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How to Lose Weight on the Mediterranean Diet …. Day 9 – Choose a slightly crazy exercise goal

Me finishing triathlon 2014 featured imageOne of the first things I tell people who want to lose weight is to take the focus off losing weight.  Of course, you need to learn what foods and drinks will help with weight loss (in this case we are using the Mediterranean Diet), but it also important not to become obsessed with weight loss.  This is one of the reasons I am only weighing myself 3 times over this 10 weeks.  I don’t want to become “scale” focused.

As part of taking the focus off weight, I try to put part of the focus on exercise/movement.  A few years ago, I had the 120 day hiking challenge and last year I finished my first two sprint triathlons.  This year, my goals are: 1) to finish a sprint triathlon and be able to run the whole way without needing to walk and 2) to climb at least one major New England mountain by the end of the year.  Both of these goals are a little bit edgy, but not impossible.  Both of them will be easier if I am lighter and if I move every day.  By challenging myself with exercise I am heading in the right direction with weight, but it takes the focus off weight at the same time.

A number of years ago, I had a student in one of my weight loss classes.  Her goal was to hike the Andes.  It was a lifelong goal of hers, but she knew knew she couldn’t do it without getting in shape.  She ended up losing weight, exercising daily and within a year she was hiking the Andes.

Do you have an exercise goal that is just a little on the edge, but doable?  Let me know!

How to Lose Weight on the Mediterranean Diet …. Day 6 – Weekends

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Dandelion Greens my wife picked from the backyard.

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Dinner she made with the dandelion greens with potatoes, red peppers, onions, and vinegar!

Weekends in the summer can be difficult if you are trying to eat well.  We went to 2 events in the last 2 days that ended with cake of various types.  I have noticed a few things about cake: 1)  It’s hard to stop eating it, 2) It gives me indigestion (keeping me up at night), and 3) not good for weight loss.  I certainly made up for it today, enjoying greens at every meal including dandelion greens my wife picked from the backyard for dinner.

I have been eating lot’s of veggies, beans, and quite a bit of olive oil.  I have also been moving, hiking and walking, etc.

Mediterranean Weight Loss Tip:  Bring some fruit to parties that are going to end in chocolate ganache, lemon meringue pie, and chocolate cake with frosting.  Have a little cake, then eat the apple, or just simply run like hell!

 

How to Lose Weight on the Mediterranean Diet …. Day 3 – Weigh-in

1st weigh in:cu shotToday was a difficult day.  I realized too late that I wasn’t getting enough calories.  Around 11 this morning I suddenly began to feel light headed and low-blood sugar.  When starting a new way of eating, it often takes some adjustments so you don’t under or over eat.  Anyways, I am nourished now and wanted to share this video of my first weigh-in.  I am excited that I am half way between my highest weight of 3 years ago and my goal weight.  I am looking forward to the next ten weeks and how I am going to feel when I am done!

How to Lose Weight on the Mediterranean Diet ….Day 2 Preparation

I love bread!

I love bread!

Today, I have been looking through cookbooks for inspiration in my 10 week eating Mediterranean adventure.  Generally, I wouldn’t be too picky about what I eat as long as it is Mediterranean, but there are a few things I need to cut back on in order to lose weight:

1)  Bread – I love bread especially with lot’s of butter or olive oil.  Bread, in large amounts goes to the belly.  I will cut back drastically in the amount of bread I eat.  I won’t cut it out completely.

2)  Grains – I am going to experiment with this.  Grains include bread, but also include rice, millet, rice, etc.  I think keeping my daily servings of grains to 3 will be enough for weight loss.

3)  Nuts – I usually eat cashews, almonds, walnuts, and peanut butter.  I just need to be aware of how many I eat in a serving.  Maybe, putting them in single serving bags and only eating 1 bag per day.

4)  Alcohol – Not good for me.  Alcohol has a strong effect on me, makes me run down, so I will just keep away from it.

So, that’s pretty much it.  I had a question about what eating 95% Mediterranean means.  I will focus on eating all my meals Mediterranean, but if I run into a situation where this simply isn’t possible, I won’t panic, I will just eat what is available.  Also, there might be an occasional splurge which is entirely in the spirit of the Mediterranean Diet.

Have any of you had success losing weight on the Mediterranean Diet?  Do you have any suggestions?  See you tomorrow!

How to Lose Weight on the Mediterranean Diet …. Day 1-Intro

Me in Crete 2014.  Lost 30 pounds.  30 to go!

Me in Crete 2014. Lost 30 pounds. 30 to go!

Just a few words of introduction.

I am a Registered Dietitian who has been specializing in Mediterranean Diet for the past 10 years.  I have done extensive research on the Mediterranean island of Crete and co-wrote a cookbook called “Foods of Crete: Traditional Recipes from the Healthiest People in the World.”

A few years ago I was obese and now I am simply overweight.  Hooray!

I love everything about the Mediterranean Diet.  I also have a familial predisposition to hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, ice cream, and laying in the hammock.  Hooray again!

I know that if I ate at least 95% Mediterranean, took care of my stress, and moved every day I would lose weight.  I am pretty sure of this because it is what all the studies in reputable journals say and I have already lost 30 pounds eating Mediterranean.

So, I am perfectly willing and pretty darn excited to eat 95% Mediterranean for at least 10 weeks to see what happens and I will report to you daily with any magical insights I may have.

If you are not familiar with the Mediterranean Diet I would have you check out the 10 steps to Eating Mediterranean on Mediterraneanliving.com.

Today, I can report that I ate a lot of beans in the form of beans with greens which I made at home and hummus from one of our local Moroccan restaurants, the Mosaic Cafe.  I also ate a chicken tagine with olives for dinner.  I went for a walk in the morning and substituted what was surely becoming a nap with a bike ride in the afternoon.

Besides info about myself and how I am doing I will also be including recipes as well as cooking and nutrition videos.

Mediterranean Diet Tip #1

The number one enemy of any diet is sugar. Not only does sugar cause weight gain, but it also is a very potent inflammatory.   Sugar is pretty absent on the Mediterranean diet.  Honey is used more often, but still not in large amounts.  Coke and Pepsi are not Mediterranean.  Herbal Chamomile with honey is.  Mediterranean Diet tip #1  Take sugar out of your diet.

 

 

Two weeks of Eating Vegan Mediterranean

I just returned from a vacation where the potato chip was king, the cheesecake was queen and the hamburger was the Jester laughing at me as my bathing suit became tighter and tighter throughout the week.

The reign of the fast food getaway has given way to my planned vegan return.  I have a friend who has committed to eating only vegan food for the month of July.  I told her I would join her for the second half.

On the Island of Crete, the tradition was to be vegan for almost half of the year.  This was due to religious fasting.  Veganism has been shown to be a very healthy way of eating as long as it is done in the right way.  When I was 25, I lived with three roommates, one of them was a vegan.  She always looked incredibly unhealthy and tired.  If she were one of the seven dwarves, she would have definitely been dopey.  I didn’t actually know her very well, but was amazed that someone who was a self proclaimed health nut could look so unwell.  One day, I received a phone call for her and I entered her room for the first time to leave her a message.  The entire room was covered with empty potato chip bags and vodka bottles.  Vegan yes, healthy no.

My goal for the next two weeks, which began yesterday, is to eat 1) Mediterranean food, 2) Vegan (only plant based foods) and 3) gluten free (I have been gluten free for a few years for health reasons).

