Category Archives: Dieting

Helllppppp

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Can you remind me of the rules for not gaining weight over the
holidays? I rolled from Thanksgiving out to my car swearing I would
never eat again. But of course I am already dreaming of pie.

Helllppppp

 
Dear Helllppp:

I’m not such a great place to turn for this kind of advice, as I violate
the rules as often as I keep to them. But after decades of enjoying
both food and holidays, I know the guidelines. The biggest is to
remember that you are among festive people and occasions for
connection, not calories. I don’t think you need to eat first and go full
so that cannot enjoy sharing food. But focus on the people and the
festivities more than what you put on your plate.

 
Allow yourself to sample everything, but start by taking half (yes I said
half) as much as you would normally serve yourself. Holiday meals
have more courses and components so it is easy to end up with a plate
that is twice as full as usual, and the temptation to taste more of what
is best is always great. So start light and after your first plate, or when
you start to feel full, take a break. Avoid eating dessert right after your
meal. Enjoy the company and an hour or so later, if you are hungry,
have a thin slice of your favorite dessert.

 

Above all do not judge or berate yourself if you screw up. You and half
the people on the planet will be in the same boat, and most of you will
be making the same vows next month about eating less and exercising
more. So give yourself a head start by focusing on people not food and
try to think about feeling lighter rather than assuming you will fail.

One more Time

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I appreciate in the big picture of the world (like, Will we all get blown
up today?) my issues with dieting may seem small. But they are
struggles I have lived with for a long time and I am seriously trying to
make my peace with them and with my body. I am aging and
shrinking in height, so the disparity between my vertical and horizontal
is getting worse. I have always been an “apple” which I know is
especially bad for women. Now I am working with a nutritionist and
health coach to finally put this issue to rest. I am doing it the long,
slow way, as in the way everyone told me to do it all the years of yoyo
dieting. How can I convince people to stop throwing in my face all the
failures of my past? Yes I know I have failed, but that doesn’t doom
me to perpetually being fat. I want to get this right and I need
support, not nitpickers and naysayers. Is there something nicer than
“Please shit up!” that you can suggest?

One More Time

 
Dear One More Time:

Generally I prefer one-on-one communication to group emails, but in
this case I might make an exception, at least for your general social
circle, family, and folks that you think might carp at you just out of
reflexive buttinsky tendencies. What you want to tell them is what you
told me: don’t think of me as a loser, except in the good kind of way.
A draft email might be brief: Dear Ones: You know I’ve struggled with
weight for much of my life. You have witnessed my attempts to lose
weight and keep it off, as well as my failures. I’m asking you to erase
all the old tapes, to mute what you might think of as good advice for
this round of my efforts, and when we meet simply to wish me well
and ask how I’m doing in all aspects of my life. I am much more that
what I weigh, and if I seem thinner or heavier should not be the focus
of how we interact. Thanks for your love and support, and no thanks
to discussing this further.

On Her Side

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

A friend and I agreed to be diet buddies. I have about 20 maybe 30
pounds to lose. She has well over 100 and has a history of non-
compliance, but is now facing very serious health issues that she
swears have motivated her to change her ways. Since I figured I
would succeed faster than her on pretty much any program she would
choose, I allowed her to decide which of the multiple possibilities we
would pursue, as long as it included many servings of veggies and
fruits every day. We also agreed on alternate days to cook and share
entrees. Here’s the problem: No matter what she makes it always
includes more fat or some form of sweetener or something that is
antithetical to the program and success we agree. We agreed to do
this together for a month but honestly two weeks in I don’t find her a
reliable buddy. I want her to live and lose weight but I don’t know that
she’s capable of following rules. I want to keep her as a friend, but not
as a diet buddy. How can I tell her that?

On Her Side

 
Dear On Her Side:

This is a classic problem among people who claim to have similar goals
but do not. There’s also a simple solution. What you need to do is
invite her for tea, not at your house and not at her house. When you
get together ask her what her goals are for dieting. Then listen after
she answers be sure to listen and confirm that she’s being consistent
in her words if not in her actions. Then say very clearly, My goals of
the same but I want to not do the food trade because your
interpretation of the rules is looser than my timeline for weight loss.
Add in that you’re happy to continue an emotional support relationship
and also to listen to her tsoris about how hard it is to lose but make it
very clear that you want to follow rules.

