Most people with a complicated relationship with food are at diet rock bottom yet what if you have never dieted? Experiences with food insecurity that will have a similar effect. This is a valid place on the Food Peace Journey™ and let’s discuss Intuitive Eating tools to aid your recovery with guest expert Veronica Garnett @DiasporadicalKitchen on Instagram.
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This episode’s Dear Food letter:
Deer food, I’ve struggled with you pretty much all of my life. I never dieted but I have always been a rebel. I hid food, snook it, or just ate too much in general. At least it’s what other people would call too much. I’m also visually impaired. Dieting just seems ridiculous to me especially since I couldn’t read calories or other food label information. Of course I could’ve had someone read it to me but I could never see myself giving up sweets. or even cutting back. I don’t like fast food. One of the stereotypes of fat people or people in larger bodies is that they eat too much fast food. This wasn’t true for me. My mom loved cooking when she had time but she rarely did. She worked a lot. When she would cook most of the food would go to waste because my brother, sister, and stepdad always wanted fast food. If my mom is at work and there wasn’t any money to be used on fast food my stepdad would cook something but no sides. It never felt enough. Now I can eat chicken with out the side and it’s no big deal but that then I always wanted my mom’s good side dishes. We were also pretty poor. Food insecurity was hard. They were also times were my stepdad sister and sometimes my brother would leave and not tell me. Most the time it would be to go to pick my mom up from work but sometimes it would be to go to other places. If my mom wasn’t with them and they would stop and get food during those times they were either forget about me or get me something that I didn’t wind up liking. I’m kind of a picky eater. My mom would remember to always make sure it was something I liked if they would stop and get fast food. I also went to the Maryland school for the blind during weekdays starting through my fifth grade year. It was pretty good there because there was always good food around or at least I would have peanut butter and bread to make a sandwich. I was disappointed that there were less snacks but at least there were some and I wouldn’t feel like I would have to eat them quick to keep them from being on within the next day or two because of my brothers friends Who would come over. Speaking of my brother, he also bullied me about my weight. That’s when most of the rebellion really amped up. There is a lot more in my childhood and young adult life that led to a bad relationship with food such as the times when I helped my friend out with food when she lost her food stamp card and we live together but they didn’t help me when they found it. I was stuck eating just mashed potatoes and crackers during those times. I digress though for the sake of time. Just a few months ago I found out about Intuit is eating and health at every size. I came to it because of a book that was recommended to me to deal with the triggering conversations that were happening about my weight. One of those triggering conversations was with my uncle Tom who is one of the nicest and most beautiful people but he still caught up in diet culture because doesn’t want me to diet but he does want me to cut my portions back and he expects that I lose weight. I know the main reason is because he’s afraid of losing me because I’m the only one he trusts. My question to food is how can I begin to incorporate these things when I’ve never really dieted. How do I keep myself from trying to prove to him and others that I am becoming healthier? How do I fit in to these new paradigms? Also, how can I introduce people to these new paradigms when I’m not very articulate with when it comes to remembering definitions and statistics that will prove that these new ways of doing things are valid? Yours truly: Partially blind fat friend
Are you struggling to make peace with food while simultaneously grappling with food scarcity? Is poverty and food insecurity contributing to feelings of deprivation? Listen now for ideas on how to navigate this food peace challenge.
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.
Episode’s Key Points:
I just got back from BEDA! I had the honor of presenting at the conference, as well as meeting previous Love, Food guests and listeners!!
Lack of food access is a real food peace problem! When our body doesn’t have consistent access to food, food gains a lot of power in our lives.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Only once our basic needs are met (food, shelter, oxygen, etc.) can we can reach higher levels.
Living in poverty causes oppression, and oppression physically harms our health.
PCOS is connected to many health markers that we KNOW are connected to oppression and poverty (high blood pressure, insulin issues, high triglycerides etc). Struggling with both simultaneously exacerbates the problem!
Poverty, living in an oppressed body, and experiencing chronic microaggressions sets us up for living in a fight or flight response. This can make conditions like PCOS MUCH worse!
