I’m tired of fighting the world to not diet. I’m tempted to try again.

Are you feeling tempted by all of the New Years diet talk? Do you know diets don’t work, and yet find yourself thinking that maybe this time it’ll be different? Listen now for my reminders on why intuitive eating and Food Peace™ are the way to true empowerment and health.

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This episode is brought to you by my online course, Your Step-by-Step Guide to PCOS and Food Peace™. Sign up now to get on the waitlist for the next enrollment period in January 2018, and receive my FREE road map: Your First 3 Steps Toward Food Peace™ with PCOS. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

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Episode’s Key Points:

  • We know that diets don’t work long-term… and yet, the New Year brings the tempting diet message to the forefront, especially for those of us in larger bodies that face weight stigma.
  • What is intuitive eating? How can it help us to find Food Peace™?
  • The more we try to restrict, the more we feel chaotic around food, and the more likely we are to experience weight gain and eating disorders.
  • This process of Food Peace™ is SO much harder if we live in a larger body!
  • Diets are this big, seductive fantasy designed to keep us stuck in ideas around what makes us worthy.
  • Let’s find a way to make our bodies acceptable right NOW.
  • Diets also hold this idea of hope for connection and acceptance, which is part of what makes it so tempting.
  • I believe in body liberation and body autonomy… you can do what you want with your body! But I still encourage you, when you feel the pull of dieting, to consider what triggered that thought process. Investigate it, and if the root of it is yearning to connect with others, consider that connection is what you really want, not weight loss.
  • Working towards radical self-acceptance can feel isolating! Remember that part of the seduction of dieting is hope for connection and acceptance to and from others.
  • People in larger bodies are often praised for seeking out weight loss. It can help you feel more accepted and create a mode of connection… but that doesn’t mean it’s the right way forward.
  • It’s possible that diets are trying to help you meet unmet needs of acceptance and connections. Diving deeper into the WHY is so important!!
  • Shame is likely a part of this as well, so investigate that and unwrap the true motivations behind this urge.
  • Ask yourself, what are you really yearning for?

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.

The Love Food Podcast Episode 51

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Have you hit diet rock bottom? Do you feel ready for self-love and food peace, but still feel like food is your number one enemy? Are you just plain scared of food, and terrified to abandon the diet mentality and finally embrace health at every size? Listen now for some tips on how to move forward.

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Key Points:

  • Reflections on National Dieting Month (January), my hashtag project, #foodpeace, and my weekly Food Peace Newsletter!
  • Diet rock bottom: the understanding that diets don’t work! … but it can be a tough and lonely place.
  • The New Year shenanigans: dieting and “self-improvement” can run rampant during this time of the year, and it can easily suck you back into the diet mentality.
  • Dieting is seductive because it shows the world that you “have your shit together,” especially if you “succeed” in losing the weight. It makes you feel in control of your life… but this is a sham! It’s a fantasy. Dieting is not sustainable, and weight loss is not sustainable.
  • How do you define “healthy” for you? Does it include yo-yo dieting, food and weight obsession, or social isolation? These habits do not promote lifelong health, happiness, or wellbeing. We need to redefine what healthy living means, and that definition may be very different from the definition we’ve been fed our whole lives.
    • My definition of healthy living: Living a life that’s connecting to others, to experiences, to challenges, and to joy; engaging in kind, intuitive choices; choosing self-compassion.
  • “There’s no way a long-term solution to health includes ignoring or punishing your hunger.” – Julie
  • Self-compassion is key when reflecting back on any of our food choices. When healing from diet culture, we’re going to make mistakes… LOTS of them. We must approach these with compassion and understand that it’s a part of the process.
  • Our world is one that promotes dieting as normal eating.
  • Recovery from dieting is going to take about a year or more, and the involvement of any kind of eating disorder will lengthen this process considerably, so give yourself the time to heal!
  • Choosing not to diet is NEVER the same as letting yourself go!!! It is letting yourself BE. It is giving yourself the opportunity to experience joy, compassion, and wellbeing.
  • Food is not the enemy. Instead, it should promote nourishment, health, connection, and peace.

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/.

TAKE TIME TO INVEST IN YOU.

It’s time to shine the light on yourself and make YOURSELF the priority. Here at Green Mountain at Fox Run, we’re all about embracing and supporting yourself through self-care. Through powerful tools such as mindfulness techniques, stress management skills, and movement that is customized to your body and fitness level, you’ll learn to practice self-care in your daily life. Visit https://www.fitwoman.com/ for more information.

 

Oprah: Science Says It Won’t Be Different This Time

Dear Oprah Science

Oprah got me. She seduced me. Her words, the rhythm, the soothing tones.

I felt the surge of empowerment and everlasting change.

But just as I was being swept up by her promises, I woke up out of my reverie.  Before I knew it, I was throwing my remote across the room, *thankfully* just missing the TV.

I rewound the Oprah Weight Watcher commercial and listened to her words and now I am pissed. You should be too. She is selling us a fantasy.

Each weight loss quest gives us hope. We feel ⎯ this time for sure.  As we make our rigid food lists of “eat this not that“, our minds may feel clearer. Safer. The start of a diet engages our minds in a seductive fantasy of a new day involving happiness, acceptance, and peace.

Fantasy.

Oprah speaks about fellow fat women as the target for her campaign because, paraphrasing here: fat women cannot be enough and true to themselves until there is less of them. I disagree: you are enough today, just as you are and at your current weight.

