The Love Food Podcast Episode 50 with Erica Leon

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Can you not remember the last time you ate without being on some kind of diet? Do you feel anxious and preoccupied about your food choices? Do you feel like you use food to escape your life, and avoid intense emotions? Are you consumed by feelings of loneliness, and find yourself trying to use food to fill that hole? Listen now to get some insight on these issues.

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Key Points:

  • Dieting harms us and disconnects us from our own innate wisdom about our health.
  • We associate the word “skinny” with positive attributes, and the word “fat” with negative attributes, but these are FALSE TRUTHS fed to us via toxic diet culture.
  • Erica Leon joins to talk about our cultural ideas around “skinny” and “fat,” and diet culture overall.
  • We often diet to feel in control, but inevitably it does the opposite and makes us feel out of control instead!
  • This pain is so VALID, and our pain surrounding food and our bodies is so, so common.
  • Perfection is not reality!!
  • Using food to cope is an understandable reaction to trauma… but this means that we must tackle the emotional underbelly of our relationship with food.
  • We must let go of dieting, begin to trust our inner wisdom, and understand that all foods fit! This process can cause a lot of uncomfortable emotions to arise, and so having additional mental health support is very important during this process.
  • Dieting, disordered eating, and eating disorders have a function! They allow us to get through trauma, and we cannot discount how important these behaviors are in the context of our journeys.
  • Therapy is such an important adjunctive piece of healing a client’s relationship with food and their bodies, especially when working with a nutrition therapist who may not be able to support clients in that mental health capacity.
  • Our relationship with food is about so much MORE than the food!
  • Discomfort means you’re GROWING!! Keep going…
  • The first step of intuitive eating is to let go of the diet mentality. This can trigger the feeling of being out of control, and having the support of a dietitian in this phase can be super important! This is when we start to tune into our hunger and fullness, explore food in a new way, and observe everything with non-judgmental awareness.
  • Feeling out of control with diets might be the first step away from diets… but this feeling does NOT last forever!
  • Part of this process is rediscovering foods you may have not liked in the past, things you thought you loved that you don’t like anymore, and just feeling it all out by asking yourself questions and reconnecting to your wisdom.
  • You are not alone!!!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series. Give me feedback via Twitter @EatingPermitRD.

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This episode is sponsored by my friends at Green Mountain at Fox Run.
A special promotion for Love Food listeners:
Join Green Mountain at Fox Run for their Binge & Emotional Eating Weekend Intensive (January 20-22, 2017). Participants will explore personal barriers and how to counter them with evidence-based strategies to prevent eating in response to stress and emotions. For more information or to register, please visit https://www.fitwoman.com/therapy-services-eating-disorder/offerings/binge-eating-intensive-weekend/.

Immerse yourself in a practice of mindfulness. Join Green Mountain at Fox Run for “Mindfulness for Women Who Struggle With Food and Body – A Meditative Retreat”, designed to help you reduce stress, eat well, move joyfully, and guide the way toward ending eating and food struggles. For dates and registration information, please visit

www.fitwoman.com/weight-loss-program-reinvented/2017-mindfulness-weekend/.

The Women’s Center for Binge and Emotional Eating at Green Mountain at Fox Run is the only clinical program in the nation solely for women suffering with binge & emotional eating. Their insurance-eligible program is backed by over 40 years of experience and is staffed by licensed clinicians. Their program has created life-altering changes by helping women to manage emotional overeating through the practice of mindfulness. For more information, visit www.fitwoman.com/binge.

The Love Food Podcast Episode 48 with Lauren Anton

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Do you feel like your preoccupation and shame around food and your body end up making you miss out on parts of your life? Do you feel embarrassed and judged by your size, and often find other peoples’ comments about your weight triggering? Are you a person of size trying to navigate the professional world of health and nutrition while still feeling comfortable in your own skin? Listen now for some solutions on overcoming the shame and judgment around your body size.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

Key Points:

