Why Would I Ever Go Off Low-Carb?

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Well, I’d go off low-carb for the same reason you and a ton of other people do.  And the fact is I’ve done it a couple of times in my 18 months of low-carbing.  Now before you go thinkin’ I’ve fallen off the wagon and turned anti-LC, you can forget it!  I’m a diehard LC adherent but just like you I get some thought out of nowhere one day and decide to try “just one bite” of something that is “off-plan”.  You know all too well what I’m talking about, but neither of us understand the reasoning behind such impulsive, whirlwind like decisions.  Problem is, we never stop with “just one bite”!  We end up staying with the “off-plan” foods much longer than we planned and find ourselves trying to pull ourself out of our self-induced departure.  But, I digress, for I don’t have the answer why us humans err, for if I did I’d be rich and famous….but I’m not….so there you go!

Anyhoo, I found this wonderful blog post by low-carb author, doctor and blogger Dr. Michael Eades entitled, “Low-Carb Battles in Your Brain,” when I got up this morning.  It is an outstanding piece, as is always the case with Dr. Eades and I highly recommend you click over there and read it, or at least bookmark it so you can read it when you have more time.  I won’t steal his thunder, but I just knew I didn’t want any of my LC friends to miss out on this outstanding piece that gives us a little better insight into the science behind falling off the wagon!  Enjoy!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Overcoming The Deprivation Mindset — Part 4

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LINKS: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

When It Comes to Food….Thinking Like a Child WILL Destroy You!

One of the core messages of The Thin Commandments Diet is the need to abandon childhood food thinking.

“Adult behavior is about making choices.  Only children think they can have it all.  And if they don’t, they are therefore deprived.”  ~~Dr. Stephen Gullo

As a child I was raised to have pretty much anything I wanted to eat, anytime I wanted it, and in any amount I wanted.  My mother was an excellent cook and even a better baker!  It wasn’t the fried chicken, meatloaf and green beans that me me fat.  It was the unrestricted access to the homemade cakes, pies, cookies, biscuits and cornbread that piled on the pounds.  My life as a child did not include any boundaries or limits when it came to food, so when I grew into an adult, I still had childish thinking concerning food.  I not only wanted it ALL, I expected it ALL, and I got it ALL!

I now realize just how childish it is to think that I can have unlimited access to ANY and ALL foods without destructive consequences.  I now look at foods that “don’t work for me” in a whole new light.  I still think about the five minutes of pleasure that a donut or other sugary, carb-laden treat can bring, but I also think about the years of problems that those five minutes can create!  Realizing the long-term consequences causes me to win out over the temporary pleasure almost every single time!

The fact is, almost all of those foods that “don’t work for me” are “trigger foods”.  Foods that start the craving cycle all over again.  They are the sugary, carb-laden treats that taste absolutely wonderful, but are essentially a non-nutrient.  As Dr. Atkins said, “The ‘just this one taste’ rationalization is indeed the ‘kiss of death’ to the success of this journey to healthy living!” So right there is reason number one to leave the stuff alone.  I, for one, remember the power of sugar-induced cravings and I ain’t going back there!  It’s easier for me to “Just Say NO” than to just have a taste!

Denial is NOT the cause of binging, in my opinion; it is rather the continual and repeated ‘tasting’ of trigger foods that is the cause of binging!  So the next time I pass up a donut, don’t try to convince me that I’m deprived, ’cause I’m gonna’ have to ask you, “deprived of what…uncontrollable cravings?” “I don’t think so!” After 50+ years, I think my adult brain is finally kicking in.

Cravings make us “Food Hostages”…then convince you that you are deprived without that food!  Refuse to be “hostages to a piece of food, taking orders from cravings and suffering froom a gnawing feeling that we’re missing out on something,” states Dr. Gullo.

Learn How to Talk Back to Yourself!

So, tell me again how a donut is a treat!  If it consistently triggers overeating and endless uncontrollable cravings, then it’s NOT a treat….it’s an enemy!  That’s when I begin to tell myself things like, “I don’t like it well enough to wear it…All they’ve ever done for me is made me fat…refuse to be held hostage by a Donut!” I am sooooo done with the deprivation mindset!  It has nearly killed me!

Now, I know I’m not the only one who talks to themselves.  Sometimes that’s the only way to have an intelligent conversation, so they say.  For real, you don’t have to do it out loud, but next time you find yourself faced with some forbidden food that’s screaming your name, think about the consequences, not the momentary pleasures…then tell yourself off!  Instead of telling yourself all the reasons you should eat it…tell yourself all the reasons you WON’T eat it!  Talk Back to Yourself!!!