Here’s a dose of reality.

Like this post? Read my reaction to Oprah Winfrey buying into Weight Watchers.

Some are not meant to live in a body with a body mass index (BMI) of 20 to 25

Your body prefers that you weigh a certain amount. It may or may not fit within that narrow BMI weight range. Fighting your genetics and set point sets you up to eat for weight loss, NOT health. Eating for health includes variety, moderation and balance, as well as following hunger and fullness cues. Many Weight Watcher dropouts share they were told NOT to follow hunger cues;  rather, follow the points.Weight Watchers would have you believe that their point system isn’t a diet, just a way of life.  Yet, if it isn’t a diet, then why do they need any points? Why the need to check weight at all? Pursuing weight loss and ignoring hunger cues means you’re  eating for weight loss, not eating for health.

Dieting predicts weight gain

In her weight loss commercial, Oprah mentions “trying and failing, trying again, and again, and again”. I know that many can relate to this; yet why will this time be different? Researchers have long known that diets don’t work, and it’s only a matter of time how quickly the weight comes back on. Reviewing research, we find those who focus on weight loss dieting weigh more. Crazy, right?!?

Considering this information, Oprah didn’t fail. Nor did you. The diet did. Would you buy a product or service that fails over and over? Let’s not let the diet industry get away with this. Here’s fabulous content from Evelyn Tribole RD, explaining why dieting predicts weight gain.

No diet keeps weight off more than a year or two

There’s no research to date that shows any diet, no matter how wildly popular it is, actually keeps the weight off for more than one year. Not one. Most scholarly journals publishing articles on dieting stop at one year or earlier. Articles that look further out than a year have incredibly high dropout rates.

You can live without dieting. Here’s how and why.

Not dieting will make you healthier

Taking time away from diets will help your body stop weight cycling. The yo-yo effect negatively impacts insulin levels, inflammation, and blood pressure. Selecting foods with their sole purpose of losing weight can hurt your health over time instead of improving it. Even if your weight is higher than your body prefers (which it may not be!), ending the yo-yo dieting and weight cycling will be the best investment in your health.

Stop dieting to stop bingeing

Lastly, stepping away from weight loss pursuits will give you the opportunity to feel less craving to binge. Do you feel chaos around food when not dieting? Don’t blame yourself or the food — blame the dieting. Within my clinical work with bingeing behavior, my clients stop bingeing only after they stop dieting.

This January, our eyeballs will be saturated with Before-and-After pictures. They will be amazing. Some unbelievable. Before you let yourself get seduced, remember that it is just a fantasy. Those pictures make it seem like anyone can lose weight permanently when that is possible for just 3% of those who diet.

Remember to ask, what happens after after?

Will you stop the diet cycle? If not now, when?

You can live without another diet. Yes, you.

Dieting is normal eating and this makes me sad. We all have hunger, fullness, and satiety cues helping us to know how to eat. More often than not, when I bring this concept up, I see puzzled looks. Eating in accordance with body cues is considered novel, foreign, new, or strange.

Does the idea of eating without a diet sound scary or silly? If so, please come in. I want to share a different way.

Born to eat and enjoy
All of us were born knowing how to eat and enjoy food.

You were born knowing how be a competent eater including how much, when, and which foods. Even cooler, your body was born knowing this in a way to promote health. It never needed good versus bad lists or portion sizes. It didn’t and doesn’t need to be controlled. Your body was made to experience a rhythm with food looking at the bigger picture. It doesn’t get all out of sorts when calories consumed are a lot more today because of little activity or vice versa. Your body considers the bigger picture (think week or month not day) and can deal with mistakes. Sort of like viewing your town from a mountain, your body considers your total needs and communicates future needs via hunger, fullness, and satiety signals. It will adjust accordingly to promote health and keep your body at the weight it wants to be at.

Did you eat more than usual on the days around Thanksgiving? Me too. If you did, your body let you gently know it needed to eat a bit less afterwards. Don’t recall this happening? If you didn’t experience this gentle communication, I am guessing messages of “I was bad” or “I shouldn’t have eaten that” or “I am disgusting” may have been clouding your view to your innate wisdom.

Sometimes we need to get away to connect with what is already.

And your body let you know its hunger and fullness adjustments whether you were looking or not.

Here’s another way to think about it:

Have you ever gone camping or somewhere a great distance from town and been in awe of the nighttime sky? I live in a town with enough light pollution that country stargazing can take my breath away. Does this mean the stars only exist out-of-town? Of course not, but it does take intentional distancing from the chaos of town to really see what’s already there.

Your diets are the city lights, smog and skyscrapers. They are keeping you from seeing and experiencing the mechanisms your body has to provide health naturally. And, to experience this you have to distance yourself from all the pollution.

I want 2015 to be the year you take a diet detox. That means no rigid lists, no good vs bad, no limiting. Letting go of this pollution, you will be able to breathe again and heal your relationship with food. I will help you reconnect with your body’s metaphorical stars.

I am protective of what a non diet approach looks like. We will discuss this more because many different diets are Why Diet?disguised as non diet approaches yet are still diets. Not knowing the difference can hurt you and your health.

Will your 2015 be diet free? Will you take the Food Peace Challenge? Let me know in comments if you are in! While you are at it, let me know what kind of support you will need to make it happen. Can’t wait for you to experience life after dieting. Be sure to tweet your thoughts using #FoodPeaceChallenge.