To Diet or not to Diet, that should be the question!Written by The Wardrobe Shrink - Sarah Whittaker
To Diet Or Not To Diet? That Should Be The Question! Diet information is everywhere. In advertisements, on TV, in magazines; bookstores are crammed with books on many different diet options - The South Beach Diet, The Atkins Diet, Weight Watchers, The Cabbage Soup Diet. The message is ‘you should think about your weight’. If you aren't already thinking about dieting, you will be before long. Most of clients that come to see me want to lose weight. They have typically tried out a few diet options, but still haven’t achieved what they are looking for.The big question is what are they looking for?
It all starts off with that glance in mirror. What we see staring back at us is often an image we don’t like or at least we don’t rave about. The instant reaction too often can be – ‘I need to go on a diet’.
You don’t like package, so you need to alter it in some way. But truth is that often it is ‘packaging’ that is distorting picture – distorting our image of ourselves and not you (the package).
Consider this: Everything about you is perfect as it is, and has a purpose. Your shape, your height, your size, your hair colour, your eye colour, shape of your features, and size of your knees - they all combine to create you. Having a negative personal image can lead to weight gain or weight loss. Most eating disorders occur as a result of a negative body image.
Your packaging – or your style and your way of dress – has a huge impact on your personal image – how you see yourself, how much you like way you look and …how large or small you look.
Just imagine how you feel when you are presented with a gift that is packaged with fanciest ribbon, shiniest paper and with care and attention. In fact, it almost doesn’t matter what is inside package! It is same for you, your packaging has an impact on yourself – how you feel about yourself, your confidence levels, and how others treat you.
So before you go on a diet, please consider following:
Are you wearing clothes that don’t fit you? Squeezing into an item of clothing is just plain unflattering and although you think you can stay in denial of your true size, every other person that passes you in street will notice that you are squeezing in. You will only draw more attention which can make you feel more sensitive about how you look. More importantly wearing clothes that are bigger than you or too small for you will make you look bigger.
Tips Go through your wardrobe and clear out all items that don’t fit you. Be ruthless! You don’t have to throw them away. But putting them in another area – like top shelf – so they are out of visibility will ensure you a) don’t wear them and b) you don’t reinforce your negative concerns each time you wear them! Cut out size tags. This will take your mind off what size you are wearing, and hopefully you will forget all together and start enjoying what you wear And of course buy clothes that fit! You think that's just common sense? Well it is one of biggest wardrobe mistakes that people can make! Are you wearing clothes that suit your body shape? Wearing wrong shape clothes can add pounds. A square shaped t-shirt in structured cotton will cut off any curves you have, either roll up to expose your stomach or make your torso look like a square box. Oh no! However that is what we can mistakenly go for. The same goes for a pair of jeans – a key item in all our wardrobes. They are often cut to fit a squarer body shape.
The Real Truth about your Sweet ToothWritten by Brian B. Carter, MS, LAc
Question: My mom always said my sweet-tooth was to blame for my weight problem (I can't seem to lose weight!), but my best friend says I should listen to my body and eat whatever I want because it knows what I need. I'm not sure what to do! Does Oriental Medicine have any wisdom about diet that could help me? - Candice M
A common dietary misconception is that if you crave a food or drink, then it must contain a vitamin, mineral or other substance that your body is lacking. The underlying principle is rather New Age myth that our bodies possesses an innate wisdom,and if we can get in touch with and listen to our bodies, they will guide us to health, freedom, and happiness. I'm here to tell you there may be some truth to that, but it's not that simple!
Idea #1: Your body knows what it needs and that's why you're craving it. The human body does sometimes tell us what we need to eat or drink, especially when it is relatively healthy. We get thirsty for water when dehydrated, crave protein when our activity level increases, or carbohydrates when we are more mentally active. In an extreme situation, pica (eating non-nutritive substances like dirt or paper) may be a desperate attempt to fill a mineral deficiency.
Idea #2: When your body is out of whack (yes, that's technical way to describe it), you may crave thing that makes it worse. Maybe you're craving that ice cream because your body needs calcium, or maybe it fits with your other cravings for candy and soda into a pattern of sugar addiction. Oops, I said addiction didn't I? Sorry, it won't happen again.
But here I must go into Chinese Medicine for a minute to explain basic point of my article, which is that sometimes your body knows what it needs, and other times it is stuck in a vicious cycle wherein it craves exactly what is worst for it.
Chinese Medicine and Food Cravings Chinese dietary therapy is as complex as chinese herbal medicine, which is extremely complex (go ask some Chinese Medicine students and they'll tell you all about it). Instead of going into that level of detail, we can talk more broadly from a Five Element perspective and still get some good insights.
Five Phase Relationships Chinese medicine talks about a system of 5 phase/element relationships. Each phase has an associated season, emotion, taste, organ, etc.
The sweet taste is associated with Eearth phase. Let's talk about Earth type person and how their food cravings work.
The Earth person tends to be a bit overweight, worries, is easily overwhelmed, and craves sweets. The taste associated with Earth type is sweetness. In CM, this works two ways: small amounts of sweets can strengthen Earth element, but overdoses can injure it. Both physical and mental digestion are affected. When earth element is weakened, appetite decreases, digestion is hindered (there may be tiredness or bloating after eating), sweets are craved in great degree and amount, stool becomes loose, there is a tendency toward worry (mental and emotional indigestion), and fatigue sets in.