  • The importance of size diversity in the nutrition and dietetics profession.
  • Diets and kids: So often, kids are put on diets at a young age because they are considered “overweight.” This often does more harm than good, and ends up creating a breeding ground for a disordered relationships with food to grow.
  • Lauren Anton joins to answer the writer’s letter!
  • The unfair expectations placed on people in the health and wellness professions to look and act a certain way.
  • Surround yourself with like-minded folks who subscribe to an all-foods-fit, HAES mentality rather than people who are obsessed with food, calories, over-exercising, and dieting in order to avoid being around people who might be entrenched in weight stigma.
  • Some schools are adding advocacy and size diversity to their nutrition curriculum!
  • Weight loss is not the goal!!! Let’s be advocates of size diversity, rather than forcing everyone into one specific body type.
  • Would you say an English bulldog should look like a pit bull???? AKA, our bodies are the size and shape they are meant to be, and we should never try to force them to be something different.
  • “The body’s gonna do what it will.” – Lauren
  • How we relate to food mirrors how we relate to others and ourselves.
  • If we let judgment control our food choices, it only leads to weight cycling and a tumultuous relationship with food.
  • We must learn to love, respect, and accept ourselves!
  • Being in a larger body is not the bad thing. The way we treat and perceive the larger body is the bad thing.
  • Mindful eating and hunger/fullness techniques are not another diet!
  • Part of engaging with food is allowing joy.
  • You are worthy of nourishment no matter your size!!!

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series. Give me feedback via Twitter @EatingPermitRD.

gmfr-logo

This episode is sponsored by my friends at Green Mountain at Fox Run.
A special promotion for Love Food listeners:
Immerse yourself in a practice of mindfulness. Join Green Mountain at Fox Run for “Mindfulness for Women Who Struggle With Food and Body – A Meditative Retreat”, designed to help you reduce stress, eat well, move joyfully, and guide the way toward ending eating and food struggles. For dates and registration information, please visit

www.fitwoman.com/weight-loss-program-reinvented/2017-mindfulness-weekend/.

The Women’s Center for Binge and Emotional Eating at Green Mountain at Fox Run is the only clinical program in the nation solely for women suffering with binge & emotional eating. Their insurance-eligible program is backed by over 40 years of experience and is staffed by licensed clinicians. Their program has created life-altering changes by helping women to manage emotional overeating through the practice of mindfulness. For more information, visit www.fitwoman.com/binge.

Love Food Podcast Episode 27: How do I stop dieting with diabetes??

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Do you think your chronic conditions make you a slave to rigid diets or chained to the scale? Do you have a long history of coping with your emotions via food and now want to find other ways to survive?? There is a way for you to heal your relationship with food AND find health. Listen now for insight.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

Key Points:

  • Hoarding, bingeing, and other related behaviors are the most common experiences from childhood dieting/restriction.
  • I am sorry on behalf of all health and medical professionals for the oppression.
  • You don’t have to choose health OR healing. Working on healing your relationship with food will help you promote health long term.
  • Healing is not passive or giving up or weakness. Healing is an active process never passive.
  • Fat on the body didn’t CAUSE the problems. Eating sugar didn’t CAUSE the problems. Being shamed in your body and not teaching you how to tolerate feelings caused the problems.
  • Healing from Binge Eating Disorder (BED) takes on average 7 to 14 years.
  • Restricting nutrients or calories may show favorable outcomes in short term yet worse in the long term especially if affected by BED.
  • Keep the data! You need proof that you’re bingeing less as time goes on.
  • Diabetes is a chronic progressive disease. It is always changing and slowly getting worse even if you do everything you can.

Show Notes:

Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com. 

Click here to leave me a review in iTunes and subscribe. This type of kindness helps the show continue!

Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series. Give me feedback via Twitter @EatingPermitRD.

How weight stigma hurts your PCOS

Weight stigma hurts. Stop assuming and start listening.
Weight stigma hurts. Stop assuming and start listening.

The other day, I was chatting with a woman while we were waiting in the grocery check out line. We discussed the loud rain outside and smart strategies to get into the car without getting drenched. As we chatted in this long line, we eventually got to the area with the magazines. She commented on how she wished women didn’t think they had to be so scantily clad on covers in order to get picked for movies. My feminist ears rejoiced and I nodded in agreement.

We discussed female actors we enjoy in movies.

Me: (Pointing to the People Magazine cover with Melissa McCarthy) She is such a smart actor…great comedic timing and multifaceted.

Line Friend: I don’t like her, she’s **while going from chirpy to hushed** fat.

Me: (momentarily paralyzed)

Line friend: I wish she didn’t make that new clothing line because that just encourages obesity. And laziness. If she was smart, she would just eat less and exercise more. Then she would be healthier. It’s not rocket science.