Here is what yesterday looked like:

Breakfast

Fruit salad with peaches, banana, apples, oranges, almonds, and coconut

Fruit salad with peaches, banana, apples, oranges, almonds, and coconut

 Lunch

vegan lunch bean burger

Black Bean Burger on Gluten Free Bread with a Side Salad and Green Iced Tea

 

Dinner

Horta (Greens) with Potatoes, Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil, and Gluten Free Bread with Olive Oil and Garlic

Horta (Greens) with Potatoes, Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil, and Gluten Free Bread with Olive Oil and Garlic

 

My first day of Mediterranean, Gluten-Free Veganism went great!  Lot’s of fiber for the first day so I was a bit farty in the afternoon, but felt great in the evening!  No hunger pangs or cravings, just good delicious plant based food!

Rebranding Ourselves

Me on Mt. Tom-April 2013

Me on Mt. Tom-April 2013

My company is going through a rebranding process.  We have 5 people involved and have met 3 times.  It is an exciting, daunting, sometimes overwhelming process.  We are creating a mission, company values, logos, new looks, and most importantly a very specific work plan.  It is amazing to have a group of talented people all with the sole vision of creating a strong, vibrant company focused on helping others with Mediterranean Diet and Lifestyle.

Yesterday, when we met, a slightly uncomfortable subject was brought up (by me).  Being a lecturer on healthy lifestyle, my physical appearance is important.  We definitely agreed that a new look was in order.  This would include not only clothes and grooming, but also my physical appearance.  Again, I was the person bringing up this subject.  I am the one who wants to rebrand everything from my business to how I look.

When I think about rebranding my physical appearance, there is a component that is about weight loss, but there is also the desire to be physically stronger, more energetic, more present.

There is a step by step process to rebranding a company and there is a step by step process to rebranding ourselves as well.  Over the next week, I would like to share the process with you.  I invite you to go on the journey with me.

Rebrand yourself.

 

 

90 Day Challenge-WEIGH-IN

It has been 3 months since I finished the 120 day hiking challenge by climbing Mt. Greylock with my wife Christine.  Since then we have experienced the holidays and a rather nasty winter which has made it totally unexciting to exercise.

Let’s just say that my couch has had time to get reacquainted with me.

 

 

I have noticed something on my journey to weighing 192 pounds.  I usually lose around 8-10 pounds in about 2-3 months then I take a few months off and maybe gain a pound or two.  Then I start again.

So, here I am starting again……….

At my lowest in the last few months, I weighed 226.5, but mostly I have been around 229/230 pounds.  Yesterday, I weighed 230!  I am quite happy with that.

My goal for the next 90 days is to get into the teens which means weighing under 220 pounds.  That is about a pound loss per week for the next 12 weeks (90 days).

Goal by Monday, May 13th, 2013:  To weigh 219 pounds or less!!!!

How to get there:

Exercise every day for 1/2 hour to 1 hour

Meditate 20 minutes per day

Continue to eat more delicious Mediterranean Food!

Get support by inviting others to join me.

 

Does anyone want to join me?  Jump on the bandwagon!  Make a 90 day goal!  Let’s do it together!

Sitting with Hunger

I like to eat. I like to eat a lot. Sometimes, when I am covering up feelings I eat until I can’t move. Rarely, am I hungry. Apparently I don’t like how it feels.
About a week ago I came upon a blog post written by a Greek man who spoke about something that he said is rarely talked about when discussing the Mediterranean way of eating. What he remembers of growing up in Greece is that much of the time he was hungry. He would go to school and get very small amounts to eat throughout the day and there weren’t big meals at his house either. This was just a way of life.
When the “well-fed” contingent of Americans hear about a child who is hungry, we think it is a bad thing and in many cases it is. Obviously, if someone is so hungry that they can’t learn or if it keeps them from fulfilling their life’s purpose than that is a situation that needs to be remedied.
I think, though, that the same can be said for the “overfed” person. If they are eating too much and it is slowing them down in life or keeping them from fulfilling their potential than that too should be remedied.
It has been shown that being a little bit hungry is good for our health. In Okinawa, Japan, home of some of the healthiest people in the world their is a mantra that is said while eating: “hara hachi bu”. This mantra is a reminder to stop eating when their stomachs are 80% full.
In Crete, an island off of Greece, researchers found that in 1948 the people of the Island were in incredible health even though they had just gone through a period of low food intake because of food shortages during World War II.
There is more to the story as both these cultures not only eat smaller amounts, they also eat slow and healthy.
Since really digesting all this information I have been practicing eating smaller amounts at meals and also being more conscious as I eat. For example, I have been trying to avoid “stuffing” food down my mouth before it is even chewed properly. I have been taking food home from restaurants when it is obviously too much for one sitting. I have been waiting to really experience hunger.
It seems that with a small amount of hunger I am also feeling more clarity. I am also having less discomfort in my body. And I am having more feelings. Feelings make me want to eat so I am trying to sit with them and see what arrives.
I have only been doing this for a few days so I would like to report back in a week or so and let you know more. For now though, it feels positive and I am enjoying more energy and clarity.

Returning……

I have been meditating every morning for the last month. I felt it’s effects the first day I began: more focus, ability to sit for longer periods of time, increased desire to do what feels right for me. The not so pleasurable thing that happens is that I begin to get more in touch with my feelings. They become more intensified. Old patterns seem like they are dropping on my head like a family of baby grand pianos. The feelings and patterns make me want to eat my emotions away which in fact is an old pattern itself. I find myself stuffing my face late at night.
I told a friend of mine about this recently. I asked him for advice on what I should be doing differently. Should I be going to therapy? Should I stop meditating? Should I stop eating at night?
He said, “Why don’t you try just letting it be?” Just let it be. Just keep on the same track I am on, going deeper within, calming my anxieties, trying to take care of myself.
Yes, that is the answer. Let it be. Watch what is going on, stop worrying about any of it and let it move through me. Let the feelings happen, let the patterns do what they will do and keep meditating, keep going for walks, keep taking care of myself when I feel like it and notice when I’m not taking care of myself. Pay attention, stay the course and see what happens.

Just Being Day 2

I felt my underlying angst yesterday. Did I overeat? Well, I had a whole gluten free pizza and then some chocolate. But did I overeat? Christine and I walked in the morning and then we put up replacement windows most of the day. It was a frustrating day as there were issues with the windows and we only got to put in three. I didn’t feel stuffed by the end of the night. I just felt fine Did I sit with my emotions? Not really. Did I practice loving myself throughout the day? Yes. Was I perfect at it? Well, no, but I practiced. Today, I practice again. Practicing just being and loving myself. What could be better than that?

Just Being

Today, I would like to just be. I would like to be in my body and my emotions without overeating. There may be a desire to eat, but to just let it be, to feel the feelings, to be honest in the moment. This is how I would like to challenge myself today. I would like to move my body and celebrate it instead of feeling fearful that it is out of shape or not well or whatever. I would like to enjoy my day without the need of anything addictive. What a potentially great day that would be. What am I afraid of? What is out there besides my own thoughts that are so bad that I need to be a victim to my own addictive desires? Today, I would like to find out.

Disappearing Act

It is so easy for me to vanish. A month ago I finished a fairly intense 120 day hiking challenge. The last five days of the challenge I walked from my house in Easthampton, MA all the way to and up Mt. Greylock, a 50 mile walk total. The journey was long and at times seemed to be a struggle, but I did it! I had lost 12 pounds total and was feeling quite in shape. People were complimenting me on my accomplishment, I was feeling more in my body. To my credit, I didn’t go completely to my old ways after that, but I have been exercising less and eating more and my weight has been slowly creeping back up.
A few things have changed though. I am meditating every morning. This is bringing me closer to my feelings as well as closer to being in my body.
Oh, there it is again. Feelings. I have been feeling them more. No wonder I have been eating more!
Christine and I went bowling a few nights ago with a bunch of friends. Social situation, what did I do? I needed to bring a big bag of potato chips and some dip. I had to keep eating instead of actually connecting.
I have been getting closer to my feelings. No wonder I have been eating more.
Maybe, if I can just let things be and keep meditating everyday and accept myself where I am and not pressure myself too much this shall pass. Maybe I need to give myself a break.

