All posts for the month October, 2011

Calories in<Calories out? The Myth of myths!

Published October 28, 2011 by Crystal

I’ve opened up a can of worms.  I dared to point someone towards a blog entry that tries to debunk the calories myth.  I wasn’t trying to force my views on someone anymore than the WW or Jenny Craig member were, but I think daring to suggest there is an alternative was a step too far.  Because I’m going against “what years of  science have proved”.  We all know though, that science can sometimes get it wrong, and the whole calorie thing is still a relatively new concept in the world of science.  It is still learning about the variables.  And really, I’m not going against what science says, but i’m opening up the idea that it isn’t really that simple.

It works short term, sure, we all know eating nothing but vegetable soup all week will see us drop pounds (and spend hours on the loo).  But what about the long term effects?  Our body is in a constant panic that we might go into starvation mode.  It is an expert at consuming as little energy as it needs in times of stress.  It will hold on to every ounce of fat if it thinks there’s not going to be a decent meal.  And what of the effects of yo yo dieting?  Your body knows the score now.  You had a binge, but now you’re starving yourself for the foreseeable future.  Better drop that metabolism right down.  And with all those vitamin and mineral deficiencies you can’t expect to work at full effective speed.

Sure, in the early years, in your teens and twenties calories in/calories out is pretty reliable.  You haven’t done the extensive years of damage to your body.  But as the years tick by, and the weight comes and goes, your body has to work harder and harder in protecting itself from the next binge.

How many times do you go through a diet dreaming of cakes and biscuits?  The sheer deprivation you are putting yourself through is doing things to your brain that you wouldn’t wish on your enemy!  Your sense of smell is suddenly super acute as you go past the bakery or take away.  And all of a sudden pizza sellers are dropping menus through your door on an hourly basis.  But your resolve is strong.  You have a little black dress to fit into for the Christmas Party.  So long as you can get to that party, in that little black dress, everything will be ok.  You will look stunning, and you’ll finally be able to have a slice of cake and maybe a cocktail sausage or two.

But it’s what comes after the party that does as equally damaging stuff to your body.  Your body, that was coping with a minimal diet is now being bombarded with all those foods you’d deprived it of.  Suddenly it has high volumes of fat and sugar to deal with.  And in your younger days it could deal with it, but now, it is feeling sluggish.

But we keep putting our bodies through the same thing time and again.  We keep looking for that miracle diet, because one day, one of them will surely last forever!

Here’s a good link  discussing the whole myth, and dieting world.

A big point also, is that diets fail because they do not address the psychological reason around weight gain.  You might be a comfort eater, you might be a boredom eater, you might be scared of exercise.  For me, I have had a weight issue for as long as I can remember.  Even when I was slim I felt fat, because it was a psychological issue, I couldn’t see my body as it was, and I couldn’t see myself as ok.  Notice I didn’t say I couldn’t love myself, the fact is I couldn’t even accept myself.  And when we spend all our time bombarded by media views that we need to be slim and beautiful, when we fall for the lie that we are unacceptable as we are, no diet in the world is going to convince us otherwise.  And then, when we still feel hideous and unacceptable at a lower weight, we start to look for those comforts we have always relied on, maybe a bar of chocolate and a film, or a bottle of wine, something to give us some feel good factor.

There is a big lie that dieting companies like to throw out regularly “Nothing tastes as good as slim feels”.  Actually, it’s true if you’re on one of those diets eating their fat free sugar free concoctions, because they really don’t taste good, and feeling slim would have to be better in comparison.  But eating a proper, well cooked, nurturing meal?  Something warming on a winters day?  Maybe a warm stew with dumplings. Tasting every mouthful, enjoying the flavours and sensations, and stopping when you’ve had enough to satisfy.  Feeling in control around food, and knowing you can enjoy food like you actually want to.  That feels so much better than simply feeling slim.

I won’t deny, feeling slim and enjoying food will be great too. 😉


A brand New Dog!

Published October 9, 2011 by Crystal

We have a new pet!  But we don’t!

Joey is gorgeous.  He’s a good natured, loving, affectionate staffy.  But he is/was nuts!  Over excited when anyone walks through the door.  Barking at everything that makes a sound, anyone who walks past the door.  We were exhausted and knew things weren’t going great for any of us!

In desperation I started looking for a suitable trainer, particularly since things seemed to get worse after my being laid up for several weeks.  I found  Jennie Rudd was trained by Jan Fennell, the famous Dog Listener.  I’d got hold of the video by Jan Fennell when we first adopted Joey, and had appreciated the gentleness of the technique.  I tried to adapt some of the techniques, but I seemed to be ineffective.  And despite the video stressing that all four areas needed to be adopted at the same time, I would fail to carry these actions through on a daily, let alone hourly basis!

Well, Jennie arrived yesterday at 10am.  She requested that we put Joey into a separate room so she could start the consultation.  We could hear the staffie cry as we chatted downstairs in the lounge and he was upstairs in our bedroom.  She went through the details of how we were to respond when we let him in, she explained why things were currently the way they were in our house, and what we would expect to see in the minutes following him coming into the room, and what we hoped would happen eventually.  Undesirable behaviour was to be ingnored, he was going to learn to respect our personal space, and undesirable behaviour such as mouthing and constant jumping up would be treated with temporary isolation from us, his “pack” (shut out in the hall).

Joey spent many, many, many minutes jumping up, mouthing, walking round, mouthing, jumping up.  He was put out many times, and let back in when he wasn’t creating outside the door.  He kept upping the ante when he realised his actions that would previously receive attention were ignored.  And pretty soon he had gone to lie on his blanket.  Not for long, but he was starting to trust us as his pack leaders.

Perceived danger was another area where we were given advise, along with separation anxiety, the hunt (walk), and power of food.

By the evening, Joey was lying on his side, completely zonked out.  Sleeping like a log.  Anyone who knows Joey, knows this is out of character for him.  In 10 hours he went from being a duracel bunny to a snoozing lump.  It was lovely to see.

Today he is trying it on.  We were advised that it won’t be a sudden miraculous cure.  This morning he has walked away from his food, challenging my authority, just checking that I actually can do what he needs.  But the changes are there and very very evident.  I would recommend Jennie to anyone with a dog they feel they can do nothing with, you can learn so much, and there seems a peace we didn’t have before, not least because we’re not calling his name every 30 seconds!







Ra, ra, bloody RAAAAAA!

Published October 4, 2011 by Crystal

Do you ever feel like your shouting but no sound is coming out?  That you’re trying to explain yourself, but people are choosing not to listen, or are simply disregarding everything that you say and think and feel?

It’s so disempowering.  I feel like throwing in the towel and saying what is the point?  Why change the status quo when it worked for everyone else for so long?

And then I slap myself, and remind myself that I have valid opinions and feelings.  Valid as anyone else.  People don’t have to agree, but just to be heard means a great deal.

Don’t forget your value, your worth.  When you feel you are shouting into a gale, keep on.  Remember your courage, your strength, your beauty.  One day the gale may change direction, though it may not.  But maybe some day someone will come and stand next to you, and shout with you.  They might give you a hug, and say “I might not be the people you want to hear you, ut I hear you anyway, and I am with you, and I understand.”

We’re never really alone.  There will always be someone near us who will be a friend.  Sometimes we’re too busy shouting into the wind to see them.