“Guilt feelings, regimentation, and deprivation have no place in our method. We will show you how permanent weight loss can take place in an atmosphere of freedom.” Dr. Leonard Pearson and Lilian Pearson The Psychologist’s Eat-Anything Diet
The Diet Book That Changed My Life
By the time I entered nursing school I had been on every popular diet and counted every calorie, blossoming to a heaping 138 pounds by the end of freshman year. For a 5 foot 2 inch frame this was not a healthy weight. Exercise and sports were not appealing as a teenager, so once I stopped the childhood play—-climbing trees, playing tag or kick the can, or just walking to friend’s houses and school, my body typified the chubby teen. I also smoked cigarettes when I was 16 and generally was clueless about taking care of myself. Often I felt like I was on survival mode, living from one day to the next, getting through school with a plan to become a nurse and support myself.
I remember feeling depressed when I felt fat and feeling elated when I saw the pounds come off, but generally, this was a yo-yo routine without lasting results.
It was when I met my future husband that things began to change. First of all, he was into exercise, so I started jogging. Adding exercise in my life did allow me to lose some weight and enjoy food more. Then, one day I found the book that changed my life. The Psychologist’s Eat-Anything Diet–Wow! This was intriguing. Up to this point I had counted every calorie ,and felt like my mind went from craving or rejecting food and cigarettes. I had no idea what it would be like to really enjoy eating without feeling guilt or deprivation.
This book promised that when you finished reading it, you would be able to:
Eat your favorite foods.
Realize there are no taboo or forbidden foods.
Free yourself from the tyranny of food.
Get rid of your scales and daily weighing routine.
Quit counting calories and stop dieting.
Forget about proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and other old diet standbys.
Dr. Leonard Pearson, a clinical psychologist and his wife, Lillian Pearson, a social worker, applied their knowledge and practice of humanistic psychology and their work with Dr. Carl Rogers, to develop a weight loss program that would not only change how one looks but also what one thinks when it comes to diet and weight management.
They felt that “overeating is complex with many causes.” One of the basic principles of the book is that people do not eat what their body is calling them to eat. Often a weight loss program cuts out foods that you love. Calorie counting becomes regimented, and there is little pleasure or satisfaction at mealtimes.
For me, my mind was always thinking about what I was going to eat and how many calories I was going to consume. These thoughts would often control my mind, and I felt like I almost needed a brain overhaul to get rid of this awful way of thinking and living.
This book offered a set of exercises to increase food awareness and develop more intuitive approaches to choosing what you were going to eat from one meal to the next.
I learned to get in touch with what my favorite foods were and why I enjoyed them. I also learned that when we crave something we have to eat it. The Pearsons also defined beckoning as those foods that call you after seeing them in a window or smelling the aroma of the food from a store, home or restaurant.
Part II of the book offered “Exercises for Food and Drink Awareness and Sensuous Eating.” This would be fun!
I remember the “chip eating exercise” and sitting on our bathroom vanity with a bag of cheese covered Doritos and watching myself eat them. The idea was to chew the chip and watch your mouth chew, while also experiencing the taste of the chip and getting a feel for what it is about the chip that you like—is it the crunch? The salt? The cheese flavor? And in that case, the recommendation was to lick the cheese off the chip and throw the chip away and see if the craving was satisfied. I found that was the case for me. What I liked about the cheese flavored Doritos was the topping. So I would sit on the vanity watching myself eat the chip and lick off the cheese and throw the chip in the wastebasket. Of course, my roommates thought this was nuts, but hey—it was nursing school, and we all had our idiosyncrasies.
The purpose of the exercises was to become aware of why we eat, what we crave, what our body really wants, what is truly satisfying in the eating experience and essentially renew our joy of food.
Chocolate chip cookies were another experience. What is it about the cookie I liked? It was partially the crunch, definitely the chocolate, and a bit about the sugar. What I found with chocolate chip cookies is that I was satisfied if I simply picked the chocolate chip out of the cookie. With chocolate walnut brownies, what I loved was the walnut covered with brownie so I would pick the walnut out of the brownie and throw the rest away or give the crumbs to someone who liked the taste of plain brownie without the chocolate chips.
You see, when you crave food, you definitely are wanting a taste, a texture or an experience. You must satisfy that craving, or you will eat everything in sight until you get what it is you really want.