Here’s a couple of examples.  “I’m missing out on the fun…What fun?  You had that junk for years and it didn’t make you happy, it only made you fat!”  “Everybody’s eating it…True or not, you’ve already had enough for three lifetimes, now Shut-Up!”  “What’s wrong with just one taste…It’s like an ex-smoker lighting up a cigarette, and besides, it’s the Kiss of Death to your success!”  “I’ve just gotta’ have it…Do you gotta’ have it bad enough to wear it?”  “It’s soooo hard resisting this stuff…Yeah, but being fat is harder!”

It may seem silly at first, but the more you say it, the more it will become a conditioned response, and the more convincing you will be to yourself.  Remember, you learned the deprivation mindset, now let’s learn the Winning Mindset!  Dr. Gullo even recommends making and listening to a tape or CD with positive messages that reinforce your successful weight control strategies.  You can also write some of these messages and strategies on Post-It-Notes and post them where you will see them often.

Why Should Anyone on Low-Carb Feel Deprived?

The low-carb nutritional lifestyle is just the best if you ask me!  It’s loaded with foods that are rich in flavor, extremely filling and very healthy.  It’s hard for me to feel deprived when I eat foods like steak, chicken, pork roast, pork chops, ham, sausage, bacon, eggs, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, Caesar salad, cheese, butter, real mayonnaise, heavy cream and fruit, just to name a few.  With food choices like that, I feel like those poor souls who are eating all that “carb-age” are the ones who are deprived!

I just can’t feel sorry for myself eating low-carb.  But I still know that I could end up in a tempting situation, so I’m trying my very best to prepare myself to be vigilant and always prepared to respond in a winning way.

I encourage all my fellow low-carb friends to, first of all, do everything you can to reinforce the positive benefits of low-carb in your own mind.  Secondly, stop thinking like a child when it comes to food!  And start making smart food choices like an adult — thinking about consequences and not just about a moment of pleasure.

By the way, this is the last in this series!  Aren’t you glad?

I Am Soooo Done With The Deprivation Mindset!  And I Hope You Are Too!

LINKS: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 3

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Having a Plan is NOT Enough…We Need Strategies Too!

We all need a ‘plan’ or ‘blueprint’ by which we eat; that is, foods that we can eat and foods that we can’t eat.  In my case, I’ve chosen the low-carb nutritional lifestyle as my ‘plan’ or ‘blueprint’.  It’s a plan that just really works for me because I absolutely love the ‘allowable’ foods that are on it.  They taste great and are very filling and healthy.  But loving the foods is only part of the formula for weight control success.  Even if you love your ‘plan’, you need some ‘strategies’ in order to execute it.  It’s easy to learn the list of ‘acceptable and unacceptable’ foods, but what happens when a chocolate donut is unexpectedly shoved in your face?  All that list of foods tells you is that you can’t have it!  It’s forbidden, and all of a sudden you’re now feeling deprived, and it’s that ‘Deprivation Mindset’ that can send us down the slippery slope to binging or ‘pigging out’ on the very foods that made us fat to start with.

How to deal with those kinds of situations has been the missing link in weight control success for myself…and maybe even you!  As wonderful as Atkins, Protein Power and Sugar Shock are, they don’t really deal with the battle for the thought life in nearly enough detail.  This is in no way intended as a slam against any of these fine plans, since they do exactly what they’re designed to do…give us a ‘plan’ or ‘blueprint’ for a healthy nutritional lifestyle for weight control.  That’s why I’m so excited about what I’ve learned from The Thin Commandments Diet!  And it’s actually not a ‘diet’ in the strictest sense of the word…it is more of a book of strategies for executing YOUR plan!  Only the discovery of low-carb itself has impacted the success of my nutritional lifestyle more than The Thin Commandments Diet!  I encourage anyone who has discovered that willpower doesn’t work to pick up The Thin Commandments Diet and learn the strategies that actually do work.

I’ve still got lots more to share with you about Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset, so stay tuned for more.

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 1

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 2

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 4

There Really is Life Without Donuts

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 2

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Did Eating All The Forbidden Food You Wanted Make You Happy?

Before I started the low-carb nutritional lifestyle I had all the foods I wanted, whenever I wanted them and in whatever amounts I wanted them.  But the fact is, that kind of freedom didn’t really make me happy…it just made me fat!  And if we’ll all be truthful with ourselves, the more we ate, the worse we felt.  That few minutes of enjoying the seductive taste and texture of our favorite forbidden foods was swiftly followed by guilt, shame, remorse, embarrassment, disgust, regret and failure, just to name a few.

