Put Your Mind To It, Go For It

Thinking Like a Thin Person

Posted on: July 7, 2010

Over the past month or so, I have really been struggling with my self worth and with food issues. I find that the more pressure I put on myself to lose weight for a particular event, the more I struggle to actually do it. I used to think that having an event to be motivated for, helped me to stick to a plan and accomplish a goal. In fact, that has worked for me in the past. But, lately, the more I try to stick to a point value or eat X,Y, or Z, the more I find myself choosing to do the opposite.

My recent scenario was around a trip I just took. My husband and I planned a trip to the Caribbean about three months ago. When we booked the trip I thought, “Great! I have three months to lose the 10 pounds that have been bothering me.” And, as the trip got closer, I didn’t get any closer to my goal. The thought then became, “It’s OK, I still have two months until I have to wear a bathing suit.” Then, “This will be my last indulgence before I really put my all into it to lose these pounds since my trip is in one month”…

Before I knew it, it was time to go on vacation and instead of losing the 10 pounds I wanted to get off, I was actually 3 pounds heavier than when we first booked the trip. So, what now? Crazy workouts? Starvation? Back to Weight Watcher meetings?

No! Not this time.

I read a book last week by Paul McKenna. You might know his name from a TLC show he had back in 2008. I’d never heard of him until a friend recommended his book to me: I Can Make You Thin. In a very simple and straight forward book, I found myself saying “duh!” a lot. He makes a lot of sense. His premise is that the diet culture is the culprit for making people fat. We learn a million different weight loss plans. What to eat, what not to eat, when to eat, etc. We learn rules, and plans, and formulas. But we never learn about ourselves. And it makes us crazy.


Now, I don’t know if Paul McKenna will be able to save my sanity. But I’m willing to try to re-think my relationship with food. For so long I’ve been counting points and measuring recipes. I love to find healthy recipes and try swapping out various ingredients to health-ify my favorites. That won’t change. But, what I’m hoping will change is the way I deal with eating.

Because of the unending diet I’ve been on, I have never really stopped to think about hunger. I eat because I have Weight Watcher points to spare. I eat because I allotted 4 points for my chicken breast and, damn it, I’m going to eat all 4 points. I taste my food, but not consciously. I mix Fiber One cereal in with oatmeal because it gives me a larger portion for less points, not because I LOVE the way it tastes.

So, what am I saying? I’m saying that I want to try to eat like a thin person. That is what Paul McKenna’s book is trying to teach me. He gives four rules that will Make Me Thin.

1. When you are hungry, Eat.
2. Eat what you want, not what you think you should
3. Eat consciously and enjoy every mouthful
4. When you think you are full, Stop eating.

When you read those four rules, do you say “duh”? I do at first.

I’ve been trying to follow these principles for a week. It is very freeing to think that I as soon as I feel hungry I can eat whatever I want. But the real challenge is deciding if I really am hungry. And, the most difficult thing has been to remember to taste my food. To think about what I’m eating and to enjoy it before it’s gone. It amazes me how many meals I shoveled away without tasting them. Or how many times I “cheated” on my diet and ate an entire pint of ice cream or bag of jelly beans without even enjoying the flavors and textures. What’s the point of eating food, if I don’t taste it? Well, that’s an emotional question that I’m still trying to figure out.

I don’t know how I am going to do following Mr. McKenna’s rules. I am hopeful that after some time re-training myself to treat food differently that I might finally be free of the grip that food and weight have on my life. I am skeptical that it could really be that easy.

Part of me thinks that two months from now, I’ll be blogging and telling you that I’m going to go back to Weight Watchers. I wouldn’t be all that surprised. But, for now, I want to try to learn something about myself. I want to see if I can teach myself to be comfortable around food. If this works, it may be my escape from some serious food-anxiety. I will likely have an easier time at social events and being more go-with-the-flow. We’ll see. I’ll share my experiences here and be open about how I am feeling. It’s worth a shot. For my sanity, my body, and even for my poor husband who has to deal with my scale-related tantrums (sorry, buddy!).


1 Response to "Thinking Like a Thin Person"

I am so with you on this! I have been doing research on Mr. McKenna myself. I really want to give it a shot. I’m so sick of doing the yo – yo and binging then going back to WW losing 10 lbs then binging and regaining the same 10 lbs. I need a healthy lifestyle and I think Mr. McKenna might be on to something. Email me! xoxo

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Hot Sundae

Fictional girl singing group, Hot Sundae, sang "Put your mind to it, go for it, get down and break a sweat!"


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