Happy Thanksgiving-Briam Recipe from Crete!

A delicious dish from Crete to go with your turkey and stuffing!
Happy Thanksgiving!

How to make an old fashioned ice box in your freezer in case of a power outage

You can also use these in your fridge if needed.

Day 106-Two Weeks to go-How to end with a BANG!

Mass MOCA – Day 94 of the 120 day hiking challenge

Appreciating all the things I Appreciate-Day 93 of the 120 day hiking challenge

Invitation to hike Mt. Greylock-Day 87

Come with us on Oct 14 to hike the tallest mountain in Massachusetts:  Mt. Greylock!

Here is a list of the trails up the 3,491 foot mountain.  I am not sure yet which one we are going to take.

An Inspiring Story – Day 86

Time Travel-Day 85 of the 120 Day Hiking Challenge

Dr. Heckle and Mr. Jive

Regrets-Day 80 – 2/3 of the 120 Day Hiking Challenge

An Important Decision-Our Anniversary-Day 71 (watch til end)

My Progress So Far-Day 68

Day 67-Appreciating What My Body Does

The Precipice-Day 65

Day 64-Eckhart Tolle

My Wife Reacts To Me Eating Too Many Beans

Yesterday was my first day eating no grains and no sugar. I had a lot of fruit including a smoothie (with soy milk), vegetable soup, an uncured, organic hot dog, lot’s of veggies and a bean chili with a plethora of beans. I had very few cravings and felt fine most of the day.

Today’s video is about what happened because of my hefty intake of fiber.

Day 60! Half Way! Thoughts on Food

Day 59 – No Grains, No Sugar

Which Path Should I Travel?

The Journey-Confessions Day 52

Giving myself a new challenge – Day 47

Steps to Better Health – Day 46

Emotional Confession-Day 45

I eat my twinkles at night

Day 40-What’s Important

Hi everyone,
There will be a bunch of blog posts today as I had some technical difficulties while on vacation and I had to go to a meeting in Boston yesterday.
Anyhoo…….

Biking in the Middle of Nowhere-Confessions Day 38

Moroccan Tagine Stew vs. Cabin Junk Food – Confessions Day 37

Here is a similar recipe from my friend Hafid at the Mosaic Cafe in Northampton, MA.

Tagine Kefta by Hafid from Mosaic Cafe, Northampton, MA for EatMed.com
Traditionally served with baguette. Serves 6-8 people

For Kefta:
1 ½ pounds ground beef
1 teaspoon Black pepper
2 teaspoons Cumin
1 teaspoon Chili Powder
½ teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Cilantro
2 teaspoons Chopped garlic
1 Tablespoon Paprika
½ onion, minced

1. Mix all ingredients well with your hands until well combined.
2. Make ping pong ball sized meatballs (around 1” diameter)

Main ingredients:
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 big onions
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 ½ teaspoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 zucchini
2 green peppers
2 carrots, sliced rounds
2 tomatoes
¼ head of cauliflower
2 potatoes, cut in 8ths (slices)
1 cup, green beans
1 cup, green peas

1. In a thick pot, add ½ cup olive oil.
2. Saute onions and add 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 1 ½ teaspoons chopped garlic.2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon chili, 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Saute for 5 minutes.
3. Add Kefta balls to middle of pot. Add rest of vegetables around kefta.
4. Add all vegetables except for green beans and green peas.. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
5. Add green beans and green peas. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes. Make sure it is still moist. (add a little water if needed).
6. Season to taste and serve.

Intro to the Mediterranean Diet

Kicking my Own Butt – Confessions Day 35

My Doctor’s Warning

Cholesterol Guidelines

Invitation to the Mountain-Day 32 Confessions

Come just for the hike!
Bill

Dropping Acid – Confessions Day 31

Dance Celebration! Day 30 of the 120 Day hiking challenge! 1/4 done!

Weigh-In and Goodbye-Confessions Day 29 Video

The end of an error.

This is the whole piece my cousin Jon wrote me last Thursday.

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Give your scale to someone you hate.” Your weight is an incredibly inaccurate measurement of your progress. As you showed in your last video, your measurements are changing for the better! Who cares what the scale says!

Keep doing what you’re doing. Occasional stalls are perfectly natural and just your bodies way of taking a sanity check. “Should we stay here? Feels better than where we were? Whaddya think?” If you stay on target you will break through this and keep losing fat.

Remember that. You are losing FAT, not WEIGHT.”

Thanks Jon, I needed that.

Stalled – Confessions of an Overweight Dietitian – Day 25

I see a Scary Animal in the Woods! Confessions-Day 24

Party Pooping-Day 23 of the 120 day hiking challenge

Try On Tuesday-Day 23 of the 120 day hiking challenge

Past and future pairs of pants.

Fear and Loathing – Confessions Day 22

I have noticed myself being fearful of all kinds of things over the last few weeks. Money, health, relationships, business, all the normal stuff anyone has fears and worries about, but, for me, they seem to be piling up into a big pile of negative poop. It is not even a completely rational thing. Looking from the outside most things look fine.
One thing I know is that, in the past, I would deal with this angst by overeating or drinking or by using some other activity to cover up my pain. So, if I take those things away then what do I do with these feelings? Have them, I suppose, but that hasn’t been one of my strong suits in the past.
If these feelings aren’t dealt with than surely it is the end of me taking care of myself. If I got to 192 pounds and still had these same feelings than at some point I would overeat or drink.
What to do?
Well, I will begin to look for the answer. There is always an answer. If I don’t have it now, I will have it soon. I want to deal with this so I can continue on my path to wellness.
Anyone else know what I am talking about?

Visioning-Confessions of an Overweight Dietitian-Day 19

Today I started to vision myself at 192 pounds.
What would that look like?
Easier to move
Have more energy
Feel better about myself
I would be even more active than I am now
Taking care of my body in every moment
More confidant
Feel sexier

What would you like to start visioning in your life?

Speed Racer-Confessions of an Overweight Dietitian-Day 18

I didn’t really cheat, I was just dazed.  I ran cross country in high school.  I came in last almost every time.  It was a major miracle when I came in second to last.

One hot day, we had a three mile race versus some of the other local Alabama high school teams.  I was wearing my green and gold Butler High School race jersey, shorts, and new sneakers I had just purchased in the hopes that they would somehow improve my race time.

There were about 50 runners including some of the best in the state.  Since I didn’t stand a chance I slid to the back of the pack before we even started.  One of our coaches yelled out “on your mark, get set……go!” and we took off, some of us faster than others.

By the end of the first mile, I found myself completely alone, sure to come in last yet another time.  I slowed down some since it really didn’t matter anyways.  I thought about how scenic the trail was and then my thoughts wandered.  Apparently, I wandered as well, because I suddenly found myself on the edge of a super highway.

Obviously lost I turned around and found the trail again.  I ran for about another half mile when I saw the crowd of people at the finish line.  Strangely, the finish line tape was still stretched across the finish line.  I wasn’t sure what was happening, but I just kept running.  I started running faster, everyone was cheering.  I ran faster than I had ever run in my life, I was exhilarated by the support of the screaming spectators.  I was about to break a high school running record.  Breaking the tape, I raised my arms in the air and then bent over, completely out of breath.

As the cheering died down, my coach came over to me and said, “You didn’t really do that, did you?” and I had to say “No, I think I got lost in the woods and mistakingly found a shortcut.”  At this point, the real winner came in looking confused and my coach ran over to tell the officials what had happened.

That moment in the spotlight was a complete bust, but it gave me the opportunity to feel what winning feels like for just a short moment.

Today’s video, I am the winner in the end.  Have a great day!