Being pushed to diet long-term ALSO causes these negative health outcomes due to increased inflammation.
Most people who diet and lose weight with regain that weight in the long run, and most people who regain weight will actually regain more weight than they lost initially. This means that weight loss efforts are actually weight cycling… and weight cycling ALSO contributes to inflammation, high blood pressure, high insulin levels, high triglycerides, etc.
PCOS, poverty and discrimination, dieting, and weight cycling ALL contribute to inflammation, high blood pressure, high insulin levels, high triglycerides, etc. in the long term!!
You probably aren’t addicted to food… your body is just telling you after years of chronic dieting that you need food!! Make sure you’re eating enough, especially if you’re in a larger body and people are shaming you for your food intake, and that feeling of addiction will likely decrease.
Access to healthcare is also a problem here… we need equal access to health for ALL bodies!! 25% of health is determined by behaviors, and 75% of health can be attributed to genetics and the social determinants of health… this means that poor access to healthcare, food, and resources will impact your health negatively. So we need to promote health EQUITY if we want a healthy population!
Do you feel shame around your relationship with food and your body? Are you worried about disclosing your eating behavior to a current partner or loved one? Do you find yourself thinking about food all the time? Listen now for some concrete solutions to overcome these barriers to food peace.
Eating disorders make us feel so alone and isolated, but there are many people dealing with the same issues.
Insight and awareness are vital to finding recovery and healing, but it can only take you so far. It’s important to work with a dietitian or other eating disorder professional to find lasting recovery and make changes!
Finding a Health at Every Size dietitian to work with is SUPER important to make sure you’re in a safe environment to find help.
If you’re thinking about food all day long, definitely inquire if you’re eating enough! Sometimes restriction is physical or mental, and adequacy with food is very important!! If you’re bingeing, it’s likely that you’re NOT getting enough, no matter what size you are.
It’s NOT as simple as calories in, calories out. Our metabolism is MUCH more complicated than that!
Sometimes there is fear in letting go of our eating disorder because there is a small part of us that feels these diet rules are serving us in some way… but they’re not!
“Honesty is the antithesis of eating disorder behavior.” – Antonia
Relationships are SO important in eating disorder recovery! Be honest with those you love, and set the boundaries around triggers.
Eating behaviors can be a messenger for our emotions or our needs… listen to them!
If you’re in a situation where someone in your life is consistently triggering you, don’t be afraid to bring them into a therapy session with you to parse out exactly what you need from them as a loved one. Remember, we live in diet-culture world, so give your loved ones some time to adjust to this new way of life!
Be aware of your own internalized fat stigma when exploring recovery.
You weren’t born with food rules!! These are LEARNED behaviors and “truths.”
Checking back in with your treatment team post-recovery is SO important! Remember, we live in a world that hasn’t recovered from its own eating disorder, so having a supportive community around you is essential for maintaining recovery.
On feminism: Feminism is for everyone, not just women! Ending sexism is good for everyone.
Do you deal with binge eating? Did you experience bullying, specifically within your own family, that relates to your body shape or size? Have you experienced sexual abuse, and feel that it has impacted your relationship with food and your body? Are you trying to set a healthy example for your own children after having a difficult relationship with food in your past? Listen now for some expert advice on how to cope with these body trust struggles.
Check out this summer’s special blog post series: Empowering Your PCOS Journey. It aims to help you understand PCOS, improve your relationship with food, and advocate for better care. You will be hearing from nutrition grad student Kimberly Singh and her experiences with PCOS as well as evidenced based info to help arm yourself with the most up-to-date research. Find it here now: JulieDillonRD.com/PCOSseries
Episode’s Key Points:
Sometimes our family environments can be just as toxic as this culture that we live in… remember, we ALL live in diet culture!! But that doesn’t make our family’s actions okay.
Abuse, physical or mental, can have a profound impact on our relationship with food and our body.
Processing this kind of trauma is essential… find a therapist to work through these difficult emotions and to help you cope with your past!
Sometimes we use food to cope with our emotions… this is totally understandable, but we can take steps to help heal this part of our relationship with food if we find it interfering with us living our lives.
