Tag Archives: guilt

“Guilt-Free Holiday Partying”

ProducersGuildParty

Hubby and I get started on some guilt-free holiday revelry at the Producer’s Guild Holiday Party.

Over the past few weeks, the media has been requesting experts to comment on recipes and plans for “guilt-free” holiday dining.  I have a lot of suggestions, but somehow, they haven’t been picked up.  They tell me that the items I am pitching are not what the media outlets are looking for.  The media is looking for recipes for low fat appetizers and low-calorie cookies.  They are looking for plans about how to get through the party without eating “too much”.  And they are looking for advice about what should eat to look hot in the LBD (Little Black Dress) you bought for the New Year’s Eve party.

Well here on my very own blog, let me offer you some thoughts.

Here’s how to make any holiday recipe, guilt free:

1.  Stir up, cook, bake or make your favorite recipe.

2.  Eat some of it.

3.  Enjoy it.

4.  Decide not to feel guilty about it.

I know it seems overly simplistic.  In a world where we are taught to binge on Saturday and Sunday and restrict and regret on Monday, this is some heavy-duty out of the box thinking.  But seriously folks,  can we just decide to give ourselves the holiday gift of not feeling guilty every time we put a morsel of food in our mouths?  Just because the media tells us that we have to feel awful every time we eat, doesn’t mean we have to actually do it.

And here’s a strategy for eating any holiday party:

1.  Tell yourself you are there to have fun.

2.  Tell yourself that you are taking a holiday from restriction and regrets.

3.  Tell yourself that any treat you see is allowed at any time, not just at a party and not just during the holidays.

4.  Eat what you want.

5.  Enjoy what you eat.

6.  Stop when you want.

7.  Eat whatever it is that you want!

Let’s simply take the time to enjoy holiday treats while they are here.  And since we know we can enjoy those treats on Monday (or any day of the week) if we want to, maybe we can put aside the need for the crazy weekend binge.

And finally,

How to Look Great in Your New Year’s Eve Little Black Dress

1.  Find an awesome dress.

2.  Put it on.

3.  Strut your stuff.

See?  That was easy!  No need for diets or foundation garments that squeeze you until your hair is taller or strategies for slimming.  Just put on a dress and ROCK. THAT. THING.

I hope my holiday strategies are helpful to you.  Even though you won’t be seeing them in your favorite newsstand magazine.

Love,

Jeanette DePatie (AKA The Fat Chick)

P.S. Want me to talk to YOUR group about guilt-free living?  Click HERE.

P.S.S.  Want to get on my mailing list and get free stuff?  Click HERE.

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Why do we pay good money to feel bad?

Look, you can buy your very own "Food Police" cookie jar.  Click to watch the video...

Look, you can buy your very own “Food Police” cookie jar. Click to watch the video…

Okay, I was reading through my email and I came across a wonderful new app that checks your BMI and hurls insults at you if you gain weight.  Yup, drink an extra glass of water and this wonderful app might say things like, “Greetings, chubby human,” “Smile, meatbag” and “Prepare yourself to be judged”.  Please note that there is NO WAY I’m going to link to this app or even tell you the name of this app on my blog.  The dude who created this nonsense is already getting way too much attention and I won’t add to his traffic.  But I’ll just drop off this here screen shot to give you an idea about just how awesome this thing is:

meatbagNice.  And this bozo (who conveniently places his press kit front and center on this site) is actually charging cash monies for this.  Now I recognize a good attention-grabbing publicity stunt when I see it.  And this “bad boy” has already garnered plenty of media attention.  I’m not sure that he really has any intention of helping people at all.  However, this approach to health and wellness is hardly new.  Just check out the talking “cop” cookie jar in the video above.  When you open the lid, the cookie jar says, “Stop!  Step away from the cookie jar!”  (Click the photo above to see the video).  Wow, your very own, battery-operated, food police–available 24-7 from your very own kitchen.  You can also get a pig-shaped cookie jar that oinks at you when you open it.  And now you can even buy bed linens that fat shame you.  How neat!

