(246) Parenting without Food Peace and using Intuitive Eating while raising kids with Unyime Oguta

Are you trying to break the dieting cycle within your family yet don’t have the foggiest idea on how to make that happen….so you just pretend it is all ok?! How do you teach your kids how to relate to food without passing on the disordered eating burden and body hate? The latest Love Food podcast episode explores just that with The Thriving Mum Podcast host Unyime Oguta.

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Dear Food,

The worst question my children can ask me is, ‘’Whats for dinner?’. It’s a daily assault on my desire to avoid thinking about you altogether. For me to answer my children’s question, I need to have thought about you- what would be tasty, what my children would like, what will nourish them. And then when I have thought about you, I then have to prepare you. I find this utterly overwhelming  and exhausting down to my bones.

Did you notice I don’t ask myself, what would I like to eat? I don’t know the answer to that question. I am so divorced from you that I don’t know what I want when I feel hungry. And Food, so you know, I have felt hungry for as long as I can remember.
Here’s what I do know about you Food: I know that it’s not my fault I am fat and it’s not your fault either. I just feel like we got off on the wrong foot. My mum was scared of you Food, and did the things women do to keep you at bay. She did the best she could with what she had, but it’s left its mark.  I watched, and I felt constrained and angry. So I very angrily and defiantly ate what I wanted, but eating because you’re angry doesn’t lead to food peace either.  I talk about you so positively with my kids, and I put on such a cheerful, food neutral voice at dinner and lunch and breakfast and snacks and all the times that we seem to talk about food. My children will never, ever know that you and I don’t really get on, that is a promise. But, truthfully I want to not think about you, you make me so anxious and demoralised.
Do you think you and I might be able to make peace?
Sincerely,
Overwhelmed + Exhausted

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!

(245) Intuitive Eating while supporting someone with Diabetes with Rachael Hartley

How do you continue to fight diet culture when someone in your family lives with diabetes? Is rejecting diets hurting them? Does this diagnosis mean food must now be managed rather than met with curiosity? Listen to the latest Love Food Podcast with guest expert Rachael Hartley, author of Gentle Nutrition.

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This episode of The Love Food Podcast is brought to you by my PCOS + Food Peace Course. Grab the details at PCOSandFoodPeace.com

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Dearest Food,
I love you. You are delicious and I enjoy you. I also sometimes feel angry towards you and
blame you for my problems. I’ve also felt scared of you and felt you were going to hurt me.
However, I’ve done a lot of work around this. These days, I often feel neutral towards you. I feel
we are getting into a groove and have a much better relationship. I’m so grateful for this. I even
ate a tuna on raisin bread sandwich to celebrate–one of my newly discovered weird food
combination loves. I’m so glad we can be playful together sometimes.
Nevertheless, I still have hiccups in this journey that make me doubt all of it. Recently, a family
member of mine, someone I love and cook for often, was diagnosed “prediabetic.” Honestly, I’m
not sure what this means. I do know he has been told to be careful about carbs and sugars or
he will become full on diabetic and this will ruin the rest of his life. This is not what was actually
said of course, but this is the message that seems to underlie what was said. I am scared. Did
my cooking do this? By embracing food, stressing less, and ditching diets, have I caused a
health problem for someone I love so dearly? What about when I get pregnant and have my first
child? What will I do then? How do I know that what I’m doing is best for those that will be
dependent on me? Don’t they deserve the best chance at a healthy life? And what does that
actually mean?
It feels as if I am able to work out my individual relationship with you a bit, but when others are
involved, I begin to feel the creeping in of doubt. I even googled diets for diabetes today. I had a
sinking feeling when I did that. As if maybe I would have to break up with you. Maybe all our
playful, fun, neutral times were over. Maybe we would have to go back to how things used to be.
Maybe I was wrong all along? It’s been hard to know what is right for me and I still struggle to
stay on course. When I start to feel my decisions may be impacting others I love deeply, the
doubt becomes fiercer and I actually become afraid. I become afraid of you, food. Will you hurt
my family?
Love,
Sad and scared

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!