 

 

In truth, a person with serious health issues and more than 100
pounds to lose needs to be under a doctor’s supervision, not choosing
her own program. Sure, unless people are under lock and key, it is
difficult to keep anyone from cheating. But generally speaking, a
doctor saying You are going to die unless you do X, Y, Z, it is far more
motivating than a friend.

Motivated

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Last year four friends and I went on a diet together with varied results.
Predictably, the people who stuck closet to the plan lost the most, and the ones
who “simply couldn’t” give up certain foods did not do as well. In the interim, one
of the ones who most needed to lose (as in medically obese and more) has had
a variety of health issues. Her doctor told her to immediately lose 50 pounds and
then work on the next 50, with still more to lose after that. I agreed to support her
and go back on the plan, because my last 20 to lose are about as hard as her
first 50+.

 

Each day we check in about food, but for the past week she has
sounded increasingly off program, and particularly defensive about saying why
she “can’t,” “won’t” or otherwise is having problems and is modifying the program
to suit her. I started by saying, “What did your doctor say?” and then moved to
“You have to do what works for you.” But I suspect she is on the slide to no
progress. I want to be supportive but not derail myself in the interim. Part of the
deal was trading homemade food that conforms with the requirements of the diet.
What can I say or do, both to help her and to protect myself?

Motivated

 
Dear Motivated:

It’s always frustrating when people who most need to change refuse to
do so, especially when the people around them have rallied to support
them. In this case, you should let her doctor be the hammer, not you,
if you value the friendship. Start the conversation that you will need to
have with: I know you’ve been struggling with this diet. I’m not tied to
what you eat, or what program you choose to be on. We don’t have to
do the same thing. Maybe you should talk to your doctor about what
s/he thinks is a good way for you to lose the weight, because your doc
is more in touch with the specific medical issues. For me it’s hard to
hear that you are choosing to modify the plan, because I am doing my
best to stay on it. So let’s not talk about what we are eating or not
eating. Let’s focus on our successes and how we can support that.
Re the food sharing, say you should each text the other when you
make something that is available for sharing. As simple message like,
I made XYZ soup. Do you want some? Then the recipient can choose if
it suits her program. I suspect time will have more of an impact on her
health than any words you might say. Focus on your own.

Backsliding

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I was on a very rigorous diet for about a month. I lost weight and I was happy
about it. I especially liked all the compliments I got during the High Holidays,
when I saw many people who had gone the opposite direction. Then I took
several weeks off. Between break fast and succah hopping I took in many
thousand more calories than I should have. I want to go back on program, at
least between now and Thanksgiving, with the hope that I can maintain whatever
I lose through to the New Year. I think I learned my lesson but I have also gotten
lazy. Can you get me motivated to do what I know I will feel better doing, but
seem to have lost the will to do for myself?

Backsliding

 
Dear Backsliding:

A wise person once said abut weight, You’re either gaining or losing. Sadly that’s
truer than we might wish, though if you establish a range for a goal, say 143-145,
you will know when to bear down when you cross the bright red line and see a 6,
7, 8, etc. Weighing in every morning should become as automatic as brushing
your teeth. If you are afraid of stepping on the scale, that’s an indicator that it’s
time to go back on your program, whatever it is.

 
Techniques that work for me and others I know: Write down what you are
allowed to eat, meal by meal organized by category (protein, grain, vegetable,
fruit). Keep a list of what’s legal in what quantity with you in your purse. If you are
shopping, eating in a restaurant, or just need a reminder to say No I’m not going
to buy or eat that!, pull it out. Don’t tempt yourself with Just one bite, or Just this
one time, or I can keep it in the freezer for company. Organize your schedule
around getting to the gym or going for a walk. Enlist a buddy to go on program
with you until Thanksgiving. And set a reasonable goal, say five pounds lost by
then. If it feels hopeless, you won’t obey. If you see progress, even in ounces,
you will find more motivation.

Urgent

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

This question is at the intersection of my health and my
marriage. My husband and I have been together for 25
years and the pounds have crept onto both of us. Okay we
ate our way fat, but for a very long time we didn’t encounter
any major health issues, just vanity and wardrobe. Then he
was diagnosed diabetic and was told to lose weight. He did,
but he found even more pounds and is back where he
started plus 10. I now have a mandate from my doctor to
immediately drop 20 pounds. I’ve put myself on a very
specific food and exercise regimen, but my husband seems
determined to undercut it. He brings home ice cream and
cookies saying “We deserve treats.” and he keeps inviting
me to late evening concerts and events that seem to
undermine my commitment to early workouts. I’d like him to
be alive longer too, but right now I’m most concerned about
me. What should I do?

