Eat the Next Meal

Jennifer Cecil

Don Durham, PhD, and Clinical Director at Remuda Ranch Center for Eating Disorders frequently advised the residents at the clinic to ‘eat the next meal.’ His counsel was to women who had ‘acted out’ their eating disorder, by binging, purging, or restricting their intake of food. He appealed to the women, that they could recover from their slip quickly by getting back on their food plan as soon as possible. ‘Eating the next meal,’ means to eat the next snack or meal at the regularly scheduled time, no matter what you have previously eaten.

The tendency, after a binge, is to eliminate or restrict food intake at the next mealtime. That, in turn, sets you up to be ravenously hungry as blood sugar levels drop. You will be more likely to overeat, starting the cycle all over again.

‘Eating the next meal’ also prevents the sabotaging effects of ‘black and white’ thinking. Often times when we deviate from our food plan, we conclude that we are ‘off’ our diet. If we have failed to live up to our expectations, we surmise that we may as well continue binging because we are no longer ‘on’ our diet.

Our minds gravitate to only two states, success (being ‘on our diet’) or failure (being ‘off our diet’). When we go ‘off’ our diet, we lose momentum to adhere to our food plan. Sometimes we can go days, weeks, and even months before we are able to get back ‘on’ the diet. Needless to say, this can have disastrous effects on our weight and our health as we develop the ‘yo-yo syndrome’. When we finally get back ‘on’ the diet, we zealously and religiously adhere to the plan, until we slip up again. Because we are ‘on’ the diet again, we are convinced that we will be successful and that we will never deviate from it again, displaying ‘black and white thinking’ once again.

When we ‘eat the next meal’, we are taking life one meal at a time and therefore, not reinforcing the addictive ‘all or nothing’ mindset. We will avoid the swings in behavior, the fluctuation in weight, and the frustration of never making progress towards our health and fitness goals.

The next time that you deviate from your food plan, tell yourself the truth about what has just happened:

1. It is NATURAL to deviate at times from your plan. You are human and this is a chosen lifestyle, not merely a diet.

2. Deviating from your food plan is NO BIG DEAL. You will not gain weight or set yourself back with one slip.

3. You CAN get right back on your food plan. You do NOT need to continue binging! (—There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ).

4. You do not need to SABATOGE your success. You can continue moving forward towards your weight loss goals!

5. Remember, that the goal is PROGRESS, not PERFECTION!

You don’t have to go this alone.  Please join us at our next Lose It For Life weekend!

Honor your Health

Juliet Zuercher from The Remuda Ranch

According to Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole’s book, Intuitive Eating, ten principles exist regarding this healthy eating philosophy. The first nine are: reject the diet mentality; honor your hunger; make peace with food; challenge the food police; feel your fullness; discover the satisfaction factor; cope with your emotions without using food; respect your body; and exercise—feel the difference.

The final is:

Honor your health—gentle nutrition

Two facets exist to the concept of honoring your health.

First, honor your physical health by respecting your body. This is done by consuming foods that are healthy and nutritious; foods that are rich in protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, minerals, etc. Food that your body needs to function properly. As a child, most of us believed good health was simply a ‘given;’ as adults, we now know good health is a gift. As with all good gifts, it must be valued and appreciated. Honor your health by eating well.

The second piece is honoring your emotional health. Do this by not being rigid in food choices, by not conforming to a structured food plan at all times. If you need comfort food, eat comfort food, then don’t chastise yourself the following day for being weak. This dovetails into the concept of gentle nutrition. Stay away from proscribed diets, meaning don’t follow a regimented plan designed by the latest nutrition guru. Trust yourself to make good choices based on sound knowledge. Keep this in mind: ‘Progress, not perfection is what counts.’

Intuitive Eating

Juliet Zuercher

According to Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole’s book, Intuitive Eating, ten principles exist regarding this healthy eating philosophy. The first seven are: reject the diet mentality; honor your hunger; make peace with food; challenge the food police; feel your fullness; discover the satisfaction factor; and cope with your emotions without using food.

