After watching the documentary Hungry for Change it inspired me to finally write this page.
I have been slim most of my life, naturally athletic, although I ate like a horse and people around me were astounded where all that food could have gone. But at a certain point I started to gain weight, until one day I could not see my penis when I stood straight in the shower. This for me was the last straw and I decided to do something about it.
Now you may say that is a relatively minor case of obesity, but the point is that the same principles apply no matter how overweight you are. I got to a point where my pride stepped in, I decided to do something about it, researched it and found ways how to achieve my goals. And it does not have to be painful at all.
The underlying principles are:
– what you eat
– how much you eat
What You Eat
Another documentary, Super Size Me, is about a perfectly healthy person who agreed to be filmed in an experiment to see what would happen to him if he ate only at McDonald’s. By the time the 30 days were nearing its end he had gained a great amount of weight and his doctor told him he should stop the program because it was causing serious and life-threatening damage to some of his critical organs.
The food industry, like any other, is geared towards profit. They hire smart scientists to play with chemical formulas and ingredients to addict the consumer to their product, and use marketing to convince you it is good for you. McD’s might say “our hamburger contains pure beef”, like a tobacco company might say their cigarette “contains pureVirginiatobacco”. If both contain 0.01% of each substance then their statement would be true, but what else does it contain?
Anyway, to make a long story short, simply try to stay away from any chemicals or processed/junk food and eat healthy, preferably as much green vegetables as possible. As Hungry for Change explains, most people who go on the standard diet by consuming such gimmicks as diet coke actually gain weight. The package may say “fat free”, but the concoction of chemicals and other substances in it actually cause a lot of damage. Our bodies are natural, so why feed it with chemicals? You can spend some time researching the damaging effects of aspartame, but your best option is simply to start eating healthy and natural foods and to stay away from anything processed. Processed flour, which is found in almost everything, is also not good. If you are not getting enough vitamins in your food, your body will crave for more of it and you will be programmed to eat more, but if you keep eating foods which do not provide vitamins this craving will not be satisfied and you will end up eating more of the same, which will only contribute to your weight.
Instead, you can stuff yourself with vegetables, your body will be fully satisfied, your skin will clear, you will shine and radiate, feel good about yourself, and save on medical costs because your body has returned to a balanced, healthy state so that it is better able to fight diseases.
In university my diet was steak and rice every day, chicken on Sundays and a salad dinner every second Sunday. So when I decided I wanted to become a vegetarian you can imagine my taste buds were not the most pleased. But after about six months I realized that my taste buds had in fact changed: I began to look forward to my next salad meal and even looked with some distaste at meat. Beef and particularly pork are not good for your intestines. They line the intestinal walls, making it more difficult for nutrients to pass through them into your blood stream. There are many reasons to avoid these two, such as the hormones pumped into them for profit and other toxins, not to mention that your body has to work harder to break meat down into glucose – its fuel.
Here is my favourite salad recipe.
Get an empty pickle jar and use it for mixing your salad dressing, into which I like to put pesto, blue cheese, Dijonmustard, black ground pepper, sea salt, cumin/caraway seeds, olive oil and filled almost to the top with diced garlic. You can keep this for a long time in your fridge, so make a big batch and let it brew away.
Once you’re done that, make your colourful fresh salad, add more cumin, pepper and sea salt (much healthier than regular table/iodized salt), mix in sesame seeds and whey powder (for protein and nice sweet taste), then add two table spoons of your evil brew and top that up with olive oil and some nice vinegar, like jasmine rice. Perhaps a squeeze or two of lime/lemon, which help cleanse your body. Mix in the juices for a few minutes and then keep mixing through while eating. You can mix in other nuts and play around with it.
Truly delicious, made even more delicious once you are aware what juicy and healthy nutrients you are adding to your system. No need to buy some brand dressing with chemicals and fat in it but use good old olive oil, which helps reduce cholesterol, is an antioxidant to help you age slower, and has many other positive qualities. The documentary suggested that the best approach was to juice your veggies. You can spice it to improve flavour, otherwise just invent your own concoction which can taste delicious without any spices.
