Key Theme: FREEDOM OWNING MY DIET
I am responsible for my own body. I make the decisions that affect my body for good or bad. I enjoy the benefits and suffer the consequences of choices I make that affect my body. I am the only one who can make the choices that will ultimately result in my body’s permanent and natural slimness. I am the only one who knows my body’s hunger and other need signals. I am in control of the availability of food in my environment. I choose when, where, what, and how much I eat. Now I understand that these choices can lead to my becoming a normal, thin person. I choose to choose wisely.
“Self-trust is the first secret of success.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Food for Thought: I have permission to eat well, every single day.
Key Theme: FAITH
BELIEVING IN MY BODY
My body is the product of thousands of generations of human beings whose survival has been ensured
through adapting to various levels of food availability. It is the accumulation of excess fat that has guaranteed human survival. My body has been working to keep me alive too, but now my body knows how to become slim It has a built-in need to use up fat when it becomes unnecessary for its survival. I can make that fat unnecessary by eating exceptionally well every day. My body will do the rest.
The 31Day Quick Weight Loss Plan Photo Gallery
“Reactivate the dynamic quality of confidence based on the realistic fact that you have the knowledge and the ability to do what needs doing You know how to do it competently.”
Norman Vincent Peale
Food for Thought: Getting slim is natural.
DAY THREE Key Theme: HOPE TAKING MY TIME
Think back to a year ago, two years perhaps. Does it really seem that long ago now? If you have been suffering from the Feast or Famine Cycle, you may think, yes, it has been a long year. Waiting to lose weight or gaining it back has a way of dragging on and on and on, especially when it’s uncomfortable, even painful. But one or two years without the pain is not too big a price to pay to be cured of a lifetime of obesity. It is the best bargain around.
“We need some imaginative stimulus, some not impossible ideal such as may shape vague hope, and transform it into effective desire, to carry us year after year through the routine work which is so large a part of life.”
Food for Thought: Same time next year.
Key Theme: SKILL
FOOD AVAILABILITY CHECK
Check your Food Availability Factor for home, workplace, leisure, transportation, and travel/vacation. Examine the foods you have on hand for each environment. First look for Real Foods and whether there is a variety. Make sure there are foods you like, foods that are ready to eat, and foods you need to increase in your diet. Next, check out the Borderline and Pleasure Foods that may have crept into your life—sweet snacks, desserts, processed foods, junk foods, etc. It’s important to “clean house” like this frequently. It’s amazing how easy it is to slip back to eating late, and poor quality/unbalanced eating. If you check up on yourself you’re bound to eat better consistently.
“Nothing can work damage to me except myself. The harm that I sustain I carry about with me and never am a real sufferer except by my own fault.”
Food for Thought: You’ll eat what’s available.
Key Theme: INSIGHT
Not eating causes obesity—not eating well, not eating enough, and not eating on time. The cure for obesity is the reverse. Eating well (excellent food), eating enough (satisfying your hunger), and eating on time (when you first get hungry), will gradually cause weight loss and ultimately lead to natural slimness.
The concept is almost simple enough for a child to understand, but it is not an easy thing to do. It requires much more than insight. In order to make this concept work for you, you must change. Inside and out, you must change your whole approach to your diet and your eating habits. Your new understanding will provide the ongoing motivation for change. And your newfound freedom from hunger will eliminate the tendency to go back to the old ways of eating and thinking.
“Very little is needed to make a happy life. It is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
Food for Thought: Not eating causes obesity.
Key Theme: LOVE
COMPASSION FOR YOURSELF, OTHERS
Once you understand obesity, you’ll begin to see how helpless people really are when they don’t understand it. If you don’t know what’s wrong, how can you fix it? And as we all know, the traditional diet “cure” has ironically been the cause of obesity for many people besides you and me.
First, stop blaming yourself for getting fat. Next, resolve to forgive yourself for gorging, binging, starving, and gaining weight. That should be fairly easy since your efforts were made in good faith as you attempted to solve your weight problem. You didn’t understand, and you weren’t really in control. So forget it.
