I can’t tolerate my changing body. {with Ellie Herman Pike}

Have you embraced body trust, but are suddenly up against a trigger such as body changes? Are you concerned about relapse, and are trying to maintain recovery through a stressful time? Listen now for advice on navigating this part of the food peace journey.

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This episode is brought to you by my PCOS summer series: Empowering Your PCOS Journey. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how. This series and our Facebook group will be with you every step of the way.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Our bodies are ALWAYS changing, especially as women. We go through pregnancies, menopause… so how do we engage in body trust when our bodies keep changing??
  • Sometimes pregnancy can help grant a reprieve from an eating disorder.
  • Weight gain fears with pregnancy are so common!
  • Stressful transitions can trigger a relapse… Ellie Herman from Eating Recovery Center in Denver, Colorado joins to talk about how to keep us safe in these difficult times.
  • Anxiety about body changes is normal! Take a breath, and remind yourself that it’s going to be okay.
  • Eating disorders feel so isolating, but the truth is that you are not alone.
  • Sometimes people with a history of food and body struggles will place the stress and blame of new life changes on the body. We fixate there because that’s familiar! But the truth is that this body anxiety might be about something else entirely.
  • Find an eating disorder therapist or dietitian to help you on this journey.
  • Investigate what body discomfort means to you! Does it tend to come up with strong emotions, or with the stressors of life? Sit with that discomfort and fear and be curious about it.
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): If we try to push discomfort and fear away, it only brings on more discomfort and fear! Try connecting with your values, and continue living towards those values while still making space for that discomfort.
  • Post-pregnancy can be a big trigger for relapse… for new moms, remember that nourishment for yourself is also nourishment for your child! Focus on taking care of yourself, along with taking care of your new baby.
  • Start a gratitude practice to help ground you in your recovery.

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.

I don’t know how to stop dieting.


Are you ready to leave dieting behind, but are too afraid to make that final leap and embrace intuitive eating? Are you looking for a way out, but aren’t sure where to turn? Listen now to hear some great tips to transition into this part of the food peace journey.

Subscribe and leave a review here in just seconds.

This episode is brought to you by my PCOS summer series: Empowering Your PCOS Journey. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how. This series and our Facebook group will be with you every step of the way.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Diets don’t work, and losing weight doesn’t actually fix any of our problems!
  • Dieting = MISERY!
  • Healthy eating includes pleasure! If a certain eating pattern HURTS, then it’s definitely a diet, and it’s definitely not health promoting.
  • We give food way too much power and brain space… we should only really have to think about food when it’s meal time! Food preoccupation can lead to unhealthy eating behaviors.
  • Compassion is key! It’s super common to avoid “healthy” or “diet” foods like fruits and veggies, or to overeat when you first abandon dieting and restriction, all in an effort to overcompensate and make sure you don’t fall back into disordered behaviors. So if you catch yourself engaging in these behaviors, just be kind and understanding to yourself. This is all a part of the mess of figuring out your own internal hunger, fullness, and satiety cues. And it won’t last forever!
  • This is a PROCESS! Food peace isn’t a fast journey.
  • Be curious about your eating behavior rather than judgmental. This will allow you to uncover the root of your food preoccupation!
  • You may have to think about food a lot when you first start the intuitive eating journey, but this won’t last. Think about learning how to drive or riding a bike… you have to think about it at first, but once you get it, it’s intuitive.
  • If jumping into intuitive eating still feels too scary, try experimenting with check-in times instead! Set an alarm so that you can check in with your hunger every three-ish hours throughout the day, every day. Make sure your check-in times go all the way until you’re asleep, and do an intentional body scan to check in with your hunger, fatigue, and other bodily needs. Eventually, this will get you into the habit of checking in with yourself consistently, but not obsessively.
  • Making peace with food is HARD, especially because we live in a world that hasn’t recovered yet. Find a dietitian and/or therapist, group therapy, or an online course to help you on this journey!

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.

Love Food Podcast Episode 73

Are you worried about your bikini body? Does vacation food make your anxiety spike and start the inner dialogue of self-loathing? Is preoccupation with your body getting in the way of you enjoying time spent adventuring? Listen now to hear my tips from a previous Love, Food Podcast episode on how to start living in the moment.