Urgent

 
Dear Urgent:

Every relationship develops its own communications style.
Sadly, passive aggressiveness has crept into yours, teamed
up with long-term denial. It’s a scary and potentially deadly
combo to leave in charge.
You’re overdue for a serious conversation with your hubby.
You need to agree that you won’t be each other’s food
police, but also that you will commit to standards for the
household that you will both honor. Those standards can
whatever you want, but he needs to honor your
commitment, even if he won’t agree to toe the same line for
himself. Why not give him a special place for his stash: a
corner the freezer where you never look (say, behind the ice
cube tray) for hi, and a corner cupboard very high up for his
cookies. Simply say, The only other thing I’m asking is that
you not offer it to me or eat it in front of me. I’ll let you
know when I think I’ve earned a treat. Then it’s up to you
set the alarm every morning to get to the gym. If you’re up
for an evening event, agree on a come home time or tell him
that if it means taking separate cars you’ll do it. This may
take the next three months or even six, but I promise he’ll
get more on board when he sees how happy you are with
success.

Less of Me

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

A group of four friends decided to go on a 28-day diet together. I’m
probably the one who is the closest friend to each, but they’ve all
heard a zillion stories of each other’s lives, and met at parties here for
decades. We all need to lose weight. Some 30 lbs and others much
more. One of us found what seems like a very effective program that
actually is healthy and – IF YOU FOLLOW THE RULES – and we all
agreed to start on a date about 10 days out. That was enough time for
me to detox off coffee (Yikes I know!!!), read the book, do some meal
planning, and even develop a spreadsheet with lots of cues about what
to do when and how that I shared.

 

The others waited until Sunday
night to look at it, decided I’m not ready, and only one started on time
with me. We’d set up a group email to share our experiences. But the
gal who’s on program with me and I are feeling great and positive, and
the other two are posting snippy remarks and saying how hard it must
be and how scared they are, and how sorry they are that we‘re
suffering. In fact we are not!!! Not hungry and not tired and beginning
to feel the burn. They’re annoying me and I want to tell them to diet
or shut up. Can you say that more nicely?

Less of Me

 

Dear Less:

Set up different email connection with you and your friend who’s on
track with you. Tell the others they can join when they are a week into
the diet, but in the interim they are please, please, please not to post
any more discouraging or apprehensive remarks to the two of you that
are on program. Tell them they are not only annoying but also
distracting and untrue. That, like most diet, if you follow the rules, the
plan will work. But if you cheat or look to negotiate with what you’re
clearly not committed to, it’s likely to fail and discourage you even
more.

 
Say all that in a semi-friendly email to the whole group. Add into it tips
that you’ve learned in the prep time or first week, thinks like: Do a
week of meal planning and make sure you have all the ingredients in
the house. Drink all the water they say to. Use tea as a snack.
Veggies, veggies, and more veggies. Tell yourself every morning why
you are doing this. Take it one meal at a time. If they cannot respect
your decision, tell them you’ll check in on the other side. You are to be
applauded, not demoralized.

Sick of Being Sick

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Long, ugly, medical story made short: I had ankle surgery that went
bad and I was on too many meds for too long. Even after I got off the
opioids I was on anti-inflammatories for a long time. Two weeks ago I
landed in the emergency room with an attack of diverticulitis.
Apparently the meds had inflamed my gut in bad, and hard to
remediate way. My birthday is in two weeks, fortunately one ending in
a 7 not a 0 or a 5. In my social circle most people like to take the
birthday gal out to lunch. But right now food is sweet potatoes,
steamed vegetables, rice, broth, and applesauce, with an occasional
treat of oatmeal. I’m not eating gluten, sugar, dairy, salads, pizza,
alcohol, or a host of other delicious things. While it’s making me
healthier it is also very boring and unequivocally not very festive. As
people are asking about taking me out to celebrate, I sound like an old
wet blanket. Do you have an idea about how to enjoy being the center
of attention without destroying my tender tummy?

Sick of Being Sick

 
Dear Sick:

I have two ideas and suggest you employ them both. Idea number
one: Tell folks what you can and cannot eat and a safe set of
restaurants you can go to. Explain that what’s much for fun for you
now is doing and experiencing rather than eating. Suggest that your
friends invite you to a movie or a show, with a light bite or cup of tea
before or after. Say the pleasure of their company should not be
overshadowed by the after-effects.

