Week Eight, Day One
And to those of you who are still just putting your big toe into the water, if you will keep reading the Genie’s teaching, reading the lessons, and meeting with your group, the thinking will sink in and you will have an “ah-ha” moment. Don’t give up. You will get the click and flip if you don’t give up.
When You Get Caught in A Downhill Mudslide
A SSO lady had a birthday party for her teenage daughter. The mother and the daughter agreed to have many healthy choices on the food table, but the mother and daughter agreed to also serve a few “Trash Food” items, just because the other kids coming to the party would want them.
Usually this SSO mother keeps a clean environment, but she bought some chocolate chip cookies and also some chocolate-covered pretzels.
The party went well and then it was time to clean up. And what was there alone with the mother? Leftover Trash Food! So of course, Demanding Child started her stuff: “Just taste them. Just have a bite so you won’t miss the fun. You don’t have to eat much. Just a little.”
So, she thought, I’ll have a little. The cookies were a little mushy, she said, but still good. But the chocolate-covered pretzels were great. She ate some, and she ate some more. We all know this downhill mudslide story, right? But then, her Sane Adult kicked in. She heard Sane Adult say, “Okay, you’ve had your BLT (bite, lick, taste). You’ve haven’t missed anything. Now that’s enough. Enough. ENOUGH! Stop. Right now. Stop.”
And here’s the glory: She did! She stopped.
We aren’t trying to be perfect in SSO. You can’t be perfect. But you can learn that instead of falling into a downhill mudslide, you can have a BLT and STOP. One or two bites and stop. In the past, you had one or two bites and the mudslide began. But not anymore. You’ve tasted it. You didn’t miss a thing. Now stop.
Thin women, after they get to their goal weight, can have a BLT, but they stop. And you can learn this mindset. It’s Trash Food. It makes you fat, unhealthy, and depressed. Why would you let it control you and mess up your life?
When you enter a NON-clean environment, put your antennas up and know you will have to do some mental fighting. As the months go on, and your new neural pathways are strengthened, the battles will die down (not go away completely, but hugely, die down).
This is how you live the rest of your life, knowing you have a weakness, but conquering it, day by day, and moment by moment. Trash Food is Trash Food. It is not your friend.
The Importance of Self-Talk
Hopefully by now you’re starting to listen to the parade that walks across your mind. You’re starting to hear what you say to yourself. It is so cool that you can listen in, not like what you hear, and decide to think about something else. You can change your self-talk. And that is what we are doing in Skinny School.
Insist and command your mind to serve you, not oppose you. For example, when you would like to eat but are not hungry and know you shouldn’t, don’t let yourself whine and say how hard and unfair this is. Instead, say to yourself, “I am behaving like a champion, enduring some mild discomfort to get what I really want. I am so proud of myself that I can get a little uncomfortable and know that it gets me what I really want, health, joie de vivre, and thin hips.”
When you’re out and you see a bunch of Trash Food, don’t let yourself say things like, “I am so sad that I do not get to eat all that yummy food. Poor me.” Instead, say to yourself, “Wow, I am so grateful that I have been given the ladder out of the Food Dungeon. I now know the secrets, the Miraculous Threesome, so that I can be thin forever. I’m so grateful to the Lord that I’ve been given the inside secrets on how I can be thin forever and get this junk off my back. I feel sorry for the people who are still trapped in the Food Dungeon and who are still eating this garbage.”
Every time you see Trash Food, see it as poison and be glad that you are no longer putting that poison in your body. There are so many millions of pleasures in life, and you have to find them. I don’t want you to not have as much pleasure as before, I want you to have more. I want you to find new ways of enjoying great pleasure besides food. Food can be nice-tasting nutrition but that’s all it is. Think about all the beauty of the sunlight warming your body. The beauty of great music. The beauty of a friend’s smile, comfort, and advice. The beauty of quietness and a clean house. The beauty of happy children’s voices. (I think there’s beauty in a cup of herbal tea with Stevia. I drink it all day long.)
No deprivation, just a mind-switch, a beautiful life-changing, mind-switch where we think different thoughts and therefore we behave differently. It gets us what we really want: a life lived in a thin and healthy body.