Finally, think of all the people you’ve secretly judged for their poor self-control. Think of them now with understanding.
“It is surely better to pardon too much than to condemn to much.” George Eliot Food for Though: To understand is to gain compassion.
Key Theme: DISCIPLINE
CRAVINGS AND WILLPOWER
There’s a difference between normal willpower and abnormal or superhuman willpower. In order to effectively handle your sure-to-come cravings for Borderline and Pleasure Foods, you’ll only need to have the normal type of willpower. Why? Because you will only let yourself get normally hungry. Remember, it’s excessive hunger that leads to overeating.
You will avoid excess hunger like the plague it is. You will not starve yourself or go hungry very long. Consequently, you will not need to binge to catch up. You will discover, as I did, that you really do possess a fair share of self-control, and you will gladly use it to choose your diet and your eating habits wisely.
“I would have you consider your judgment and your appetite as you would two loved guests in your house. Surely you would not honor one guest above the other; for he who is more mindful of one loses the love and faith of both.”
Food for Thought: Normal hunger, normal willpower.
Key Theme: FREEDOM
TRYING NEW THINGS
New things, new experiences, new ideas and new approaches to old things all have something besides their newness in common. They all usually get people to react. Some people react with fear and defense, others with interest and excitement. The same newness can evoke two extreme reactions in two different people. The difference is in the people.
The novel ideas in this book and every new experience that lies before you as a result of these ideas has the potential to enrich your life. How deep and enduring the effect depends on you—how you choose to react and respond. Of course, how you respond depends on who you are. If you don’t especially like yourself or your response patterns, you can change. Just decide who you want to be. Then decide how you want to react. And do it.
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”
Key Theme: FAITH
What exactly are your individual fuel needs? Only your body knows for sure. Oh, your doctor or a nutritionist might give you a general idea of the fuel on which you could get along. But even their bodies know a lot more than they do about their individual fuel needs. How can you find out more about these physiological needs and how to satisfy them? By listening carefully to your body’s fuel-need signals. By trusting your body.
Listen and think. Listen when your body is just whispering the signal. Don’t wait until it has to scream By then you will be very uncomfortable. Invite your body to tell you what it needs. Treat it like a friend, and it will become one. Is there anything you can get your body just now?” Is there a quiet need you could help satisfy?
“It is the privilege of wisdom to listen.”
Food for Thought: Tune in to you body’s signals—all of them.
Key Theme: HOPE
PERMANENT WEIGHT LOSS
Once you have stayed off the Feast or Famine Cycle for a period of time—your body knows how much time as long as you keep eating very well and on time—you will begin a gradual, irregular descent on the scale. Some people seem to be able to lose steadily at a clip of a few pounds a month overall. Most are not so predictable, losing nothing for two months, gaining the next month then suddenly going down eight pounds the month after that. Remember that no weight loss will happen if you stay on the Cycle so be persistent in eating well and staying tune in to your hunger and fullness signals.
Some bodies are more resistant to change, and the wait to start losing is sometimes long—up to twelve months for some very famine sensitive ones. As long as they are securely off the Feast or Famine Cycle, the challenge for them is to stick to the basics and not get sloppy. If there is a long wait, you must wait. What else can you do? Want to go back to dieting?
“All human wisdom is summed up in two words—wait and hope.”
Key Theme: SKILL BALANCE IN EATING
Review the introduction to food categories and the Real Foods list. Jot down on paper what you ate yesterday. Don’t labor over it and don’t bother with amounts. You want to check balance, not calories. Now classify each food you ate into one of the four food groups in the Real Foods list. (i.e. dairy, grains, etc.). Is any group completely missing? Any group over-represented? Are fresh fruits and fresh vegetables rare or missing at times? (The foods you can eat without any concern about balance are fruits and vegetables.)
Start a shopping list to fill in the gaps. Keep balance in mind when you order a meal out. Put fresh fruits out where you can see them at home and/or at the office. In the car carry portable foods you tend to miss. Be creative. There are a thousand ways to achieve balance and some very important rewards!
“Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it every day and at last we cannot break it.”