Yay, fat shaming while you sleep!

Why do we do this to ourselves?  As I have said, literally a gazillion times on this very blog, shame does not make us happier, healthier or thinner.  Shame makes us gain weight and engage in more dangerous behaviors.  So why do we pay for the privilege of being electronically shamed?  It’s not enough to face shame from friends, family, coworkers, medical professionals, the television shows we watch, the magazines we read, and virtually every other corner of the entire universe?

And even if we refrain from buying fat-shaming apps and cookware, are we free from paying good money for shaming ourselves?  How many of the magazines we subscribe to have fat shaming messages in them?  How many negative body images come to us each day as a result of the cable subscription?  And even if we aren’t paying for those things, how often have we purchased expensive healthy foods, extensive long-term gym contracts and overpriced and cumbersome exercise equipment with the notion that if we pay for it, we will feel guilty enough to use it?  How did that work out for you last time?  Still drying your unmentionables on the treadmill downstairs?  You’re not alone.  You almost can’t give away a used exercise bike or treadmill on Craigslist any more.

And in case, somehow the previous gazillion mentions were in some way unclear, here it is again:

Shame does not help.  Not at all.  Not even if it talks to you in a hokey electronic voice.  Not even if you pay good money for it.

Love, Jeanette (AKA The Fat Chick)

By the way, if you want to buy a fancy cookie jar, I recommend the Tardis version (because it’s bigger on the inside!)  And if you’d like a shame-free approach to fitness, may I recommend:

The Fit Fatties Virtual Events  (Early bird pricing ends soon!)\

My book, “The Fat Chick Works Out!”

or

My DVD  (all of which make wonderful Valentine’s Day gifts to yourself!)

And if  you book me in February, you can receive 25% off my speaking services.  W00t!

 

Resolve to have Different Resolutions Next Year

Hi kids!  I know it’s a little early to be talking about New Year’s Resolutions.  I mean at this point, I am just resolving to, please God, make it to the next year without dying or committing a homicide.  But I am bringing up New Year’s resolutions at this time for a few important reasons:

1.  I wish to forestall panic.  One problem about waiting until New Year’s day to start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions is that the self-help marketing machine fires up in full force around midnight on December 25.  And this “self-help” marketing machine is fueled completely by post-holiday panic.  Your Yule dinner won’t even be digested before tons of advertising hits trying to convince you that you are a BAD PERSON for having eaten it in the first place, and that you should start to feel massive amounts of panic this very second!  I say forewarned is forearmed.  (Wow, forearmed is a really weird word when you see it written down.  Does it mean you are prepared with weaponry or simply that you have body parts between your elbows and your wrists?  But I digress…)  So I want you to think ahead of time about how you are going to cope with this marketing onslaught.  I don’t want you to be caught unprepared.

2.  You might want to plan a media diet.  By and large I don’t believe in diets.  But from time to time I do recommend a “media diet”.  I don’t usually consume a lot of television or magazines, but I am especially careful to avoid TV or glossy magazines any time between December 25 and January 31.  It seems that during this time, all any magazines and TV shows can talk about is your need to lose weight in the coming year.  I mean it’s ALL they can talk about.  It makes me crazy.  And internet ads can be equally crazy-making (although usually a little easier to ignore).  So for the month of January, I drastically cut down on my media consumption, and am careful to spit out any media that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

3.  Let there be peace on earth and let it begin in me.  With apologies to the songs about St. Francis, I think that peace on earth begins within our hearts and between our own ears.  I think that a more peaceful world is an awesome plan for 2014.  But I think peace on earth becomes a lot easier when we feel peace in our own skins.  So, I’d like to suggest that we approach 2014 with a plan to take care of ourselves from a place of love not hurt and a place of peace without panic.  Which leads me to the fact that:

4.  I’ve got a cool project idea, and I’d like your help.  Last year, I posted a New Year’s resolutions video.  Here it is:

THIS year, I’d like to post a resolutions video with YOUR resolutions.  But in order to do this, I need your help.  I need you to send photos of yourself along with a resolution that I can put into this year’s video.  I’d like to post the video by January 1, so I’ll need a little lead time.  So I’m asking you to email your photo along with a very short answer (like 1 to 5 words) to fill in this blank:

“This year I resolve to _____________________________”

Send your photos and resolutions to projects@thefatchick.com.