We are all doing the very best that we can under our own circumstances! This doesn’t make us a failure or a fraud.
How do we feed others when we’ve had such a fraught relationship with food and body ourselves?
As parents, we do our best to shield our children from pain, especially from pain that we have experienced ourselves. Many mamas are trying to shield their children from the pain that they themselves experienced in relation to food and body… but sometimes this backfires when parents do so by trying to get their children to lose weight or to eat in a “perfect” way.
Feeling acceptable is SO important to finding body peace and body trust! Instead of repeating the same cycle of trying to control your own child’s food intake or body shape, focus on the unconditional acceptance you have for your child and help them to foster this body acceptance in themselves, no matter the outside influences.
We should ALWAYS feel safe at home, even if we live in diet-culture world!
We’re all just doing the best that we can!!
What does it mean to eat in a “healthy” way? How do we make peace with food and our bodies?
Healthy eating is more about being connected to life, not about what we put in our bodies.
Our relationship with food and our bodies is about very complicated, difficult, and personal truths. It has to do with the food, but it also doesn’t! Our past has a HUGE impact on all of this, and it’s SO important to find support around figuring all of this stuff out. Find a trauma, Health at Every Size, and eating-disorder-trained therapist or dietitian to help you along this journey!!
Raising children brings up the difficult parts in ourselves that still need more work.
Going to therapy is a BRAVE choice! It is hard, but it gives us the tools to move forward in our lives and find healing.
Stress, discomfort, and feeling like a fraud are messages from our body! These emotions mean there is something that needs to be addressed within.
Secretive eating, shame, and hiding of food is an understandable reaction to growing up in an environment that body and food shamed you! The important question is not, “How do I stop,” but, “What do these actions tell me about my needs?”
Sometimes we don’t learn sustainable coping skills as a child… therapy can help us bolster our toolbox of coping mechanisms as adults!
Normal eating is FLEXIBLE!!! Normal eating is trusting our body to make up for our “mistakes” in our eating, and being compassionate about our choices.
In the end, it is JUST food.
When you trust your body to take care of yourself, it’ll do the best that it can.
Do you have a love/hate relationship with food? Are your food issues related to your fear of gaining weight? Have you been struggling for some time, going back and forth between recovery and eating disorder behaviors due to the fear around what food peace truly means? Does food insecurity impact your relationship with food? Listen now for some tips on how to overcome these challenges.
This episode is brought to you by Pursuing Private Practice Masterclass.
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Episode’s Key Points:
Meret Boxler, host of the Life. Unrestricted podcast, shares her letter about her food peace journey and struggles!
None of this is your fault!!
Sometimes our family dynamics produce a situation in which the children have to become their own parents to survive. This can impact our relationship with food very deeply.
Ellyn Satter’s food hierarchy of needs versus the Maslow hierarchy of needs: our foundational needs must be met in order to build towards needs higher up the pyramid. If we’re struggling with our foundational needs, we won’t be motivated to reach for our more nuanced needs.
For example, food security is the foundation of the food hierarchy of needs. If someone wants to work towards wellness, food security must be established first!
Some examples of food insecurity: poverty, growing up with caregivers who were always on diets or policing food etc. These environments prevent a foundational sense of food security from forming.
Wellness is NOT the most important thing in our relationship with food… it’s food security. Permission around foods (especially fun foods!) can be part of the big picture of healing from a past of food insecurity.
Feeling our feelings is very important in this food peace process!!
If we work at it, our needs around permission and food security will eventually be met. Be patient! You are worth this work!!
Food peace is your birthright.
Weight stigma is at the core of a lot of our food peace struggles. It is OPPRESSIVE! We need to stop the discrimination based on weight, rather than push people to change their bodies.
We need to end weight-based bullying!!
The media tells us which body sizes are acceptable. Representation of ALL kinds of bodies is so important.
Weight-based stigma in the eating disorder community is a big problem! You can’t tell by a person’s appearance if they’re struggling with an eating disorder.
Weight is NOT indicative of health! All bodies of all sizes and abilities can strive for health-promoting behaviors, including body acceptance and intuitive eating.