How does your body like to move?

The human body was meant to move. Yours included. I am not saying we all need to be on that silly treadmill or elliptical counting calories burned.

I am coming from a completely different place.

You have a type of movement your body enjoys, craves, and looks forward to experiencing. This movement feels good and maybe has some challenge. You may or may not sweat. And, here’s the kicker, this movement is done because it makes you thrive. You will feel alive in this movement and it empowers your body image.

What is your movement?

If you are coming up without an answer I think some important things are in the way. Our society has trained us to believe exercise is made to be a part of the calories in/calories out equation saturated with no pain no gain clichés. You have learned exercise doesn’t count unless you sweat and hurt. More often than not, exercise ends up a dichotomous experience instead of pleasurable. How many times have you joined a gym, started a new training program, committed to a boot camp…only to stop sooner than you planned? If this sounds familiar, you haven’t found the movement that is your movement.

How can you connect or reconnect to your movement? Stop looking into fitspiration and rewire your brain to consider movement outside of your food intake. First, step: stop calling it exercise and get used to calling this activity movement. That will reset your brain to consider it pleasurable instead of punishment. Then find something fun that feels good. Make it social if you want more of that. Make it individual if that energizes you instead.

Watch this video. I have watched it several times and each time I feel stronger and more empowered to experience my energetic body. I hope it provides you inspiration to find movement your body enjoys. This can bring you peace and health.

The #FoodPeaceChallenge gathers people and professionals rejecting diets. We want to make 2015 diet free! If you are new to the challenge, welcome! and find the Manifesto here. Find community support by using #FoodPeaceChallenge on Twitter or leave a message in comments.

3 Steps to Guarantee You Are Beach Body Ready in Just Hours

We don’t even have itchy pollen-saturated noses and folks are talking spring, spring break, and getting their body beach ready. In this vein, I have read about many choosing to abstain from whole food groups or macronutrients during their Lenten observance in order to drop some weight in preparation for warmer months. Do you really think Jesus cares what you look like in a two-piece?

Here we believe all bodies are to be respected and have the same rights. I do believe Jesus agrees with us. That includes the right to enjoy warmer weather in any type of bathing suit one chooses. With all that said and done, how does one get beach body ready?

Step 1: Go to a beach near or far.

Step 2: Don’t forget to bring your body.

Step 3: The end.

Throughout the month of March we will be posting, chatting and blogging about body image and how it affects our relationship with food. The #FoodPeaceChallenge can rewrite your relationship with food and can reconnect you to body respect. These experiences promote wide health solutions without shame.

A few years ago I found an ad letting us know we should not be wearing a two-piece bathing suit unless we had dieted. I was not amused. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.

The #FoodPeaceChallenge gathers people and professionals rejecting diets. We want to make 2015 diet free! If you are new to the challenge, welcome! and find the Manifesto here. Experience community support by using #FoodPeaceChallenge on Twitter or leave a message in comments.

When relying on hunger is too scary

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. Some people also call it Intuitive Eating. 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 satisfaction 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 three hours after this time throughout the whole day. If you don’t use a smartphone, 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 breathes 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!

The #FoodPeaceChallenge gathers people and professionals rejecting diets. We want to make 2015 diet free! If you are new to the challenge, welcome and find the Manifesto here. Find community support using #FoodPeaceChallenge on Twitter or leave a message in comments.

Food Peace Book Review ~ Savvy Girl: A Guide To Eating

Call in the reinforcements! I have items to add to your food journey arsenal. I will be reviewing books throughout 2015 that will aid in your healing food-ways. Some classics, others up-and-coming and all rock stars books featured. If you have a book that promotes neutral food dialogue and/or positive body image, I would love the chance to review it. Contact me at Julie@JulieDillonRD.com

Food Peace Challenge Book Review
Food Peace Challenge Book Review

Hello friends. My first 2015 diet free book review is via Savvy Girl Brittany Deal and dietitian Sumner Brooks. In a concise 100ish pages, you will find fresh and energizing dialogue to provoke your diet free journey. Even though I love nutrition science, I am not ashamed to admit it can be a dry subject. This book was a different experience: with its engaging graphics and sense of humor, I enjoyed reading this book.

Brittany Deal is the founder of lifestyle brand, Savvy Girl which includes quick to read books with the intent to expedite self-help.

She partnered with Sumner Brooks, an eating disorder specialist and dietitian, to help readers say good-bye to diets and unite with health. A stimulating anti-diet rationale reconnected me with the important subject of ghrelin, a naturally occurring appetite regulation hormone. Ghrelin is a part of hunger cues and will only subside with enough food. Reading about hormone regulation may appear to be intimidating yet Deal and Brooks find a way to break it down in easy to digest language. To give you a sneak peek, they let us know we can’t kid ourselves into just eating veggies and chicken breasts and expect to be satisfied. Ghrelin will only subside once the body is adequately nourished. Understanding ghrelin allows us to know that binge eating is predictable in response to undereating. This means when you binge after dieting for a few weeks, you are responding to physiology not lacking in will power.

I appreciate this book’s practical options to work through abundant emotional eating and how to handle hangry moments. There’s also a cool food journal with a different hunger fullness scale many of you may find useful.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a fun and spunky take on the diet free journey. Despite its small size, Guide to Eating is full of ways to help you connect to a healthier relationship with food. You can find a link to the book here.

The #FoodPeaceChallenge gathers people and professionals rejecting diets. We want to make 2015 diet free! If you are new to the challenge, welcome and find the Manifesto here. Find community support using #FoodPeaceChallenge on Twitter or leave a message in comments.