Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It's okay to want this
Dell'Orefice, 81, successful runway model.

If you could have anything you wanted in the world right this very minute, what would it be?

Well, you're supposed to say, "World peace."  "A cure for cancer" would be a good runner-up.  You're not supposed to squander such opportunities on selfish desires like "Ten million dollars" or "To be skinny."

Yet, when you're standing in front of your closet, searching for something to wear that won't show a bulge here, won't cut into your waist there, and won't make you feel like an old cow, you'd probably opt for "To be skinny" if it was a multiple choice test.  There's nothing wrong with that.  In order to function as happy, productive human beings, we are obligated to take care of our own basic physical and emotional needs first.  When losing weight is such a need, you shouldn't feel guilty about wanting it.

Chances are, you'd be an even more productive human being if you were happy about how you looked and felt.  I used to spend a lot of time obsessing over what I had eaten, what I wanted to eat next, and how it made me feel about myself.  That was time and energy wasted.  Now that I'm thin, my mind is free to work on much more productive things.

Do not feel guilt-ridden or selfish if your first desire is to lose weight and regain your health.   It IS important, and it's okay to want it.  What's even more important now is that you take steps to achieve it.

My own eleven steps are outlined in Bucket List Weight Loss, available for download at and

Saturday, April 27, 2013

With apologies to John Lennon

"Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans." --John Lennon

Now let me paraphrase a bit:
"Life is what happens while you're busy eating Cheetos."  
Is this really what you want??

A full life is centered around relationships, work, productivity and recreation...and all that we do to keep these activities running smoothly for us.  A full life, therefore, requires good health.

Good health requires a good diet.  A good diet is one that satisfies our bodies first and our minds second.  It excludes truly harmful substances like sugar and over-processed ingestibles.  It includes real foods that our bodies were designed to easily and safely process.

Eat to live.  If you've "lived to eat" in the past, you've paid (or are currently paying) the harsh and unpleasant consequences.  Meanwhile, "life" is happening in the background.  Bring "life" to the foreground!

"Weight loss is what happens while you're busy living life."
--Jan Manning

Bucket List Weight Loss, an e-book.  Down load it here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

 I failed.

Yesterday I had good intentions of successfully celebrating BYG ("Befriend Your Gut") Day  and waking up this morning feeling cleansed and renewed.

I failed.  I had one too many whiskey sours last night and ended up making a batch of butterscotch chip cookies for my husband (and "testing" far too many in the process).  When I went to bed, my stomach was bloated and my head was swarming.  I had hot flashes and insomnia most of the night as my digestive system struggled to metabolize all that extra sugar and junk.  I woke up anything but refreshed, cleansed and renewed.

But I woke up with new resolve and a lesson learned:  "If you want to have success and love yourself and be happy and healthy, then avoid behaviors you know will cause the opposite effect."

It's that simple, folks. I learned something from my failure.  And by remembering the lesson all day today, I made today a success.  As nasty as last night was, today was just that good!

When you fail at sticking to your weight-loss regimen, you have three choices:
  1.   Berate yourself till you're convinced you are a total loser in life and always will be.
  2.   Stop trying and start rationalizing that it's okay to be fat since everyone else is too.
  3.   Learn something from the failure and start again.

In my 40 years of weight-loss sagas, I have done all three.  You know as well as I do that the first two do nothing but give you excuses to get fatter.  The third option--learn a lesson and start again--is the only one of value.

Zig Ziglar said it as well as anyone:  "Make failure your teacher, not your undertaker."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Tomorrow is BYG Day!!

Tomorrow.  (Give yourself a day to mentally prepare.)  Tomorrow is
"Befriend Your Gut" Day.

Instructions for Celebrating BYG Day:
All day long, from the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep, you'll be having silent, friendly and thoughtful little dialogues with your gut.  Not the external part, but the internal part that rumbles and grumbles and processes the food you send to it.  THAT's the part that actually talks back to you.

Start this way:
"Good morning, Gut.  Thank you for doing all that nasty work down there, day in and day out.  I appreciate how hard you work to digest and process all the junk I throw into you.  So today is YOUR day."

And then you'll continue,
"Today, YOU tell ME what you want for nourishment and refreshment.  Tell me WHEN you need it, and tell me how much you want."

At this point, your gut will probably answer with, "I could use a few sips of water, thank you.  And then maybe a little protein to start the day."

You might then ask, "What kind of protein do you want?  An egg?  A glass of milk?  A quality granola bar?"

At this point, your salivary glands may kick in and try to interrupt your conversation.  DO NOT LISTEN to them.  Focus instead on your GUT.  Don't be surprised if you hear something weird like, "Just a piece of left-over burger from last night.  No seasoning, please."  

Voila!  Feed it!  Then listen again.  If you hear silence, ask it, "Was that enough?  Anything else?"

It will probably answer, "That's enough for now, thanks, but maybe a little more water."