I used the principles of these books in my later years in my wellness presentations about diet and exercise. Let’s say you crave a Graeter’s turtle sundae — think about it— scoops of pure vanilla ice-cream topped with caramel sauce, chocolate, and pecans. Graeter’s chocolate sundae has about 1200 calories-that’s almost a whole day’s allotment of calories, but, if you must have it you must have it- make that your breakfast and lunch for the day or lunch and dinner and eat well the rest of the day. Truly your body will not suffer if the one day you crave a turtle sundae you indulge.
On the other hand, let’s say you wouldn’t dare. So you have the craving, and you deny yourself the experience. Instead, you have a chocolate cookie. If you want that taste or texture or flavor or experience, you will probably eat several chocolate cookies just trying to do the same thing. Or let’s say you eat the carrot sticks you have in the refrigerator for when you have to eat something but don’t want to ruin your diet, and you want to “be good.” You’ll eat every carrot you have just to satisfy some sort of sweet tooth, or in frustration, keep noshing or grazing only to realize that you are trying to meet your body’s need for a turtle sundae in an impossible way.
The better and lower calorie way would be to buy a turtle chocolate candy or two. If you need the taste of the ice cream, get some frozen low-fat yogurt. Now at least you get the chocolate, the caramel, the pecans, and the feeling of cold vanilla flavored creamy dessert cooling your mouth and flowing down the esophagus to a more satisfied stomach. Here you probably ate about 300 calories tops, but you satisfied the craving.
Do you get it? You can’t ignore your cravings, or you will not feel satisfied physically or emotionally.
So I learned what foods were calling me. What was I really in the mood for? What taste was I dreaming of? What would I really enjoy? I learned to close my eyes and get in touch with my true needs nutritionally and mindfully. Before opening a menu, I would get in touch with what I had a taste for and look for that item or a combination of items that would satisfy my craving. Most of the time I ate less because I knew that I could have whatever I wanted whenever I wanted it as long as I was clear and honest about what I needed.
During my learning and experimental days with this new way of not dieting, I did have a negative experience it is only fair to share with you. Before classes in nursing school, we would sometimes meet in the cafeteria for breakfast. On this new not diet, I would go through the line and look at the food and only take what was really calling me to eat. One morning I had such a craving for the big gooey pecan roll. Instead of just getting one with maybe some yogurt or milk to balance it off, I decided to take two pecan rolls, with the idea that at lunch I would choose something lighter because I would be satisfied and full from this breakfast. Well as I got up from our table, fully satisfied and content with my consumption of this gooey treat, I fainted right there and fell on the floor of the cafeteria. I was quickly rushed next door to the emergency department where I was diagnosed with severe hypoglycemia. My blood sugar had dropped to 40 (normal being 80-100). I was quickly given an IV solution of glucagon, the glucose substance used for diabetics who have an insulin reaction.
Well — this too was a good experience, because what I learned is that we cannot live by bread or carbohydrates alone. We do need to balance our food and have some protein at every meal. I would have been okay had I eaten one pecan roll and some yogurt or even a small glass of milk.
But this was all part of the experiment. I learned how to eat in a way that was fun, guilt-free, and allowed me to experience life and food in a whole new way. For the first time in my life, I was free of the diet mindset. I thought about food, but without having to imagine depriving myself of my favorite foods. Nothing was off-limits anymore. Also, I only ate when I was actually hungry, and stopped eating when I felt satisfied. I knew that I could eat anything I wanted whenever I craved it, and I did not have to raid the refrigerator and eat everything in sight to get there.
I truly learned to enjoy my food, and I do believe that since food is so essential and eating is such an integral part of daily life-not just to nourish the body, but also to nourish the soul and meet social needs, we must not just eat to live but live to eat.
If more people enjoyed the eating experience and the vast array of wonderful food without the guilt associated with indulgence, we would have less obesity in this world.
To this day, I truly eat what I am in the mood for and what calls me. Gradually I did give up my taste for red meat and most high-fat foods. I have grown to savor fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, fish and nuts. I allow myself to eat dessert or candy to satisfy my sweet tooth, but my body has learned to enjoy fresh and healthy food.
