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«Gold Standard of Thin Janice Rowland & Kathleen Rowland Copyright 2012 Petals in the Gazebo Press, Kathleen Rowland Cover Art Copyright 2012 Mariya ...»

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These are my meal times: 250-calorie breakfast at 8 am, 250-calorie lunch at noon, 125calorie snack at 4 pm, 250-calorie dinner at 6 pm, and a 125-calorie bedtime snack at 9 pm. I usually swim for forty minutes at 3 pm because I tend to want to munch at that time. Or, I swim just before lunch. Low-calorie soup with a half-sandwich is 250 calories. If I’m still hungry, I have an apple. It takes a month to make a habit stick.

This fifth secret, the link of rigidity to success, might be the most golden of all. Let me share an experience. In years past while attending Weight Watchers meetings, our leader told us that it didn’t matter when we consumed our points for the day. She was correct in a basic sense; staying under the daily point allotment meant that we would lose weight. Research has proven that it doesn’t matter when you eat the daily allotment. However, when eating on a rigid schedule of mini-meals, our metabolism is higher and we are less hungry. When we eat is rigid, but what we choose to eat has wide variety. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in a rut with the same breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. As you discover new (simple to prepare) combinations of foods in Chapter Four, you will become a culinary connoisseur. Leftovers make scrumptious brown bag lunches. Soon your friends and family will want to share in your skills.

Secret Number Six: Get enough shuteye. Skimping on sleep triggers a 16% plunge in the appetite suppressing hormone leptin and a 15% rise in the appetite stimulating hormone ghrelin, according to reports from the Public Library Science Journal. If we are tired, our body thinks we need to eat foods that give us energy.

Visualize yourself again at the weight you want to be. Knowing how nice you will look gives you the motivation to achieve it. Do this every day when you wake up and when you are exercising. If you are a swimmer, visualize your thin self as you kick and stretch with overhand strokes. You are long and slender. What happens when you come home starving? You’ve planned a snack. Drink a bottle of water, heat up lots of light soup and follow it with an apple.

That’s about 125 calories.

Secret Number Seven: Embrace the mind-body-spirit connection that underlies selfconfidence. We like being around confident people and enjoy being in our own skin when we’re on a positive journey. Beauty is way deeper than skin-deep. How we look on the outside usually comes from the inside. Confidence comes from a combination of: eating nutritious food, looking forward to projects, taking responsibility for self-care, and exercising. Aerobic exercise translates into immediate happiness from spurts of endorphins. Toned muscles are attractive. If we take good care of one part, say exercise, we take good care of the other parts. We are more active, and our outer selves reflect this. In the workplace, people of healthy weight exude more power and confidence than overweight individuals, whose ideas are often marginalized.

With our program, you will lose the weight you want and also facilitate self-discovery and confidence. We do not need perfect bodies in order to feel good about ourselves. To live life to the fullest, we do want to be healthy and strong. In order to succeed at anything, we set a goal and then break things into steps. With a plan, we are fearless. If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.

Not that the scale defines us, but it’s entirely possible to lose bothersome fat.

Our lives are full of challenges. Our program, A Gold Standard of Thin, offers ways to master stress, set goals, and practice ways to increase confidence and well-being. Becoming engrossed in a project with other people gets us “outside of ourselves” while we make a connection. We make a new connection to ourselves at the same time.

In the words of John Donne, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” How we care for ourselves affects our structure, and in turn we influence the structure of others. As we make healthy choices, for both the body and the mind, we become models for others.

It doesn’t really matter where we start on our road to becoming healthier. In this book, we are starting with a healthy diet. And, as a step that is enjoyable, we will move toward losing weight.

A pound or two a week is an easily attainable goal. Finding a way to exercise is important to mental health. As we began to move about more, we feel less deprived of food quantity. We automatically eat less. An appropriate weight is neither anorexic nor obese. We want to be comfortable about our weight and self-image.

