Body, Mind, and Mouth: Life's Eating Connection

Body, Mind, and Mouth: Life's Eating Connection

by Margaret Marshall


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Body, Mind, and Mouth: Life's Eating Connection by Margaret Marshall

Most people understand that they are in control of what and how they eat. Unfortunately, there can be a daily disconnect regarding one’s body, mind, and mouth, very often lasting for years. In this guide, author Margaret Marshall uses insights and lessons from her clients’ lives, along with her own experiences, to address the challenges we often face controlling our weight. She asks you to consider the unpleasant and sometimes life-threatening circumstances we accept in our lives instead of taking responsibility for our well-being.

Among the real stories she shares in Body, Mind, and Mouth is the story of a New York City police officer who no longer fits into his bulletproof vest. He closes it tightly on his right side leaving a gap on his left side, knowing to face right if he is ever in a shoot-out. Also included is the story of a working mother and her son, who became increasingly heavier due to her busy life and the ease of obtaining fast food. These and other stories illustrate how our minds affect our mouths, how our mouths affect our bodies, and how a shift in thought can benefit our health and wellness.

“Margaret Marshall uses humor and real stories to demonstrate her vast knowledge of nutrition and psychology in the weight-loss field. She brings to the book the same enthusiasm and knowledge she does in her speaking. Her message is clear, well written, and motivating. Imagine a book that is easy to read and packed with good information. Now that’s a real deal.”

—Dr. Harris R. Cohen, author of

Lessons Learned: How to Negotiate

the Life You Want to Live

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781458206794
Publisher: Abbott Press
Publication date: 12/04/2012
Pages: 110
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.38(d)

Read an Excerpt

Body, Mind, and Mouth

Life's Eating Connection
By Margaret Marshall

Abbott Press

Copyright © 2012 Margaret Marshall
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4582-0680-0

Chapter One

Eat Anything, Not Everything

"Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you what you are." —Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin(1755-1826) Author: "The Physiology of Taste", Published 1825

You are not overweight because you eat. You are overweight because you over eat. There is a fine line between eating and overeating, but it could be difficult to discern because of your relationship with food.

Is food a friend or foe? Do you reward or punish yourself with food, or do you allow food to nourish your body and nurture your soul? Think about what food really means to you, the eating habits you have, how they were created, and where they are leading you. Food is meant to nourish your body and keep you healthy. Many of the foods we eat neither nourish us nor keep us healthy. They are full of artificial ingredients, coloring, chemicals, sugar, fat, and sodium. People put these ingredients into their bodies every day. These ingredients wreak havoc on your health and internal organs. The resulting excess body fat and ill health could show up during your lifetime.

When babies are born, parents are instructed to feed them every three to four hours. They are never told: "Give them a bottle when they feel happy or sad. When they are bored, feed them. If someone is mistreating them, offer them a bottle. Always give them one when they are watching television. Then, every time you take them to the movies, super-size their bottle." Babies cry when they are hungry or when they are wet. If they are crying because they are wet and are offered a bottle, they spit it out with dissatisfaction.

Look at the animal kingdom. They eat on instinct. Put soda in your dog's water dish and see what happens. He won't touch it! When your dog is tired, he doesn't eat, he sleeps.

On the other hand, we are taught to eat for any reason and every occasion. We no longer know what true hunger feels like, and we are afraid of it. Our bodies have been designed to eat every three to four hours throughout our lives, and we condition them to eat more often.

On a recent cruise, I was sitting on deck near the buffet waiting for Chris to arrive to have breakfast together. A mother and young daughter of about three or four were sitting near me. I overheard the mother speaking with her daughter. She told the little girl that she must attend the children's camp today. The little girl began to cry, and she said she didn't want to go. The mother explained that Mommy and Daddy needed adult time, so she was going to have kid time today. The little girl continued wailing that she didn't want to go. Finally the mother said, "After Daddy and I pick you up this afternoon, we'll get ice cream." Bingo! The tears immediately stopped and the little girl told her mom what flavor she wanted. This tiny little person had already learned food and treats are the answers and rewards.

Food should be your friend, but somewhere between our first days and our last days we learn to abuse food and, in turn, abuse our bodies.

There should never be a food that is off limits, but there should be limits on food. If you are eating foods that bring down your mood and destroy your health, you are abusing your body with food. If you eat foods that nourish your body, they will nurture your soul and mind, making you a happier and healthier person at any weight.

In any daily situation, function, or party, rate the foods offered from one to ten, ten being the foods you love most, regardless of what they are. Eat your eights, nines and tens. Leave out foods that are mediocre! Don't waste your time or calories on them.

For example, I love ice cream. What I've learned is I don't love all ice creams. Some flavors are a ten, while others are a four or five rating. Non-fat or low-fat ice creams are a three or four and frankly not worth my time. When I truly want ice cream, I go out to a local ice-cream parlor, order a serving of a flavor that I rate a ten with a topping that's also a ten! Then, I sit down and enjoy every bite. Now, if I did this every day, I would gain weight. However, ice cream is a food I don't keep in my freezer. If a half-gallon of my favorite ice cream is in my freezer, odds are it will not be there at the end of the day!

Cashews are another food I don't keep in the house. I like them too much and have a hard time controlling the quantity I eat. I will eat them at a party when other people are present. You may find hard-to-control foods easier to control-and more enjoyable-in the company of others. I'm not saying you can never eat these foods, I'm just saying that you need to learn to eat them so they don't work against you.

Identify what foods you rate as an eight, nine, or ten and find ways to enjoy them. High-fat foods like cashews and ice cream will derail your weight-loss efforts if there are no limits. Eat what you like; learn how to eat. Make your food work for you, not against you.

A number of my clients had followed a carbohydrate-free diet. They lost weight quickly, but once they reintroduced their beloved carbohydrates, they regained their weight almost as quickly. When you eat what you like, and learn how to eat, nothing need be deleted. You will train yourself—and it can become automatic for you—to eat items at the most effective time.

Eat for a reason, not an excuse. A client told me she was taking her kids to a local amusement park. She was concerned about how she was going to eat that day. I asked her what she found so challenging about it. After some thought, she said, "It's not really that the food itself is so tempting. I just really enjoy having ice cream with my kids." That's eating for a reason. Her reason was she wanted to enjoy time and ice cream with her kids. Her excuses could have been: "I'm going to the park, where all kinds of different foods are abundant, so I'll just eat them like I always do," or "I went to the park yesterday where I blew it, so it doesn't matter what I eat today." She could have followed her past patterns of overeating. However, after she thought about her plans for the day, she realized that having ice cream together was essential to attending the park. Having excess food was not.

Excuses are everywhere. Just pick one out of the air! Reasons are different than excuses. Ask yourself: "What do I want most?" Be specific with your answer: Better health, less chronic pain, fewer medications, a smaller clothes size, or maybe the ability to tuck your shirt in comfortably? You have to decide. One never really knows what weight loss means to individuals and what motivates them.

Two of my clients, an officer with the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and his wife, had decided to lose weight together. They both wanted to eat better, get and feel healthier, and set a good example for their children. One evening at the start of our session, after the husband had lost about forty pounds, he exclaimed, "Now, I can close my vest securely!" I asked, "What do you mean?" He explained that after graduating from the police academy, he had been issued a bulletproof vest. Lately, because of his excess weight, he could only close his vest tightly on the right side, leaving a gap on the left side of his body. He knew that if he had ever gotten in a shootout, he would have to face right as he drew his gun. He had also been concerned that he would be passed over for a promotion due to his weight and his inability to move quickly.

On the other hand, his wife added, "Last Friday, we went to a party, and he looked HOT!" He gleamed (I had always suspected that was his motivation). What a change forty pounds made! It could have saved his life and the future of his young family. Shortly thereafter, he became a New York City detective.

Although you may never be in a position to wear a bulletproof vest, you may be able to identify with the vulnerability of having the vest open on one side. As the police officer did, we attempt to hide our vulnerabilities. Eventually, they can no longer be hidden and the weaknesses are exposed. Then, they take over, leaving us powerless, unless we find a way to overcome them. Find your way, take control, and close the gap.

Each of my clients is motivated by different goals. Another client told me his future plans were to open his own business. He wanted to look "presentable" to attract clients. His weight loss was part of his business plan! One client told me she was having trouble conceiving, and the fertility doctor would not work with her until she lost weight. Another client said she just wants to live, and worries every day will be her last due to her weight. Many clients want to decrease or delete medications that they are forced to take to counteract conditions caused by being overweight. One woman confided that she wants to be a "Hot Momma," and yet another said she wanted to be "sexified!"

Know what your "payoff" or "price tag" is on your weight loss. Your payoff is the benefit to you and how this could enhance your life. Your price tag is what it will cost you to continue destructive habits. Get a clear mental picture of both. Share the picture of your "payoff" with someone you trust, and bring it to life.

Many people claim their life's circumstances are out of their control. They say the only thing they have control over is food, and that's why they overeat. If you are overweight, you do not have control over food. It's quite the opposite. Food is controlling you. In reality, you are stronger than any food item, and within the next minute you can be in control of your food. It is a choice! As you begin controlling your food, it's amazing what other circumstances you will find yourself controlling. You will learn how to deal with other situations that seemed out of your control.

When you are challenged with particular foods, remember those foods are only what you want now. They are visible, tangible, and available. To counteract that, always keep in mind the picture of what you want most, whatever that is to you. Make it concrete. Have something close by to remind you, such as a picture of yourself or someone you admire, a small sports car you want to drive, or maybe a certain outfit. It makes no difference, as long as it's what you want. Unfortunately, we are a society of instant gratification. Weight loss is never instant, but if accomplished correctly, it can be very gratifying. Never give up what you want most for what you want now.

Hunger has very little to do with an overweight person's lifestyle. The chances are they have never experienced hunger. They are so anxious about feeling hungry that they'll avoid it at any cost, and the cost is enormous. The price people pay is their body, health, quality of life, and inner peace. Hunger is not the enemy; the over-stuffed feeling is! Hunger is your body telling you it's time to eat. Get comfortable with the feeling of hunger. Once you are comfortable with it, you will be better equipped to make good food choices. When you are fearful of getting hungry, you may just grab anything and eat.

If you eat nothing all day and never feel hungry, you have slowed your metabolism into a starvation mode. Starvation mode simply means your body wants to use as few calories as possible to sustain itself, because your body believes you are not nourishing it. Calories are a measurement of energy. Because your body doesn't know when you will give it more energy in the form of calories, it begins protecting itself for survival by conserving calories.

You need to eat to avoid starvation mode. True hunger means you've used most of the energy from your last meal or snack, but you haven't hit the stage yet where you are in danger of overeating. You'll burn more calories by eating throughout the day. But remember, you can eat throughout the day and still be malnourished. Always choose wisely.

You know you have had enough to eat when you feel satisfied. This takes awareness, practice, and sometimes an immediate reaction to what your body is trying to tell you. If you are eating out of momentum or habit until you're full or until you're stuffed, you are destined to be uncomfortable and overweight.

In the event your schedule does not allow you to take a break, carry a small snack with you for when you might be hungry later. A little box of raisins and some nuts can do the trick, or carry a cup of cold milk in a thermal coffee cup.

Always focus on what you are going to eat, never on what you are not going to eat. Tell yourself, "I'm going to have strawberries." Never say, "I won't have those cookies." In the latter case, your subconscious hears only "cookies" and will lead you right to them.

I can recall when I was a young mother and took Megan, Michael, and their friends to the movies. I always drove there thinking, "I'm not going to have Goobers (chocolate covered peanuts). During the ten-minute drive to the movie theatre, I repeated that in my head. I thought I was convincing myself not to buy any Goobers. But, each time I paid for the movie tickets, I went straight to the snack counter to get a box of Goobers, the very same treat I had just chanted against for ten minutes. Then, of course, I would get mad at myself, feel guilty and defeated, which usually led to further eating!

In reality, I was focusing on the candy, because our brains don't register words like can't, don't, and won't. For example, if you say: "I'm not going to have Goobers," and delete the "not," as your brain would do, what you hear is: "I'm going to have Goobers." As an exercise right now, close your eyes, and "don't picture your bedroom." What did you see?

When I told myself what I was going to have instead of what I was not going to have, the visit to the candy counter changed effortlessly. Same scene, different words: I drove to the movie—still with a carload of excited kids—but this time, I repeated to myself, "I'm going to have a cup of coffee." When I paid for the tickets and took the kids to the snack counter, I ordered a cup of coffee because I had focused on what I was going to have, the coffee.

Most of us can multi-task, but we can only think one thought at a time. Think about your relationship with food. Gaining weight is a thoughtless, mindless pattern. As you eat—and especially overeat—your thoughts are usually on other things. Weight loss and weight management takes thought. When you think and plan what to eat and when to eat, you are in command.

Your thoughts control your eating and your weight. It's the body, mind, and mouth connection.


>> You are overweight because you overeat.

>> You may find hard-to-control foods easier to control in the company of others.

>> Weight loss is never instant, but done correctly is very gratifying.

>> Always focus on what you are going to eat, and plan foods you look forward to eating.

Chapter Two

Three Magic Words

You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them. —Michael Jordan Professional basketball player, 1984-2003

When I hold workshops or seminars, mostly filled with people who are not comfortable in their own skin, I ask everyone to look into an imaginary mirror and use three words to describe what they see. These people are various age groups and differing weights. I hear many words in response—all of them negative—and that's only from those who are willing to share. I wonder what words are in the minds of those not willing to share? Take a minute, and look into your own imaginary mirror. What three words describe you?

The one word I am always guaranteed to hear is fat. Is fat one of your words? Is fat your body image, self-image, or self-worth? I think people have different definitions of the word fat. Personally, I cringe when I hear anybody describe themselves as fat. I have a hard time saying it. When I am interviewed on television or radio, I even ask the interviewer not to use the word, "fat."

Fat is the F word to me. It's always used in a derogatory way. Once you believe yourself to be fat, it becomes your body image and/or your self-image. You embrace it and own it as a word that defines you. As long as you believe this, you will continue to see yourself as fat regardless of your weight. If you believe yourself to be overweight, that belief seems to change as your body weight decreases. It seems people can easily shed the overweight status in their mind, yet they never seem to let go of the fat mindset, which allows weight to return. It's a self-fulfilled prophecy.

Consider fat to be a state of feeling, not a state of being. This means you only feel fat. If you can grasp this major concept, you can benefit from my twenty-plus years of studying the patterns of overweight people. Now, I know all about body composition and the existence of body fat; we are not addressing that here. I'm talking about the feeling of being fat.

Let's imagine we have two people, Jane and Jean. They are the same height and same weight. Both weigh 250 pounds. A year ago Jane weighed 300 pounds, but she worked during the year at losing weight, so Jane feels magnificent. Fat is not a word she would use to describe herself. She may feel she has more weight to lose, but far? No!


Excerpted from Body, Mind, and Mouth by Margaret Marshall Copyright © 2012 by Margaret Marshall. Excerpted by permission of Abbott Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Eat Anything, Not Everything....................1
Three Magic Words....................9
What's in It for You?....................21
Your Inner Dialogue....................31
Eat What You Like; Learn How to Eat It....................39
And ... Action!....................51
Find the Time....................61
Now, the Science....................75
The 10-Step WEIGH to a Healthy Body....................79
Cooking Tips for Lower-Calorie Cooking....................83
Let's Go Out to Eat....................85

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Body, Mind, and Mouth: Life's Eating Connection 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very informative and will teach you a lot. I recommend it for everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My credentials for writing this review are I AM a successful woman who has accomplished the goal of being at a healthy weight for almost fourteen years now.  Let me start this review by saying..... Bingo! Ding Ding Ding the bells are sounding for a winner.   Body Mind Mouth is a small, easy to read manual that will get you where you want to be health wise, weight wise and it will also  allow  you to be at peace with yourself and your number on the scale.  This small compendium of the inner workings of the reasons why the mind is so important in our weight loss and maintenance journey is succinct and to the point.  Margaret Marshall has written a book which puts it's figurative finger on the reasons why we fail to manage our lives and our weight.  Margaret links the mind and mouth in such a way as to illustrate why many of us "diet" and fail.  She points out hr own journey to wellness in an easy to read tome.  I know Margaret for many years and she does practice what she preaches.  This book, if you really read it and understand it employs the methods she recommends.  It will be the :ah Ha" moment for most of us.  The mind mouth connection starts very young and continues thru most of our lives.  Learning to "manage" our weight for some of us is a life long passion.  When it becomes a life of being your own best friend and caring for yourself as you do for others and letting go of the toxins which are holding you back you will have "gotten" the message.  This book is small enought to fit in a handbag for quick reference or big enought and impressive enought to leave laying out on a coffee table to invite discussion.  In any event it's a book worth purchasing and referring to on a regular basis.  Margaret has captured the "oppositional, belligerent, angry" person who resides inside every one of us who puts others first and then says "I don't have a problem" Identifying the issue and making yourself a priority in your own life will change how you view the world and all who dwell in it.  It is all about "AA" and i mean attitude adjustment.  Once you chage the perception of "what is" into what can be this book will guide you to xsuccess.  Thank yoou Margaret for writing a book that lets me revisit all the times we worked together.  Always positive, always intuitive, always king and loving.  Those are my memories of Margaret and this book absolutely gives you a view of this woman and how she thinks and how she has stayed successful in each phase of her life as her journey continues.
KellAnn1 More than 1 year ago
Body, Mind, and Mouth has quickly become my road map for starting this year off healthy and inspired. Marshall does a great job of educating her audience about food and food situations in a positive way. So many of her metaphors and examples directly relate to the everyday life of the everyday, busy, working woman. Her tips are easy to swallow, and she summarizes and bullets at the end of every chapter. With eye-opening examples, Marshall also recognizes that not all eating plans or patterns can be applied to everyone, a theme that runs through her book, with a very pratctial outlook. As a realist myself, it was extremely refreshing to be enagaged by someone who has also struggled with their weight. This book is not like the rest, a definite keeper!