Week Eight, Day Two
If your kids study really hard for a test, and they do well, aren’t you glad they feel good about it? Doesn’t it make you happy to see the glow on their face when they have accomplished something for which they had to work hard? The same thing is going to happen to you when you lose your weight. You will have a beam on your face. You will feel good about accomplishing something.
There is nothing wrong with this. This is how God made us – if we go hard after a goal and reach it, it makes us happy. It feels amazing to wake up in the morning and have a sense of personal control and self-mastery over your eating. It gives you a sense of confidence that you can conquer other challenges in your life. You have earned this good feeling. You won it through discipline, sacrifice, and learning how to think. Being thin does not guarantee that you will be happy. But there is a confidence and well-being that comes when you conquer your lower nature. Enjoy it. It is fine to enjoy something you have worked for and earned.
We Become Like the People We Hang Around
You already know you become like the people you have coffee with. That’s why we all care who our kids’ friends are. That’s why we care if our husbands hang around godly men or men who don’t follow the Lord. I tell my friends, Karen Jamison and Kendall Tashie, that I never truly understood how to love a family until I watched them in action. Who you hang around is tremendously important!
Don’t think I’m saying I want you to quit hanging around your friends who are not living the Skinny School principles. Some of the most awesome people I know who have trained me in godliness need to lose a few pounds. You and I both know how much you weigh is not a reflection of your heart or character.
But having said that, how the people around you eat does affect you, unless you have strongly trained your mind. Most of the people in my inner circle eat very healthy. At a recent Mother’s Day lunch, there was a table of 10 of us and I noticed that seven of the people didn’t eat dessert. And they aren’t fat. They are not eating sugar because it is unhealthy for them.
So I’m certainly not telling you to change people groups! Please don’t hear that! I am telling you to put your antennas up and know how much other people affect you. It is difficult if someone you love says, “You obsess over food too much. One little piece a cake won’t hurt you.”
You and I both know that one little piece a cake will hurt you. Just learn to say over and over again, “No thank you. No thank you. I appreciate you asking, but no thank you.” Don’t blame them unless they pin you down and stuff it down your throat. You have to be tough enough to withstand the mental and emotional pressure they put on you. Don’t make excuses and blame food-pushers, though. Over and over again I say, you are responsible for what goes in your mouth. No one else.
I know it’s harder to do this if your husband is eating Oreos all the time. And that is the subject of the next section.
When Your Husband Eats Oreos in Front of You
This is a common lament of the women in Skinny School: How do I influence my husband to eat better?
One thing I tell women is to be sure and not criticize your husband. Do not become the Food Police, ranting and raving about all his sugar. You just eat healthy. If he says, “Let’s get some doughnuts,” just say, “You can get some but no thank you, I don’t want any.”
I promise, you are having an impact on him. And over time, I have seen husbands adopt many of the wife’s healthy eating patterns. Maybe not completely and maybe not quickly, but in a large way over time.
Sometimes women ask their husbands if they will keep their snack food in a separate cabinet. Most husbands are very accommodating to do this. (If your husband is not accommodating, I suggest you read Wife School: Where Women Learn the Secrets of Making Husbands Happy. Most of the women in my Wife School groups have very very accommodating husbands, ha ha).
Now let’s address the subject of children eating healthy. If your child goes to a birthday party and has a piece of birthday cake, it will not kill him. Again, I think you make a mistake by making too much out of this. The way to get your kids off junky food at home is to have so much beautiful food around that they don’t miss the junk. When your kids eat the beautiful, nourishing food, praise them: “I’m proud of you for taking such good care of the car that drives around your soul” and “You are taking good care of the body God gave you.”
My kids don’t miss the junk unless I have nothing to eat in the house. If your husband wants to take the kids out to eat donuts on Saturday morning, I suggest you let him. For your weekly meals, if your kids are a normal weight, be sure and add brown rice and sweet potatoes, as they will love those healthy carbs. When you make Paleo pizza for yourself, I suggest you occasionally make some with a whole wheat crust for your thin kids.
