your body,  by changing what goes on in your head.  This takes time, attention, and effort.

Bad habits are so easy to develop; they give this short, momentary pleasure ( hormones and endorphins) that create neural circuits (think: road maps) in your brain.  Deviate from your normal patterns, and those neurons send STRONG signals that COMPEL you to do what you’ve always done in the past (keeping you right where you are).  Breaking habits means muscling through a few of those compelling messages, so that you can create NEW neural circuits.  Here’s the tricky part, I’m using the term ” muscle through “, which implies Will Power. Unfortunately, WillPower is in very limited supply.  Will Powering through situations is going to be a temporary ability.  That’s why, “For Every Diet, There’s An Equal and Opposing Binge That Happens.”  Ever heard that one before?  Ever experienced that?

The trick is to change how you feel about food and eating at the neural/brain level.  Work on that for now: ”  I think long term, I think long term. ”  Keep reading, keep learning, keep thinking about your habits now, and what you want your habits to be a year from now.  Real change is peaceful, not stressful;  you can have real change, but not from a specific diet plan, pill, cleanse, superfood, super drink, etc etc,  Real Change comes from changing your brain.  The time to start practicing is now.

Waiting for the holidays to be over, a new month to begin, soccer season to end, a project at work completed, Monday,  yada yada yada, is a Diet Mentality that keeps you on the Diet Roller coaster.  Get off the roller coaster.  This is your life.  There’s always stress, there’s always complications, and there’s always co-workers, loved ones, and friends, who push food on you.  It’s normal.

***** The Food Isn’t Your Problem.  Your Mind is The Problem. *****  Work on changing your mind and in a year you can be a whole new person.  Keep putting it off, and stay exactly the same.

You Can Be Better By January, 2014, Or Not…. & More Gluten E Summit Facts

debbie (27)It’s been over a week now that I’ve challenged you to Change your Thinking if you want to Change Your Body; and I’m specifically talking about those negative thought patterns that I’ve heard so many people express:  I hate my thighs, if only they were thinner;  I hate my stomach; I hate my butt; I want to lose weight; If only I could lose 10 pounds…. etc etc etc.  Ask yourself how long you’ve been spinning on these exact same thoughts and how well they’ve allowed you to change.  How long?

Change doesn’t happen when you keep doing the “same old same old”;  negative thought patterns NEVER produce positive results.  Never.  Get your mind off of what you don’t like, and start focusing on improving yourself in your soul.  Seriously.  Focus on being kinder, gentler, more patient, more loving, more thoughtful.  Get your focus off your body (and calorie counts).  Use Mantras, Meditation, and Prayer;  write a quote on 10 or 20 sticky’s and post them all over: your mirrors, wallet, fridge, doors, car.  PRACTICE changing your mind.  Work on it.  It doesn’t just happen, trust me.

We had a speaker at church yesterday who’s a life long missionary, and a Mother Teresa fan.  He quoted her and I’m going to make it my quote for the week:  ” Find someone that no one else loves, and love them.”  This goes right along with “loving-kindness” meditation, where you don’t just pray for yourself and your loved ones, but for someone “neutral” and someone else you’re currently having difficulty with.  We’re not supposed to focus on ourselves so much, despite decades of advertising hypnotizing us otherwise.  Nothing good comes of that.

Here’s something I’m really into:  the way Science is Solidifying the Mind/Body connection:  eat flour/sugars, and you create a brain that ONLY thinks about flours and sugars.  As your body becomes unhealthier, and you become unhappier yet continue to eat flours and sugars, NOTHING CHANGES; the negative thought patterns continue, the addictive eating continues, the thoughts, the addiction and so on and so on.  Too addicted to think about quitting?  Fill your head with facts about what Flours and Sugars actually do beyond making you gain weight, because it’s pretty profound.  I hope I’ve persuaded you all to tune into the Gluten E Summit – what a wake up call!  It’s not too late to register and catch the final day presentations and listen to them in kitchen, your car, or during a workout.  Here’s some recent snippets:

From Dr. Amen, MD Psychiatrist

* Neuroplasticity, or the ability to Change Your Brain, has been a scientific fact for 10 – 15 years, but many doctors are still unaware and don’t practice/prescribe according to this.   We can make our brain Better or Worse through our Life Style Choices:  Food, Exercise, and Thoughts.

* Low Fat Diets and Bad Fats have horrible consequences for the brain ( because our brain is about 60% fat).  This applies whether you’re 2, 12, 22, or 82.

* There are MORE than 100 studies which show that Big Belly’s correlate with Smaller Brains.

* Genes are NOT as important as Behavior and Choices (Epigenetics).

* “Food is Medicine, or Food is Poison.”  You know I love that one!

* Gluten is Poison for most of the population. ( No human has the enzymes to break down the gluten proteins)

* ADD studies show 100% of people affected with this disorder show some level of improvement when Gluten and Casein (milk protein) are removed from their diet.  (Diet or drugs, diet or drugs???)

* “Why do we celebrate with Toxins?”

* The less insulin we need over the course of our life, the longer we live.  Insulin triggers many inflammatory pathways.  ( what triggers insulin?  Carbohydrates.  Not Fat. )

* Cancer uses Glucose (the breakdown product of carbohydrates) as it’s main fuel.

* Anyone with Thyroid issues MUST go Gluten Free.  Gluten affects the Thyroid in a myriad of ways, including inhibiting the conversion of the Thyroid hormone T4 to it’s active and usable form T3.

* 2002 Study from Journal Of Neurology:  Severe migraine sufferers (the study group were actually unable to work and on Workman’s Comp because of the severity of the migraines) were put on a Gluten Free Diet,   70% NEVER had another headache.

From Dr. Davis, MD Cardiologist (the Wheat Belly doctor)

* Heart Scans that measure Coronary Calcium Plaque show that once Plaque gets started, it grows at the rate of about 30% a year.


* What’s the biggest factor in Coronary Plaque?  HIGH BLOOD SUGAR.   He says if you have Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes, or Insulin Resistance, no drug in the world will stop the Heart Disease you’re nurturing with your high blood sugar.

* Main Driver of High Blood Sugar?  Wheat, Grains, and Sugar.

*Wheat, Grains, and Sugar also are the only foods that cause the body to create Small, Dense, LDL (the bad stuff).  The ONLY foods.  Small, dense LDL is sticky, and lasts up to a week in the blood.  This is totally different from big, fluffy LDL, which has beneficial side effects, like carrying essential fatty acids to our brain and glands.

* The Gluten Proteins in wheat are highly “opioid”, which makes them appetite stimulating and addicting.   Who’s addicted to meat?  No one.  Who’s addicted to foods full of flours and sugars?

*  If we continue on the path we’re on now, by 2044 the amount of money the US will need to treat JUST diabetes ALONE, will be MORE THAN all the tax revenue the Federal Govt collects.

* Yet, Main Stream Medical Advice/  Governments Health Advice is to eat a diet of 60% carbohydrates, many of them from “healthy whole grains”.

Quit thinking of food in terms of Calories In Calories Out, that’ll just lead to weight gain and horrible health.  It’s a wrong paradigm that’s made a lot of people a lot of money.  The Scientific Evidence against Grains and Sugars is overwhelming, and concrete.  Take your health into your own hands.  Ditch the grains and sugars, and eat Real Whole Foods.  Practice your Mantra.  You can be a whole different person by January 2014, or you can be the exact same.  It’s up to you.