Here’s to a 2014 filled with light, laughter and body love for all.

Love,  Jeanette DePatie, AKA The Fat Chick

Hollow Leg Days–FEED Me Seymour!

I think one of the realities of intuitive eating is understanding that some days you are hungrier than others.  Some days I hardly think about food at all.  I go for hours and hours not feeling particularly hungry and eat a little bit and that is that.  But some days are what my dear husband calls “hollow leg days”.  These are days where you feel like you must have a hollow leg because it seems like you’ve eaten plenty to fill your stomach but still feel hungry.  My husband says, “It must have gone somewhere.  Maybe I have a hollow leg.”

I’m not talking about stress eating here or eating because you are bored.  Although these are both potential pitfalls of intuitive eating.  I’m talking about genuine, tummy grumbling, there’s gotta be a few more crackers in this box hunger.  Sometimes it seems a tame thing that is kept at bay.  And sometimes I find myself like Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors demanding, “Feed me Seymour!”

This intuitive eating thing can be really challenging.  It’s easy to eat intuitively when you are craving spinach.  It’s a little more challenging to eat intuitively when you are craving spumoni or sausage.  It can be a struggle to quiet the guilt and keep the old diet thoughts at bay.  Luckily, I get to observe a real, native, free range, lifelong intuitive eater in my own house.  My husband has always been naturally thin, so people have encouraged him throughout his life to eat exactly what he wants.  So he’s an intuitive eater.  He always has been.  And I’ve seen “hollow leg days” happen to him.  (It’s his terminology after all.)

Since dieting was such a disaster and the HAES (R) approach has been such a force for happiness in my life, I plan to stay the course.  Part of intuitive eating is pushing away from the table when I’m full.  Part of intuitive eating is looking for something to eat again 2 hours after lunch because I am still hungry or I feel hungry again.  These are two sides of the same coin.  Part of pushing away when full, eating just one cookie or eating two bites of pie is the implicit understanding that I can have another cookie or another bite of pie or another 1/2 hamburger whenever I am truly hungry for them.  Even if logic seems to dictate I “shouldn’t be”.

So when I’m having a hollow leg day, I’ll shout (or sing), “Feed me Seymour!  Feed me all night long!”

Love,

The Fat Chick

 

You Can’t Buy Fitness: Why Buying Lots of Stuff Won’t Get you Fit

How much did you spend on that device for hanging laundry?

How many of you out there started a fitness program by buying something expensive like a big piece of exercise equipment or a long-term plan at the gym?  And how often did you think, “If I paid all this money for it, I’ll surely stick with it!”?  Did ya think feeling guilty about your purchase would make you work out?  Did it work?  Or do you have an extremely fancy place to hang fine washables otherwise known as a treadmill?

Look, I myself have gone down this path many times.  And it has failed me many times.  Because there is a very annoyed little kid inside me that resents being coerced into exercise based on guilt.  And she rebels.  That kids says, “No way!  I ain’t gonna play!”

This cycle of spending money, feeling guilty about spending money, trying to use that guilt to fuel an exercise routine, not exercising and feeling extremely mad at myself went on for a long time in my life.  In fact, I had to declare a moratorium in order to stop the cycle.   I can remember for a period of two years here in Los Angeles, I took a moderately-priced and absolutely fantastic dance class.  You could for the classes one at a time, or pay in groups of 10 or 30 classes.  Of course the more classes you bought at one time, the cheaper the class was.  One day, the teacher finally asked me, “Why do you not buy a group pass, when you come week after week?”  I finally admitted, “You know, I think I come week after week because I never bought a group pass.”  Yup, this was a cheap Jedi mind trick, but it worked for me.  I went to that class two or three times every week for nearly two years.

