Secret Tips & Insights to make Weight Loss EASY and Permanent
Losing weight is not so simple. For many it is far more complex than eating less and moving more. Weight loss includes not just the physical aspect, but is intricately entwined with one’s, roots, heritage, upbringing, education, behaviors, ideas, emotions, social ties, work environment, communication skills, life organization, body function, environmental exposures.. I think you get the hint – weight loss is complicated.
Truth be told: Having excess weight is a full-time job. It is not only a job with no salary, it is a negative cash and energy drain on you, your life and loved ones. Though the task of losing weight is often experienced as a prison sentence, it has the option of being used as a doorway.
This is the first of many more short articles to come. Each will offer a new perspective to consider, ponder and adopt. Your relationship to food and your understanding of who you are will shift as I pave a yellow brick road to lead you home, and not just to a new body, but to a whole new experience of life.
I will encourage you to see in an original way. I know that I will touch some of your soft spots, but that is a good thing. Those soft spots often need to be touched for breakthroughs and quantum shifts to happen. Some strategies will even seem counter-intuitive to weight loss, such as in this article where I encourage you to become a “Food Taster”, rather than a sleeping consumer. The concepts I share are powerful allies to getting you back in the driver’s seat of your body size, and hence your life……..
I was in France, married to a French man, living in a charming garden apartment and had just walked back from the grocery store with my arms full of food for the guests who would arrive later that day. I was quite proud of my shopping choices until I saw the dumbfounded critical look of disbelief on my then husband’s face, followed by “Why so much?! We only have 8 people coming. You have enough for a large holiday event!”
What he said was confusing. I just figured as a man, he wasn’t well versed in being a good host. Predictably, an argument ensued. He was clear about the “right action” to take, so I decided the safest thing to do was to meekly leave him in charge and watch from a distance. He proceeded to place meager quantities in CEREAL bowls, and then placed the cereal bowls on the central table. I was stunned for two reasons – our cat had more food in its bowl than he had put out for our soon to arrive 8 adult guests and my American upbringing had precision trained me to offer crater size bowls and to refill regularly.
Our guests arrived. I was big eyed, a bit bushy tailed, unsure and on high alert while my husband stood proudly radiating confidence. On seeing the food on the table not a guest flinched, nor was there a single body language hiccup. On noticing that I took a deep breath, let my curiosity win over and began to watch closely as if through the eyes of a child experiencing something for the very first time. They had clearly come for the conversation, connection and exchange. The food and drink were central to the evening, but more in terms of unique novelty as opposed to the stateside standard of abundance and monotony.
When a guest put something in their mouth, the conversation would wane as they gave their full undivided attention to the palate experience. When finished, they shared what they noticed about what they had just tasted. They weren’t eating to eat, they were eating to taste, as if everything was a fine wine tasting.
One of the bowls had the all American classic– honey roasted peanuts. I had never known life without honey roasted peanuts, but in the 90’s it was something the French were unfamiliar with. At some point the untouched bowl began to get attention – the contents were different from what they visually recognized and commented on its appearance. A couple people tried them at the same time, everyone went silent as they awaited the verdict. Similar to the way people do at wine tastings. One began talking about how it was sweet, honey, salty, crunchy and then smooth with a mild ending. Then conversation broke out about how original Americans were to put honey and salt together on a bean, (peanuts are beans, not nuts) and then roast it. Everyone loved them. What was intriguing for me as an American, was that despite their genuine adoration, the bowl was never finished nor refilled. Each tried a few and that was it. They somehow knew that eating more of what they enjoyed didn’t fulfil them more.
Years later those friends still remember that evening as the first place they ever ate honey roasted peanuts. And because of what I learned that night, about the value of offering guests something uniquely novel, it was the last time I ever served them. My relationship and approach to food was never the same after that. I began eating food as if I was tasting a fine wine by registering appearance, aromas, isolated tastes, sensations, blends, subtleties, background hints, textures and aftertastes.
As time went by my repertory for understanding food grew. I sought out and was able to recognize better ingredients, cooked with greater curiosity and lost my inhibitions of experimenting in the kitchen. Processed foods soon lost their appeal because they never varied, they don’t vary because they are chemically and food engineered to stay exactly the same. When you start tasting food, processed foods become boring because they are predictable. More than that, they are un-natural.
Nature is always changing
It never produces the same thing
- Wine from one year to the next at the same winery will vary (sometimes considerably).
- Have you ever noticed the dairy from springtime grazing animals has different nuances?
- Fruit from the same exact tree differs from one year to the next.
- Do you ever taste food out of the oven and then compare it to how it tastes the next day? It changes.
With many years of food tasting under my belt, I now have a repertory of my “best of’s”. top of the list blackberries in my life belong to the day my then husband and I parked along the side of a country road in central France when we spotted the wildly overgrown blackberry vine, one with explosively ripe pickings that were begging to be eaten. The skin was so taught and fragile that simply pulling them off left us spotted with the sweet dark purple black juice on our hands, clothes and faces. There was no way we could hide what we had been up to once we arrived at his parent’s house for a visit. The stains were worth it, and the innocent mischief a gift.
I am not a big fan of meat, rarely if ever do I eat it, but one year for Christmas my father-in-law enveloped tenderloins in unbaked brioche dough, then placed them to bake in the oven. We only needed standard table knives (!), our teeth glided through it as if it was a soft piece of cheese, and then it practically melted like butter in our mouths. Almost no chewing required. That was more than 20 years ago, but that memory is etched in my food experience archives and in my heart.
Learning to taste food gave me a respect for nature, its cycles and variations. I looked forward to the mini food adventures with high regard, like mushroom hunting competitions in autumn. Each of us with our baskets and paring knives darting around like kids on a sugar high searching for the diamonds in the dirt. Every year there were opportunities to be creative. I am fairly certain that zucchini bread was the result of an over abundant crop and the need to find a new way to use it. Maybe carrot cake was too?
Other unexpected discoveries I made when I food tasted, was that eating more just diluted the experience rather than make it better. Soon I was able to discern when I was eating for life and pleasure versus eating to feed an addiction, be it chemical, emotional or trained. It was amazing to be that conscious, especially when I began to know when a food had been cooked for the love of it as opposed to cooking for task. There really is a difference.
Losing your excess weight can be done without a fight, and being at your personally appropriate body size has you open for whatever stunning luck lands on your path – be it a new love, a tropical vacation, that big promotion, hot new sports car or something else.
Should your weight loss objectives appear to be too big a mountain to climb on your own, then give me a call. I know my way around and am likely to get you from here to there in a much timelier way.
PS – When you have adopted and seen how this suggestion works for you, come back to read the next article where you will get another insightful piece of wisdom