Idea number two is to spread out the joy. Explain that your system
is on overload, both from the medical events and the number of folks
who want to express their love. Ask if you can take a rain check until
your gut is healed, and set a specific date on the calendar that feels safely
far off. Good friends would understand either option, and you can give
them a choice. Sound appreciative for whatever they say yes to and focus
on getting healthy. By next birthday I hope you are eating everything that
you enjoy and that’s good for you.

Desperate

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Yikes! The resolutions lasted but a few weeks and here I am, again
feeling fluffy and addicted to sugar. I tried to go cold turkey, then got
the flu and ended up back on jello, which let to one treat after
another, and down the rabbit hole. I need to take off not just the five
pounds of holiday fressing, but the twenty that they landed on top of.
Don’t tell me about diets and Weight Watchers. I need something that
threatens to cut off my hand at the wrist if I move it towards my
mouth with sweets in it.

Desperate

 
Dear Desperate:

Desperation isn’t always the best time to make decisions, especially
not a draconian one. Instead of a meat cleaver, you need a muzzle. Or
perhaps better, a cup for tea or a glass for water. Or perhaps a long
manifesto you are obligated to read aloud each time you want sugar.
The hard part is remembering to read it or drink it before the sugar is
already down your gullet. How to do that? Make sure there’s a longer
reach than your arm for the sugar you swear you don’t want to eat.
Don’t buy sugar. Don’t buy it in any form. Don’t stop at store, “just for
one thing” and then crack and have a treat to keep around “to prove
you are strong enough.” You’re not. You will eat it. Just don’t let sugar
in house. When you are driving part the market, tell yourself all the
reasons you want to NOT EAT SUGAR until you are safely home.
Practice just saying No until your habit is to say Yes to health instead
of treats. And don’t discount monitored weight-loss programs that hold
you accountable for what you eat. Once you are on track you may be
allowed desserts like fruit that are natural sugars. Carb counting is a
simple plan that shows you how “expensive” a choice sugar can be.
Work with your doc, not a machete.

Dilemma of Riches

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’m a month into a new relationship. We are both of age and well-off.
Neither cares about marriage again, but we have lots of interests in
common including travel. We are just getting used to and learning
each other’s likes and dislikes. Our tastes in movies and books are
quite similar, but in food very different. He is a bigger guy than I have
been with before, but I don’t mind. I am a little zaftzig and trying to
reduce before surgery. I don’t want to go fanatic on him about calories
or carbs. I don’t even care if he decides to lose weight. But I care a lot
about not having to choose between a potentially very good
relationship with him and a healthy relationship with my own body. Do
you have any wisdom to navigate the next several months?

Dilemma of Riches

 
Dear Dilemma:

The reasons we eat and overeat are many and varied. As one of my
very zafzig friends once said to me: I genuinely LIKE food. Assuming
you are an adult about what you like and what you need to do for your
body, create a generalized set of rules to address your pre-surgical
needs. Try to set limits of calories or carbs that are at least a little
elastic within a given week. That might be an allowance for eating
meals out or a one-day- a-week of not counting, as well as giving
yourself some special occasion passes for weddings or other big
events. What I have learned the very hard way is that any plan that is
pure black/white yes/no day in/out is almost certainly doomed to
failure. You’re going to have to learn to trust yourself and to be able to
say both Yes and No as necessary.

 
Once you know what you’re doing, take your new honey out for dinner
to discuss it. Be very clear about saying, I do not want my food habits
to harm this emerging us. I want you to decide what works for you
and I am not making any judgments about what you decide to do or
not. But I want you to know what I am going to try, in the hope that
when we are together, you will be more supportive rather than
tempting me to go off program. I promise to make it up to you in
kisses, if that’s any motivation. My guess is that your honey will say
yes and you will both reap the benefits.

Trimming

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’m in a wonderful new relationship. It has been three months and I
don’t think I could be happier. He is sweet, funny, charming,
intelligent, and kind. We share similar values, hobbies, and politics. So
far my friends all like him, though his are far away (he just moved
here). The problem is that I have very strict orders from my doctor to
lose twenty pounds before an impending knee surgery this winter. I
am working with a dietician and changing how I eat. My new beau is a
foodie and we go to great restaurants. I am pretty good about what I
order for a main course, but he is always suggesting that we have
drinks, bread, appetizers, and desserts, and acts hurt when I demur or
don’t show the same enthusiasm about them. He is a big guy and
could lose some weight himself, but that’s between him and his
body/doc. I just need to stay on my program. How can I explain this
without ruining what could be a great thing?