Later on, when your stomach starts to grumble, ask it it if needs nourishment.  Expect this answer:
"No thanks, I'm just working."  Or you might hear it say, "No thanks, I'm just cleansing."  Your stomach is not complaining when you feel hunger pangs.  It is simply functioning as it is intended.

Ask it what it wants for lunch--not what YOU want and not what your salivary glands are screaming for, but what your GUT wants.  Don't be shocked if it asks for something clean, like half a cup of fruit, or a cup of salad.  Ask it if it wants some greasy fries to process, and listen for the response!

Be friendly and thoughtful of your gut all day long.  Feed it what it wants, as if you were giving care to an ailing loved one.  Trust your GUT.  It knows what it wants, when it wants it, and how much.  Just for this BYG Day, treat it like your most respected friend.

Every time you're tempted to put something in your mouth on BYG Day, ask your gut if it wants it.  If it says no, respect the answer.

"Befriend Your Gut" Day can be the start of a whole new relationship that leads you to the thinness your body craves and the health you deserve.

Based on the e-book, Bucket List Weight Loss, by Jan Manning, available at

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Living for the moment

Oh, how we all fall victim to this!  And how can we not?  After all, we're constantly bombarded with these messages:
  • Life is short!
  • Carpe diem!
  • Enjoy the present!  
  • The present moment is all we have!

It's even easier to accept this mindset  after we've had an alcoholic beverage or two, and exponentially easier if we're drinking because we've had a bad day.

But wait a minute.

Remember what it was like when you were trying, at the last minute, to find something to wear to that special dinner, and none of your usual favorites fit?    Remember the frustration?  The tears?  The self loathing?

That all happened because you chose to "live for the present" a few too many times.  The "Oh, what the hell!" attitude was fine when you were alone, wearing your sweat suit in the kitchen, with nowhere to go that night.  But it caught up with you at a very important time, when looking and feeling good was critical to your self image.  Going to that dinner or special event, trussed up in something that neither looked or felt good, was not a pleasant experience.  You cursed all those "What the hell" moments all night long, and swore at yourself that something would have to change.

Don't change anything but how you look at those "Life is short!" moments.  Seize THOSE moments--when you are most vulnerable--and celebrate your STRENGTH rather than you WEAKNESS!  The next day you'll feel 10 times better about yourself and your life, and will have moved one step closer to the freedom of reaching into your closet and knowing that WHATEVER you pull out will fit and look wonderful on you.

For the full story, read Bucket List Weight Loss, an e-book that's downloadable to your tablet OR to your computer screen.  Available at for $2.99.  Click here.

Friday, April 19, 2013

How naturally thin people think

If you want to be permanently thin and healthy, you need to start thinking the way thin people think.  Napoleon Hill once wrote a boundary-breaking book called Think and Grow Rich.  Let's change that now to "Think and Grow Thin."

So here's how naturally thin people think:

  • Naturally thin people don't obsess over food.  If they want something, they have it.  (Don't deny your urges; just temper them!)
  • Naturally thin people seldom overeat because there's no reason to do so.  They know they can always go back and get more later, although they usually do not. (Stop after the first serving; take a break and do something else.  You'll probably forego the leftovers later on.)
  • They also know when their stomachs are no longer "hungry."  (Start a dialogue with your own and ask it if it truly wants that glop you're about to swallow.)
  • They know eating too much will prohibit them from enjoying activities much more important than food, like active sports and making love.   (Think ahead.  Will eating too much of the wrong thing interfere with your short-range future plans?)
  • They let their digestive systems, rather than their minds, make decisions on what they really want to eat--and how much--and when.   (Ask your stomach and tell your mind to shut up.)
  • They have other interests in their life that take precedence over eating.  (If you don't yet have a passion, find one.)

You have a "naturally thin" person inside of you.  Start thinking the way a thin person thinks, and you will find yourself physically becoming one.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Don't try to burn it off

My goal in life used to be to exercise so much that I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight.

This unrealistic goal earned me two worn-out hips at age 40, leading to a series of four total hip replacements over the next 11 years.

It was unrealistic because I didn't have a body that could take that amount of pounding cardio exercise.  I was in shape, but I was also carrying extra weight that literally wore out my joints.  My approach to exercise/weight control was compulsive, like an eating disorder.

Now that I'm thin, older and smarter, I exercise because I enjoy the movement.  I also do it to keep my metabolism working properly, and because it makes me feel  physically and psychologically healthy.  Exercise definitely contributes to weight reduction and maintenance, but it should not be used to burn off calories you never should have consumed in the first place.

Avoid the mentality of  "I just walked five miles, so now I can have an extra treat."  Likewise, avoid the  thought that "I just had a Snickers so now I must do 40 minutes of cardio to burn it off."  Don't fall victim to this compulsive behavior.  Embrace regular daily exercise for what it is: a ritual to keep your engine burning efficiently, and to speed the process of burning up your normal daily caloric intake.  It should not be used to try to remedy an "oops" in your daily diet. 

Download the e-book:  Bucket List Weight Loss
By Jan Manning
$2.99 at Amazon.  No e-reader necessary; read it on your computer.  Lose the weight.