Bill

Why I haven’t Talked about Food

There are about 14 bags of small dove dark chocolates in my office left over from a health fair we did a few months ago.

On some days, I will eat two or three of these in the afternoon.  They fulfill a craving for sweet and are about the healthiest thing beside fruit or nuts I could be eating for a snack.

Yesterday, I noticed that the nylon bag that holds all the bags of chocolate was zipped shut, the first time it was zipped up since the chocolates appeared.  I asked my friend, who also works with me, why it was shut and she said that she was thinking of going one step further and hiding them from me.

I know that her intention was to be helpful by hiding the chocolates, but what it actually did was make me feel like I couldn’t be trusted with food.  This made me feel angry and aggravated.

I am in a place where I trust myself with what I eat more and more everyday.  It really began when I gave up gluten and alcohol about 9 months ago.  I knew both of these foods were hurting my body because every time I ate wheat or drank a beer I would feel horrible afterwards.  Still, I had done this for years even though I knew something was making me sick.

The more aware I become of my body, the less I want to eat things that make me feel crappy no matter how “good” they taste in the moment.

Todays video is about trusting myself to eat what is best for my body and myself.   I might be eating chocolate when you watch it or I may be eating a salad or I might not be eating at all.  Whatever feels good.

Interview with my Wife about my Weight

Christine, my wife, hiked with me up Petticoat Hill in Williamsburg today.
I would say more about our interview, but I think the video speaks for itself.
I love you Christine.
Bill

Weigh-In/Weight Goals Day 15-Confessions

Most of my goals around health are not about weight, but most of them will be easier to accomplish when I weigh less.

What would be easier?

Doing a triathlon

Climbing the highest mountain in each New England state

Having the energy to finish my creative projects

Feeling better about how I look

These are just some of the things that will be easier as I accomplish each weight goal.

What are some of your health goals and what could you do to make them easier to accomplish?

 

Why I Walk

I walk because it is free.
I walk because it brings me into nature.
I walk because it is what my Dad and I did when I was a kid.
I walk because I wish my Mom had gotten up, started walking, and just kept going.
I walk because it makes me feel alive.

Interview with the Sabotage Me

There is a part of me that likes to give up, it takes an idea of mine and rips it to shreds.  It is a tricky little dude I call “Sabotage Me”.  I felt it’s presence strong and clear today on my hike so I decided to do an interview with him.

I Like it on Top

Today I went hiking because I wanted to.  I knew exactly where I wanted to be: at the very top of the mountain, looking over my community as friends and family woke up to start there day.  I hiked today not to lose a pound or because I committed to do it, I did it out of pure joy.
I met an ultra athlete at the top and did a short interview with him.  He was going to go back down to the bottom put some sandbags on and go back a couple of more times.  He suggested that I put 15-20 pound weights on so that I would burn more calories until I pointed out to him that I already have a 40 pound sandbag wrapped around me, I just can’t take it off when I get back to my car.  Hopefully, over time it will be gone and I will have the luxury of throwing some sandbags on my body just for the extra burn.

I am my Habits

I have been paying more attention to my habits lately.  For example, I notice that whenever I am with other people and there is food involved I tend to overeat.  Another is that I to like plop on the couch at the end of a work day especially when I have been sitting at my desk or driving all day.
On the other hand, when I exercise on a consistent basis I move more throughout the day and I eat better.
They say that it takes anywhere from 1 month to 8 months to form a habit.  Science says 66 days or about 2 months.  My goal is to hike for 120 days (with the weekends free for other types of exercise).
I am on day 9.
Question of the day:
If you could form one habit that you would do every day no matter what, what would it be?

Frustration


I went to the grief and loss retreat this weekend.  I quickly came to the conclusion that the thing I have lost recently is my body.  I have been so in my head for so long that sometimes I think I will never be able to get back to my body.  This weekend I saw some glimpses of what I have been missing.  It’s not as far away as I might think.
I made a video this morning.  I weighed myself on top of the mountain.  I was 236.5 pounds which means I lost 3 pounds in the last week.  Success!
The thing that has really been frustrating me is that I have made a series of 2 minute videos and many days it has taken me the whole day to edit and get it on youtube and this blog.  It feels like there is an energy that is in my way.  I want it to be easy.  The hard part should be going up the mountain and making a video, not editing it and getting it to you.
The good news is that my frustration has not led to eating badly.  I am on a mission.  Most of the time I am pretty clear about it.  The hardest times are after 5 p.m.  This is when I find it easy to lose my way with food.

Grief, Fat, and Oreos

Now…….

And then……….

Don’t let my wife see this video: A true confession : Day 4

abcnew.com story – Would you trust an overweight dietitian?
Today’s Dietitian article I was interviewed for about overweight dietitians

Confessions of an Overweight Dietitian-Day 3-Listening to my Body

My body always knows best what it should be doing next.  It knows whether to take a nap or go for a walk or what to eat.  When I am disconnected from my body I don’t treat it well.
When I am in my body I know what to do.
What keeps me in my body?
Exercise
Meditation
Yoga
Being in Nature
Staying in a Conscious State of Being

Foods that I know are good for my body:
Vegetables
Fruit
Beans
Nuts
Seeds
Grass fed animal products (at certain times)

Foods that I know are not good for my body:
Gluten
Too much dairy
Sugar
Ice Cream
Processed Foods
Too much coffee
Alcohol

Foods that I am not 100% sure about:
Cheese (Dairy at all)
Other grains

What is your list? (Hint:  do this when you are feeling in your body)

A great resource on intuitive eating (eating with the wisdom of your body)

Confessions of an Overweight Dietitian-Day 2-Hopelessness

My back hurts.  Will I make it this time?  How many times have I tried to take care of myself?  These are some of the things that came up on this morning’s hike.  Confessing it on camera really helped.
Einstein Quote:
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
I created my weight issues by not being conscious at all.  When I am more conscious and more in my body, this is when I lose weight, this is when I take care of myself.  This is when I feel better.



But as I feel better, I go back to being unconscious.  It seems to be my default.  The question then becomes:  How does one stay in consciousness as they become lighter, more in their body, happier?  I think the answer may be to simply stay conscious.  How do I remind my future self-sabotaging self to stay conscious, to stay in the moment?  How, indeed.

Example of being conscious:  I know that I crave something sweet after I eat a meal.  I also know that I am usually just as happy with a piece of fruit as an ice cream sundae.  When I am really paying attention I go and grab an apple.

Surprise in the Woods, Easter Day

Every day I hike in the woods I find something amazing.  This one really took me a back.

Confessions of an Overweight Dietitian-Intro

My name is Bill Bradley.  I am a Registered Dietitian who weighs 239.5 pounds.  I would like to say that I do not define myself by my weight, but, on some level, I do.
I certainly don’t solely define myself by that, but it is part of who I am.
This is the deal though….. I feel heavy, weighed down.  There are things I want to do that I need to have all my emotional, physical, and mental resources for.  The extra 40 pounds is a burden.  I don’t want it anymore.
Today, I begin to consciously get into shape through exercising, eating right, and taking care of myself.
I also have a story to tell.  The story about my Mom and her life and the things she went through because she was morbidly obese and the story of how it affected me and made me who I am today and my own story about my weight and how I have struggled.
This is the basis of Confessions of an Overweight Dietitian.  I welcome you to join me on my journey by telling your own story, sharing your food confessions as well as your struggles and wins on your journey to good health.