The next two are:

1. Respect your body
Would anyone in their right mind try to squeeze a size 9 foot into a size 6 shoe? Never. Then why would anyone do the same with their body ‘ striving to squeeze a ‘medium’ body into a ‘small’ outfit? Tall, short, big-boned, small-boned — bodies come in many sizes, which is precisely why clothes also do. Don’t punish your body with crazy diets and tight clothes. What’s more, stop comparing yourself to others; what another person looks like is irrelevant. First, reject the diet mentality, then learn to respect your body.

2. Exercise and feel the difference
Along with the diet mentality, it’s time to throw out the idea that exercise must be regimented and can only occur at a gym. What is exercise after all? It’s movement—and, provided an individual is healthy, all movement is good. You do not have to count calories, watch a clock, or follow a proscribed plan. Just move. Integrate more activity, or ‘play’ time, into your lifestyle. Then notice how great you feel. Take your focus off of weight and put it onto health. You’ll be amazed at the improvement in your attitude and motivation!

Principles for Healthy Eating

Juliet Zuercher

According to Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole’s book, Intuitive Eating, ten principles exist regarding this healthy eating philosophy. The first five are: reject the diet mentality; honor your hunger; make peace with food; challenge the food police; and feel your fullness.
The next two are:

Discover the satisfaction factor

How often do you eat what you really want?

If you are like many people, you desire Food A, maybe a candy bar, but instead you settle for Food B, perhaps a nutrition bar. The truth is, you did not have what you wanted. By substituting a ‘filler food,’ your satisfaction level is low. What’s more, you will probably end up eating the candy bar anyway. Give yourself permission to eat what you want when you want it and discover the pleasure and contentment that comes.

Cope with your emotions without using food. Everyone has emotions, both positive and negative. Unfortunately, negative emotions cause pain. Often, people try to negate the pain with food. On so many levels, this doesn’t work. Food may provide momentary distraction, but it fixes nothing. Ultimately, problems must be dealt with. If you are angry, depressed, anxious, or lonely, try to approach it directly. Perhaps a conversation with a friend is in order, or if the problem is severe, counseling may be an option, but don’t try to ‘stuff’ feelings with food. If anything, your negative feelings will only intensify when you realize how much you have consumed and how little it helped.

Healthy Eating: (part 2) Philosophy

Juliet Zuercher

According to Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole’s book, Intuitive Eating, ten principles exist regarding this healthy eating philosophy. The first three are: reject the diet mentality; honor your hunger; and make peace with food. The next two are:
Challenge the food police
When you were a child, the food police were probably your parents. Yet now, the food police are you. Whether aware of it or not, you probably have a little voice in your head that often speaks to you about food. Rarely is this a positive voice; on the contrary, it is usually quite critical and representative of unreasonable beliefs. It tells you that this food is good, or that food is bad. Often these beliefs come from the latest fad diets or magazine articles. Indeed, watch for signs in your own speech. How many times do you say: ‘I was good today because I ate fruit;’ or ‘I’m going to be bad and eat dessert.’ Can food make you good or bad? No. It’s just food. Stop listening to this voice.

Feel your fullness

Your car and the gas pump work together beautifully. When the vehicle is full, the pump turns off. Your body offers you a similar signal when it is full. Your stomach tells your brain that it is full and satisfied. That’s why it is time to start listening to your body. And remember, it takes about 20 minutes for those signals to kick in. So, eat slowly, enjoy your food, then stop when you are full.

Having a Healthy Eating Philosophy

Juliet Zuercher

According to the book written by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, Intuitive Eating, ten principles exist regarding this healthy eating philosophy. The first three are:

Reject the diet mentality.

Diets found in magazine articles and diet books provide one thing: false hope. They offer exaggerated claims regarding what they can do for you, then when results are not forthcoming, you feel like a failure. Sure, immediate weight loss might occur, but long-term weight reduction is simply not in the cards. And is that what you want? Lose five pounds, then gain ten back? Probably not. That’s why it’s time to get angry at these ridiculous diets, instead of yourself. Time to get angry at the lies, and then get serious about what can truly help you: intuitive eating.

Honor your hunger.