“Objectively, the state of deprivation may be a myth, but the feeling is very real.  What many people don’t realize is that it’s also a learned response.  And what has been learned can be unlearned.” ~~Dr. Stephen Gullo

Every action begins with a thought!  But every thought does not have to lead to an action!  We, as humans, have the ability to take charge of evil, damaging, destructive thoughts and extinguish them before we act on them.  And I know some of us are already saying, “thinking a bad thought is just as bad as doing it…so I may as well just go ahead and do it.” So, does that mean if I think about shooting you, that I should just go ahead and shoot you…merely because “I thought about it”?  I don’t think so!!!  I think you’ll agree that thinking about shooting you is not nearly as bad as actually shooting you.  It’s an extreme example, but you get my point.

So, just because you think…or even obsess, about eating something that’s not “on plan” doesn’t mean you might as well go ahead and eat it, and it certainly doesn’t mean that the thought is as bad as eating it.  That is self-serving, self-justifying thinking and it is in the end, self-destructive!  If your kids even suggested doing something stupid just because they thought about it, you’d be all over them like ugly on an ape!  You’d immediately give them ten reasons why you won’t ever allow it to happen.  And those reasons will be the “consequences” of their action!  Consequences…now there’s a word you’d never hear me use when I was an over-eater!  Ya think it might have something do with the fact that I wouldn’t allow myself to think beyond the momentary pleasures of the chocolate covered donut in my hand?  In order to overcome the Deprivation Mindset we’re all going to have to switch our thinking from the “pleasure mentality” to the “consequence mentality”!

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 1

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 3

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 4

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 1

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OK, I’ve been wanting to post about the damage and deceit of what’s called “The Deprivation Mindset”, but as usual I couldn’t stop with just a simple post.  So, I’ve had to break it down into a series so you, my readers, don’t get lost in another one of my long-winded posts.  So here we go with Part 1.

Feeling a Little Deprived ‘Cause You Can’t Have That Chocolate Covered Donut?

The first few days and weeks of a diet, even the first few months for some of us, are filled with excitement, motivation and optimism.  But as we lose a few pounds and become happier and healthier, there is sometimes a tendency for our excitement, motivation and optimism to fade.  It’s at this point that we are in danger of sabotaging ourselves by losing our focus, blurring our boundaries and getting sloppy with our newly learned, healthy, low-carb nutritional lifestyle.  This mindset, left unchecked, can quickly lead us right back down the road to our old destructive eating habits.

One of the underlying causes of this derailing behavior is the old, “I deserve it…it’s not fair…everybody else is eating it…I earned it…I feel so deprived” mindset.  This childish way of thinking, called the Deprivation Mindset, could just as easily and accurately be called the Failure Mindset, according to Dr. Stephen Gullo, author of The Thin Commandments Diet.  It is by our very own deceptive thoughts that we conceive such damaging notions, and by our very own self-deprecating words that we perpetuate and reinforce those thoughts until they give birth to compulsive, emotional, mindless over-eating!  It is a childish way of thinking that says, “any and all boundaries and guidelines are bad and unnecessary!” At times I’ve heard that child within me screaming and throwing a “fit”, demanding that I have anything and everything I want to eat…regardless of the consequences!  If you’ve ever struggled with weight control, then you’ve probably experienced the same “fits” from the “child within you” as well.

Don’t feel bad, because the fact is, dieting has always been associated with deprivation.  It’s kind of like a “virus” that infects you the minute you start dieting.  I actually hate the term “diet”, because it implies a temporary way of eating instead of a healthy nutritional lifestyle of weight control and maintenance.  And that “temporary way of losing a few pounds” is exactly what makes you feel deprived.  While you are stuck eating some tiny, despicable looking, detestable tasting “food-like-substance”, all your friends are eating as many of those luscious, delicious, tempting, sinful, sugary, carb-laden treats they care to stuff their face with.  Therefore, in your own mind, you feel deprived!  And that my friend is the “Deprivation Mindset” in a nutshell…or shall we say, “The Failure Mindset”?

“We all have power over the feeling of deprivation — the ability to control it, decrease it, even extinguish it — because the source of it begins and ends with you.”  ~~Dr. Stephen Gullo

Discovering this hidden way of destructive thinking, and knowing that I have the power to destroy it before it destroys me has been one of the most empowering strategies I have learned about successful weight control.  I can truthfully say that “a light really came on” when I read about this concept in Dr. Gullo’s book.  If you have the book you’ll find this topic as “The Eighth Thin Commandment: Stop Feeling Deprived”.

