Tag Archives: food

Cele-cake.

A Special Guest Blog By: Courtney Mueller, Co-Producer of “Finding Thin”

Another milestone happened in my life; Sunday I turned 25 years old. My quarter life crisis. Naturally I celebrated the entire Memorial Day weekend surrounded by friends and family. The parties varied with the people, location, and overall birthday feel, but there was one particular element that was present in every event… cake.

For me, it’s not a birthday until there’s birthday cake. The birthday song followed by making a wish while blowing out the candles inevitably turns into slicing into the first (and biggest) piece of cake to devour. It’s part of the tradition, it’s the birthday food, it’s the celebratory meal.

And regardless of the caloric count, we always justify our poor food choices “because it’s a special occasion”.

Valentine’s Day chocolate, summer barbeques, Halloween candy, Thanksgiving stuffing, and Christmas… a little-or a lotta- bit of everything. Food is a part of our journey and the unhealthy choices is the highway we use to take.

Food is not only part of our culture, but it is often a reward.

Get a promotion at work? Go out to dinner.

Breakup with a boyfriend? Put your face in a pint of ice cream.

Turn a year older? Let ’em eat cake.

While I don’t think giving your sweetheart Tofu candy is going to be the up and coming tradition, I do think better or (gasp) healthier choices can be made when celebrating.

Make your health “a special occasion” everyday.

When Food Doesn’t Take The Pain Away Anymore

Almost three years ago I began the quest for “Finding Thin.”

During my quest to find thin, I started to gain even more weight.
Traveling all around the country interviewing Jillian Michaels, Bob
Harper, Tony Horton and more, was extremely stressful and offered very
few healthy eating opportunities throughout the way.

In truth, I used the stress as an excuse that in turn failed my body,
my health, and overall, myself. Emotional eating has interrupted any
successful weight loss for as long as I’ve ever known.

Last week I lost my beloved Pug and it was devastating. This was the
last of my dogs and the loss of two in a month or so time.
Barry Roskin Blake's Pug sleeping on the couch
My world was completely torn apart. Life didn’t feel right, even in my
own bed where I’ve been barely fighting off sleepless nights. Any
mention of my dog broke me into a million little pieces.

In the past, I’d usually turn to food to ease my pain, but this time
it just didn’t feel right.
It was as if someone put some sort of mind trap in me and I could not
reach for the food.
Suddenly there were just a few poor food choices…but I didn’t even
care. I believe that I even lost weight.

Whether or not this is because I feel so empty inside or not, I am not
sure. Though the one thing I know is that over the last couple of
months, I have felt very different when it came to emotions and
eating. I wasn’t even trying for weight loss and yet it seemed to be
coming naturally.

There is still internal pain that I have to get through, but there is
also that feeling of success for being able to deal with something as
devastating as this in such a different way.

I guess the point that I am trying to make is that even in the darkest
hours, there is still hope out there.

Healthy Kitchen to Healthy Living

This is a guest post by Chris Steurer

How many times have you walked to fridge and looked inside to see it loaded with a variety of food options and still thought to yourself; “There is nothing to eat”? Generally after that we move on to the cupboards or the pantry and think the same thing. After all of the food frustration many tend to give up and grab an unhealthy snack from the vending machine, nearest corner store, or even the secret stash laying in that tiny little cupboard.

Staying home and eating in is one of the easiest and best ways to ensure that we are eating healthy and staying on track with our diet because we are in control of what we eat. However, it is so easy to fall victim to the cycle of eating unhealthy because of the way we often keep unnecessary and unhealthy food items at the forefront in our homes.

a man sitting on near the sink in his messy kitchen that is littered with dirty dishes and trash

How organized do you keep your kitchen?

We can help correct this by reorganizing our kitchens for healthier choices. To do this, we need to reorganize two main categories of our kitchens; the food and the eating utensils.

Food

Take a look at what your daily eating habits consist of and compare it to how accessible those food items are in your kitchen. Do you eat a lot of candy when you come home from work? Is that because you keep a candy dish sitting out? Candy is an easy choice when it is sitting in an inviting bowl on the counter right when you walk in the door. The proximity, location, and ease of access of the food in our homes can drastically effect what we eat, but it can also help us create new, smarter eating habits. If you try placing a bowl of fresh fruits on your counter where that candy bowl used to b, I bet you would be eating healthier right now.

a woman snacking on lots of junk food at her kitchen table

How easy is it to find the junk food inside of your kitchen?

Take into consideration where your other food items are placed in your kitchen. What food do you have sitting in your fridge door? What is right in front on the main shelf of your cabinet or pantry? These items are often the ones we choose the most because they are simply right in front us and seem to be an easy choice to make. This is why you should make sure that you strategically place the healthy foods in prime locations like this; more often then not you will naturally make the healthier food choice when you check your food stash. Make sure these food items are always in your sight and that they are easy to reach for when you want a quick snack or a healthy, tasty meal. Move all of the unhealthy snack items to the back of the shelf where they can hide behind your good food choices, or get rid of them entirely!

Kitchen Utensils

Do you use different kitchen utensils and cooking items when you eat healthy versus when you eat unhealthy? Generally when I’m eating unhealthy I only use the toaster or the microwave and some dishes. When I eat healthy food items, I am much more likely to use all of my other cooking accessories like the oven/stove, pots and pans, spatulas, strainers, and so on. Knowing this, I can create a more inspiring environment in my kitchen by placing these cooking utensils out so that they are more dominant in my kitchen then even the microwave or toaster.

Organize for Success

Reorganizing your kitchen can truly create a more healthy eating environment. Keep those unhealthy food items out of sight and they will stay out of your mind. Place the healthy food choices up front so that they become the obvious choice for food and sticking to your health and eating goals can become a lot simpler.

Do you have any tips on how you organize your kitchen or food for healthier habits? Post a comment below and let us know!

Emotional Eating

Dr. Judith S. Beck

This is a guest post by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D., author of “The Beck Diet Solution: Train Your Brain to Think Like a Thin Person” and President of Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research.

Chronic dieters often have beliefs about emotional distress and eating that interfere with losing weight or keeping it off. They express the ideas in the following ways: “If I’m upset, the only way I can calm down is by eating.” “If I’m upset, I deserve to eat.”

Woman Eating to much food while a man stands behind her while condemning her for her actions

Are you an emotional eater?

To address the first idea, I ask dieters about people they know who don’t have a weight problem. What do they do when they’re upset? Dieters frequently feel stymied–they simply don’t know. After polling hundreds of people, I’ve found that people who don’t struggle with their weight do lots of things when they’re upset: they try to solve the problem that is leading to distress, call a friend, take a walk, tolerate the feeling and return to whatever they were doing, practice relaxation or mindfulness exercises–or they distract themselves (surf the web, write emails, play a video game, do a puzzle, listen to soothing music). This group has a different idea about emotional distress: that it is temporary, normal, tolerable, and will diminish.

To address the second idea, “If I’m upset, I deserve to eat,” I get across the message that dieters deserve to feel better but that eating will only give them temporary relief. Once the food is gone, they’ll still have the initial problem that led to distress plus they’ll feel badly about having overeaten. I help them see that they have a choice: They can eat whenever they’re upset (and fail to lose weight or keep it off) or they can tolerate their distress or actively work toward reducing their distress in other ways (which greatly increases the probability that they will lose weight and maintain their weight loss).

I then work with dieters to create a list of compelling activities they can engage in when they’re upset and they quickly find out that they can self soothe in other ways. Many of these activities are described in the newsletters and blogs at www.beckdietsolution.org.

The Office Candy Bowl Diet For Weight Loss

Many of us think we have the will power to say no to the office treats co-workers bring in. Most people will walk by those cookies or cake their associates have brought in for everyone and simply say “not for me” in response to the enticing offer.

Well I can tell you that after about the tenth birthday celebration, the tenth work anniversary party and the tenth baby shower at work, the sugary treats will win in the struggle of weight loss. What is more ironic is that your co-workers are also threatening not only your health, but your employment also.

In these hard economic times, companies don’t want to pay the higher insurance premiums and will take that into consideration if you are applying for a job. So please do everyone a favor and save your money and your job.

There is always time to stand around the water cooler and talk about the sideshow of ‘Dancing With The Stars’ as Kirstie Alley takes a fall because of her weight.

Maybe we should be talking about how she got that way and is struggling to lose.

But she has the guts to still get up there and dance.

 

Weight Watchers: Week One

Last week was my first week back with Weight Watchers and it was not an easy one. The program is great and there are tons of nice people to support me at the meetings. What made it difficult was finding the time to eat three meals a day and to try and do it the right way.

And to add on top of the usual food agony, I had a personal loss that led to a couple of days of emotional overeating.

The one good thing to come out of this was that I realized my faulty eating was out of emotions; I could try and make different choices at any time. It’s just that I felt so heart broken that I didn’t care.

This is something that I will always need to work on. However, the fact that I could now identify these moments truly showed that I have been making progress.

Now I need to focus on getting back into a regular schedule of meetings and weighing myself on the scale. But most importantly, weighing myself and attending meetings without self-judgment

I have found that my biggest critic is myself and I don’t have to be.

So this week I am starting to feel better and exercise to get those endorphins running again. It is just nice to know that with this film and the community that I am trying to build, I know one thing for sure… I am not alone.

 

The Bad Economy is Actually Great For Our Health and Diet

Sure, this sounds like an irony, but there is merit to this statement.

Ever since the economy went horrifically awry, restaurants have cut back on portions and raised prices. Items in grocery stores have started reducing their sizes and raising their prices.

From my perspective, we never needed such large portions to begin with. Plus, dining out has become entertainment at the cost of our bodies.

Do people really need to eat at the Cheesecake Factory or Claim Jumpers types of restaurants? And multiple times a week?

This nation is suffering from epidemic obesity rates and there are more deaths and cases of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Times for health could never be worse.

So when I hear people complaining about feeling ripped off because they were not given that oversized plate of food like they used to, it really makes me wonder what we are teaching children and ourselves.

Enormous sizes and quantities equal enormously high calories. Not many people go from the restaurant to the gym and there aren’t a lot of ways to burn off five thousand calories a day for most sedentary people.

Now has never been a better time to learn to try and eat healthy. Sure, prices are up but there are plenty of ways to conserve and cook healthily.

In the next coming weeks, I will have some great doctors and nutritionists that will try and show me the way to the healthy light.

So perk up, there really is good that can come out of bad.

 

Weighing In On My Resolution

I was feeling quite guilty this past year as I saw myself gaining weight going against my resolutions I set last year.

This feeling of guilt followed me until I discovered the other day that I was exactly the same weight that I was last March.

Some might say that this is a terrible fact and I should be filled with shame, but I am taking a different approach this year. I now look at it as an important piece of information through my personal journey on the film.

And even though at my same weight, I have to give myself the benefit of the doubt that I did not gain any weight back.

I have not gone back up to four hundred pounds. I have beat the odds in an odd kind of way.

Now I find myself able to turn away certain foods that I used to eat all the time.  I don’t feel deprived anywhere as much as I used to.

So, the next time I make a resolution or goal, I will think realistically and make it more attainable so I actually feel better about myself… and prove myself against all odds.

 

Obesity Now Greater Threat To Military Then Homosexuality

Obesity now a greater threat to US Troops then homosexuality!

We all thought ‘Don’t ask, Don’t’ tell would protect us from getting infected with a dose of humanity by prohibiting gays in the military. How stupid and ignorant that was. Though watch out, there is now an even bigger threat and it is called obesity.
In 2008 the military wrongly discharged 634 individuals under the ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’ rule.
Recently though, over 5,000 military personal were discharged for failing to meet military weight standards.
It looks like they got it wrong all this time. It wasn’t the gays that were the perceived threat to the military’s morale and readiness. Rather the fact that some soldiers might have been spending to much time in the Mess Hall.
Perhaps now we can take the time to not only teach acceptance of others but also learn how to cook and eat healthy.
Just think, a new venue for Weight Watchers to hold meetings at.

The Great Excuses

I never like to speak ill of my mother but she did teach me some of the best excuses to use when it came to food.

 

First she claimed that she was too big to walk up the stairs to her bedroom in her home and needed to have an electronic chair to get to the second level. After all, she was sixty-five years. After the chair was put in she stated she had too many aches and pains so she could only use the chair to put food on to bring up and down to her. She couldn’t walk, she couldn’t sit, and the only thing that would be moving was her meals to her.

Next, she insisted on bringing the scooter that she bought for herself into the house so she would not have to walk to the car.

Her latest complaint is that she doesn’t want to go from the electronic chair to the couch or kitchen because it takes too much effort. It’s complete immobility.

When I ask I my mother why she won’t put fourth any effort, the excuses are everything from, a bad arm to a painful back, to a never-ending list of a myriad of other reasons.

The only change I have witnessed from my mother is seeing a woman that walked half of NYC only five years ago, to a person that refuses to walk three feet today.

 

Obesity scores another one.