Go easy on your new knowledge about health. Don’t make everyone else think you are a witch. It is much easier to coax husbands and children than command them. Again, make lemonade with lemons and Stevia and freeze it into popsicles. There are so many creative-mom ideas you can do. Bake apples with cinnamon and Stevia on them and then make some whipping cream with some Stevia to top the apples. Your kids will love this. You can make awesome food for your kids and you not eat it.
Your kids may not get it now. They may not get it in five years. But they will get it in ten. Be easy on your family. This is a huge change, what you’re doing in Skinny School, and we don’t want to rattle them. We want to love, encourage, and give to them as if it is our last opportunity to do so. Do not ever verbally beat up your family. Rejoice over them with singing. Never talk to your children with any condemnation in your voice. Love them, talk softly to them, talk sweetly to them. They are your most precious thing on earth.
In ten years, you will watch your children eat healthy. Your habits are putting concrete grooves in their brains.
Week Eight, Day Three
When Other People Say You are Obsessed
I have noticed that when someone goes hard after a goal, other people like to say things like, “You are not balanced” or “You are obsessed”. A few months ago at church I was talking to an overweight lady and somehow it came up that I had exercised very early that morning. She said to me, “I’m not impressed.” Then she said, “I think you’re taking this thing too far.”
There was no reason to retaliate. She felt bad that I was thin and she wasn’t. I don’t let those kind of things bother me. I usually don’t exercise on Sunday mornings but I had not exercised in a couple days and we were going out of town again and I was not going to get to exercise again for a couple days. I wasn’t being obsessive; I was just being disciplined.
When you stop living like the masses and you stop start living like a champion, you’ll be criticized. Other people don’t enjoy your success. It is common for small people to criticize people who are disciplined and have self-mastery and say they are obsessed because it allows them to not feel so bad for being lazy. Don’t let these people get under your skin. Be nice. But don’t think there is something wrong with you for one minute, just because you are self-disciplined and have self-mastery. It is not obsessive to take care of your health and your body in a reasonable manner.
You can love and obey God, love your family to the max, do the work God has called you to do, and take care of your health. That is wise living, not obsession.
There are going to be nay-sayers. There are going to be those who want to point a finger and criticize. That’s fine with me. And when they try to say you are obsessed or overboard, don’t retaliate. Just go put on your little-sized skinny jeans and hope they will find the ladder out of the Food Dungeon soon, too.
Getting to Your Goal A Weight
Some of you have over 100 pounds to lose and to you I say, booyah, and congrats for starting! I am so proud of you and I want you to keep at this. Others of you are getting closer to your goal A weight. It is to you that I am talking in this section.
It is easy when you get close and you are around 5 to 10 pounds from your goal to say, “This is good enough. I don’t really have to get to my Goal A weight. I’m still a little chubby but it’s okay.”
Don’t do that. Get to your Goal A weight. Get to a weight where you feel fabulous in everything. Don’t lose 85 pounds or 40 pounds or 25 pounds and get close then stop. Get all the way there. There’s no reason for you not to enjoy feeling light, feeling the self-mastery, and feeling fit. Don’t give up. Don’t settle for being five or ten pounds overweight. Get it all off. All of it. Because that’s where the real self-confidence and self-mastery give you a feeling of accomplishment. Find this weight and then figure out how to stay there. And then you can give yourself to solving that problem or whatever it is that God has asked you to do. The weight problem will be completely off your plate.
Not five pounds over. Get to your Goal A Weight! (And only YOU know what that perfect weight is, where you feel energetic and confident!)
If it is Hard for You to Live Skinny School Principles
In your mind, do you think, “It’s hard to live the Skinny School principles”? In your mind, do you still believe it’s hard to ditch Trash Food, hard to plan and prep, and hard to wait?
Well, that is not what is hard. What is hard is the emotional suffering that accompanies being fat. That is what is hard. It’s hard to go somewhere you really care about and feel like you look like a tank. It’s hard when you think about your weight all day long. It’s hard when you don’t feel good in anything you wear. The Miraculous Threesome are super easy compared to that. You can have emotional suffering because you are fat or you can have the temporary discomfort of Ditch, Plan, Wait. You have to choose one of those. Which will it be?