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 2

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 3

Overcoming the Deprivation Mindset — Part 4

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie

The Ever Elusive Journey to Normal

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“I just want to be normal and eat like everyone else.” How many times have you and I been both the speaker and the hearer of that statement?  Most of us have at least somewhat of a desire within us to be ‘normal’, whatever that means.  Normal, an adjective, is defined as 1) conforming with or constituting a norm or standard or level or type or social norm; not abnormal. 2) Being approximately average or with certain limits in, e.g. intelligence and development.  So, being normal simply means to conform with someone elses standard, level or type and to be average.  So when we say we want to eat like everyone else, we’re in essence saying “I want to conform and be just average like everyone else.”

We generally make such statements when we’ve placed boundaries on the types and/or amounts of food we eat, more commonly known as a diet.  It’s when we attempt to live within these boundaries and see others eat our ‘forbidden foods’ that we fall into what I call the ‘Deprivation Mindset’.  It’s a mindset that quickly induces a ‘Pity Party’ and convinces us that we are totally deprived of all the good things that others  [average people] are able to enjoy.  You know what I’m talking about…woe, despair and agony on me!  It’s stinkin’ thinkin’ and if it’s not nipped in the bud it will, in short order, totally derail your journey to health and weight loss.  And by the way, low-carb is a journey and not a day hike!  It is a lifestyle!  It is not a diet!  If it is to be successful!

The fact is, there is no norm or standard when it comes to eating in this great country we live in.  A ‘normal’ way of eating does not exist, it is merely a figment of our imagination.  Normal is a picture we’ve painted for ourselves using only the colors created by our own abusive history of food.  We ignore what we know is the real truth and choose rather to believe the lie that “the way we ate prior to dieting was normal.” We further refuse to acknowledge that the foods that we ate pre-low-carb were not really foods at all, they were what I like to call pseudo-foods, anti-foods or food-like-substances.  Some call them frankenfoods, which simply means genetically or otherwise altered or modified.

If we can remove our brains from the toxic effects of sugary, carb-laden treats for even a few short days the fog begins to lift and for the first time in years we get our first blurry vision of the pseudo-foods that have been our cruel taskmasters.  We soon realize that these anti-foods that ‘normal’ people eat are not really food at all, they are conglomerations of unpronounceable chemicals that have been created in some mad scientist’s laboratory and repackaged as what I like to call a ‘food-like substance’.

From somewhere within us comes this ‘need to conform’ or to ‘fit the mold’.  It’s taken me quite some time off sugar and carbs to realize just how abnormal it is to gorge myself on sugar, the ultimate anti-nutrient.  Remember…sugar is that addictive powdery white substance that is the centerpiece of our dining room table and an ingredient in almost every prepackaged pseudo-food in your supermarket.  Truth is, no matter how you look at it, there’s nothing normal about consuming a steady diet of an addictive substance that triggers physical cravings so powerful it produces severe mood swings, tantrums, fits and a plethora of other abnormal behaviors like secret binges, only to mention a few.  Why, I ask myself, why do I want to conform or fit into the mold of those who choose to indulge themselves in such destructive behaviors?

The farther I have come on this ‘Journey to Normal’ the more I realized that it wasn’t really normal I was seeking.  That was a cop-out.  That was an excuse to abuse myself.  What I discovered was that the ‘Journey to Normal’ was an elusive fictional State that is located somewhere in the ‘Land of Fantasy’ on a little island called ‘Someday Isle’Someday Isle be normal, Someday Isle eat normal food. I’ve changed directions.  I’ve quit fantasizing about eating ‘normal’.  I no longer have a desire to conform or fit the mold.  I’ve regrouped, as they say, and I am now on a ‘Journey to Better Health’, a destination that really does exist, and one that I can more clearly see from where I am today, now that the fog and clouds of sugar has been lifted.

Fifteen months down the road from the end of my abusive history of food I realize that the only things I’m deprived of today is swollen aching ankles and feet, acid reflux, high blood pressure, not fitting into a restaurant booth, not being able to bend over and tie my own shoes, clothes that don’t fit, fat names and insults, binge eating, cravings, lies about my weight, spending all my money at the donut store and a myriad of other things that I don’t have time or space to list!

So forget about normal.  Normal is boring.  Normal is NO fun.  Normal is, well, just average.  Normal is elusive!  And besides, if you were normal you wouldn’t be here reading this extremely long-winded post by some abnormal blogger with an abnormal name like, the Former Donut Junkie.  Ditch the ‘Deprivation Mindset’ and make today the first day of your ‘Journey to Better Health’‘!  You’ll soon have a list of all the things that you DON’T miss about your food abuse days and you’ll never wish for ‘normal’ again.  Just be sure to come back and share ’em with me!

There Really is Life Without Donuts!

Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie