Mindsets: Dieter vs. Mindful Eater

     You never know what you say, as a motivational speaker, or a sister, that’s going to stick in someone’s craw and help to make a significant shift for the better in their lives.  I found out this past week when my sis and I were taking a power walk/talk over gorgeous Sarasota Bay.  Our favorite topics of conversation are our kids, our husbands, our older sister and why she is the way she is, and our weight.

My weight has fluctuated by 5 pounds for the last 25 years.  I can tell you exactly what I do that adds on the pounds, and exactly what I do to take them off.  Feeling thin?  Nacho night.  Feeling thick? Delicious big salad with 4 oz. salmon.  I know the amount of exercise, drink, bread, cheese, kale and time it will take to gain or lose those ever-lovin’ 5 pounds.

My sister, on the other hand, is a lifelong member of a popular weight loss organization and holds tight onto a “dieters” mentality.  Here’s how it goes:  Count calories, points, weight, low-fat, no-fat, free food, no carbs, diet sodas, etc. and lose weight. YAY!  Then the inevitable slip up happens (see above nachos reference) and all the guilt in the world weighs down on her and she (here’s the important point) starves herself the next day or two to make up for the transgressions.

After listening to her share this story time and time again I finally figured out what I do and I offered her the same solution:  Once I know I’ve overloaded on calories for, say, 2 – 3 days, I go back to eating a healthy, balanced, clean diet and know that in 5-7 days I’ll be back to where I was.

FIVE TO SEVEN DAYS!!!  That was her revelation.  She would go to diet starve mode to undo her pigging out with the intention of losing the excess in 1-2 days.

Bad for the mind, bad for the body.

Her recent report on our walk was that she no longer panics about an excessive calorie day and just goes back to eating healthy with a knowledge that she’ll gradually work it off without “dieting”.

Ahhh.  Good for the mind, good for the body!

From your fairly weight-stable motivational speaker who’s 5-7 days away from a plate of nachos


Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford didn’t always know the phytochemical benefits of kale, in fact, those words weren’t even in her vocabulary 30 years ago. Neither did she see any reason to do jumping jacks on a cement surface for an hour. But all it took was a chance vegetarian cooking class and some high-energy music to open her eyes upon a whole new world of healthy living. For 30 years Polly has practiced, studied, taught, educated and lived a healthy lifestyle that makes her such a powerful speaker.

Polly’s down-to-Earth and humorous approach mirrors her own lifelong journey to lasting, positive changes. The audience walks away with tangible plans for improving their health and their lives through food, fitness and fun.
To book Motivational Speaker Polly Pitchford, call 941-685-7725 or visit her at http://www.pollypitchfordmotivationalspeaker.com/

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  1. Ha ha ha!  Polly I LOVE this idea – and you are LIVING proof it can work.  And I think you’ve influence me well since I’m PRETTY good at it.  I say PRETTY good since my fluctuation is more like 10 pounds – which makes it a LOT harder to get back to norm than would FIVE.  Anyway, it’s definitely a mindset – and then a skillset.  Thank you for providing BOTH!

  2. As someone who managed to lose 50 lbs. at one point in my life, I know what you share is truth, Polly. And yet no matter how many years has passed, I still have to remind myself of these habits so I don’t fall back into binge/starve mentality. This motivational speaker thanks you for reminding me of what it takes to keep healthy in our busy lives.

  3. Now that’s advice I can live with! I always find that I know exactly what I need to do – I’m just not willing to do it. It all comes down to “do you want it bad enough?” So I love getting your health tips and inspirations. It truly encourages and inspires me to take action – to eat better – and just MOVE! And in the meantime – I will LOVE myself – at every size. And appreciate the fact that I used to be 220 pounds. And am no more.

  4. PS  Just spoke at a conference where they had a guy speaking on nutrition. Jonathan something. Had dinner with him. Great guy! He has a masters in nutrition, is a professor, and wrote a book on holistic health. I was absolutely FLOORED by his presentation (to a group of dietetic nutrition folks no less) that disputed everything we thought to be true about obesity and diets. It was very refreshing. He disputed the BMI – among many other things – and disputed a lot of the myths surrounding overweight people. Apparently not all overweight people are unhealthy – and not all thin people are healthy. Who knew?

    • Hey Kelly, I would be interested to know who this person is. Thanks!

    • Kelly was it Jonathan Bailor (author of the Smarter Science of Slim)? Adopting what he has to say in his book and what Polly has to say in her blogs, has transformed my orientation towards and experience of  health and nutrition. I’ve lost over 20 pounds during the past few months and feel healthier than I have in years. I get to live the life I choose to… and whenever I go a little (or a lot) overboard and overindulge :-) … I simply go back to exercising, eating a healthy, balanced, clean diet and in short order… my body seems to get it’s self back to where it wants me to be.

      Polly thanks for the great post and your continuing counsel!

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