I offer coaching on weight loss, smoking cessation, and lifestyle change. Contact me for a free introductory session.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY AND HAPPY HEALTHY HEART MONTH
February is Healthy Heart Month and Valentine’s Day is a great time to start healing your heart. You know from my last blog that laughter is healing. Here are 14 more tips for health and heart healing. They are not in any particular order. They are all important.https://themiddlewayhealth.com/a-new-years-resolution-you-can-keep-dont-forget-to-laugh/
If you do nothing else for your health-Buy a Pedometer.Exercise and movement are the best medicine. Make it a goal to get 10,000 steps a day. You can get the steps by simply walking, going about your daily activities, shopping, or dancing. Yes-dancing. When I have to get more steps in my day, I will put on my favorite music or television show and dance around my family room. I might also add some running in place, marching, side steps or fast walking around the house. You would be amazed at how steps accumulate just from moving.
Eat Breakfast. Research has shown that people who skip breakfast pack in more calories throughout the day. By starting your day with breakfast you are telling your body it is going to be well fed throughout the day and you needn’t binge at points of hunger. A great breakfast is fresh fruit especially berries, high fiber low sugar (less than 6 grams) cereal, live cultured plain yogurt (no sugar) and a cup of coffee or tea. A few times a week you may want to add an egg for additional protein. That’s great on days you are working out at the gym or getting heavy-duty exercise in.
Spices Spiceup your food. Indian spices like curry powder, cumin, turmeric and cardamom are very healthy. These spices have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help to prevent illness. These are especially important during cold and flu season. Garlic and oregano are also excellent additions to any recipe and both can have antibiotic properties.
Eat broccoliseveral times a week. Broccoli is a great vegetable for fiber, vitamin C, and anticancer properties. Raw broccoli is great with low-calorie dips made with live cultured yogurt. Cooked broccoli is very beneficial as long as when you eat it, the bright green color is still there. Other heart-healthy veggies are asparagus, Brussel sprouts, and beets.
Include Wild Alaskan salmon in your diet at least once a week. This salmon is a source of the fish oil that prevents heart disease. Salmon is a great source of protein and has the good fat that protects the heart. For heart health remember SMASH – Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies, Snapper, and Halibut are the best fish choices for a healthy heart.
Drink red wineStudies are showing that one glass of red wine (4-5oz) a day is good for your heart. The wine has a powerful antioxidant –resveratrol and also relaxes your body and mind to alleviate the stressors of the day. Stick with dry red wines. White wine can also add some benefit, but does not have the healthy -resveratrol.
Practice meditation Meditation calms the mind, reduces stress, and with practice can aid in reducing blood pressure. Meditation does not have to be complicated-simply site, close your eyes, focus on your breath, and watch your mind without having to do anything about your thoughts. There are many apps you can download to your phone that help you to meditate. My favorite is Insight timer.
Practice Forgiveness. Holding onto resentment and anger will only make you sick. Open your heart to how another feels and you may find yourself able to have compassion for the other side of the story. Forgiveness is the key to happiness and healing. The premise of A Course in Miracles is forgiveness. I have been studying and teaching the Course for over 30 years now and facilitate a monthly group meeting.
Eat Dark Chocolate Steve and I eat two squares of dark chocolate almost every night after dinner. Dark chocolate has many healing properties. it not only tastes good but it is good for you. The darker the chocolate the better. it is rich in antioxidants and flavanols-powerful healing substances. Chocolate is also said to be good for the skin and because it supports keeping the blood fluid and flowing is helpful in preventing stroke and heart disease.
Garlicis one of my favorite staples. Garlic is not only an antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral natural antibiotic, but garlic also is very good for the heart. Garlic is thought to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation. I travel with garlic and add it to my toast, soups, and whatever I can at the first sign of illness. Check out my garlic soup recipe.
No Smoking If you smoke-QUIT. It goes without saying, smoking kills every organ of the body, especially the heart and lungs. I hate to admit that I smoked years ago and quit when I was 30. I am so glad I no longer smoke. It is not easy to quit. You have to see yourself as a non-smoker instead of an ex-smoker. Health has to be your top priority. Coaching can help.
Eat healthy fats.Olive oil and Avacado are two of the best heart-healthy fats you can eat. I substitute olive oil for butter and oil in most recipes. I also love to have avocados cut up fresh or in my delicious guacamole. Avocados are also a delicious topping for toast. Make sure they are ripe enough. They should feel slightly soft to touch but not brown.