When your body gets tired, you sleep; so when your body gets hungry, feed it. Hunger is normal, so when it asks, give your body the fuel it needs, just as you would provide gas when your car edged toward empty. If you ran out of gas, you would fill up; you will do the same if you don’t listen to your hunger. Unfortunately, you will probably fill up, and up, and up.

Make peace with food.

It’s time to call a truce and stop the food fight. Food is not your enemy. It is intended to serve as a source of enjoyment and nutrition. Make friends with food and your body; each is going to be with you for the rest of your life.

Next month: three more principles.

Developing a Healthy Food Plan

Juliet Zuercher

Only when you vow to discard dieting and replace it with a commitment to intuitive eating will you be released from the prison of yo yo weight fluctuations and food obsessions. – Evelyn Tribole, Author of Intuitive Eating

Staying in tune with your body, eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. That’s a short definition for intuitive eating, which many professionals such as Evelyn Tribole espouse. Along with that is the idea that you can normalize your relationship with food; to allow it to play the role it was intended to play in your life. Food was never meant to be your ‘enemy’ or ‘foe;’ it was always intended to serve as a source of enjoyment and health.

In effect, there are no ‘bad’ or ‘good’ foods and all foods can fit in a healthy food plan. When a food is labeled ‘bad,’ it often actually grows in its desirability. How many times have you denied yourself a particular food, then find yourself thinking about it all the time. This is where food obsessions start. Far more important than what food is eaten, is the amount consumed. Moderation and balance are key to every HEALTHY food plan.

The intuitive eating philosophy consists of ten points. During the following few months, we will examine and explain THESE POINTS. Our goal is help you discover how this philosophy might be integrated into your life and how intuitive eating may offer answers to many questions regarding food and eating.

Determination and Success!

Juliet Zuercher

The holidays are officially over and the New Year is here. According to a University of Washington study, approximately 100 million people enter into New Years’ resolutions. Not surprisingly, the majority of these resolutions are concerned with health, especially exercise and diet.

If you fall into this group, what are your chances for success? Actually, they’re quite good, provided you possess two qualities: determination and persistence.

The truth is, any type of change is difficult, even positive change. That’s why it is so important to truly desire change and understand exactly what it will take to accomplish it.

This starts with reasonable expectations, not quick fixes. If you decide to lose ten pounds in one week, you will fail. But stretch that out to six months and your success odds have improved greatly. The same holds true for exercise. Desiring a toned body is good; expecting it to happen in a matter of days is not.

A couple strategies may prove helpful. An accountability partner is good. If food consumption is your area of focus, having a person to check in with may be beneficial. Regarding exercise, a partner to do it with is excellent. It will be more fun and you’re more apt to do it.

Another tip: don’t engage in black-white thinking. Such thoughts as ‘If I don’t exercise every single day, I am no good;’ or ‘If I lose eight pounds instead of ten, I failed.’

Give yourself time and grace. Remember, you only have one body, so treat it with love.

Male Eating Disorders on the Rise, Experts say

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Intentional starvation, cookie binges,
vomiting, hospitalization. The
details were typical for an
eating disorder.

But Jeff Everts might not seem like a typical sufferer.
In an era of diet fixation, chiseled underwear models and “a culture of
muscularity,” some researchers say eating problems among men are
getting worse –even as sufferers face a lingering stigma about having a “women’s disorder.”

“We’re able to hide it much better,” said Everts, a 43-year-old Albuquerque, New Mexico, resident recovering from anorexia and bulimia. “We don’t talk about it, where women would.”

Women are more likely to have eating disorders than men. But men can also suffer from bulimia, binge eating and, to a lesser extent, anorexia, according to researchers.

Leigh Cohn, co-author of “Making Weight,” believes such disorders afflict about 2 percent of men versus 4 percent to 5 percent of women, and he is convinced the rate for men is on the rise.

Other researchers have differing estimates, but there are no definitive studies.

“It’s hard to know because men have been so reluctant to seek treatment,” Cohn said. “And men, in many cases, are unaware that they have an eating disorder. For example, they may exercise obsessively and just think that’s regular guy exercise behavior.”