Bill

Being Ok in Place

Can I be ok right here, right now?
So, I gained a few pounds in the last week.  It was Easter and then Pad Thai night and then I was off on business at a hotel in Boston.  I didn’t get much exercise and I now weigh 232.5 pounds.  Do I need to panic?  No, no, of course not.  This day will go along no matter the physical mass of my body.
The less I weigh, the better I feel physically, but I don’t feel awful in this place, I feel quite well actually.  Do I need to only drink juices all day or only salads?  No, what I want to do is just keep eating the way I have over the last months.  Eat what I feel like eating in the moment.  Maybe a salad for breakfast or a hamburger, maybe soup for lunch, but with a piece of nice chocolate afterwards.  I have been eating well for my body, not because I have to, but because I am craving healthy foods. I enjoy how they taste while I am eating and I enjoy how I feel afterwards, lighter, full of energy.
Plus, I make it a point to move everyday, partially because it keeps my weight in check, but mostly because I love being out in the woods climbing up a hill or riding around Western Mass on my bike.  It has been much more about me being in the present and sensing what I need in the moment.
The last few days I have been in situations that have led me to feel out of balance and my weight went up and now I am returning to the way that has been making me feel better and my weight will do whatever it will do, but I will return to balance.  I am happier in balance.  That is what is important.

Campaign Against My Own Obesity (and an invitation to you)

That’s me on the left at the Harvard Writer’s Conference 1 year ago
Me, 25 pounds lighter and still going!  On top of Mount Tom, April 1, 2012

Wow.  It should have been Confessions of an Obese Dietitian.  In the last year I have lost 25 pounds and I still have 3 more pounds to lose before I become just a regular overweight dietitian.  It has been a pretty amazing journey.  In October of 2011, I gave up drinking and in November I stopped eating gluten.  The gluten was giving me horrible reflux and the drinking was helping me medicate my emotions.  I have found myself in a bit of a brain fog since then and am finding new ways to deal with my anxiety and emotions and I’m still in the learning phase.  Overall though, I am feeling different than I have in a long time.  I have more energy, I am loving hiking in the woods, and I am taking my business to a whole new level.  As I get clearer, opportunities are opening up around me.  I feel blessed.

My invitation of celebration:
In 5 weeks, Christine and I will be walking 20 miles through Boston along with 40,000 other people.  It is the annual Walk for Hunger on May 6th.  My goal is to be out of the obese category by then with the long term goal of never being there again.  For me, it is a celebration of my new adventures into my health.  It is also Christine’s birthday weekend and we would like to invite you to do the walk with us.  It is an amazing day and a great challenge that might help you continue on your adventure into health or you might just want to come to support me or to raise money for some great organizations in Massachusetts.
And here is a video I made a week ago with my declaration of wellness (if you haven’t seen it yet):

Weight Project-Video

The Rope

I wasn’t even that fat.  Most of it was in my mind more than my belly.

I don’t know who this guy is, but I sure wanted to look like him!

Middle School.
In my memory, the thick rope in gym class went from two feet off the floor to about a hundred feet in the air until it hit the ceiling where it was barely visible.  In reality, I would guess, it was probably was 20 or 25 feet high.  Every kid’s goal was to climb to the top of that rope and hang out for a bit at the ceiling staring down at all there envious classmates looking like ants below.
I had been a skinny kid for most of elementary school, but I was raised by an overweight mother.  I knew the taste of weight watcher’s ice cream when it first came out which was like a chewy chemical wasteland.  She taught me how to stuff my emotions with food at a young age.  She shared her depression and her eating disorder with me.  At some point, I was almost certain to become fat.
By the time I had come to middle school in Northfield, Vermont, we had moved 5 times and I was starting to give up on certain things like finding new friends and taking care of my body.
I was getting pudgy.
Yet inside of me was an athlete.  I knew it.
My tiny school of 300 had the Vermont gymnastics champion as one of it’s students.  I loved to watch him as he held his body in a perfect t on the o-rings and effortlessly swing from side to side on the parallel bars with his immaculate muscular arms and land perfectly on the mats with the resounding applause of the student body.  The thing that was inspiring about him was that he only had one leg.
If a one legged gymnast could become state champion surely a slightly overweight out of shape teen could make it up that rope in gym class.
I tried all of two times to make it up that rope.  The first time I made it a few feet up until my muscleless arms started to tremble.  The rope had a different smell from anything I had smelled before.  It was pungent, like it had come a long ways, it smelled like adventure.  I held on tight knowing full well there wasn’t enough strength in my to go any further.  I didn’t have enough strength to come down one arm at a time so instead I just slid down, my arms burning on the rough, prickly outer skin of the thick twine.
I wish this was a story of triumph, of me getting to the top and giving a loud whoop to all the kids below, but a few weeks later I tried again and had the same result.  A sinking feeling was rising in me.  My ship was going down.
We lived in Northfield, Vermont for two years and then we moved on yet again.  I never touched one of those ropes again.

Hamburger and Fries

It was an incredibly busy day.  I felt stressed out and wanted desperately to just go to our local hamburger joint and have one of their juicy burgers on two corn tortillas with cheese, peppers, and onions and a nice big fat serving of french fries with at least a half a cup of ketchup.  I planned my night.  First, I would go eat the burger and then I would drive home, go for a walk, write in my blogs, wait for Christine to come home and then go to bed.
But somewhere deep inside me I knew the truth.  If I ate that burger I would probably go home, sit on the couch, watch something on the computer and fall asleep.  It was the new, ‘more dedicated to his purpose’ me versus the old ‘give up on the world’ me.  I found myself unconsciously heading for the burger place.  I parked my van, turned off the ignition and just sat there.  There was an argument going on in my brain.  I was craving meat, I must need it.  I needed the animal protein and saturated fat after all the healthy food I have been eating the last few months.  Was it my emotions, my brain, or my body that was craving the meal that would be so easy to obtain?  Just walk a hundred more feet, order the meal, wait ten minutes and eat.
I don’t really know what clicked while I was sitting there, but without much more thought I just started up the van, drove out of the parking lot and came home.
I made some homemade hummus and ate it with gluten free crackers, a big salad with Gorgonzola cheese and my own Dijon vinaigrette dressing.
Then I went for a 3 and half mile walk and now I am writing in my blog.
I still have the emotions that I had a few hours ago, the ones that I once would have tried to drink or eat away, but I have let them settle for a few hours and I have managed to do a bunch of things that are good for me so I will call it a night and will eat the hamburger and fries on another day when my body really does need a good greasy, high protein meal with some fried potatoes and a half a cup of ketchup.

Getting Ready to be Thin

You need to not just eat well and exercise to lose weight.  You need to prepare yourself for being thin.  Why did you gain weight in the first place?  Were you depressed, lonely, in a bad relationship?  Were you stressed out or maybe thought that daily gallon of ice cream would be helpful?  The ironic thing is that we often gain weight because we want to push people away or not be seen.  Are you ready to be visible again?  Are you prepared to start really living your life in a new way?  If you are waiting to be thin before you really begin living your life maybe it is time to start living your life now in a way that will lead you to being thin.
I have had great adventures in the last few months.  Giving up drinking has led me to my emotional world.  Giving up gluten has led me to feeling drastically better in my stomach and chest.  Hiking or biking everyday has reinvigorated my body.  As I move from fatness to fitness I am seeing the things that led me to being overweight (in fact, obese) in the first place.  I don’t do well with stress.  I used to use drugs in order to calm myself down.  Now, I try to just slow down and breathe and the exercising helps as well.  I was hiding problems with my memory and general thinking by doing things that were just making it worse.  As I open more to my own life I see that there are alternatives to everything I was doing that are more supportive to myself and my purpose.
I am preparing myself to be seen again by buying better clothes, socializing more and getting support when I need it.  Preparing to be thin is the best possible way to be ready when you arrive.
Are you prepared?

Confession of Bill (Bradley), the not really overweight dietitian

Ok, here it goes.  I am not sure I have really been an overweight dietitian since I began this blog.  Maybe briefly.  Actually, most of the time I have been an obese dietitian.  At the height of my weight last year I was edging towards being morbidly obese.  Those words make me want to yak.  My wife doesn’t even want me to say the word “obese” in context to myself ever again, but I need to say it just a few times.  It is a label and as most labels go, it is a hurtful and not incredibly helpful one.  You don’t need to tell someone they are morbidly obese to let them know they are probably not well.  In most cases, they know it and they don’t need to be reminded.  It is the formal way to label someone fatso or tubbalard.  I hope that I never say to anyone that they are obese even if they ask.  My Mom spent her life being overweight and scarred by it in many ways and I am sure it was no less painful to have a doctor tell her she was morbidly obese than to have some kids yell “hey fattie” too her as she walked down the street.
I am not getting healthy right now because I am obese.  I am getting healthy because there are things in my life I want to do.  I am tired of having no energy.  I am tired of my body hurting because of what I have done to it and what I can change.  So, I am committed in a way I haven’t been in years, but not because of a stupid label, but because I simply want to feel better.
And just so you know I am 4 and a half pounds away from being simply an overweight dietitian instead of an obese one.  Dumb.  Want to know the more important thing?  I am feeling better and better everyday from moving and eating well and being alive.

The reason to lose weight

I was hiking this morning and struggling somewhat with the idea of turning around or getting to the top of the mountain.  I started thinking about why I was exercising at all and why I am pushing to lose weight.  What came to me was that I want to be realize the visions I have about my life and my relationships and my business.  I can’t do it where I’ve been over the past few years, because I don’t always have the energy to get things done.  My mind is scattered, my body tired and frankly I’m done being that way.  So, the vision is to lose weight and get in shape not for some magic number in the sky, but so that I can truly be the person I want to be in life:  Active, loving, in community, creative.  This is the reason to become more alive, to be in my body more, to be lighter.  It is a great vision that will help lead to my other visions.

Snow Day Cravings

I woke up to a foot of snow this morning. I was supposed to visit some schools today so I went to my computer and found that it was a snow day. And then I found myself craving Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, yes, the one in the box, the original that you add 1/4 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of butter to that fluorescent orange powder to make a creamy, high fat, amazingly delicious meal. I remember that there were times when I would eat the whole box. Sometimes, my Mom would add some overcooked frozen broccoli as a side dish which I would always eat first so I could forget about it and focus on the delicate yumminess of the snow day. I would eat until there was nothing left and I would have a dreamy high afterwards.

I went out to snow blow the driveway and about 20 minutes in I started thinking about the mac and cheese again. It was so vivid, I could taste and smell it. Then I started thinking about one of my Mom’s tuna sandwiches with crunch potato chips. Again, another snow day kind of meal. My Mom wouldn’t drain the tuna so it was always a little soggy and usually would have some chunks of celery and plenty of mayo. I would usually eat at least two of these. A perfect day was when she would make both the mac and cheese and the tuna sandwiches.
So, what do I do on this snow day some 30 some odd years later since my Mom last made me a snow day lunch? I am at the very beginning of a 40 day challenge that a bunch of men friends and I are doing. One of my challenges is to weigh under 225 pounds by the end. This basically means about a pound of weight loss every 4 days. I have this craving for mac and cheese and tuna sandwiches. What do I do? I make a commitment to eating well today, that’s what I will do. Let the memories be memories and let the cravings be cravings. If you are anywhere near where I live, enjoy your snow day! Otherwise, enjoy your day at the beach.

Gluten Free/Alcohol Free

Well, it has been over four months since I have had a drink (except for an occasional sip) and a few months since I have had gluten (except for an occasional bite).  What have I noticed?  I haven’t had a prilosec for weeks, maybe a month.  I have much less pain in my belly and my chest.  My mind is clearer, I can remember things better.  I am more in touch with my emotions.  A lot of emotions have come up and there are more to come.  Anger, shame, sadness all held down nicely with a drink or two or too much food.  I feel more possibility now and I also feel my fear more.  It is all nicely in and around this body of mine.  I get excited about what is next and I also get scared.  My next goal is to drop 40 pounds, mostly just to feel better in my own skin.  It is all attached to everything else.  The more emotions that are bubbling the more I want to eat, but once I have the emotions than the clearer I become and the ability to do what is best for me becomes easier.  Feeling becomes easier, being present seems like a cool place to be, peaceful and amazing.  Moving even becomes meaningful.  Moving is where it’s at.  It’s one more thing that brings me closer to God.

End of the Road – The Gluten Free Diet

Throwing up was the only way to rid myself of the pain.
Christine and I had been at a friend’s birthday party.  There was lot’s of great food including barbecued chicken strips from my favorite local barbecue restaurant.
We were given a bunch of leftovers: potato salad, baked beans, and the chicken.
The next morning, I awoke and thought of that chicken.  Christine was just waking up also.  I went out to the kitchen, opened up the fridge, took out the chicken in the plastic Tupperware and gobbled down a strip. The chicken was dry and it felt like it was too big for my esophagus.  It was almost instantly painful.  I started burping and feeling very sick.  Stomach acid started coming up and the burning was incredibly painful.  I tried desperately not to throw up.  Christine was in the kitchen now.  I ran to the bathroom, lost it all, not only chicken, but burning acid.  Tears flowed freely from my eyes.  Relief and worry both came at the same time.
For years, I have dealt with acid reflux.  I have been taking Prilosec off and on, mostly on for at least a decade.  The last few months had gotten worse and I was in constant pain.  I fell asleep with a burning in my chest that was so strong that it would wake me up at night.  Prilosec was no longer doing anything to help.  Everything seemed to upset it.  I gave up drinking alcohol, tried giving up sugar, tried eating mostly vegetables, but it only got worse and worse.
In desperation, about a month ago, I sat down and meditated.  I asked the universe what I should do to help.  I got a reply:  Stop eating bread and pasta, eat more veggies and fruit, eat less sugar, keep abstaining from alcohol.
I listened, again out of complete desperation.  I stopped eating anything with gluten in it.  No bread, no pasta, nothing.  We had been juicing every morning for a few months so I kept doing that as well.  I cut back on sugar, but the biggest change was definitely cutting out the gluten.
At first, it seemed like nothing was changing, but after a few days, the pain in my upper chest started decreasing.  Then it disappeared.  Then the pain in my stomach started going away.  It felt like a slow wave of healing was going through my body.  After about a week and a half I was left with an intense pain under my xiphoid process (the ball-like bone at the bottom of the chest at the end of the ribcage) and an almost continuous feeling of nausea, like, if I thought about it for more than a minute, I could throw up.  It felt like there was a direct opening between my throat and the food below, like I could feel it churning.  At this point, I went to the Doctor.  He ordered an ultrasound to make sure nothing was amiss.
I was on the third week of eating no gluten and then intense pain went away along with the feeling of constant nausea.
My mood started to improve and I started being able to concentrate on tasks that previously I could barely hold on to for about 5 minutes.  Suddenly, I was sitting for hours doing my work, staying on task.
The way I feel now after a month of eating gluten free is drastically different than I felt a month ago.
I, am in no way saying that this will work for everyone, as I am sure it is not an issue for many people, but I am just reporting what happened to me.
My reflux is not completely cured.  Yesterday, I drank some caffeinated chai with soy milk and a gluten free chocolate cookie.  About an hour later, the signs were there again.  I think that caffeine also affects me even if it from a tea or a chai.  I still can’t eat lot’s of dry meat or potatoes without feeling it, but the overall difference is frankly incredible.
More on this later.
Bill

Guidelines to Eating Mediterranean

Guidelines to Eating Mediterranean
Majority of food is unprocessed.
Fruits or vegetables are eaten in quantity at every meal.
Whole grains are emphasized.
Beans, nuts and seeds are major sources of protein.
Lean red meat is eaten no more than once per week.
Choose lean meats and limit serving sizes to 3 ounces.
Fat sources are mainly monounsaturated. 
Diet is high in Omega-3 fatty acids (i.e.-fish, flax oil).
Low-fat cheese and yogurt are used in moderate amounts.
If alcohol is consumed, it is at mealtime and in moderation.
Desserts are mostly fruit based.
Activity is included daily with a combination of cardiovascular and weight bearing exercises.
Bill Bradley, R.D., L.D.N.
P.O. Box 682
Northampton, Ma  01061
413-522-4919

New Study shows that Mediterranean Diet can help with Sleep Apnea

The Mediterranean Diet has been shown to decrease rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, and now sleep apnea!  Check out this latest study from Greece.  See link below.

Mediterranean Diet Decreases Sleep Apnea

Energy

We all are balls of energy.

Food and Sex and Love

Have we become so confused, so jaded that our purpose in life is to lose 20 pounds?  
We  go to any extreme, starving ourselves or stuffing our bodies with fatty sausage to reach our goal weight.  It becomes our obsession, haunts us when we’re out, becoming the main topic of conversation.  We buy books, listen to tapes, search for special diet foods to reach our dream.  We put on a disguise of the healthy person and we forget.  We forget the things that will actually help us lose weight, feel healthy and alive.  We ignore our real purpose as we hide behind food and liquor and television and movies and sex.  
In the name of “health”, we forget ourselves.  If we were truly in our bodies would we drink a sugary chemical filled shake in the name of weight loss?  Would we take a diet pill that could give us a heart attack?  Would we eat at an all you can eat Chinese buffet, force feeding our bellies with barbecued spareribs, fried chicken fingers and soft serve ice cream?  Would we listen to the advice of self proclaimed gurus telling us what to eat instead of listening to the wisdom of our own unique bodies?  We have cast aside our truer purpose: loving, giving to others, living in nature for the addiction of the perpetual diet.  
What will they say?  What will they say at our funerals?  Will they speak of contributions, how we helped others, how we changed lives or will they draw a blank only remembering our obsessions with ourselves and our bodies?
 
It is never too late to begin.

Take some time away from computers, cell phones, cable television, friends and family and give yourself time to be in silence.  Become aware of your body.  Sit in silence long enough and you will begin to know what your body really needs, what foods and actions really nourish it.  Give yourself permission to experience what real hunger feels like instead of the psychological hunger of unfelt emotions or unrelieved stress.  Most importantly, let a new you emerge, one who not only knows and acts on what is best for themselves, but has a deeper purpose that has to do with healing and truly living the precious life we have been given.  This is the way out and the way in.  It is what I am practicing today.  Peace.

There is an adventure waiting

Many of you have probably watched the Todd Bieber videos about the lost film in Manhattan.  He starts off saying that he has been wanting an adventure and then one comes to him.  He makes choices along the way as to whether to continue or not (picking up the film, bringing it with him, getting it developed, making a video about it) and it truly does lead him on an amazing journey.  If you haven’t watched these inspiring videos I have linked them below.  It is worth watching the whole series (about 8 minutes).   In each and every moment, we make decisions that can bring us to exciting new places if we choose to follow the inspirations within us.
May your day be filled with adventure and joy!

Video 1: Found:  Lost Pictures of New York Blizzard

Video2:  Found:  Lost Pictures of New York Blizzard:  Part 2

Video 3:  Found: Lost Pictures of New York Blizzard: Part 3

Creating a fun goal around health

I just finished a five mile walk.  It was easy, helped clear my head, and made my body feel better.  I have a goal to walk 20 miles in one day.  I will be doing it with 40,000 other people in Boston in an effort to raise money for the hungry in Massachusetts.  Last year they raised over 4 million dollars.  The thing about it is this:  I am getting myself in shape getting ready for something that is fun, inspiring, and helpful to others.  So often, we go to the gym with a dreariness because we don’t really want to be there and the only purpose is to make ourselves healthier.  It is a good goal, but it isn’t always enough to make us want to go.  If feels lifeless.
On the other hand, challenging yourself to do something that will help others, be fun, and be healthy for you, now that’s a different thing altogether.

Find something that sings to you and join in.

For more info on the Walk for Hunger

Slow Eating and Weight Loss: Does the Science Support It?

Slow Eating and Weight Loss: Does the Science Support It?

Upper Limit Problem

I am reading a great book that I would highly recommend called the Big Leap by Gay Hendricks.  It’s tag line is “conquer your inner fears and take life to the next level”.  In it, he talks about “The Upper Limit Problem”.  His description is as follows:  Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy.  When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure.”
I have been thinking about my Upper Limit Problem with the irony involved in a day of teaching people to eat the Mediterranean Diet.  In the past, I would wake up, prepare food, sometimes for 100’s of people and travel to my workshop.  As I cooked, I would tell everyone about how the people on the Island of Crete had the lowest rates of heart disease in the world, how the men live to be the same age as the women, and the qualities of the olive oil that make it a strong anti-inflammatory.
I would make them a delicious sample or lunch  and everyone would leave happy and motivated and well fed.
Except for me.
After the feelings of elation of leading a successful workshop, I often would clean up, drive home, and on the way I would eat a kid’s meal at McDonalds or a couple of slices of greasy pizza with a coke or a roast beef sandwich with potato chips.
I would sabotage myself with unhealthy food just after helping others get excited about one of the healthiest ways of eating in the world.
This was my Upper Limit Problem.  I sabotaged my success with the antithesis of my success.  I would do the very thing I had just told people not to do.  I was a walking contradiction.
As I expand into a new way of being and understanding I have learned how food affects not only how I feel in the moment, but can actually contributes to my overall success (or failure).   When I eat well, my energy increases and I am able to do more of the things I want to accomplish in my life.  I also am not living a drag me down lie.
The food we eat can be a huge Upper Limit Problem or it can be what helps us make the Big Leap into the life we want.

Happy Jumping!

The Upper Limit Problem

I am reading Gay Hendricks book, The Big Leap.  In it he speaks of the Upper Limit Problem.

It is all here

Everything you have been asking for is already here.  Ask the people around you, they are human spirits, they can all help you, even the ones you are irritated by.  They may be the most helpful of all.  Stop pushing away.  The answers will come.

Going Inward

There is a book by Wayne Dyer called “There is a spiritual solution to everything”.  It intrigues me to think of this, that no matter what is going on there is an answer or a way out or a way in.  When I spend 5-10 minutes in the morning and just settle into my body a lot of magic happens.  I begin to get more clear throughout the day, I become more loving in my relationships, and I begin to have gratitude for what I have.  I used to try to “meditate” and constantly get mad at myself for my mind wandering or falling asleep.  Now, I give myself much more freedom.  I let my mind wander.  I vision things I want in my life.  Occasionally, I focus on my breathing.  The most important thing is that I just give myself time to settle in to me, to let solutions come to me because there really is a spiritual solution to everything.  I just have to slow down enough to listen.

Today’s Dietitian Magazine does Article on Overweight Dietitians (I am in it)

I was interviewed a few months ago by Today’s Dieitian.  Here is the article.
http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/121610p38.shtml

Faith

Where do we get faith?  We all have some, faith that there will be a new day, faith that our car will start, faith that our lover won’t leave us.  That kind of faith seems easier than the kind that says “everything will be alright” or “we can get whatever we want.”  Maybe, we don’t really want to have everything we wish for.  Would that be too much?  Of course, in the end, some things we truly have faith in fall apart, at least once in your life their isn’t a new day, or your car doesn’t start, or your lover does leave you.  Is the other side true as well?  Is everything truly alright, can we get whatever we want?
I sometimes wonder if there is a way to manufacture faith.  I know I feel more of it when I am really in my body, when I can feel spirit all around me.  I also know that I can get in my body and spirit if I do some supposedly simple things everyday- meditating, exercising, journaling, eating well.  All of these things increase my body and spirit awareness, but yet I don’t always do them.
I say I want something, but I don’t do the things I know will get me there.
Should I have faith that when I really need to do them, I will?
Or should I just begin today?

One kind of floating

There is some time when you overeat that you feel like you are floating, like you are on a hot air balloon.  You start off on the ground, still heavy, stuck and you begin to eat and all anxiety,  depression, and anger  are thrown overboard and you begin to lift off.  You no longer have to worry about the people around you, the ones that somehow you have to impress and everything becomes easier.  It is even easier to float with a little bit of alcohol.  once you start floating people start to get you, they laugh at your jokes, they think you are amazing, everything comes into focus.  But then you come back down to the ground.  You get anxious again, someone says something that bugs you or you begin to feel inadequate so you turn to the Swedish meatballs and you begin popping them into your mouth one after another and the beer goes down easier with meatballs and especially with little spanakopita squares.  You begin a small little assembly line to stuff your stomach.  Meatballs, spanakopita, beer, then a server comes to you with stuffed mushrooms which reminds you of the little finger sandwiches near the carrots and broccoli (which you eat a token few for your health).  And then you are definitely no longer floating, as a matter of fact you are so weighted down that you cannot even dance with your woman, your stomach feels bloated and the only logical solution is to eat more meatballs and guzzle more beer and go deeper into your own personal hell.  You begin to get self righteous and say to your woman that this isn’t the crowd for you.  Everyone is too serious and business like even though you have only spoken to about two people so it is completely a judgement on your part.  Let’s go home and she has to drive because you had about 3 too many beers and on the way home you talk about what is wrong with everyone there and when you arrive the only place to go is the couch.  You plot down on it and that reminds you of your Mom and how she never gracefully sat on the couch, because her weight wouldn’t let her and she has given up trying and so she would just collapse onto it and it would make a noise, a plop really and how sometimes you worried that the couch would collapse under her weight and how sometimes chairs would collapse under her.  And you are on the couch, your body aches, your esophagus is acidic, food is coming back up towards your mouth, it wants to get out any way it can, it would come out your ears if it could.  The worst thing for you right now is to lie down, but you do anyways because you can’t hold yourself up.  When you lay down, the food comes back up faster.  You are not going to throw up, you can feel that, no you are just going to lay there in misery until your woman gets you up to go to bed and you spend the night tossing and turning feeling a thick, acidic mass travel your body wanting desperately to escape just like you wanted to escape so badly that you poisoned yourself killing yourself one meatball at a time.

Turning 32

According to the statistics of the world, I will be turning 47 years old on Monday.  I have been feeling old lately.  Tired and emotionally dead.  Christine said to me the other day that sometimes she wishes we were both the same age (she is 15 years younger than me).  Today, we had a snow day and went skiing.  It was a beautiful day which made me feel more present than usual.  I thought about turning 47.  I thought about how old I would like to be.  When did I feel my best?  What age would make me feel like I still had plenty of time in this world?  First I thought of 38 years old, but that still felt older than I want to be.  I came to the conclusion that I would like to be 32 years old.  And then I remembered the whole manifesting thing.  Could I actually become 32 years old again?  Could I feel like I did then?  It would change how I am feeling generally about life right now.
I guess as with most things there is only one way to find out.
On Monday I will be turning 32.  Wish me a happy birthday!
Bill

Self Limiting Thoughts

I need to stop exercising, it makes me feel too good

Hurt

We are bombarded by ads, first the ones that tell us how happy we will be if we just eat this or eat that.  A glorious morning if we eat our frosted flakes, unbounded happiness if we drink our energy.  Second are the ads that tell us how to get rid of the pain of eating the first thing.  Eat that Chili and you can get rid of the heartburn with double strength, over the counter pain relief.  Why do we go in this circle?  What makes us eat something we know will hurt us?  We get a temporary buzz from the food and then we feel like crap, we get a hangover.  Many of us have learned to make fun of our own misery.  “I’m so stuffed, I can barely move” is not something to be proud of.
I think we are covering a pain deeper than the hurt we create from eating crappy food.  Is short term “happiness” better than a life time of pain?
What breaks the cycle of eating to dull our bodies of misery?
Feel.
Feel.
Feel.

Two of Me

There are two of me.  I have always known they are there, but I really discovered them this week.
Monday-Get up early with Christine.  Join the gym.  Workout.  Full of energy all day.  Energy like I haven’t felt in years.
Tuesday-Go to the gym.  Eat well. Full of Energy.  Nearing the end of the day.  Looking for something to numb me out.
Wednesday-Get up at 5 a.m.  Get ready for workshop.  Tired, cranky.  Eat poorly, no exercise.  Feel like crap all day.  Do two workshops.  Go out to late dinner.  Stuffed lobster, beer, tequila, lot’s of butter and sour cream.  Did I mention feeling like crap.
Thursday-wake up groggy, tired, down.  Use the gym in the hotel I am staying at.  Start to feel clearer.

Two of me-
Energetic, clear, organized, letting go, moving

Tired, overeating, lethargic, depressed

I seem to be able to do the energetic me for about two days until something calls me to the other side.
I can do the tired me for years.

I asked for clarity and there it is.

Jabba the Hut gets off the couch

Sometimes I feel like the old me, sometimes I feel like me plus an extra 50 pounds.  This morning at the gym I was on the eliptical machine.  My knee hurt, my hip hurt.
I hope I don’t see anyone I know in the locker room as my bloated body walks naked to the shower and while I shower behind the loincloth of a shower curtain.  So good to move.  Yesterday, I had more energy than I can remember having in at least a year.  My mind is clearer when I move, it feels like years of lethargy have clogged my thoughts.  Keep coming clarity.  Wash me in the skin of a new day.

Oh, for the love of God!

Ok, I completely fell off the bowling ball bandwagon.  It is always something, but the biggest thing was that it was difficult to follow the eating plan I was on because I was not eating enough.  I lost a lot of weight the first two weeks and then it started going back on.  Then I became obsessed with the scale and it all went downhill from there.  I am returning to the thing that has seemed to work the best in the past…. Exercise.  Christine and I joined the gym this morning.  It felt great to be there again.  I think the thing that worries me is starting and then stopping again.  I would like to go every day that is reasonable Monday through Friday.  Especially, since I have decided to not do more workshops for the next year it should be much easier to go.  It is just discipline, enjoyment, and commitment.  I need to have fun, I need to go when I don’t want to and I need to commit to this course.  How about just commit for the next week?  I commit to go to the gym today (easy, already went), tomorrow, and Friday.  Wednesday and Thursday I have workhsops (early) and may not be able to go, but I will try.  Only one month of workshops left and then I will only be consulting 25 hours a week, writing and working on my video projects!  Let’s go exploring.

Half a bowling ball and my reward

I weighed in this morning and I lost 5 pounds in a week!  Half a bowling ball down.  I did have to change scales, but it is consistent with all other indicators.  From now on I will be using a digital scale.  I feel better than I have in a while.  Even 5 pounds off my body makes a difference.  There was one time in the middle of the week when I felt tired and I went home to take a nap.  I couldn’t sleep right away and I went for a bike ride instead.  What a difference!  Moving helped me feel less tired than sleeping did!
Generally, I have been following all the guidelines.  Have had very few caloric drinks, haven’t eaten after nine.  Have had 5 fruits and vegetables most days and have eaten salad almost every day.  I also have been moving, walking, biking or hiking.
So, my reward for when I lose the first bowling ball?
I told Christine that I would bring her zip-lining for her birthday.  Recently, I saw the weight limit.  It was 250 pounds!  I weighed 251 last week.  When I get to 141 I want to bring her zip-lining.  Victory number one!