(232) My whole family diets with Megan Hadley + Laura Watson, Eating Disorder and Intuitive Eating Dietitians (Anti-Diet Series)

Did your family teach you to go on weight loss diets? Did they teach you distrust food and your body? The Food Peace Journey can be rocky when this is all new terrain. Let’s connect with guest experts Megan Hadley and Laura Watson–two dietitians at Simple Nutrition Counseling.

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This episode of The Love Food Podcast is brought to you by:

Grab details at PCOSandFoodPeace.com

Grab details at PCOSandFoodPeace.com

New Podcast alert!

Check out My Black Body Podcast hosted by Rawiyah and Jessica Wilson. Click here to support their show or learn more.

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Drumroll Please—here is this episodes letter.

Dear Food,
It has been a long, rocky road, hasn’t it? Since I was very young, my family warned me about you. They taught me to fear you. They taught me that if I got too close to you, you would hurt me, by making my body unattractive and unhealthy. That left me feeling afraid to let you in, and ashamed when I craved you. 

Now an adult and a mom in my thirties, I see how everything I was taught was so wrong. I see that you are not the enemy, and that it’s ok to enjoy our relationship. In my home, you are a welcome guest. However, my family of origin has not made peace with you. Most of them have figured out a way to control you- either through counting, or exercising too much, or keeping their distance from you generally. They see it as being strong and virtuous. They obsessively discuss their bodies and their food choices, and I can tell (although they can’t) that their need to control you takes up a lot of room in their minds and lives. As a result of their obsessions, most of their bodies look very different from mine. And while they don’t say it outright, I know they see my heavier body as a failure. They see me enjoying parts of you that they avoid, and it makes me feel insecure. They casually suggest exercising together, but I know what they really mean. 

We have come such a long way together, food, but I’m sorry to admit that when I spend time with them, I find myself jealous of their smaller bodies and questioning our relationship again. I can’t cut them out of my life, and although I’ve made it clear that their open opinions are not welcome, their judgment seems to seep in anyway. What can I do to preserve our truce and my determination to learn to respect my body? 
Daring to Recover 

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!

 

(210) I feel possessed around food.

Do you feel possessed at times with the chaos that a binge brings? Have you tried everything to change your eating behavior yet feel addicted?? This episode’s letter writer is from a concerned family member worried about their parent’s on and off relationship with food. I have a feel you can relate. Listen here now to hear all the details and a way through.

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This episode is brought to you by my courses: PCOS and Food Peace and Dietitians PCOS and Food Peace. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how.

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Dear Food,

I know you and I still have work to do, but I’m writing today to talk to you about your relationship with my dad (hope you don’t mind!). He knows so much about you, and he’s tried so many diets and plans, but he just can’t stick with eating in a healthy way. He’s had a number of health problems related to his weight and diet, and has to take about a dozen prescription pills a day to address his GI issues. He says he wants to change, and wants to take better care of himself – but for years now, he and our family have watched helplessly as the motivation wanes after a week or two, disappears for months, and then shows back up full-force. It’s been exhausting for everyone to see this cycle over and over again. He even has the self-awareness to see what works for him, what doesn’t, why he might be giving up, what psycho-emotional factors are at play – but all that self-reflection doesn’t turn into action (and he knows that, too!) He’s even joked that he feels “possessed” when he binges on sugar and snacks, or that his brain and his tongue aren’t communicating, and that “it’s time to go back on that plan again.”He and the rest of us thought that after he had to be hospitalized for the GI issue, it would be enough motivation – but he went back to old habits quickly. We’ve tried cooking together, affirmations, journaling, listing all the great things that will come with healthy eating. He’s seen nutritionists and psychologists, he’s tried meditating and going to the gym. But even with the support, motivation, experts, and health care professionals, he hasn’t been able to make the changes and progress he wants. Now, his first grandchild is on the way. We love him, we don’t want to be intrusive – he’s asked for us to help. But we feel powerless, and defeated that we can’t help. Food – is it time for him (and us?) to work with a professional? How do we know where to start, and what kind of specialist to look for? He hasn’t been diagnosed with an eating disorder – will he need a doctor referral? Will this be another expense and ray of hope that goes nowhere? He wants to heal, and we want to see him love himself as much as we love him.

Love, Concerned Daughter

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!

(149) My spouse doesn’t support this Food Peace journey (with Jillian Murphy).