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This episode is brought to you by Pursuing Private Practice Masterclass.

Ready to start doing things your way and kiss the corporate world goodbye?

Details here and remember the super secret discount code BOSS for 10% off.

Episode’s Key Points:

  • Food should help us enjoy life MORE, not detract from the experience.
  • The best way to keep yourself bingeing while on vacation is to restrict before, and plan to restrict after. A lack of permission throughout the year leads to “indulging” while away!
  • When you’re on vacation, you’re there to enjoy the food and experience life the way another culture does… not to obsess over what you’re eating and how it may or may not be impacting your body size.
  • How do we work on permission to help prevent this kind of preoccupation about food and body during vacation?
    • Think about a pendulum (courtesy of Maria Paredes)… if we don’t interrupt the calm sway, the highs and lows stay pretty even-keeled. This is what an intuitive, normal relationship with food looks like! If we eat past fullness for any reason, the pendulum adjusts and we eat less at some point in relation to our intuitive hunger signals to make up for it. This is how our body takes care of us! BUT if we look at the pendulum another way, with a disordered relationship with food, we can see violent swings back and forth between restriction and bingeing. SO the only way to stop it from moving violently in the bingeing direction is to STOP pulling in the direction of restriction!
    • Take a hands-off approach!!
    • Check out my blog post to learn how to slow down that pendulum!
  • It’s ABNORMAL to have a competent relationship with food in our culture!!
  • Being human is about following rhythms… the seasons, hunger… we can’t contain these rhythms, but we should trust them!
  • When we step away from diets, it’s NATURAL to experience a feeling of rebellion. The best way to bypass this rebellion is to immerse yourself in this “vacation brain” while you’re at home.
  • Eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full is simple, but it’s NOT easy!
  • Unconditional permission is FUNDAMENTAL to food peace and intuitive eating.
  • Restricting food will only lead to bingeing, and if you want to have a vacation experience free from food preoccupation and filled with cultural immersion, it’s time to take away the food rules and diet talk during your regular, everyday life.
  • Always remember to reach out to an eating disorder dietitian to help you on your food peace journey!

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.

When relying on hunger is too scary

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Does the idea of relying on your hunger and fullness cues freak you out? Seem waaaay too scary? Please hang on. This post is for you. And, be sure to know you are not alone.

I can’t stop thinking about food!

Attuned eating is letting go of distractions and relying on your hunger, fullness, and satiety cues to guide eating instead of rigid diets. Some people also call it Intuitive Eating (check out the brand new workbook edition here it is fabulous). If your brain thinks about food, eating, and their rules most of the day, attuned eating will feel a bit premature. We often call this way of thinking food preoccupation. I see it as food rules have taken your brain hostage. The way out of this crisis is to retrain your brain to not think about food. All. The. Time.

Before you look into brain surgeons, know we have tools outside of the operating room. And, all you need to do the work includes a way to know time (either your watch, cell phone, or the sun), a shelf stable snack of your choice, and patience. Bring lots of patience.

Disconnecting from hunger makes us think more about food

We get disconnected from our hunger cues because our brains have been distracted by food rules, not prioritizing self-care, and emotional dysregulation. If you are disconnected from hunger, there was a time when you were not. There was a time when your body consistently provided the information you needed to eat adequately. Diets and other means to learn food rules disconnected you. So does a chaotic life with little self-care. If you are running around like a chicken with a head cut off, then you are not stopping to eat when hungry nor pee when need to pee. (That’s for all my nurses and teachers…talking to you!)

You also get disconnected if you are used to feeling certain emotions and reaching for food. Emotional eating is a touchy word in my book because everyone emotionally eats. It is human and part of cultural connections. And healthy. What I am talking about though is when a person feels an emotion, whether uncomfortable or warm fuzzy, and the brain automatically feels connection with certain foods. I like to call this symbolic hunger discussed in another post.

How do we rewire our noggins?

Diets, lack of self-care, and emotional dysregulation can all disconnect your hunger and make your brain over think about food. To retrain your brain, practice these steps over the next 2 to 4 weeks:

Pick your check in times.

What time do you wake up? Now set an alarm on your phone for every two to three hours after this time throughout the whole day. If you don’t use a smart phone, pencil it in your calendar. These times are your check in times.

Go through the check in routine.