Food for Thought: Quality and variety plus balance.
DAY TWELVE Key Theme: INSIGHT NEEDING FAT
The main reason people who diet the old way go crazy, binge, and crave all the wrong foods is their need for fat. They unknowingly create this physiological (not psychological) need by going hungry or under eating much of the time. The forced calorie limitations of all diets cause biochemical changes that eventually demand extra food to promote survival fat storage. This is the mystery behind overeating (binging), cravings for fat-producing foods, preoccupation with food, depressed metabolism and fatigue—all symptoms universally experienced by dieters.
We are indeed “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and we’d better seek to understand our bodies or we risk never becoming the best we can be.
“Nature imitates herself: A grain thrown into good ground brings forth fruit: a principle thrown into a good mind brings forth fruit. Everything is created and conducted by the same Master—the root, the branch, the fruits—the principles, the consequences.”
Food for Thought: Do I still need fat?
SEL-ESTEEM AND BODY IMAGE
Obesity holds people back. It can keep them half-down much of the time. It often prevents its victims from really believing in themselves. Obesity is a thief. It can rob people of their self-esteem This is why I so desperately sought a way out for myself. I was being held back. I was half-down—I wasn’t able to really believe in myself because I was fat. The fatness itself didn’t really cripple me. How I felt about being fat did it.
This is true of just about every fat person everywhere. Don’t be fooled. Almost no one escapes the negative self-image effects of obesity. No one is really content with his or her fatness, not even the rich and famous.
There is a way out of this burden for you. It begins with understanding but quickly leads to how you feel about yourself and your body. As you make the right choices in the kitchen, choose your attitudes towards your body wisely, too.
“If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different yourself. Become a selfbeliever.”
Norman Vincent Peale
Food for Thought: I accept all of me.
DAY FOURTEEN Key Theme: DISCIPLINE PLEASURE FOOD
There is nothing wrong with Pleasure Foods. They alone don’t cause obesity, and eliminating them by itself, won’t cure it either. Why list them? Why even mention Pleasure Foods if there’s nothing inherently wrong with them?
Pleasure Foods are just fine for fun. The trouble lies with the dieter or reckless eater who misuses them There are two main reasons why they are misused. First, the dieter is over hungry and craves fat-producing Pleasure Foods because dieting creates the need to store extra fat. Second, all too often when hunger strikes, Pleasure Foods are available and real foods are not. That’s it in a nutshell. Now go do something about it.
“A man full-fed refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to a hungry man.”
Food for Thought: Real food for a real body.
OTHER PEOPLE PRESSURES
It takes a great deal of self-assuredness to withstand the critical eye or voice of another. There will be many difficult moments for the person who embarks on this program because of the general belief that fat people shouldn’t eat very much, if at all. For some, this will be the hardest part of the program These people have carefully avoided eating in front of anyone much of the time. They have become closet eaters. They are very sensitive to rejection and criticism and have a strong need to be accepted. Are you in this group? You will need courage.
“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you, you are wrong. There are always difficulties that arise which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action, and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage which a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men (and women) to win them”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Food for Thought: I don’t eat for other people.
Key Theme: FAITH
CLOTHES: STYLE AND COMFORT
You might be thinking, what do clothes have to do with faith? Good question.
I used to wear tight, uncomfortable clothes, especially pants, when I was dieting. I was using the tight clothes to remind myself just how fat I was getting. This would, I imagined, curtail my eating. And I was also punishing my body for its willful appetite. Somehow, I thought, if I was in pain I would work harder to avoid eating. So much for the psychological aspects of obesity. The faith part comes in when you understand why you are still overweight and, further, what you must do to change that. You realize that discomfort will only work against you. You see that your body is not to blame and that punishing it will only backfire. So you find the most attractive and comfortable outfits you can and you wear them in good faith.
“In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments—there are consequences.”
Robert G. Ingersoll
Food for Thought: I can look and feel better now.