Drink lots of water and avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners in soda pop and juices. Water is the purest beverage. Add a little lemon or even fresh cucumbers for flavor. Filtered water is best. We have an Aqua Pure filter under our sink and to our refrigerator. If you buy bottled water, buy filtered not spring as you have no idea how pure the spring water is. Most important is to drink water throughout the day.
As a life and wellness coach, spiritual advisor, and simply as a friend, I have given lots of pep talks. And there are times when I need a good pepping up myself.
I always say, I teach what I want to learn. And I learn from everyone.
Everybody needs pep talk sometimes. We all get down on ourselves, have upsets with life, and generally as normal human functioning human beings, lose our sense of motivation and energy. That’s when like all people on a playing field, we need a good Pep talk.
So here goes:
>You are doing great even if you feel like you are faltering. You are doing your best. Reward yourself for functioning at all. Sometimes in these dark winter months, we feel like a blob. Half the day may go by and your still in your pajamas-that’s okay sometimes. We all need a day to do nothing but wake up and breathe. If you give yourself a pajama day without guilt, you may feel a burst of energy and productivity the next day or week.
>Be grateful! When you are stressed it is always good to take 10 deep breaths or even 3 if that’s all your mind can focus on, but if not then think of at least three things you are grateful for right now!!
>Life will present plenty of opportunities for you to be negative. How about looking for something to shift your mind to a more positive view point even if it feels or looks like sh_t. You know the story of the little boy who said he smelled something-it was horse manure and rather than say yuk! He said there must be a pony around here somewhere.
>Quit over thinking everything. It all may be good and there you go trying to figure out what could be wrong. The ego analyzes. The spirit accepts. Stay in the moment and enjoy it. If something feels off, listen all around you to see if there is anything you need to do about it or learn from it.
>Tame your inner critic and listen to your inner cheerleader. We all have an inner critic, but we also have an inner voice that guides you to living a life that flows. One of my favorite cheers was:
Jumpin in the grandstand, beatin on a tin can, Who can? We can? Nobody else can! Standing on our hands, standin on our feet, the Rockets the Rockets can’t be beat!
Well try that one in the morning when you wake up less than excited about your day.
I tell my grandkids-Can’t died in the cornfield. YOU CAN!
And here is a pep talk from a young man aspiring to be president:
This is a photo of my niece and I at Brookfield Zoo. I love that we are holding hands, enjoying each other as we pass under this great sign that symbolizes the power of coaching.
Recently a friend thought she was being funny by joking about coaching, by asking, “Do you die if you don’t have a life coach?” At first I noticed I got a little defensive and quickly responded with the definition of a life coach and how we help people move forward with their lives by listening to what they really want, what they want to change, and serve as a partner and someone they are accountable to for their progress.
I thought about it later that evening and in a way, we really do help people to live, and sometimes we do have clients who feel there is a part of themselves that has died and they want to awaken in that area. Sometimes you just need a partner to remind you of your inner strength and power.
The other thing this friend said is, “ Well, I am a really good listener and I think I could be a good coach.” This is probably true, but it does take a special kind of person with skill, experience, and intuition to listen with a curious, non-judgmental mind, and then when appropriate ask powerful open-ended questions that allow our clients to gain a deeper perspective for the issues in their lives.
You may be a very good listener, and you may be a very good coach to someone, but it’s important to know that coaching is more than listening. Becoming a good coach, takes time in training, practice coaching, and is a continuing journey of learning how best to help people make choices in life without thinking we know what’s best for them or the answers to their deepest questions. As a coach, our role is to help our clients reach their greatest potential in their personal and professional lives.
As a wellness coach, I help my clients with lifestyle changes that enhance their health and wellbeing and reduce their risk of disease. We are still very much a life coach, because wellness is not just about absence of disease and living a long life, but being able to enjoy that life with a sense of energy, contentment, and inner peace.
Coach training programs are all over the world. The training can take years or months, but learning to be a great coach is a never ending. I am a member of The International Coach Federation, an organization of coaches that is working to standardize the profession of coaching. My coach training was with Wellcoaches, a coach training organization working closely with the ICF to collaborate on the credentialing process that assures that coaches are well educated and trained to help people “live” their lives and prosper to their fullest.
If you are interested in learning more about coaching feel free to call me 513-309-8377, send me an e-mail and visit my website.
