What’s the harm with focusing on eating clean? Notice the tension it brings. Has it been the gateway for you to feel out of control with food? There is another way! Listen to this latest Love Food Podcast episode to find a new way to relate to food and your body.
I’ve been obsessed with clean food in the past and always distinguish between “bad food and good food.” Because of that I found myself in a binge and purge cycle all of the time. Now I have lost my control I gained XX in 5 months, and I feel anxiety, depression, I feel body dysmorphia. I’m sick with all of this. People around me don’t understand and don’t support me.
No support makes it so hard to recover and I don’t know how and what I should do to recover. I have watched and read everything about eating disorders but they don’t tell me specifically what to do. I hope that you can help me to figure this out.
So much of our pain is related to our lack of awareness around our own self-worth. We are all fighting for our worth!
Remember, our worth isn’t rooted in our appearance. So how do we find our worthiness outside of our earth suit? We must remind ourselves that we are worthy simply by EXISTING!
We pour energy and money into how we physically look in order to feel accepted… but this removes resources from experiences in our lives that might have the potential to EMPOWER us instead of disempower us.
Diet culture and the beauty ideal PROFIT off of our insecurities.
Self-acceptance is a journey!!
All experiences are moments of information, rather than moments for judgment. Get curious!
Unpack the internalized messages we have been taught about appearance and self-worth.
We have to accept that our bodies ALWAYS change… so we can’t attach our worth to one stagnant version of our bodies, because that will always be in flux.
Imperfect cannot exist if there’s no “perfect” in the first place… resist messaging around “effortless” perfection!
The images we see of our world in the media are NOT REAL!
We have to anchor our faith and belief in ourselves to how we FEEL, rather than how we look.
Shaming ourselves NEVER works! It’s actually very damaging, and it’s not health promoting… we have to operate from a place of self-acceptance instead.
Remember, self-acceptance doesn’t mean that you don’t want to grow in some way. But it does assert your worthiness RIGHT NOW, no matter what growth you achieve down the line.
We’re the experts of our own bodies!
Self-acceptance is a super ACTIVE process.
How do we give ourselves what we need every single day?
Would you consider yourself a food addict? Do you find yourself trying to abstain from certain foods so you don’t “lose control?” Are you unsure if food addiction is the right way to describe what you’re experiencing? Listen now for some expertise on the latest research and find out more about the truth behind the food addiction model.
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Episode’s Key Points:
Holidays like Easter and Passover can bring foods out of the woodwork that we don’t usually eat! (Think: chocolate bunnies, Peeps, jelly beans.) When these foods resurface, because we haven’t learned to make them “neutral” yet, it can feel like we’re addicted to them when they’re finally around.
Our bodies don’t need to rely on dieting to find health. In fact, dieting HURTS us, and it can lead to bingeing and an OCD experience with food.
Eating is just like peeing!!! When you gotta go, you gotta go, and how much or how little you pee doesn’t matter. But with hunger, there is so much JUDGMENT attached to it. So what if we took that judgment away? What if we treated eating just like peeing? They’re both bodily functions that do just fine on their own without outward policing. So stop judging when you’re hungry, or how much or how little you need to eat to feel satisfied! Eating is like peeing.
Marci Evans joins to talk about her expert knowledge on food addiction research!
Food doesn’t need to have so much power!!
You are NOT alone… your pain is individual, but your experiences with food are so common.
What are the first steps to making peace with food when dealing with these problems??
Challenging food addiction in and of itself
The food addiction model is problematic and has many limitations!
The term “food addiction” is very poorly defined in the research community.
Most 0f the research has been done on animals, not humans, and the research that has been done on humans has had a LOT of mixed results.
It fails to consider alternatives to the biological response to food that mimics drug use, such as pavlovian conditioning, the fact that food is meant to be rewarding, or the impact of restraint, restriction, or previous dieting on our pleasure reactions.
Food is meant to be rewarding!!
The pattern of restriction and restraint that then swings to bingeing can lead someone to think they’re addicted to food… but that might not be the case! Bingeing is often a reaction to deprivation!!