DAY SEVENTEEN Key Theme: HOPE PLATEAUS/WAITING
One of the goals of this program is to distract the chronic dieter. A major side effect of traditional dieting is a terrible preoccupation with eating and weight, do’s and don’ts. This adds to the dieter’s defeat because, coupled with chronic hunger, waiting and watching for weight loss to happen creates a restlessness and impatience. “I’m suffering, I’m struggling, and I’m following all the rules. C’mon, where’s my reward?” And the reward—weight loss—does come. And it goes.
The rewards of this program are immediate although the weight loss is not. For me the next best thing to getting thin was the freedom to think about other things, even while I was still overweight. I let my body decide when to eat and how much and I just stuck with keeping the food quality consistently high. This way, I was able to concentrate on my life, my work, my family and friends.
“The secret of patience is doing something else in the meanwhile.”
Apples of Gold
Food for Thought: Am I distracted?
DAY EIGHTEEN Key Theme: SKILL HUNGER IN DISGUISE
You are learning so much about your body these first few weeks! Perhaps you’ve been surprised a few times—when you get hungry, what you get hungry for, how much, how little you want or need to eat. It takes a considerable amount of trust in your body to keep on satisfying its fuel-need signals when you’ve been taught to override them for so long. But remember, as you satisfy your body, its needs will change. Your body will need the same thing you need—to use up extra fat.
If you are uncertain about a signal your body sends, ask yourself, does any real food sound appealing? Does food suddenly look good to me? If you answer yes to either question, try eating some Real Food. You will soon discover whether or not you got the signal right.
“In today’s thin world, our best chance is for the facts about fat to replace the myths about obesity.”
From “Fat Chance in a Thin World,” NOVA Program #1007
Food for Thought: When in doubt, ask yourself questions—think .
Key Theme: INSIGHT
FATIGUE AND OTHER BODY NEEDS
Sometimes you may feel hungry when you have another physical need. Perhaps you are overtired or nervous or dehydrated. Dehydration is a notorious mimic of hunger. Stay well hydrated to keep these two signals straight. It is not uncommon to mix up body need signals but as long as you keep your body well fed and well watered, there’s no harm in mistaking its need for rest, etc. with its need for food. Sometimes we just need a break or a nap but miss these cues because we aren’t thinking in those directions. Gradually, as your body becomes a bigger priority, you’ll get better at knowing your body’s signals and satisfying them accurately. “How can you come to know yourself? Never by thinking, always by doing.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Food for Thought: Learn to meet the right need.
DAY TWENTY Key Theme: LOVE
TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF—AN INVENTORY
Are you a martyr? Are you a victim? Are you waiting for someone to come along and rescue you from the sweat and strain of life? Are you into silent self-pity? Are you secretly proud of your habit of selfdegradation? Do you have an exaggerated need for attention? Do you play the “Ain’t-It-Awful Game” to get that attention? Are you usually prepared for the worst or are you getting ready for something good to happen? Are you taking care of yourself, or are you trying to take care of everyone else in hopes that someone will notice your sacrificial spirit and take care of you? Are you as nice to yourself as you are to a good neighbor? Did you know that you are the only one who can meet your needs and change your life in any significant way? Are you ready to succeed—or are you terrified you might?
“I’m important to me! I mean much more to me than I mean to anybody I ever knew!”
The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Food for Thought: I am getting ready for success. I deserve it.
DAY TWENTY-ONE Key Theme: DISCIPLINE EMOTIONAL EATING AND HABIT
There is some comfort in eating, but there is no comfort in being fat. Don’t forget that. There are comforts in other activities as well, and I urge you to investigate them for your personal use.
Comforting activities can be directed toward others or toward ourselves—talking with a friend, helping someone out, going for a walk, sending a card, reading a good book. Remind yourself today that so-called emotionally inspired eating is intimately related to the Feast or Famine Cycle. Getting off the Cycle should curtail the “refrigerator response” significantly, but habit may also play a role. So, if you find yourself in the kitchen asking yourself what you’re hungry for and the answer is love, that what you should have. It’s up to you to get or give some.
“Great battles are really won before they are actually fought. To control our passions we must govern our habits, and keep watch over ourselves in the small details of everyday life.”
