Bethenny Frankel is HANDS DOWN one of the most inspiring people to me for numerous reasons. She is intelligent, motivated, driven, persistent, humorous and realistic. I have read all of her books, tried all of her Skinnygirl Cocktails, and watched all of her television shows. One book that changed my life/diet is Naturally Thin.
After gaining some weight my first semester of Freshman year of college (5 years ago), I knew I had to not only increase my exercise BUT change my eating habits. The
fast metabolism I had in high school, where I was able to consume six soft-baked cookies, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked(my favorite) and three slices of pizza had come to an end. The first thing I did was try the grapefruit diet and although it did work for me, I knew it was not a stable diet I could maintain.
I decided to purchase Naturally Thin and finished it in 2 days! It was one of the best books, I have ever read and it transformed my life drastically. While reading this book I started shedding pounds unintentionally and reached my thinnest weight. She explains that diets don’t work and that eating healthy is a lifestyle. She teaches you to be “NATURALLY THIN” by sharing “naturally thin thoughts,” “heavy habits,” and recipes to illustrate her rules. Bethenny encourages everyone to unleash their Skinnygirl with these 10 rules which have now become habitual to me:
1) Your diet is a bank account– teaches you to balance your meal choices and treat your diet as you would treat your bank account with investments (splurges) and savings (not having too much of one thing). She also introduces you to food voice (listening to your body) and food noise (your negative inner food dialogue). The differential (the difference between two choices) and the point of diminishing returns (when you take a bite and it isn’t quite as good as the bite you took before it) are also great concepts.
2) You can have it all, just not all at once– she stresses that life is about checks and balances and that YOU are the only one who controls what is put in your mouth. I’ve learned that you will have plenty more chances to make a different food choice, so listen to your body and make a choice.
3) Taste everything, eat nothing- Basically, when you have a lot of food choices, you don’t have to commit to eating everything. You can simply sample a bite or two of different things and wake up feeling guiltless.
4) Pay Attention- DO NOT eat until you are ready to listen to your body and pay attention to what you are putting into your mouth. Elimate eating while watching TV, checking emails or cooking. People consume these mindless calories because you aren’t listening to your body, instead you are just eating what’s in front of you. Eating should be an experience where you register every bite. It should not just be seen as an action or task.
5) Downsize Now– she stresses that downsizing is a new way of life. Do you really need a Venti Iced Coffee from Starbucks or can you be satisfied with a Tall Iced Coffee? Eating from smaller plates, cups and bowls helps put downsizing in perspective.
6) Cancel Your Membership to the Clean Plate Club– You don’t need to finish every little morsel on your plate. Just because it’s there does not mean you MUST consume it. Bethenny encourages you to share your food, save some for another meal or just leave it when you feel SATISFIED. This has been the rule I have had the most trouble with, but I’ve learned that leaving a piece of broccoli or a sip of coffee is not going to make me any less full.
7) Check Yourself Before Your Wreck Yourself– this rule teaches you to STOP BINGE EATING! Bethenny stresses the importance of staying in the driver’s seat and making your own rational decisions about what you will and will not eat. Just because you had a cookie as a mid-morning snack DOES NOT MEAN your diet went down the drain. Just make smarter choices the rest of the day. Why let a cookie dictate your diet? You are accountable for your own decisions, YOU ARE IN CONTROL.
8) Know Thyself– Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to food. Some people are carb-lovers, some people love sugar, some people like to snack throughout the day while others prefer meals. Bethenny says, “YOU HAVE TO KNOW YOURSELF AND CUSTOMIZE THE WAY YOU EAT TO FIT WHO YOU ARE!”
9) Get Real– when you have the opportunity, always choose real, organic, local, seasonal food over fake processed food. Sometimes packaged food is your only choice, but if you can have an apple, greek yogurt, nuts or baby carrots instead, go for them!
10) Good for You– You are the most important person. Loving yourself and caring for yourself should guide you to improve or change some of your old habits.
These rule are basically the 10 commandments I try to follow every day. As a result, I have learned to listen to my body, love my body and develop a healthy relationship with food. If I overeat when I am out to dinner, I do not feel guilty. Instead, I balance it out the next day and perhaps eat lighter or make better food choices. I have also been able to help my friends learn and master the art of balancing, downsizing and paying attention to food voice vs. food noise.