Me: That’s funny. I am a dietitian and in my work I have learned we can never know how much a person eats and exercises by looking at them. We also can’t tell how healthy they are by looks. I have met many fat women who can run 2 miles in the time it takes me to run one. And, by the way, nutrition science is just like rocket science yet even more complicated.

**mic drop**

Rather, I heard the cashier say “Do you have a VIC card?”

What does this woman in the check out line have to do with your PCOS?

Everything.

This anonymous woman demonstrated cultural beliefs about fat people: lazy, stupid, gluttonous and untalented second class citizens worthy of only tent-like clothes. Just by looking at Melissa McCarthy, this woman knew her cholesterol panel and SAT score.

What if this check out line woman was your doctor?

This is called weight stigma. Here’s a great PDF from the Binge Eating Disorder Association describing exactly what is included with weight stigma.

Eating

As I experienced the grocery check out line conversation, I thought of many of my PCOS clients. I’ve heard hundreds of women recite eating plans well below their nutrition needs full of wholesome health promoting foods only to feel like a failure. Even though they hard-core diet, the scale doesn’t budge. Family members, doctors, dietitians, clergy, therapists, and our culture say that is not good enough. If a person is not losing weight then they are not doing enough.

I want to scream from the mountain tops: STOOOOOOOP!

This way of thinking sends many of my clients with PCOS to reach for fad quick weight loss diets so extreme they are considered eating disordered. The scale may budge for a second yet extreme efforts always end up harming. These extreme measures led most to binge because of human physiology combined with high insulin levels. Ever feel like attacking a plate of brownies while cutting carbs? That’s oxaloacetate (from the Kreb cycle) and neuropeptide Y (a brain chemical) working with your hyperinsulinemia (feel like rocket science yet?).

Here’s a secret: healthy eating without scale obsession is possible. It may or may not change your weight AND it still makes you healthier. Here’s more on this.

Exercise

A woman with PCOS once told me the shame she felt when a man approached her in the weight room. He said, “I think it is so great you are here doing this.” My client looked around hoping she was the only one working out at 6 am and he was complementing her early bird arrival. Nope the room included a dozen other people. He walked away and didn’t make a peep to anyone else. Why did he single her out? She knew: she was fat. And, the shame washed over her as she decided to never go again.

Weight stigma keeps many women with PCOS from moving in a way that feels good and energizing. Plus, eating so little leaves the muscles rarely energized enough to feel like exercising. We know consistent movement helps manage high insulin levels and other side effects of PCOS. Instead of being a slave to the gym, consider how your body enjoys to move. I love My Big Fat Fabulous Life’s Whitney Thore’s Big Girl Dance Class and Debra Benfield’s Curvy Yoga retreats. More people are wise to including all sizes in gyms and yoga studios but there are not enough. While we work on changing cultural beliefs on movement, check out this inspiring video.

Doctor visits

Women with PCOS, you must be exhausted. First, you had to struggle for way too long to find your PCOS diagnosis. Then, since we have such little research, you were given little to no information on how to treat this crappy condition. Then, if your weight increased rapidly, your health care provider told you to stop gaining weight. Like you were living off Twinkies and Mountain Dew. Then when weight loss proved to be impossible or only through deadly pursuits, doctors told you to just Eat Less. Exercise More. No wonder you avoid doctor visits like the plague.

I am so sorry. I hate when you go to the doctor for strep throat you hear a weight loss lecture instead of what those of us in small bodies hear: “I just need a throat culture and you will be on your way.”

I am sorry that, we the medical and health providers, didn’t listen to what you were saying. Or not saying. That you already were working your butt off and doing as much as humanly possible.  On behalf of health and medicine, I apologize.

Weight stigma keeps women with PCOS from going to the doctor. The eating and exercise assumptions along with cultural stereotypes we all hear in our heads are sugar coated shame injectors. And, not going to the doctor keeps you from the most important parts of PCOS treatment: knowledge and early detection. Many of my colleagues and I are working to unveil weight stigma among health and medical providers. I think they will see the light *fingers crossed* soon. Here’s some research so far. It’s a handy PDF you can send your doctor.

Or mom.

I am rethinking my conversation with my check out line friend. I think next time I hear the whisper “she’s fat” I will pause. Take a breath. Then say:

 

Hello, my name is Julie. And I am a fat activist.