To be honest, I don’t even associate discomfort anymore with eating the Skinny School principles. I eat amazing food and feel great. If I’m hungry, I eat. I have plenty of clothes in my closet that fit. Hey, this beats the heck out of that old life of emotional suffering because I wouldn’t control what I put in my mouth!
This isn’t hard; this is fabulous living.
When You Mess Up Your Eating
It’s going to happen. I wish it wasn’t, and for some of you, it is very rarely going to happen. But still others are going to fall off the bus and eat Trash Food.
The predictor of success in this program is how you handle failure. I’ve said it over and over again but train your mind so that when you slip up, you get back on the bus in five minutes. No, make that three minutes. No, make that NOW.
Because if you only mess up three bites, it is not a big mess up. But if you mess up three days, whoaaaa Nellie. You are headed down Discouragement Road. You know how the Crud Descends when you mess up big-time. Somewhere in large red letters in your Ruby Journal, write down that as soon as the alarm sounds after you have messed up, you flag down the nearest bus and hop on it!
Remember, how you handle failure predicts your success. The secret is climbing back on the bus, right this second!
Week Eight, Day Four
When You Focus on Who Doesn’t Love You or Give to you Enough
It was a big moment in my life a few years ago when I realized that it was time to quit focusing on who was not loving me enough and who was not giving to me enough and instead, focus on how I loved and gave to others. It was a huge moment when I buried all my self-pity in the cemetery in my backyard. Instead, what I thought about was my unique, one-of-a-kind gift and skill set which God had given me so that I could bless the world. This was a huge change in what I thought about. A cloud of discouragement lifted as I refused to be offended by how others treated me. It is hard to be discouraged when you are thinking about how you can use your gifts and strengths.
Sure, I still have angst in my heart, things that I’m begging the Lord to do. But every morning I lay them out before the Lord and plead with Him in prayer. Then, I make a list of what I’m going to do that day so that I take daily massive action on these goals. Massive, not piddly-wink action. And then guess what I do after pleading with the Lord and after planning to take daily massive action? I put it on the shelf in heaven. He who watches Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.
For the rest of the day, I try and not let my mind think about my angst issues unless I’m being proactive in problem-solving, searching online for answers, or talking to someone who has answers. I refuse to let my ache walk into the living room of my mind and sit down. God loves me, God cares, God answers prayer. I can count on Him to listen and respond. And since it is a sowing and reaping world and I’m taking massive action on my goals, why should I not expect for God to answer and for the situation to turn around?
There’s so much you can do to live in an emotionally happy place. But you have to give up all that self-pity, whining, blaming, and being offended. All that…garbage! That’s Trash Thought! We have got the Trash Food out of our lives. Now let’s get the Trash Thought out of our lives too.
Not too long ago, I was eating with one of my sons for a special dinner at Houston’s. He ordered a steak and some fries and then got key lime pie at the end of the meal (junky, I know). After the waiter had brought our check and we were getting ready to leave, he said to me, “You don’t cheat anymore.”
I didn’t quite understand and I ask him what he meant.
He said, “You used to grab a fry and to ask for one bite of my Key lime pie. But you don’t cheat at all anymore.”
And guess what? Now I’m finally as thin as I want to be. Those little cheats slow down your metabolism, and mess up your hormones. So I don’t cheat anymore.
One Saturday I spoke at an event and when I talked about not eating birthday cake, the women there acted like I was asking them to give away their first child. This is all a mindset. Birthday cake is sugar and starch and messes up your hormones and messes up your bloodwork. Hey, birthdays are ultra-important to me! I love celebrating birthdays and I do them in a huge way. But they don’t include Trash Food. They include wrapped presents, mushy cards, balloons, lots of hugs, signs, and fabulous healthy food but they don’t include sugar, because sugar is poison and sugar is not good for me. This is how you are to think. This is how Champions think. This is how you get thin and healthy. At some point, the click and flip are going to happen. You are going to say that you cannot cheat and be at the goal you want.