Within the first hour of being awake and every check in time, go through this routine: take 3 deep breaths and ask yourself: “What do I need right now?” By what do I need I am referring to anything. If nothing surfaces ask these:

Do I need to pee?

What am I feeling?

Am I hot or cold?

Do I want or need to eat?

What to do about food at check in times?

At each check in time, give yourself permission to eat outside of physical hunger. If you are not feeling hunger cues, you need to eat at some point (hello, you are human!). By doing this, you will reset your circadian eating rhythms which will gradually reset your hunger cues to be consistently noticeable.

What to do about food outside of check in times?

When craving to eat or binge outside of check in times practice gently saying: “I am craving food right now. It is symbolic hunger. I can have as much as I want or need at the next check in time.” If you find yourself not able to wait, please forgive yourself and move on. Those who are successful at this part of the process are folks who keep trying. So dust yourself off and look to the next check in time. It will get easier after more practice.

What to expect

Practice these check in times over the next 2 to 4 weeks. Remember to be extra kind to yourself and forgive when making mistakes. Everyone does during this process. After a few weeks, your brain will start to get used to a rhythm from the check in times and eating times. More space will occur outside of eating and hunger cues will begin to percolate to the surface. And when they do, welcome them home. Let hunger know you won’t be ignoring it anymore rather wanting to get to know its purpose.

Let me know when you start to experience the hunger cues coming back. It is an exciting reuniting process!

 

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Want a guide to partner with you on your Food Peace journey? I want to help. Check out my podcast and I hope it illuminates the direction you want to go.

Will I ever trust myself with sugar?

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Are you feeling lost without all your diet rules? Are you struggling with the phase of intuitive eating where you give yourself permission to eat all foods? Do you feel chaotic, scared, and exhilarated all at the same time? Are you worried that this phase is never going to end, and your relationship with food is never going to calm down? Listen now to start working through these struggles.

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Episode’s Key Points:

  • When we are trying to learn a new way to eat, we have to recognize the old rules that dictated our way of eating in the past. We also need to recognize the harm that these rigid rules inflicted on our body, emotions, and relationships!!
  • The “calm” that comes with strict food rules is an ILLUSION! These rules are not nourishing or comforting.
  • This new way of intuitive eating has NO rules because our bodies are not meant to be controlled or regulated.
  • Willpower should not be associated with food intake. Instead, food intake should be thought of like a pendulum! Think about how a pendulum evens itself out… if you pull it back and allow the pendulum’s swings to peter out on their own, its movements become much less erratic. But if you continue to pull it back and don’t allow it that time to settle, it will continue to swing from one extreme to another. The more the pendulum is pulled, the more it reacts!
  • Give yourself time to heal!! Diet rules are ingrained in us from such a young age, and we have a lot of unlearning to do. This will take TIME.
  • Your brain will likely start to crave a return to diets and rigidity… notice these thoughts, but try not to act on them.
  • Be COMPASSIONATE for where you are in the moment!!
  • An eating disorder is a monster that sucks the life out of people affected, including family. Self-compassion is essential for recovery.
  • If a person is in strong recovery, settling into intuitive eating can take at least a year… give yourself time!!
  • Weight restoration: for many people in recovery, eating a lot more food during recovery to satiate the body post-eating disorder is very necessary! Gaining weight can be a super hard experience though, so be patient and kind to yourself.
  • We live in a world that considers dieting to be “normal” eating… but it’s not! Our world is dealing with its own eating disorder.
  • Food and recovery are not black and white. There is so much gray area in our intentions!!
  • Having a recovery team, including a therapist and a weight-inclusive dietitian, is essential to successful recovery.
  • Why are carbohydrates getting such a bad rep?? Every cell in our body needs glucose… which is what carbs break down into when we digest them!
  • The food addiction issue: if you feel like you aren’t allowed to eat something and eventually “give in,” it can feel like certain foods are addictive. But if you give yourself permission to eat all foods, “addictive” foods lose their power!
  • The more one is deprived of a food, the more their body is going to want to eat it!!
  • Even though intuitive eating and recovery can feel like you’re walking a tight rope without a safety net underneath you when you first walk away from dieting and eating disorders, in the long run you are pursuing healing and health!!

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 @FoodPeaceRDN.