Trimming

 
Dear Trimming:

Virtually every new relationship looks great in the first three months,
even six if you are lucky. Then the true issues begin to emerge. That’s
not to say they are fatal, just that they need to be addressed, and the
more difficult issue of how you communicate when things are less rosy
can quickly become the focus of how you relate, not just the kissing
and hugging and being happy.
You can start by reminding him when he wants you to order more than
you want to eat that you are trying very hard to follow your doctor’s
orders. You can try to allocate your calories/carbs/etc to allow a little
extra splurge for the times when you two are out, but he should be
willing to hear a No thanks when you order the same way you have
the right to respond Not tonight, dear. You get to decide what to do
with your body, and you should not be pressured (actively or
passively) into doing something else. There are legitimate health
reasons for your decisions, and if he is a keeper for the long run, he
will respect and support them. If not, you will have had a delightful
interlude, and have new criteria to add to your list when you start your
next relationship. I hope he is a mensch, and can be supportive and
encouraging, or at least not subversive to your efforts to get healthy.
Because if he’s not helping now, he probably won’t be a reliable person
post-surgery. Speak simply and clearly, and be consistent in your
behavior. Then hope he steps up. If not, think about new boundaries
for the relationship.

Twenty Pounds Over the Line

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I’m trying to get ready for knee surgery later this year. It’s very hard
sticking to a food and exercise program when you are dating and have
friends who celebrate life. There are too many occasions for eating
out, catching a drink, going to BBQs and graduation parties. I know
you have heard this a thousand times before, but what’s a polite way
to be social and engage with people without compromising my
principles and priorities. To be clear, this is not about vanity. It is
about medical necessity.

Twenty Pounds Over the Line

 
Dear Twenty Pounds:

Unless your friends are unusual, the person who raises a fork or glass
to her mouth and decides what goes in is you. And only you. So all the
advice in the world is no substitute for self-control, commitment, and
focus. Each meal, even each mouthful, is a choice. You may see a
warm fresh challah, inhale its aroma, imagine its pillowy goodness,
and yearn for its sweetness. But that doesn’t mean you have to eat it.
Or if you do, to have more than one appreciative bite. Or slice, or two,
or..….It is a slippery slope. Only you decide what is enjoyed by your
eyes and nose but not by your mouth.

 
Make a list of your food principles. There’s the obvious about low
sugar, low fat, maybe even low gluten. But there’s also the idea of
portion control within whatever food program you choose. If you are
going to a party, ask the hostess what’s going to be served. Don’t be
shy about saying That sounds lovely but my doctor has me eating
veggies. I hope you don’t mind if I bring a platter of fresh veggies and
low-cal dip to add to the offerings. When you dine out, order a salad
and an appetizer, not a full meal. Control your alcohol consumption.
Talk your diet plan over with your doc and get a sign off and set goals
together.

 

 

Don’t neglect the exercise part of the equation. Find a low-impact class
that you can tolerate, or learn to love water aerobics. Again, your
docwill have ideas. But once you have a plan, stick to it like glue until
after the surgery. You will be very happy later when you are light and
svelte and can embrace life more fully in your newly bionic body.

Stuck

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I am feeling very stuck. I had been doing really well on my food
program (staying off sugar) but along the way I seem to have become
a complete carb junky. I can avoid sweet foods and still; find lots of
ways to keep myself sated with bread and butter. My clothes are
getting tight on me again and the holiday season is looming. I cannot
fall into the giant abyss of mindless eating or I will need more diabetes
meds. I wish fear were a sufficient incentive but it doesn’t seem to
work. What can I do?

Stuck

 
Dear Stuck:

Fear is not a good motivator. It may work for a little while but not for
the long run. Most people change by being pulled towards something
(e.g. health) or by being pushed from it (e.g. death). In your case a
lot more information would be a great cure. Because what works on
most diet plans may or may not right for a diabetic. Virtually every
health plan and Medicare will pay for a diabetic education plan. Sign
up now and treat it like your life depends on it. Then develop a cue
word or behavior, a mantra you have to say or an act or pre-contrition
to perform before you put anything in your mouth. The weeks between
Thanksgiving and New Year’s add five pounds to most people’s waistlines.
You don’t have the room, even if you have elastic waists. A little more
consciousness can save a lifetime of tsoris.