Don’t give up celebrating! Don’t give up pleasure. In fact, go for more of it. Do you know how much pleasure you’re going to get when you’re thin? Everything is more fun when you’re thin. Give up that traitor, sugar, so you can really enjoy your one and precious life to the max.
Making Soup Does Not Have to Be A Lot of Work
Soups have a special ability to soothe and nourish. And with the multiple ingredients they include, soups are nutrient-dense, fabulous, and a necessary staple in a Skinny School student’s life.
However…if you break it down, soup is not hard to make at all. As you know, Champions plan and prep! Here is an example of a soup-making schedule that makes the whole process less time-consuming:
Sunday afternoon: Planning for the week. The new week’s meals begin with Monday. All recipes are gathered and the entire week is planned on paper. All three meals, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, are considered, as well as Quart Bag ingredients, etc. The menu for the week says we will have chicken vegetable soup on Wednesday night. Tonight, we will have chicken, which has been marinating since yesterday in the marinade for Genie Teriyaki Salmon found on my website (HERE), on the grill with salad and veggies.
Monday: Grocery shopping. All ingredients for the planned recipes are purchased and brought home, veggies are washed and put away. Tonight: Genie Taco Salad Recipe (HERE) which makes plenty to eat tomorrow for lunch and plenty to freeze.
Tuesday: I make the broth for the chicken vegetable soup in the crockpot. The chicken is taken off the bone half-way through and I cook the bones a little longer to make a good broth. (Recipe HERE.)
Tonight: Genie Lasagna (Recipe HERE) Again, plenty to eat for lunch and some to freeze.
Wednesday: I make the Genie Vegetable soup in the crock pot in the morning (recipe HERE). This is the night we eat the soup. I freeze some soup in individual containers for lunches, snacks, etc. and of course, put some in fridge for a delish lunch tomorrow. NEVER cook for one meal!
Do you see that the soup was planned on Sunday, ingredients bought on Monday, the first step done on Tuesday, and you didn’t actually cook it or eat it until Wednesday? This is Champion planning and prepping. But nowhere did you really expend a lot of time and energy because it was all PLANNED! Fail to plan, plan to fail.
It always gets back to what? Is this a current Top Four Life Goal because this is all WAAAYYYY too much work if it isn’t. But if it is…we will do the work! When you want something and care about it, you will do the work. No excuses. No whining.
Week Eight, Day Five
A Little Encouragement for Turtles
Here are 3 fabulous posts from past SSO participants.
With permission, by Julie Wierick:
Well. It’s hard to admit this, but I have to share in order to possibly help someone else. It’s like this. I read about the “hunger tracking” and waiting until a 3 and stopping at a 5 but I guess my unconscious will decided it was too extreme. I happily ate until my plate was clean and wanted more. NOT hunger, want! Result of a lifetime of eating mass quantities. After eight weeks and the scale “stuck”, I finally went back and re-read it. Then I decided to actually do it. (I know I’m so stubborn!) Amazingly my cravings went away! I honestly don’t think I could have done this earlier as I was concentrating on some of the other key things. I see this plan as a lesson in not allowing yourself to be overwhelmed, but go back and re-read the first chapters when you are scratching your head wondering why the scale won’t move. Just don’t get discouraged and don’t think you can’t do it – you can!!! I reached my Goal B finally after learning the hard way that I can’t skip the basics. Be encouraged that if you have Christ, you have the sound mind and strength to do this!! Thank you for all of the encouraging stories. This FB group rocks!!
With permission, from Kendal Booker:
I feel as if I broke the sound barrier. For the first time in my married life, I went to a certain beloved family member’s house and did not gain weight or touch a single dessert. It is like taking a trip to Candyland and a bakery straight out of Grimm’s fairytales. Seriously the food offerings there could make a girl’s head spin. I found ways to entertain myself in offering to take care of my newborn nephew and I read an entire Nicolas Sparks book in less than 24 hours. To top it off, the scale was down 0.4 pounds. Willpower points have about reached their all time high. Thank you Lord for making a way when there seems to be no way out of the pits in our lives!
With permission, by Stacey Meredith:
At Julie Noah Gordon’s request I’m sharing some things from my SS journey. Apologies for the long post.