I think this is because handing the money over for each class allowed it to feel like a treat.  I had saved up for that class and was lucky to get to dance rather than fulfilling an obligation.  It may seem crazy that I went through all of that and paid extra money because I couldn’t get my inner kid to stop pouting over my previous and devious attempts to fuel exercise with money.  But that kid pouts to this day.  And I still pay for exercise options a little at a time.

Now that I teach exercise and sell books and DVDs and sell training, of course I’d love for people to make big investments in exercise.  But I really just want people to work out and learn to love their bodies and love exercise again.  And I’d rather that folks just buy a book and then read it or buy a DVD and then watch it, than have them buy a gabillion dollars worth of my stuff and never use it.

So my little chicklettes, I’m encouraging you to dip your toe in the water.  Try before you buy.  Just buy one book or one DVD.  Buy one week of training or consulting.  Find a gym that doesn’t penalize you too heavily for paying weekly or monthly.  Because working out is not an obligation to be dreaded, but a very special treat.

Love,

The Fat Chick

Feeling Poopy without Feeling Guilty

Over the last few days I haven’t been feeling very well.  I’m not saying this because I want you to feel bad for me and try to make me feel better.  (Well, okay maybe a little.)  After all I don’t have a man flu.  But as I was trying to get a little rest yesterday, I found myself thinking in a familiar pattern.

I started thinking, “Well maybe I’m not eating the right stuff and that’s why I’m sick.  Or maybe I’m not feeling well because I have too much repressed anger.  Maybe this is because I didn’t get enough sleep.”  And in my rambling way, I went on to think, “Maybe it’s nobody’s fault I’m sick.  Maybe I just AM.”

I remember now that I used to often think that if I lost weight I wouldn’t be sick any more.  I used to think that no matter why I was ill, it was my fault because I was fat.  And then for a while (like a minute) I got thin.  And you know what?  I still got sick.  And so did all of the rest of the thin people I know.

And you know what else?  While it’s a great idea to do everything you can to be healthy there are no guarantees.  You will still get sick from time to time.  While it can be tempting to believe that we can control whether or not we get ill we can’t.  We can give ourselves a good chance of being healthy by doing healthy things–but we are still likely to feel lousy from time to time.  And unless you’re talking about a hangover, or going without sleep for four days, you aren’t going to know exactly why and there isn’t much point worrying about whether or not it’s your fault.

It’s especially important to get this straight in our own heads because there are plenty of people out there ready and waiting to tell us that it’s our own fault for being sick or even that we deserve to be sick because we’re fat.  They rail about the costs we “add” to their health insurance.  Doctors do the slow, sad head shake and tell us that we wouldn’t “have this problem” (whether it’s strep throat or carpal tunnel syndrome) if we weren’t so darn big.  Our friends and family seize on every illness as “proof” that they are “right” about the fact we need to lose weight.  And before you completely lose your Zen and want to stop talking to these folks, let me remind you of something.  Remember when I said, it’s tempting to believe we can control whether or not we get ill?  Well it is.  It’s comforting to think that if we don’t drink too much and we don’t smoke and we don’t get fat and we eat our broccoli that we will never get sick and we will live forever.  We know intellectually and rationally that this isn’t true.  But who the heck is going around being intellectual and rational all the time?

The truth is that people get sick and while there are certain issues that make certain populations more likely and less likely to be sick, nobody knows for sure why we get sick when we do.  After all, one of the greatest risk factors for illness is getting older but I’m not sure the alternative is a health path I want to follow.

So my little chickadees, by all means eat your broccoli.  Sleep well and go out and play with your friends.  Do your best to manage stress and anger even when your friends and family drive you crazy trying to “help you lose weight”.  But when you get sick, and you will get sick at some point, my prescription is to stop worrying about who’s fault it is and just worry about feeling better.

Love,

The Fat Chick