What does your partner think about you moving away from diets? Are they cheering you on? Or admitting they wish you were pursuing weight loss? I wish this didn’t matter yet getting support from those around you helps your Food Peace™ journey. What do you do when the closest people reject body respect and acceptance? Listen to the latest Love Food podcast and hear from Dr. Jillian Murphy. We hope it helps you pave your way forward.

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This episode is brought to you by my courses: PCOS and Food Peace and Dietitians PCOS and Food Peace. You CAN make peace with food even with PCOS and I want to show you how. Get 30% off using the coupon code ‘lovefood’ at check out through the month of February 2019.

thirdwheelED is a social media advocacy platform that raises awareness of eating disorders in LGBTQ+ communities. Started by a queer couple whose writing addresses the intersectionality of eating disorders and body image, including gender dysphoria; a queer identity; trauma; and gender identity and expression, CJ and OJ provide a dual perspective of eating disorder recovery through the lens of a nonbinary person in recovery and of a nontraditional family carer, who just happens to also be a registered dietitian! CJ and OJ would love to work with eating disorder professionals on cultivating inclusive treatment for eating disorders in LGBTQ+ communities and are available to discuss training, webinars, and speaking engagements. You can follow them on instagram, facebook, and twitter @thirdwheeled or email them at info@thirdwheeled.com.

This episode’s Dear Food letter:

Dear food,

I have always had a tumultuous relationship with you. When I was a child, I was alone a lot with books and used you as my companion when I read. I read a lot! Now when I look back, I really was just in a normal kid-sized body.
However I was teased – not in a cruel way but in a loving way by people close to me – my mother, sister and later brother in law all called me chubby. A normal kid would have just laughed this off, but I was a very sensitive child and took things to heart. For a long time as a child I thought I was ugly. As a teenager, I finally understood that I could react to this teasing by controlling how much I ate of you, food and by doing that I got compliments and felt beautiful.
Then came the college years and I found I needed to control you even more, food because now I was the one responsible for buying and eating you. I had very low self esteem as a child and did not know how to be around boys. In college, I dated a guy I had a huge crush on, who acted like he was doing me a favor by starting our relationship by saying “ok we can date but you need to lose weight”. I bent over backwards for this relationship – did a lot of yo-yo dieting in those years when I would lose a ton of weight by severely restricting you, food, then get into a happy place and forget about dieting, while gaining weight.
I finally left this boyfriend and moved to another country. I met my future husband and for a couple of years was very happy and comfortable around you food. I thought I was in heaven because for the first time in my life I had found someone who truly did not see my weight and saw me as a person. I am sure I gained weight in those years but it didn’t seem to affect our relationship.
However it didn’t last long. My (now husband) has been the cruelest critic of all with the most influence over my eating habits and weight because of how close we are. He has told me he’s not attracted to my body, we’ve had big fights and little ones over my weight and my eating and he thinks if I truly loved him I would lose weight for him.
Over the last 20 years of us being together, 17 years of marriage, 2 kids and many of life’s milestones, I have developed a serious binge eating problem. I hide and eat you food. I no longer feel conformable eating what I want in front of any one, even at work when I am away from the judging eyes of my husband. As soon as I finish one meal, I am thinking or looking for my next one. Even when I’m not hungry, I am still buy and eating you in secret. I no longer have any will power against you food and have not been able to diet or lose weight (even 5 pounds) for the last 10 years.
Over the last year as I turned 40, I have been doing different things like meditation, journaling, reading blogs and listening to podcasts to get a better control and understanding of my mind. I have begun to slowly open my mind to the concept that it was never you food, but rather how I thought about myself and my body that was the problem.
My question is this – my husband and I have been to therapy a few times and my weight and his issues with it have always come up. He has always been adamant that he is not trying to be cruel but that he is just not attracted to someone who is overweight. A quick search on the internet shows that there are thousands of men out there just like him. I know that my desire to please him may have started me down this path of hiding and eating, but I have now internalized it and taken it to a whole new level that is all my own. Is my only option to leave him and try to rebuild my life? We don’t fight about my weight any more but we are also not intimate or loving. We have two kids and he is a great dad – I feel I owe it to them to stay in this relationship. How can I build a better relationship with you food, when I have someone in my life who doesn’t believe in this approach?

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!