Or if I cook a veggie meal or soup I like to add lots of garlic, tumeric and ginger, which have amazing healing powers, will naturally strengthen your immune system, and keep you from getting sick. I almost never get sick, but if I do manage to catch a cold, I can usually kill it in about half a day.
Also, there are certain veggies which actually make you feel full while helping you to lose weight, such as: apples, broccoli, almonds and surprisingly the potato (roughly in this order of effectiveness). For salads cucumbers can be quite filling but give you mostly water and some nutrients. Keep in mind that most of the nutrients in vegetables like potatoes, carrots and cucumbers are in the peel, so either scrub well or buy directly from a farmer.
The fat of mackerel is also healthy for you and in fact breaks down your fat and helps you lose weight. Eskimos traditionally eat a lot of fat from the ocean, to help keep their bodies warm during the cold winters, yet they can maintain slim bodies.
Humans have survived for hundred of thousands of years on nuts and fruits, with the occasional meat. Return back to that and your body will function as it should. Do not believe the captains of industry, who will employ all means to convince you this or that chemical is good for you. Your body is a natural being, the bible says it is God’s temple – treat it that way and you will be much healthier and happier. Here is an interesting read on how Jesus instructed the Essenes what they should eat.
How Much You Eat
But even with a salad diet I found I couldn’t take off that last layer around and in my belly. I was determined to return my shape to the beautiful gymnastics years in university. As I aged I noticed my metabolism had been declining. When I used to eat two large plates for breakfast, a bag and a half for lunch and at least two large plates for dinner (you expend a lot of energy when tree planting),
I now eat a big bowl of salad per day, three beers and I’m done. I’ve even started experimenting with eating every second day. Like one person I met explained, if he sees that his belly is protruding ever so slightly, he will simply not eat until it is burned off. Our bodies are actually capable of photosynthesis and converting the nitrogen, carbon and hydrogen in the air into proteins, just as plants do. A surprisingly high amount of our food intake can come from this source, whether we eat or not. But I’m probably an extreme example since I fast four times a year and have found that my body’s metabolism has really slowed down as a result. But this too can be good, as the only scientifically proven way they have extended a rat’s life is by denying it of food. When I fast I actually have more energy (mind energy, for thinking, although less energy for intense physical movements). 60% of our body’s energy can be used to convert food into glucose fuel, especially if eating meat. Animals instinctively fast whenever they are injured, because it frees up a lot of the body’s energy to focus on healing itself rather than breaking down food. If you feel pain when fasting it is because toxins are being released into your stomach, but once you cleanse your body of this you will feel absolutely no pain from a lack of food. There are many ways you can detox your body and this is important to keep it healthy and operating properly. Fasting is one, or there are certain diets. My fasting and connected pages explain a lot about this.
Now all this may sound rather horrific to someone who is used to gorging themselves on food, but this does not have to be painful at all. Take your time. By switching to good foods and staying away from processed ones and chemicals you will have accomplished a lot. Over time you will see a change for the better, feel better about yourself and get more motivated to take further measures.
I believe that eating a lot of food is psychological and I myself would like to eat much more, simply for the pleasure. So stuff yourself with salad and all the good stuff, indulge yourself with the occasional naughtiness, and be conscious every time you eat. Eat slowly, as it takes about 20 minutes before your stomach even registers the food and you start to feel full or satisfied. You can sit at your desk and nibble away at almonds and veggie snacks all day long, with perhaps a bowl of soup for lunch. This is a healthier way to eat. You should also eat most of your food earlier in the day, for a full stomach before sleep will be converted to fat.
