This is a cute cartoon, and it made me smile. But we must ask, does it really help to place the responsibility for our own health, wellness, weight or lifestyle outside of ourselves?

It’s true we live in a culture with fierce challenges to our health. This culture continually rewards our bad habits with its fast food, instant gratification and couch-potato life style. On one hand, we hear about real food for good health; at the same time, a multi billion-dollar food industry does everything possible to seduce us into eating junk. Video games and TV keep us out of the gyms.

We also live in a culture of blame. But, when we take away the power of our own choice and put the blame anywhere else, we drastically disempower ourselves. Are we that weak? No, we’re not!! Will power is not a myth. It can be exercised and strengthened with practice.

It’s just so easy to put off exercising or to eat something “just this once” or blame our family genes for our bodies’ problems. We do so at our own peril. We have one body and one life. Every day, we can keep the momentum going either toward health or toward a poor-quality health and life style.

Research has shown that once we make a serious commitment to ourselves, good things can happen and our efforts will pay off in a short time. But, first, we have to step up and take responsibility. No more blame game – period. Short of an incurable genetic disorder, we are responsible for our own health. We’re the only ones that can do it.





What does gratitude have to do with health and wellness? A lot, it turns out. Studies from the University of California and the University of Utah reported that by writing five things every week for which they felt grateful, people developed a more positive outlook on life (a powerful influence on good health), exercised more and had fewer physical problems. Other studies have linked gratefulness to lower blood pressure and a stronger immune system.

But we have to be clear what “gratitude” really means. It’s more than a polite thank you, which can be just a social formality. True gratitude is an emotion based on a connection to something or someone. It’s how you FEEL about these connections.

If this hasn’t been your experience; you can “learn” how to feel grateful by making a gratitude template. How? When others are generous toward you, make a conscious effort to open yourself to feel your pleasure, comfort and appreciation. You will start to develop a muscle that hasn’t had much use. Over time, exercising this muscle will become natural.

Why Is Losing Weight So Hard?

Weight Loss QuestionsWhy is this so hard?  Why does losing weight involve so much pain? Why do I have to pay such a price to weight what I want?

Are these familiar questions that stream through your mind when you are faced with starting a new diet or when you feel sick of the one you are on?

Why do we see diets as so awful?

Answer: We associate pain to them, that’s why.

I am not going into all the reasons we feel this way because there are many, but I am going to tell you that these questions and others like them are useless. They get you nowhere!

How can I get to where I love my body, feel good about my weight, love my look, feel great, and enjoy the process?

What is one thing I can do today to shift my thinking from being deprived when dieting to being set free from being under a food spell?

What fun thing can I do today to get my body moving?

Now, these are good question. Start posing questions that will put your wise self on a search to bring you answers that will result in you getting new results. The why questions just keep us on an endless loop going nowhere.

Making a New and Serious Effort

Later / NowI’ve written blog posts on loving and accepting ourselves as is, and I have even recorded a meditation to help create that state for us. It is imperative that we not hate ourselves when trying to make changes to our body size, our eating habits and other inner changes we want to make.

However, and this is a big one, we cannot take self-love, acceptance, and self-care to mean that we allow our saboteurs or excuses to run the show. What do I mean by this?

We all have different voices within us. There are parts of us that really want to look and feel different and want more than anything to begin to lose some weight. But we also have parts of us that are not the least bit interested in changing the status quo. This is what I call saboteurs or resistance — this is where our excuses come from.

Example: I become inspired by someone/something to lose weight. I get started, join a group, buy the food, and off I go. Then comes the day that someone brings your favorite cake to work and off the plan you go. You eat it with the excuse, “Well, when will I have the opportunity to eat this again? Or, I don’t want to hurt her feelings.”

Here is where a new something has to happen. This is the place where serious effort must be made. Becoming aware of this pattern is one change but, second, new effort is going to be required. And it must happen with this choice.

Never challenging ourselves in touchy situations is not loving ourselves. It’s making excuses and letting the excuse win the day. This does not help how we feel about ourselves in the long run. In fact, it usually can loop us back again into the highly critical and destructive voices we have become so use to.

It is at the point of the cake choice that something new must enter. And, yes, it can be challenging; but, of course, so worth it.

Effort, challenges, and pushing ourselves are a little bit closer to self-love than continually indulging our food cravings or saboteurs.

We need not confuse giving into ourselves and letting the excuses take over with self-love.

As care and appreciation of ourselves increase with new and wise choices, we actually develop more self-respect and self-love.

Making the Right Food Choices

Making the Right Food Choices
Doesn’t this just show us perfectly how our minds work? It’s frequently a choice between something that we believe will support our weight loss program or something that won’t. It can turn choices into either/or and, too often, the or wins.

The black/white, right/wrong choice system sets us up to fail. As we know from past experience: One set of choices appeals more to our tastes buds, often is a habit response pattern and is frequently comfort food. Once we make the choice for these types of food, it can start us down a slippery slope.

Managing our imagination when conflicting choices arrive is the first step:

1. Determine in advance what the day of foods will be (with some flexibility).

2. Mix up the food plans with some of the not usually on my diet foods. You know the ones I mean. Too much deprivation backfires.

3. Use guided imagination techniques often. That is, choose the picture of you eating the healthy foods. Hold that picture in your mind. Add details. Also, see that scale with the number you want on it and see certain foods getting you there faster.

4. Choose healthy. When the two pictures come up, grab onto the healthy one and keep the other one out. Remember: Imagination will always win over willpower so choose wisely which pictures you keep in your mind.