We know this to be true: a woman with daily headaches and work overload will stop calling friends and socializing. She will overeat. And yet, when she begins a self-healing process, she will smile more, see friends more often, and some of those headaches might even disappear.

Healing takes on a life of its own. For many of us, a connection with nature restores the mind, body, and spirit. Doing something positive for our planet (planting a tree, picking up trash, or recycling) has a beneficial effect. Breathing pure mountain air makes us less inclined to eat junk food. As a beginning point, we become aware of our healthy behaviors and environment.

Moving through this guide, you will find ways to bring balance to your life. According to holistic health experts, Catherine Holt, Katherine Gibney and Erik Peper, their list of factors that promote health begins with a healthy diet. They recommend sitting down to eat with no concurrent activities such as driving, working, and watching T.V.

Regular exercise, regular relaxation, adequate sleep, and safe habits are ways to nurture ourselves. Holistic experts advise daily resolution of anger, resentments, and fears. This means “no unfinished business.” Regular conversations about domestic issues with those we live with are valuable; they allow us to express our feelings. We feel best when we have purpose in our lives. Problems really can be opportunities for growth. We draw strength from spiritual beliefs. If we can perceive humor in challenging moments, this helps us accept difficult situations. We need a social support system and at least one friend to confide in. We need to be good listeners when

others need us. Give and receive hugs! The sources of the adages below are unknown:

One—I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

Two—I finally got my head together, but my body is falling apart.

Three—Funny, I don’t remember becoming absentminded.

Four—It is easier getting older than wiser.

Five—I wish the buck stopped here because I could use a few.

Six—Kids in the backseat cause accidents.

Seven—Accidents in the backseat cause kids.

Eight—It’s hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.

Nine—The world beats a path to your door when you’re in the bathroom.

Ten—It’s not hard to meet expenses; they’re everywhere.

–  –  –

“You are what you eat.” Our research on nutrition backs up that wise maxim. In Chapter Three, we’ll share more about supercharging our bodies with nutritional gems. Here, we’ll focus on how to best utilize the Gold Standard Plan of eating smart, boosting fiber, and skipping salt and replacing it with salt-free Mrs. Dash Seasonings. Let’s get down to the basics of meal planning.

First and foremost, for a meal to fit into your busy schedule, it can’t be too fussy to prepare.

Secondly, the food must be delicious, and lastly, it must be filling. To lose weight, you must hold to portion control, but you need a feeling of satiety for ongoing success. Fifteen minutes past the last rich bite, you need to feel fully privileged. This feeling of well-being will get you through the next four hours until you’ll eat again. You will achieve golden results of lost pounds. You’ll like the way you look, and others will be impressed, but don’t stop until you have reached your dream goal. Since you live in your body and know your bone structure, you are the best person to gage your optimum weight. Getting there takes time. It also takes desire; steady, ongoing desire

can only come from you. You have probably heard the following joke that points to that truth:

Question: “How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?” Answer: “One, but only if the light bulb wants to change.” There is something magical about new beginnings, isn’t there? Does the cynic in you say, “Sure, but magic fades when reality sets in”? Life is messy, and we’re not perfect either. When we slip off the plan, we acknowledge it and find our way back. Of course, we have to want to resume where we left off. Making ourselves a top priority gives us confidence.

Even when we know the benefits of making changes, we hesitate to start, pause in the middle, or stop altogether. Resistance to change is human nature. Change requires more energy than stasis. We fear the unknown and we also fear failure. We also worry that our friends and family won’t love us as much if we change. Resistance to change always coexists with a desire to change. There is a battle going on inside our heads. We need to acknowledge and accept our fears. Comfort the part of you that is fearful. Be the adult (who knows what’s best) and comfort the child in you. We never entirely grow up!

When I (Kathleen) was thirty pounds overweight with a fatty tire around my middle, I imagined a childlike image of myself feeling unloved, insecure, and eating to fill a void inside.