Sir John Lubbock
Food for Thought: The first step in breaking a habit is to think about it.
DAY TWENTY-TWO Key Theme: FREEDOM EATING OUT
I usually eat some real food just before going out to eat so I’ll be comfortable enough to enjoy myself and alert enough to order intelligently. I used to save up my appetite for a meal away from home so I could eat, and overeat, without feeling too guilty.
That was a bad plan. In a restaurant, it always takes longer to get the food than you expect. So, if you’re quite hungry when you go out, you’ll likely be extremely hungry or starving by the time you’re actually able eat something. Also, it is hard enough to order from a menu of very appealing food when you are only slightly hungry. It’s a lot worse when you are starving. When you do get the food, it takes great restraint to savor and enjoy it. The natural thing to do is gobble it up as fast as you can. My advice is, dine early and eat before you go.
“It gives great glory to God for a person to live in this world using and appreciating the good things of life without care, without anxiety, and without inordinate passion.”
Food for Thought: Be prepared to enjoy the whole experience.
DAY TWENTY-THREE Key Theme: FAITH SICKNESS/STRESS
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “First, be a good animal.” Now this quotation might puzzle you at first, but think about it. No one advises animals in the wild, which they should feed, a fever or a cold. So how do the animals know what to do when they are sick or under stress or danger? They know by their bodies’ signals, and they instinctively follow them Hunger sends them hunting for food. Nausea from a threat demands a fast. Thirst is an invitation to drink—to seek water. Satisfaction of these cues is the signal to stop. It’s not complicated. Maybe that’s why we humans have so much trouble with it.
“Studies with animals have found that obesity is not a naturally occurring phenomenon.”
From “Fat Chance in a Thin World” NOVA Program # 1007
DAY TWENTY-FOUR Key Theme: HOPE GETTING SUPPORT
It can be very helpful for you to have another person to support you in this unconventional weight-loss experience. It is best if this person has read the book and shares a weight problem. You’ll automatically have much in common.
Organize a group, however small, if you can. Regular, informal meetings and phone calls for sharing and reviewing the principles of understanding obesity from the perspective of adaptation will keep you going when changes are slow, especially at the beginning.
If you are alone in your recovery, don’t worry. Many others have found their way to lasting weight loss without support from others—some report that they have even been successful at standing up to criticism Use the books for support—to keep you on the path and remind you of the basics.
“Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself?
Food for Thought: I need support, one way or another.
DAY TWENTY-FIVE Key Theme: SKILL
RECOGNIZING THE FEAST OR FAMINE CYCLE
There are five main checkpoints that indicate whether or not you are on the Feast or Famine Cycle. Any one of these factors can indicate a danger spot in your diet. Once you are completely off the Cycle, you should be consistently free of these symptoms:
Symptoms of the Feast or Famine Cycle
2. Excessive hunger
3. Cravings for Pleasure Foods
4. Urge to eat without hunger
5. Emotional/stress overeating
If you still have some of these symptoms, review Chapter 2, 4, and 5. If you are completely symptom free, congratulations! You’re in recovery. Remember you must stay off the Cycle to lose weight.
“The worst day of my life was the day I found myself out of control.”
Shirley M., dieter
Food for Thought: Off the Cycle, in control.
DAY TWENTY-SIX Key Theme: INSIGHT SWEETS
Sugar-laden foods; pastries, dessert-type foods, and sugar-based drinks are very poor quality and definitely contribute to weight problems and the host of complications of obesity. The question to ask is why these foods are so popular in spite of their danger to people’s health? It is because we are a society of dieters and reckless eaters—going hungry is common in our fast-paced lifestyle. So many of us are over hungry, and we naturally crave Pleasure Food to satisfy our biological need for sugar and fat. So, I’d have to blame the traditional quick-weight loss diets, and the very poor eating patterns of non-dieters for the preference so many have for Pleasure Foods. It’s not the food that directly causes obesity. It is the powerful biology behind the need for make-up eating.
“Overweight is seldom just desserts.”
Food for Thought: Real food is good for the sweet tooth.
