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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.