Athletes whose weight is crucial to their performance — jockeys, wrestlers, distance runners and gymnasts — have a higher incidence of eating disorders. Cohn said they can develop bad habits when weight loss is seen as a requirement of the sport.

Picture perfect pressure

The root causes can be similar for men and women: genetics, low self-esteem, trauma and cultural influences.

Just as women feel pressured to look like stick-thin magazine models, men can be swayed by images of pumped-up hunks with broad shoulders, six-pack abs and narrow waists. Pictures of perfect bodies can reinforce the belief that “normal” bodies are not OK, researchers say.

And those perfect male images — think muscle-bound movie heroes, magazine cover boys and shirtless rappers — can be hard to ignore.

“I don’t know what’s on ‘NYPD Blue’ tonight,” Cohn said, “but I’m assuming that we’ll see some male skin, because we almost always do.”

Researchers at the University of Central Florida released a study this month saying men who watched TV commercials of muscular actors felt unhappy about their own physiques. This “culture of muscularity” can be linked to eating disorders or steroid abuse, the researchers said.

The book “The Adonis Complex” tracks the evolution of boys’ action figures from the average GI Joe in the ’60s to the absurdly pumped-up toys of today. Scaled to human size, the authors say one Wolverine action figure would have 32-inch biceps.

“Basically they’re marketing to men in the same way they marketed to women,” said Roberto Olivardia, co-author of the book. “And I think men and young boys have responded to that.”

Increased awareness

Dr. Theodore Weltzin of Rogers Memorial Hospital in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, said one study showed 70 percent of high school males dieting. The hospital offers residential treatment for males, and Weltzin says he sees a fair number of dieting men who are “carbohydrate-phobic,” as opposed to women sufferers who tend to be fat-phobic.

“More males are engaged in really abnormal eating behavior in terms of skipping meals, in terms of engaging in purging after eating, and laxative use,” Weltzin said.

Everts said his disorder became evident in high school in the late ’70s when he began eating less and exercising more to become a better athlete. The 5-foot-10 football player got all the way down to 96 pounds, a hospital room and eventually, a psychiatric ward.

“They just basically said, ‘If you eat, you’ll get out,”‘ he said. That triggered a new problem: binge eating. Everts eventually found help, though he still considers himself recovering. He now weighs around 134 pounds — within the normal weight range for a man his height.

Researchers say people are becoming more aware of male eating disorders and more men are starting to come forward. But not all.

“My male patients also have to struggle with this layer of, “Well, does this make me less of a man? Am I gay? What is all of this about?” Olivardia said.

While there is a stereotype that eating disorders are more prevalent among gay men, Olivardia believes that perception is because gay men are more likely to seek treatment.

He said he has patients in their 40s, meaning they have struggled with eating disorders for up to three decades before getting help.

Weltzin expects to see more male eating disorder cases in the future: “I don’t see where percentages are going to go anywhere but up.”

What is 'Normal' Eating?

Janet Carr

What is normal behavior to one person is not necessarily normal to
another. However, there is such a thing as ‘normal’ eating, which truly
does apply to everyone. In Ellyn Satter’s book How To Get Your Children To Eat, But Not Too Much,
normal eating is defined as being able to eat when you are hungry and
stop when you’re full. This is also called intuitive eating. This
should be the goal of everyone who is either trying to maintain their weight or lose a few pounds.

The important piece of intuitive eating is that it puts you back in touch with your body, with normal feelings of hunger and fullness. You, like many others, might like diets because it means you don’t have to think ‘ think about what to eat or how much to eat. But what you may not realize is that by following a host of rules and guidelines, you are then cut off from your bodies individual needs. With intuitive eating, you listen to your body and pay attention to its needs. Yes, you may have to think a little more, but ultimately, you will be set free from the rigidity imposed by most diets.

Remember to eat only when hungry and consume a variety of foods in moderation. Eat slowly. Meal time should last at least 20 minutes, keeping in mind that it takes a full 15 minutes for your brain to register fullness.

Listen to your body; trust your body. It knows what it needs.