Merigian Studios


Counter Intiutive

There are times when all of us have a confrontation with our authentic Self - the Self that seldom sees daylight most of the time. The Self puts on masks and acts differently depending on the role it's playing in a specific social interaction. The confrontation usually arises when the facts of the matter do not match the projections the Self has internally created relative to the matter. What am I talking about?

A very kind, gentle, and sincere woman waltzed into the office last week complaining that she had not lost any weight despite being faithful to the food plan. Not one pound was shed in six weeks. She had decided that the therapeutic adventure was absolutely wrong. She was a woman who had been a sylph until she had her first child. After her second child, she had gained about sixty pounds and could not get the excess weight off. This was more than just baby fat. It was as if a giant crane had held her in the air by her toes and lowered her into a vat of white adipose tissue, dipped her in it, and a giant layer of fat just stuck to her body like a strawberry being dipped in chocolate. She was big all over and very disturbed about it.

"My trainer says I'm not working out our hard enough. I work out six days a week. Weights. Cardio. I eat salads every day. That's it. I've followed your food plan. Just added my own twist. Chicken breast on my salad at lunch. Salmon on my salad at dinner. Doc, my trainer says you're wrong. I need to eat less. Exercise more!"

I sat smiling at her. "Who is your trainer?" The woman replied, "She's a marathon runner. She graduated from college two years ago. Her degree was in dietetics. She works out all the time." I again spoke, "Do you know what happened to the first man who ran a marathon?" She said, "No. I've no idea."

"His name was Pheidippides. In 490 BC a Greek soldier as sent from the battle of Marathon. He ran a little over twenty-six miles to Athens. After he announced the Greeks had won he collapsed and died. People aren't supposed to run 26 miles."

She looked a bit surprised that I knew just a little bit about Greek history. "Well. She looks great. She trains hard. I want to look great."

I scribbled down some numbers related to her report about the food she eats. "You know you're eating less than nine hundred calories a day. I'm being generous here. Your basal metabolic rate is eighteen hundred fifty-two calories per day. Since you're working out, I'm gonna add three hundred fifty calories to your basal rate. So, you're starving yourself. Great. Your gonna grow like a Chia pet. Simple as that."

She looked at me. "I'm gonna gain weight? I'm a Chia pet. What do I do?"

I replied in a firm but kind tone, "Eat more food. Then tell your anorexic trainer to go jump in the lake. Eat more! Twenty ounces of meat per day. You need to eat at least eighteen hundred calories per day. Not salads. Or you'll be ten pounds heavier when you come back next month."

She was sad. The old adage of eating less and exercising more was a big fat lie. She was living proof that eating low calorie food plans do nothing but starve your body and encourage weight gain through activating stress genes. Without the proper calories, she is just going to over reach or over train, making her exhausted every day. Extreme fatigue nauseates people when they have to cook food. It is just too hard to follow a food plan when you're exhausted. Most patients would rather eat salads from a processed bag of lettuce and greens found in the produce department at the grocery store.

Eating healthy food in our fast paced society is one of the hardest chores anyone can ask. In the early 1940's, surveys were carried out to examine the time it took to prepare meals. Nine out of ten women stayed home and cooked on average eight hours per day. Post World War II, when processed foods became much more available, one out of four women stayed home and the average time needed to prepare meals dropped to three hours per day. That's when our country really started to become fat. Generations of high stress jobs, convenient carbohydrate meals, big pharma attacking fat and cholesterol in our diets, and now the mythology that the majority of personal trainers have accepted: eat less, exercise more, and lose weight. Our fat society is only going to get bigger.

It's not the video game in the living room creating type two diabetes in our children, it's the snack food they eat while playing the video games. Mothers who supply cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as ice cream for dessert, are creating big small people. Teachers who encourage candy and cupcake breaks as rewards for good behaviors are throwing fuel on the fire also. Bottom line: Eat more healthy food - meats and fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds, and non-starch vegetables. Cooking is required. That requires life schedule changes if we are going to get society's fat off and keep it off.

Eat more and lose weight; now that sounds counter intuitive. But it's right up there with run a marathon and your cardiovascular system and overall health will improve.

Remember, the first guy to run a marathon died. Just saying. Died.

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