Current food addiction research does NOT account for restraint, restriction, or dieting history.
Our natural biology REBELS against restraint!!
So how do we move beyond the food addiction model?
Remember you are not alone!
Consider what “healthy” means to you, and make sure it’s BALANCED and SATISFYING.
Use resources to support your journey.
Notice what’s happening in your body instead of what’s happening in your brain.
Once we take the judgment away, we can really listen to what our body actually needs.
Our body craves balance!!
Remember, healthy eating includes satiety and pleasure! If you deny these parts of eating, you won’t find a peaceful relationship with food.
Are you trying to reconnect to your own innate wisdom with your body and food? Do you feel obsessed with food, especially during the holiday season? Has “clean-eating” become the focal point of your life, and does the idea of eating non “clean” foods make you anxious? Listen now for some ways to combat the holiday diet stress, and to free yourself from the guilt around food.
Food is something that connects us to our family and our culture, but diet culture makes food WAY too important and obsessive, and that preoccupation removes the connecting and pleasurable components of food.
Use the hashtag #foodpeace to join in my discussion about alternatives to diets throughout the next few weeks, which are bound to be full of diet talk (January is national dieting month!).
Finding pleasure in food contributes to your overall quality of life and health!!
Food provides a connection to people around us, and when we get in the way of that, EVERYTHING suffers.
Orthorexia: a condition in which a person relates to food in a moralized way (think “good” and “bad” foods) that becomes overwhelming and creates a negative relationship to food.
Our culture places so much emphasis on health, and conflates weight loss and clean eating with being healthy.
WE GIVE FOOD WAY TOO MUCH POWER!!!
How do we change our relationship with food and find food peace? How do we take back our power and control in our lives without trying to exercise power and control over our food?
The ways in which we relate to food can be a metaphor for other things that we are struggling with in our lives!
Orthorexia may not be a full-blown eating disorder, but it IS a form of disordered eating… we don’t know enough about it yet to really have a full grasp of its impact on mental health.
First step to healing: make a list of pros and cons of eating in this “clean,” controlled way.
Cons: guilt, disconnection from family and friends around food because you can’t join them in certain meals, thoughts and emotions are obsessive about food and make you feel out of control, sacrificing parts of your life!
So do the cons outweigh the pros??
Recovery from orthorexia takes time! Working with an eating disorder dietitian can help, as well as proper nutrition education (we need “healthy” foods just as much as we need “unhealthy” foods!).
Increased moodiness and decreased sleep is a big sign of disordered eating.
Carbohydrates are IMPORTANT!!!
Taking the focus off the food and focusing more on individual positive health may be a helpful mindset shift.
Let’s label food not as “healthy” or “unhealthy,” but just as what it is. An apple is an apple, plain and simple. Bring food back to the present, rather than interacting with food in an anxiety-driven, future focused, “Is this food going to kill me????” kind of way.
ALL FOODS FIT!
“Clean eating is washing your food and making sure that it’s cooked to the right temperature. There is no such thing as dirty eating unless your food literally comes from the ground and has dirt on it.” – Jennifer
Orthorexia carries implications for those around us… if some of us are eating “clean,” then are the rest of us eating dirty??? NO!
Eating “well” doesn’t have to be black and white… we can eat our ice pops and also go to the farmers market.
“Our relationships are more important than our food choices.” – Julie
Nutritional health has a lot more to do with our mental health and our emotional health than we’ve ever realized before… let’s cross our fingers for some more research!!
Let’s give ourselves permission to have fun with food and our family… Just remember, how would it feel to be at peace with food?
“The importance of mental health as it impacts our physical health cannot be ignored.” – Julie
Having such rigid rules around food may actually result in negative consequences to our health.
Food is just not as black and white as we want it to be… apples won’t cure all ills and cheeseburgers won’t kill us!
You don’t need forgiveness for the food choices you make!!
Do you have a complicated relationship with food? I want to help! Send your Dear Food letter to LoveFoodPodcast@gmail.com.
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Thank you for listening to the Love, Food series. Give me feedback via Twitter @EatingPermitRD.
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
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.
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