This morning I took an early walk in Sharon Woods with a friend I met at a networking event. He wanted to share some ideas about future projects and ideas that he and I are both interested in-community, healing, organizational and personal development, change, and targeting the nursing profession. We had a great walk and talk and may collaborate in the future.
Before we departed, I said one way to stay connected is my newsletter/blog and I asked him if he subscribes? He said he had not had a chance to subscribe since I updated to Feedblitz. He also said, “You know, I am still not sure what Promoting Health: The Middle Way is all about.
That made me think that many of you may be wondering the same thing. Although I am multifaceted and ever evolving, I thought I would share my "About" page of my website.
Although this is post is about me. My purpose is to be helpful to YOU. I welcome your questions, comments, and feedback.
FAQs Briefly introduce yourself and your business.
My name is Mary Claybon, owner of Promoting Health: The Middle Way LLC, a business dedicated to deep health and wellness. My background is nursing and health education. After directing a health promotion program for 3500 employees I went on to get my Masters in Health Education. I have also been a Staff Development Specialist and Professional Speaker. I have been a yoga and fitness instructor, taught meditation and stress management in addition to clinical and nursing education. I currently offer telephone and web based coaching in the areas of stress, nutrition, fitness, health and life. I love it because it is a career that uses all of my nursing, wellness and life skills and experiences to help people change and attain their life vision and goals.I live in Cincinnati, Ohio with my husband of 35 years. Together we have three grown children, a wonderful son and daugher-in-law and two granddaughters.
What do you think you most have to offer your clients in the area of health and wellness?
Deep understandings of what it means to be human, confused, stressed and then look out at world and know you want to change but it’s difficult. Compassion, excitement and inspiration. My work is all based on my education and my own journey.
Why do you stress “deep healing??”
We think of healing as feeling better mentally or physically and so we look for a quick solution or exciting solution but it goes deeper. We hold on to negative thoughts and behaviors because of the pain in our hearts and souls. In coaching, we listen mindfully and help you come up with answers you already know and have deep inside. We don’t tell you what to do, we get to what you really want to do. We help you clear away what has gotten in the way to prevent you from being the person you want to be.
What have you learned about motivation and change in your 34 years of experience in this field?
That it has to come from the inside not “you should and here’s how” or even “I should because…”. It has to be “I will and I must because it really matters to me.” How does wellness coaching differ from life coaching?
We do both but begin with looking at health and wellness. Our assessment includes questions on physical health history and lifestyle issues that affect health and promote or inhibit wellness. We are trained to ask open ended questions and listen mindfully, and promote inner motivation and can help with relationships, career, etc. but we always include physical and mental health – fitness, nutrition, weight management, stress management and then add life issues.
Why did you call your business Promoting Health: The Middle Way-What is the Middle Way?
The Middle Way is actually a Buddhist philosophy of balance because the Buddha learned that he could not heal the world by leaving it but by living in it with compassion and detachment. I have done everything to extremes only to realize that the path to health and healing is moderation and balance-not perfection.
What changes have you made in your own life?
I am changing all the time. My body, and with menopause it is changing on its own. My mind, less and less judgments and know everything ness. Although I am perceived as an expert I am learning all the time and love listening to others figure it out. Understand stress so much more – no drugs just relax, retreat, meditate, yoga- My spirit- broader understanding of God and the universe- more spiritual less religious –Teach A Course in Miracles.
Initially when I was younger I didn’t see things so deeply. I changed my physical lifestyle by exercising, eating healthy and quitting smoking. Later I became more interested in how I did that long term and it had to do with what I believed about life and health. Now my changes are more about healing emotionally and spiritually without it being a cliché.
What changes in our current health care system do you see as necessary and how do you see these changes being implemented?
All players communicating and wanting to heal the system so we can truly heal people and the world. More understanding of deeper healing and wellness. More teaching about long term change. The healers working on their own healing – recognizing we are all on a journey together and nobody’s physically or mentally perfect. Spiritually yes!!
Two key points to leave you with:
• Health goes much deeper than how you look or how long you live-you can be healthy on your death bed.
• You change what you deeply desire to change. Motivation must come from an intrinsic desire to change and not an extrinsic source.
This photo was taken in Petra, Jordan. It is the camel pose next to a camel.