Hit the Brink

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

I am starting a very stringent food program. I’ll spare you the medical
details but assume they include long-tern chronic debilitating
conditions, mild obesity, and a sincere but wavering desire in the past
to “get healthy” and kick the medical issues through nutrition. I have
my doctor’s sign-off to do a three-month experiment that I have been
working my way into. The punch line on the NO foods are: no gluten
(and little non-whole grain), no sugar, no dairy, no caffeine, no
legumes. I’m not vegetarian but consume animal protein only
modestly. I can still imbibe small amounts of alcohol, assuming my
blood sugars are within certain limits. Here’s the problem: Look at the
calendar! I’m social and there’s no “Just wait until January” in this
experiment. In addition to Hanukah, office, Xmas, Ney Year’s and
other December events, there are birthdays, parties, Valentine’s, and
regular weekend socializing, all of which occur based on the Standard
American Diet, plus dessert. I don’t want to miss all the fun. I know I
can resist some temptations but I am not sure if I’ll cave or not. My
doctor is eloquent about what happens if I do.

Hit the Brink

 
Dear Brink:

It’s always tempting to say, I’ll just wait another week, month, or
season. But the reality is that there’ll just be a different set of reasons
not to begin, and your doctor’s eloquence is nothing compared to what
your pancreas and other organs are screaming at you. So you’ll need
to decide how committed you are, what’s fungible and what’s not, and
how you’re going to get through this well. You need to be clear, as in
100% clear, about what you’re not going to cheat on. If it’s wheat,
then no wheat means no wheat, as in zero none. If it’s sugar, then
none. The minute you give yourself permission to eat the target food,
especially “just this once,” you’ve put one foot on the slippery slope to
failure. The slide is exponential. I can testify. If your list is fixed, write
it down. Put it on the bathroom mirror and recite affirmations every
time you brush your teeth: I don’t eat……

 

 

Prepare yourself for social situations. Since you’re clearly going to be
eating something for this duration, you’ll be acclimating to substitute
foods. Bring a piece of fruit or whatever dessert you’re allowed. Ditto if
you can do special kinds of bread or other carbs. Develop simple
explanations for a hostess (I don’t expect special treatment) and other
guests (It’s a temporary but rigid approach to address a medical
condition). Mostly you&'ll need to develop a strength of personality
that’s unusual for most people. But if you’re truly motivated you can
get through this and get healthy. And if you don’t you’ll be asking for
very different accommodations.

All Puffed Up

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:

Helllppp!! I’m back on the carb train. I was doing pretty well with my
food and exercise program until Passover. Then I got addicted to
matzo. I’m not blaming Judaism for my lack of will power. But matzo is
what I call a carrier food. It’s the perfect vehicle for butter, butter, and
more butter, as well as cream cheese and lox, and other delicacies.
I’ve put it away but I still hear the white flour (and its friends
potatoes, sugar, rice, etc) calling to me. Can you give me a plan to get
back on the right track?

All Puffed Up

 
Dear Puffed Up:

One of my favorite cartoon is a Gary Larson image of the woman
sitting in her armchair while the sound balloon coming from the pie in
the kitchen is calling “Edna…Edna…Edna….” That’s how things like
cocaine and nicotine as well as sugar and carbs work. They are
addictive, and once they have us hooked it is oh so very hard to break
free of their alluring and beguiling calls.

 
Read my lips: The only way to stop is to s.t.o.p. As in STOP! You can
spend a lifetime researching different diet plans, and look for food
alternatives akin to a nicotine patch, as in tapering your intake slowly.
But ultimately all roads lead to one conclusion: If you don’t want the
impacts of what you eat to impact you negatively, then just stop
eating it. I’m rarely accused of quoting Nancy Reagan, but the “Just
say No” motto is applicable here. If you don’t put it in your mouth,
you’ll be one choice closer to being free of it.

 
Make a list for this week that you can stick to. Say, no sugar. Or no
white flour. Or no potatoes or rice. Think about white foods and refined
foods as being bad. Go one week without one of them. Then week two
add in a second. Begin to prove to yourself that you can just say no
and soon you will be able to do it consistently and more widely.