DAY TWENTY-SEVEN Key Theme: LOVE BEFRIENDING YOUR BODY
It is important that you make friends with your body before you get slim
If you dislike or even hate someone at the outset of a conversation, how much understanding are you likely to achieve? How much cooperation? How much compromise? On the other hand, if you talk with a trusted friend, someone you love and respect, there will certainly be understanding, cooperation and acceptance between you. You will even be more likely to share goals.
Accept and understand your body—its needs, its rhythms, its uniqueness. Your body needs your help to adapt healthfully to a new food environment. It absolutely depends on your choices. If you respect its needs and choose with discipline and commitment, your body will repay you with a wonderful gift.
“For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.”
Key Theme: DISCIPLINE EXERCISE
Exercise is said to be the component that can make or break the success of a diet program. It is true that regular exercise on the part of a dieter reflects to some extent her degree of commitment to getting in shape. But exercise, by itself, does not determine whether or not a person wins at losing. There are other very important things to consider.
Certainly, regular physical activity has many health benefits. The question for you is not whether to exercise, but how to fit the best form of exercise into your lifestyle.
You know what to do. Just do it—and often!
“I’m what’s known as an athletic fat person.”
Ray G. “Fat Chance in a Thin World” NOVA Program #1007
Food for Thought: I can easily fit physical activity into my life. I just have to decide to do it, and keep on deciding to do it.
DAY TWENTY-NINE Key Theme: FREEDOM FORGETTING THE SCALE
Some dieters don’t weigh themselves. They’re afraid to because they feel—and are—so out of control at times. They figure the numbers probably are too. The negative experiences they have had all their dieting lives have conditioned them to avoid standing on the scale. For some, it is almost a phobia.
Most dieters are just the opposite. They weigh themselves compulsively, even many times a day. They want to know, to be reassured, to feel more in control of their weight. This extreme is also fear-motivated.
Once you turn your diet controls over to your body, with the exception of food quality, you will need neither escape nor reassurance from the scale. You will know, as you provide of great food on demand for your body each day, that in time, you will be the perfect weight for you.
“I’m not overweight, I’m under tall.”
I hope by now you’re getting on nicely with the rest of your life. Stay busy! Do new things! There is so much more to your life than your physical shape. And as you grow slowly thinner naturally, you will discover that more of your real self will be free to emerge. You may even be surprised at the new you! Frankly, I am a better person since I stopped dieting and learned to eat like a normal person. I suspect that you will be, too.
“Therefore I bid you put away anxious thought about food and drink to keep you alive, and clothes to cover your body. Surely life is more than food, the body more than clothes.”
Food for thought: I’m getting better—all of me.
DAY THIRTY-ONE Key Theme: HOPE IMAGING SUCCESS
There is a term used in psychology that I love. It is Creative Anticipation, and it refers to the fact that what we deeply expect to happen usually does. Whether or not you believe this does not alter its profound reality. The power in this truth lies in the fact that our beliefs affect our behaviors. And behaviors—including our choices—certainly influence what happens to us, what course our life takes.
So fill your thoughts with images of what you want to be and what you hope to accomplish. Reject doubt and fear. Hang on to your vision for yourself. Hold the image of your ideal life firmly in your mind and don’t let go.
“Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it is impossible for anyone to accomplish. But whatever is possible for another, believe that you, too, are capable of it.”
Food for thought: I will succeed and accomplish my dreams.
BEYOND THIRTY-ONE DAYS: OWNING YOUR RECOVERY
This is a challenging program—not for easily discouraged or self-pitying types. It takes perseverance and determination—faith and patience. In order for things to change, you have to change. In order for things to get better, you have to get better. Whether or not you will change and get better is entirely up to you. This is your recovery. No one else can tell you how to do it, why to do it, or even whether or not to do it. All these opportunities are open to you; tuning in to your hunger and fullness signals, choosing the best quality foods to eat, providing good food everywhere you are, interrupting your day when you are hungry— all the basics are up to you. There are many choices to face every day, choices that can lead to a new body, a new life, a new you. If you choose to choose wisely—again and again—you will do well.
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