Food is also used as a compensation for depression. You might have a low self-esteem and find satisfaction in stuffing your face with sweets, grow in size, get an even lower self-esteem and then stuff yourself more to compensate. You need to address the root of your problem if this is the case. Make a shift in your life to preoccupy yourself with activities in nature and other positive energy inducing environments and surroundings. Learn about the powers of positive thinking and how to take control of your life for the better. There is no need to get stuck in a self-perpetuating rut, getting down on yourself and only dig yourself in deeper.
I’m sure this will be a dreaded word for many, but it really does not need to be painful. I remember when I was young I once caught my mom doing situps on the floor while wearing a plastic outfit designed to make her sweat more and lose weight faster. That must have been horribly uncomfortable. Like the shift in diet above, exercising does not need to be painful but can be a pleasure.
First of all, one important trick is not to overdo it, otherwise you risk creating a mental block and giving up outright. It should be a pleasurable experience every time.
The thigh muscles are the largest in the body, and therefore the best for burning off calories. Work in an office building? Why not get to work a few minutes early and walk up a few flights before jumping in the elevator. Not enough to make you sweat but just a little blast. Over time you will see that you can climb more flights before you start perspiring.
Walk as much as possible. Personally I get frustratingly bored standing at a bus stop and prefer to walk to the next one if I feel I have the time. If there is a park on the way to work you can get off the bus a bit earlier and walk the remainder. Look at a map and think of ways to sprinkle your day with such lovely little walks. Little blasts of nature will always make you happier.
You can join a dance club. Be creative and find things you enjoy. Every bit of movement is good and necessary for a healthy body. When you move your heart pumps faster to bring more oxygen into the blood stream, and a faster circulating blood stream generally works faster at cleaning and maintaining it. Cycle with a friend through the country, or just look for interesting ways and excuses to get some movement into your day. I work at home and one trick I do is I try to do a few pushups or other exercises whenever I have to get up from my seat. Over the day that can add up to less than half an hour, not much of an investment, but it definitely keeps my body in good shape.
This gets back to why you may be obese in the first place. Sure, the types of foods you were previously eating played a large role, but many times people eat a lot to compensate for depression or low self-esteem. I once translated a book on the power of positive thinking, and have learned much about it. There is also an interesting documentary called Water. It may seem hard to believe but there are many amazing qualities about water, one of which is its ability to store positive energy. The bible says we should always give thanks and bless our food before we eat it. This is because food, like our bodies, is made up of a large amount of water (our bodies 85%). Not only that but your unconscious mind can be reprogrammed. Our waking, conscious mind uses less than 10% of our brain, so who knows all what goes on in the unconscious 90%. But you can reprogram yourself.
Even if you have to lie. First, imagine what you want to look like. Every time thoughts surface where you start to cut yourself down, stop and replace those thoughts with beautiful ones, of how you want to look. Keep focusing on that, crowding out the negative thoughts, and you will find that, in time, it actually works. The author who wrote about the positive thinking approach explained that he was extremely obese but that, after imagining for an extended period how he wanted to look, he simply lost an appetite for bread, naturally changed his diet and eventually lost all of his excess. Like the Hungry for Change explains, look at yourself in the mirror, stare right into your eyes and tell yourself you are a good person. If you keep repeating it it eventually registers in your conscious mind and begins to have an effect. Otherwise, if you continue to cut yourself down, you will lose all faith and hope in a solution, and probably just give up and gorge out on the worst foods. If you cut yourself down you will feel you deserve it and you will abandon all hope.
In short, none of these steps have to be painful. Start reprogramming yourself, make a simple and healthy shift in your diet, get out into nature when you can, make a careful note every time you put something in your mouth and be conscious about it, and you will definitely see an improvement. Once you do that will only motivate you further, and your change for the better will accelerate. You will feel better about yourself, your confidence will improve, your skin will be rosy and radiate, people will compliment you, you will be sick much less often and you will be a much happier person. Just take the first step, no matter how small, and keep focusing. If it takes years it does not matter. The journey there will be rewarding as you watch the improvements in yourself. A win, win, win scenario, so go, go, go!
Go to my General Health pages for tips on other ways to stay healthy.