I bought the book in Mid March and read it 2 days. Jackie and I could be related. Everything she felt, said, reasoned were things I’ve felt, said and reasoned. I vowed to start when the April group began. We were going to be traveling for 3 weekends and I knew it would be really hard to begin this. And oh, I made every excuse for eating “one last time” during those weeks…so much that I gained 5 lbs!!! Boy was I mad at myself. So when the lessons began, I made excuses, didn’t track, whined and let Demanding Child win over and over…3 weeks went by and my half in and half out attitude wasn’t getting me anywhere. I think I literally mourned having to give up Trash Food. I’m sure some of you can relate.
After I started seeing people making it into the 10lb club I got serious. Nothing like being a little jealous to get you motivated! It was at that point in week 3 I printed out the lessons – all of them. I reread, highlighted and made notes, I wrote in my journal and started really tracking. I planned meals, prepped veggies and made sure I had plenty of things ready to assemble a meal or snack at any time. As my family has eaten up the Trash Food, I haven’t replaced it. I have eliminated the good foods that I eat too much of at any time. I am having hot tea in the afternoon (my mindless munchie time) and at bedtime as my end of day treat (instead of eating or drinking something high calorie). I love how I no longer crave sugar and carbs!
I have changed habits, changed available food, and refer to my journal and the notes regularly – they stay in my purse. I have a group of friends from church who are also doing SS. We FB throughout the day, give meal ideas, vent and share victories.
I try to commit my day/food/and desire to be healthy to God daily, because, honestly, I can’t do this on my own. 25.8lbs to go.
Over and over I realize how many of the principals from SS work. If you’re at the beginning of your SS journey, or if you’ve been following for 5 weeks and just half way doing it, stop and really evaluate where you are and be honest with yourself. You’ll be so glad you did!
How Champions Think
Have you carefully considered how Champions think? Here’s a description of their mental game:
They persevere, they endure, they press through, push through, have self-mastery, discipline, overcome suffering, and are mentally focused.
Does that describe you? It should. And it can. The battle is entirely in your mind. Are you going to think like a Champion thinks? Or are you going to think like the whiny, chubby masses who have trouble saying no to their lower natures? This weight thing is all about your mental training. How many good sentences have you written in your Ruby Journal? How often do you bathe your mind with those sentences? How often do you re-read the Genie’s teaching?
If you fail 1000x, get up and try again because the mind click and flip will happen on time 1001. Anyone can change how they think. It’s about what you feed your mind. You can change your neural pathways in your brain.
Exercise is Mostly Mental
What I want you to think about this next week as we get ready for the Exercise lesson, is that adding Exercise to your life is ALL mental. It’s all about your thoughts. If you tell yourself how much you hate getting dressed to exercise, how you hate the time it takes, how you hate to sweat, well, guess how often you are going to exercise?
But if you bathe your mind in what exercise does for your WHOLE person, the creativity, the mental sharpness, the good mood, the healthy heart, the healthy bloodwork, the toned muscles, the metabolism shift, the calories burned, etc. then you will insist that you get it in most days.
Exercise is only 20% of the slimness pie (and as you know, eating is 80%) but it’s an important one. It keeps you sleek, instead of frumpy. No options about exercise. None.
We all start losing muscle mass around 30 years of age. So, you’ve got to build it back. We will talllkkkk about all of that. I love love love this topic. I hate to do it, but love to talk about it.
I just came back from the gym ten minutes ago, so I’m feeling pretty high after an intense 30 minute work-out!
If you mess up 1000x, you will get it on time 1001!
Questions for Group Discussion
- When you get in a downhill mudslide and lose your way, are you able to scream inside your brain, “STOP!”?
- Are you learning to listen in to the parade of thoughts that march across your brain and take some responsibility for thinking correct thoughts? Explain.
- How are the people you hang around with hindering or helping you in your SSO goal?
- Are you able to muzzle your mouth and give your family a chance to catch up with all of your new habits? Explain.
- Has anyone accused you of being obsessed with your new eating program? How have you responded?
- Are you ready to quit cheating all together?
- Have you been cooking soup? What is your experience?