Then I imagined myself whole, healed, with a more mature attitude and the belief that I could change something that bothered me. This optimism filled me with emotional energy, knowing I could live without that expanded waistline. I found an old photo of myself in my late twenties when I was a beanpole. Although I’m not that age anymore, I was able to imagine myself thin on my weight-loss journey. When practicing imagery, Janice likes to draw and uses both positive and negative imagery.

One photo shows her rear-end when she was her heaviest, and she drew a triangle with a black marker. Another, taken recently, shows off a weight loss of twenty pounds. She drew an hourglass over her body and wrote, “No longer a pear.” The more senses we bring to bear, the more fruitful our visualizations become. Self-healing through imagery brings behavioral change. But the desire to make a change comes from belief that a change would be better for us. This gives us a sense of excitement.

On a serious note, you may have heard of heart specialist Dr. David Ornish and his clinical studies that back up ways to reverse heart disease. Dr. Ornish makes a point about eating a highfiber, low-fat diet of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. These foods benefit the body and, because of filling fiber, help his patients lose weight. (Dr. Ornish also recommends physical and aerobic conditioning through light, low-impact exercise, including yoga. He encourages patients to use relaxation techniques to cope with and reduce stress. For his heart patients, he advises limiting full-fat dairy and meat products.) Our inner organs reflect what we eat. There are many benefits of eating healthy foods.

Most people think that eating healthy foods will help them lose weight, become leaner, lose body fat, and give them more energy. Yes, these things are all true. What most people do not realize is that there is a link between good nutrition and avoiding illness. Lennart Nilsson writes about the immune system in his book, The Body Victorious.

The benefits of eating healthy go far beyond getting a six-pack of abs! Food provides fuel for our immune system, our disease fighting mechanism. When our immune system is strong, there is less chance of becoming ill. It will work to combat any virus or bacteria. Without good nutrition, our physical appearance suffers along with our immune system. Our body becomes weaker and can't function the way that it should. We become more prone to illness.

Janice dreads going to a certain bakery called Sprinkles in Laguna Beach. It’s a high-end trendy spot, very popular with friends. When she walks through the door, she whiffs the bakery scent and pretty décor. While her friends order one cupcake and can barely finish it, she inhales two and brings some home. Later, she expresses her goof-up like this: “To get back on the eating plan, I have an extended pity party. Eating two or three more makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

Soon the ‘joie de vivre’ sugar high makes me feel woozy. I drink a bottle of water. The next morning, I’m back on track.” Food goes with gatherings of people, and Kathleen’s downfall has been holiday meals. “At Thanksgiving, it’s the stuffing and mashed potatoes rather than the pies. Another pitfall is when a friend or family member bakes something; I feel entirely obligated to eat it. Once Aunt Evelyn baked a chocolate cake, and when I declined a piece, she was mad at me.” Kathleen’s hundred-and-ten-pound friend, Mary Alice Tallmadge, doesn’t eat large portions of sweets but enjoys making them for block parties. Is that fair when she can put a lid on it? Of course it is, and knowing this cured me from thinking I was obligated to eat something off limits for me. When put on the spot, Mary Alice also taught me how to fake-eat various items by moving them around a plate.

We will help you do this with both magic and reality. The magic is that you will lose weight.

Genuine success is magical in itself. Our Gold Standard food plan is designed for ease in a busy, real world for women of all ages. We’ve assembled useful information to make a thousand calories a day filling. For breakfast, lunch, and snacks, there are choices. Variety is the spice of life, and dinner will be special.

“I like having basic staples on hand,” Kathleen says. ”Like all homo sapiens, I need to feel secure about having a stash of food that will be made into breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner.” All four meals in our plan are 250 calories with filling fiber. You might decide to break the snack meal in half, having a mini-meal in the afternoon and another before bedtime. An afternoon mini-snack might be a sliced plum mixed into ½ cup cottage cheese and sprinkled with cinnamon. A 125-calorie bedtime snack could consist of a half portion of whole grain cereal with fat-free milk. It will fit in a regular coffee cup.

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