New Eating Habits For Balanced Living

Did you ever decide to go on the latest fad diet-­­ you know, the ones you read about in a womens' journal or a diet your neighbor and best friend are doing and it seems to be working for them only to find you felt terrible while trying the diet and, in a few weeks of following the diet, your weight was up not down? Or, you paid good money to have someone tell you how to eat, lost some weight for a while and then regained all your weight and then some.

You begin asking yourself, "why me?" "Why am I the only one that can't seem to do this?" Well, for starters, you're not alone. In fact, you are one of the majority of Americans who can't seem to find a diet which helps them get the weight off, keep it off and have an increase in energy while maintaining the diet. In answer to your questions, first I would like you to consider this: you're driving around Iowa with a map of New South Wales, do you really think it's going to help you find your way around? And, while you're running around Iowa, lost, with a copy of a map of New South Wales in your hand, the car runs low on gas. You stop and fill up the tank with kerosene. How far do you think you'll get? Then, to add insult to injury, you begin to curse your car!

Are you beginning to get the picture here? First, most of us have very little understanding as to how our bodies work. We need help; we're trying; we want to do the right thing so we stop and buy a book. But the book has a lot of very generic statements about how your highly individualized metabolism works. Then, the book goes on to give more generic statements about what kind of fuel we need to put in the tank. When it doesn't work­­ and I might add this approach was doomed before you ever started­­ we begin to beat up on ourselves emotionally thinking things like: "I will never lose this weight." "There must be something wrong with me." "I'll never get it right."

The good news: there is nothing wrong with you; you are not dumb­­ just a little misguided. Your body and your lifestyle are unique. There is no one else quite like you in the universe. To keep your body in a state of healthy balance, it makes sense that your diet also needs to be unique.

On the other hand, thinking for yourself, however does work. Of course you will need the right map! A few of the best "maps" I have seen for reworking your diet are Anne Marie Colbins' Food & Healing. It reads almost like a novel. She presents some fascinating ideas about health in this country and how it relates to what she calls the SAD, or Standard American Diet. Kristina Turners' The Self Healing Cookbook is fun and light. She gives exercises for getting in touch with your core beliefs about food. And Paul D'Adamos' Eating Right 4 Your Type is a more serious kind of study about how foods positively or negatively affect the four different types of blood. It gives, diet, exercise and a historical perspective on how and why certain diets work for certain blood types.

I would like to make one other point here: Americans don't seem to get it! The body is always seeking balance. Balance can mean different things to different body types but if you starve the body of any one of the food groups, carbohydrates, protein or fats, the body will only shift into a mode of save. And indeed it will save what you deny it. We were designed for survival­­ how many million years have we been around? When you finally end your diet and your body gets a taste of what you have been starving it of, watch out! The chemical message then sent throughout is, the famine is over and you will CRAVE what you've been starved for. Yo-yo-yo.

Summer time is a good time to start a diet. Energy needs are down and so is appetite. Why not get the right map and find your way home to having the energy and the body you've always known you could have!

Till next time, Rebecca.

Posted to Zephyr Online July 23, 1998
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