Tuscan Kale Salad via Dr. Andrew Weil

Tuscan Kale SaladKale is filled with so many good things: iron, vitamin K, vitamin C. It’s low in calories and is a good source of fiber. The top 10 health benefits of eating kale:

Here is a fabulous recipe to make a great Tuscan Kale Salad from Dr. Andrew Weil ( I have enjoyed this salad with chicken added many times and I can tell you that it’s delicious while supporting weight loss.

Are You Mungry?

Mungry FacesMaybe everyone but me knows what mungry means but I first heard the word from my son-in-law. When I asked what it meant, he said, “It means mean and hungry.”

What a perfect word to describe many people when they get too hungry. We need to keep our blood sugar level stable or we can feel weak, shaky, or even crabby. Me, I get crabby. In the faces to the right, I am 3rd row down, 1st one.

I know people who don’t eat all day; just drink coffee or Coke until dinner. I would be nuts on that food plan. First of all, I’d be so jitzed from all that caffeine and no solid food, I couldn’t do it.

I know that sometimes people fast for cleanses and for spiritual purposes. I think that an occasional fast is just fine, but I would not recommend skipping meals or days without food just to lose weight.

Why not? Besides feeling shaky or crabby:

  1. You will be so hungry that you are tempted to eat what is quick – in other words, anything goes. Seriously, are you going to take the time to cut up those vegies for that salad when starving? Probably not.
  2. You can actually gain weight on a one meal a day diet. Why? Because you usually eat much more and think that because you haven’t eaten much during the day, that it’s ok. Many more calories are usually consumed than if you ate regularly.
  3. Your body can go into sleep mode. Because your body has long periods between digesting and burning calories, it can go to sleep mode. This can slow your metabolism to a snail’s pace and can lead to serious weight gain.

Ask Viv: Dealing with the Food Pushers

Ask Viv questions

Question of the Day

Dear Viv,

One of my problems is that when I am at a dinner party or with family, people are always insisting that I eat more or try this or just have a bite of whatever.

I have a hard time saying no. I know that I am full but I also don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings.

Kathy J.

Dear Kathy,

I know, that’s a though one. Many of us fall into the role of making sure everyone else is okay, except us. We will always run into food pushers wherever we go. Now, they aren’t bad people; they just are invested for a myriad of reasons in having others eat.

Here’s what to do: Stand up for your body. Who better to be the vigilant caretaker for your body than you? You and your body are doing something so amazing: losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight and you come first. Be your own body’s advocate. You choose what you will eat, when, how much and where. No one else gets to have that authority over you!! A polite but firm no thank you will do.

Good Luck. You are much stronger than you think!!!


Read more from Wise Woman, Viv.

Ask Viv: I’m Stuck at a 20 Pound Loss!

Ask Viv questions

Question of the Day

Dear Viv,

I am absolutely stuck at a 20 pound loss and have 25 more to go. I have tried fewer calories and working out more, but nothing seems to work? What should I do?

Mary M.

Dear Mary,

Getting stuck is a common problem. It can lead to discouragement and a feeling of why try? You have come this far. Don’t lose your enthusiasm and commitment now!! Keep a diary of what you are eating for several days. You might find that it’s more than you think and could be higher caloric foods, too. When you say fewer calories, are you sure?

I would suggest trying a food plan as suggested in The 17 Day Diet by Dr. Mike Monroe. Another popular and often successful food plan is The South Beach Diet by Arthur Agatston. These are not the only food plans that are good, but both plans substantially lower calories as well as have you eating clean, natural food vs. processed and junk food.

Stick with one of these or something similar for a few days (this is assuming that you have no medical reasons why you could not do this), and you should drop a couple of pounds and re-start your momentum.

Good luck, you can do this!!!


Each week, on Tuesday and Friday, you can have questions answered concerning losing weight, health, and wellness. The inner Wise Woman, Viv (the character who helps Madge transform her weight as well as her life, in The Tale of Eating Beauty) will offer advice for all inquiries and give you personal insights and answers.

Send questions to:

For more answers on methods to lose weight that work, click HERE.

Written by Jean Hausmann, author of The Tale of Eating Beauty: How She Broke the Food Spell and How You Can Too!

A Feeding Frenzy

Question of the Day

Ask Viv questionsDear Viv,

I am embarrassed to admit this, but I have actually gained another 6 pounds in anticipation of going on a new diet. Everyday is my new start day, and everyday I blow it.

I tell myself repeatedly that I will start tomorrow which then gives me permission to eat whatever I want because, after all, it’s my last day to eat because tomorrow I will be starting my diet. Now I am in a panic.

Suzanne from WI

Dear Suzanne,

Two things are going on here.

First, you have run head on into the saboteur I call let’s do it tomorrow or later. It’s a very reassuring voice that lulls you into the idea that tomorrow will actually be different and easier than today. And we always believe it! Now you know by now, it’s just another con. The only day to start anything new is today.

Second, you are viewing starting a weight loss plan as terrible deprivation. It’s not a diet; diets are a temporary solution. It’s a life change. It’s freedom from the tyranny of certain foods. It’s creating a body you love and feel great in. And it’s new confidence and self-esteem.

Re-frame the event to how much misery you will leave behind and how much fun is ahead of you.

You can do this!


Each week, on Tuesday and Friday, you can have questions answered concerning losing weight, health, and wellness. The inner Wise Woman, Viv (the character who helps Madge transform her weight as well as her life, in The Tale of Eating Beauty) will offer advice for all inquiries and give you personal insights and answers.

Send questions to:

For more answers on methods to lose weight that work, click HERE.