Monday, June 8, 2009


Warning - potential boredom alert! If you've never needed to lose weight, particularly never more than 15 lbs, this topic may hold very little interest for you. Please visit another time. Thanks!
~~ Sustainability ~~

What do you think when you hear the word? Does it put you to sleep at the sound of it? Or do you, like me, know it can save your life? Up and down, Off and on, new and interesting, may be more exciting and might give one more to talk about at lunch... but it does not really, reallllly provide for a consistant way to reduce weight (note the lack of the 4 letter word) and keep that weight reduced. Really. So decide, do you want drama? Something to talk/complain about? Or do you want to just deal with the problem?

I knew when I choose what plan I would utilize for how to lose weight it had to be, HAD TO BE, something which could be sustained, even at the risk of being less glamorous. It needed to be a plan which would work when I traveled, ate in restaurants, changed my plans at the last minute, was too tired to cook, wanted to make a gourmet meal, was cooking for the family or dining alone. You get the idea, it had to work in all the variables of life and in all the times which previously could have foiled a girl (or guy) trying to follow a specific eating plan. (Again, we save use of the word 'diet' for times such as referencing what alligators consume in their natural habitat. As in, "...subsist on a di+t of tourists and gym shoes..." ) But I digress...

I am not a fan of any plan which systematically eliminates any food group or color of food. According to people who are smarter than me all the food groups provide a function in our bodies and are needed for nutrition - here is the important part - some are needed more than others, some in greater quantities and some in far lesser quantities than others. The secret might be in the previous sentence. Therefore no 'all protein' plans, or no 'all carb' plans, or all grapefruit one day and watermelon the next. Also, and here is a biggie but it fits in the first catagory, it must be real food, not purchased from any special entity other than a good old grocery store. (be able to travel, eat in restaurants, change my plans...)

So one day, my friend Marge says to me, (thanks Marge) someone named Dr. Oz is on Oprah and he is talking about the liver!! I turned on that show, Amen! He not only was talking about the liver, he was holding up a (cadaver) organ which most of you have probably never heard of called the omentum. But I knew of it right away and I knew this was destiny! The omentum is the organ which hangs loose from below your stomach and traps fat after food is digested and it is gross!!!! It also effects how much fat spills into your liver. Long story about why the omentum is important to me, but before I was a Mary Kay Sales Director, I was an xray technologist and if you want to get stomach xrays correctly, you better know about the anatomy of the omentum. I did know, and I felt like Dr. Oz was talking to me that day.

After he showed the omentum and how it spills fat into the liver. (I kinda do hope this grosses you out) he proceeded to talk about healthy eating and a book in which he layed it all out, "YOU on a Diet" Sorry, Dr. Oz doesn't have the same compunction about using that four letter word. The content is great, if not the title.

Basic idea is reduce your waist size and eat healthful real foods. And to start moving your body, as in exercise! More on that in a second. He uses the 4 letter word in his title but clearly agrees with me about the harm that '@ieting' does. It's an 'all or nothing' attitude. The carrots or the filet. Success or failure. Up or down. And the whole time thinking about food. Also, it makes food the enemy. (last sentence is not from Oz, but me)Food is not the enemy, our (mis)use of food is the problem. Food, like money, is an inanimate object. It's up to us if we let it get the best of us. But back to Dr. Oz.

His reccommendations, which I've embraced wholeheartedly because they make sense:
Do not eat anything fake. As in, eliminate High Fructose Corn Syrup from your diet. HFCS is a manufactured product made from corn but far removed chemically from what real corn is. There is a link to an article concerning the harm of HFCS on the front page of my site (Mercola) and Dr Oz addresses this topic well in numerous columns and publications. Two mains points about HFCS are it doesn't turn off the receptor in your brain which tells you when you are full, so you keep eating. And, it has lead to an overall increase in Type II diabetes in this country since it's widespread use in products too numerous to name in this blog. Check your bread, catsup, salad dressing, and of course, those soft drinks.

Eat nothing which has sugar or salt or any of the 'banned items' in the first 5 ingredients on the label:
Banned items: Get rid of partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats, HFCS, enriched or bleached flour, all added sugars, limit alcohol consumption to no more than 1 alcohol beverage per day. (Oh Bye, I just lost 3 dozen people)
Do eat 100% whole grains, lean meats and proteins, vegetables and fruits, dairy and low fat milk.

Of course when I read the 'do eat' column it seemed sort of boring and scary and limiting and I'd just built this new house, with this really pretty kitchen, designed so the whole family could cook together. Would we ever cook together again? Or would I be reduced to low sodium pablum, while the rest of the world spins by? No, actually by this time, I was over that feeling. Dr. Oz, made me feel like I could do it, and I already knew there were delicious foods out there which didn't have to be processed, high fat, high sodium... you get the idea. There are great things to cook with real food which tastes much better and is much better for your overall health and that of your family than anything that is already prepared and boxed in the grocery. (But which I had come to rely on on busy nights when the family was going in different directions)

Dr Oz's book also gives recipes and suggestions for emergency hungries. I keep a dish on my counter with raw almonds and cranberries in it. This really fills me up and helps me to not reach for other, much worse for me snacks, while I'm fixing dinner. Here's another tip if you think you are going to snack or graze while somewhere, put a Listerine breath strip in your mouth. You won't be able to eat a thing, it will clash with the minty breath strip. I use two for the overall too powerful minty approach, it works!

I eat very few things marked 'low fat' because the fat has usually been replaced with fillers, chemicals or even HFCS. So I'd rather eat less of the real thing than more of a 'mystery' item. One exception is I do purchase and love 'Fat free Feta cheese,' crumbled, I sprinkle this on my salads for a lot of extra flavor. I do not recommend trying to cook with it or trying to melt it on anything, it won't work.
Also, I purchase very few items which even have labels anymore. Most of my shopping occurs around the perimeter of the store with the exception of Tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes. Dr. Oz recommends 10 T. of tomato sauce per week for heart health. Read labels carefully, HFCS can hide in your tomato sauce too, sometimes different varieties within the same brand can have very different ingredients.

This is just a quick overview of the suggestions in the book. The thing which helped me the most overall is that when I didn't know what to do or where to start ~~ I started walking. It really helps I have a husband who is a dedicated partner, he walks with me and encouraged me, esp. in the beginning when I couldn't walk all that far. But whether you do, or whether you don't, have someone to walk with, walking is something almost everyone can do! And while I recommend wearing supportive walking shoes, walking is excellent because no special equipment is required!

So while your 'thinking about' getting started on Dr Oz's plan, or giving me a call for more information, take a walk - it can only help!


Susan said...

Good job, Betsy. I enjoyed this!

Susan said...

Liked the picture, too.

Beth said...

What a wonderful blog. What a gifted writer! So glad to have run into you at Kroger today. Keep up the good work. Can we get together later this summer?

Betsy5 said...

Thanks Beth! I'd love to get together and thanks for visiting my blog!!