The Love Food Podcast Episode 47

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Have you worked really hard to stop hating your body but feel like your family keeps holding you back? Do you find yourself dealing with the food police within your own family, even after you’ve begun to make peace with food yourself? Do you have family that encourages fat shaming and diet culture, even when you feel like you’re doing your best to rid yourself of the mindset?? Listen now as Julie tackles this family-oriented topic and introduces some solutions.

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Key Points:

  • What is the experience of finding peace with food while family members surrounding us stay stuck in the diet mentality?
  • Fat shaming can come from people we care about!
  • Setting our own boundaries is SUPER important in trying to protect your own recovery.
  • The world that we live in isn’t one of body-positivity, HAES, and size acceptance. This means that when we pursue recovery, we are going against the vast majority of society, and sometimes that means our families. This makes the work harder to do, but it is that much more important!
  • Going against family dynamics is super hard, and when we actively follow our own path, it is common to feel pressure to go with the flow and back off of our own personal work in order to appease the family.
  • When we RECOGNIZE any emotion we are having, it automatically diffuses it and breaks its power.
  • How to beat body comparison: recognize the emotion, remove its power, and counteract with readily available responses of self-compassion.
  • How do we connect with our self-compassion?? We must actively find ways to support self-compassion for the moments in which we feel vulnerable.
  • Remember, our feelings and experiences are not going to last forever!!
  • Have some ready-made comebacks to assert your recovery, either by facing it head on or by changing the subject.
  • Surviving the Holidays and National Diet Month : #SoAnyway
  • How do we empower ourselves to connect to peace and health and feeling comfortable in our own skin?
  • When we provide new visuals for ourselves that are more size-diverse, it provides another option for our brains to think that OTHER kinds of bodies are beautiful too!
  • IT’S NOT OUR JOB TO FIX OUR FAMILY!
  • We should spend our energy on keeping ourselves safe, setting our own boundaries, and focusing on ensuring that we are providing the best modeling for our own family in terms of having a healthy relationship with food.
  • Embrace self-compassion, boundaries, and self-care.

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 @EatingPermitRD.

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This episode is sponsored by my friends at Green Mountain at Fox Run.
A special promotion for Love Food listeners:
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The science behind that post Halloween candy binge

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Did you binge on the Halloween candy? Before you curse your will power or lack of self-control, consider the science of eating behavior. Using this evidence-based approach may help you experience more food peace in the upcoming holidays.

Don’t blame yourself for the candy binge⎯It’s really Food Habituation

Do you categorize foods as good versus bad? Labeling food this way can set anyone up to feel out of control about what to eat. Food is not an exact science. Rather than considering food as good versus bad, think of food lying on a continuum. This means there is more gray than exact black and white rules.

Folks who categorize foods as good or bad will, more often than not, experience binges on those “bad” foods. Research explains this through the science of food habituation. This type of research demonstrates that the more we’re exposed to a food, the more our brains could care less about it. On the flip side, the more unique and rare the food, the more our brains fixate on it. This promotes intense cravings, and drives us to want to eat the novel food.

Healing Hint: Instead of blaming yourself for the post-Halloween candy binge, consider the science behind the experience. Are you around this food often? And, if so, do you allow yourself to eat it? If the answer to both questions is “no”, point your finger at your lack of food exposure instead of your lack of will power or self-control.

Don’t blame the food after the candy bingeIt’s really “Food Deprivation

The more we abstain from a food, the more our brains like to fixate on it. How often are we actually around Candy Corn or Tootsie Rolls? No wonder it’s so tough to stop eating them. And, when we avoid the fun food long enough, we often feel guilt-free and give ourselves permission to “indulge”.

Why does “just one bite” often lead to a binge experience? This is the basic law of food deprivation. When we’re around an avoided food, our brains light up with interest — sometimes even as far as obsession. When we finally allow ourselves a bite, it’s often hard to stop.

Some clinicians connect the one bit to binge experience as food addiction. I’ve been keeping up with this research too, yet so far, it’s flawed. Until the researchers take into account food deprivation and habituation, the research means nothing — unless people become robots without free will.

Healing Hint: Rather than blaming yourself for the candy binge, consider the science behind the experience. Have you been dieting? Have you been limiting the variety in your food choices? Have you been disrespecting hunger? If your answer is “yes” to these questions, then point the finger at food deprivation.

Practice unconditional permission to eat

Allowing candy to remain around can help us navigate through different types of food. Is this too scary? You’re not alone.

There’s a way to heal this. It’s called unconditional permission to eat. When a person has true permission to choose any food, in any amount, eating according to physical hunger and fullness cues ⎯ this should be the norm. This won’t work if “permission” is tangled up with one of these familiar sabotaging statements:

  • I will just have one.
  • I will save up my calories to have candy tonight.
  • I will exercise off calories to have candy tonight.

When we view food choices with permission, we begin to experience healthy ways of relating to food. This concept is from the book, Intuitive Eating, by Tribole and Resch. Life changing work is done within the framework of eating intuitively. I encourage you to read it.

To feel safer during Halloween and other holidays, be curious as to why the binge is happening, or happened. When you hear your self-talk blaming your lack of will-power or self-control, consider the science instead. Blame diets, food rules, and body hate. Learning to experience food with self-compassion and trust will help you eat to promote health and peace.