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Values and Intuitive eating: Can they help me stop dieting and make peace with food?

Do you constantly diet, feel super motivated and suddenly — out of nowhere —  comes a craving?  You give in to it and your resolve is gone. “I cheated” say those voices in your head,  feel like a failure – so what the heck? I might as well eat more and worry about it later.”

If you value yourself — and authentic health and happiness — than starving, bingeing, and over-exercising certainly seems to go against those values.

 

What are values?

Values are the core aspect of who we are as people. We drive our kids to soccer and attend all their baseball games because family is a core value. We spend hours cramming for an exam because we know deep in our hearts that we value education and want to attend a good college. We get out of bed to earn a living because we value being a productive member of society. Our actions are all driven by the values we hold near and dear.

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Nude Posture Photos and Self-Esteem

Did the Ivy League Nude Photo Scandal Affect Self-esteem & Body Image?

Part 1:
In doing some research on body image over several generations in my family, my 86- year-old mother mentioned an incident of which she had never spoken.

Imagine for a moment — Going off to your freshman year of college a little nervous — “Will you do well in your classes? Will you get along with your roommate? You then learn about a mandatory procedure for freshmen — a “posture study” where you’re photographed stark naked from the front, back and side.

Sounds ridiculous — but this really happened. My mother’s brief flashback started my research to verify if her mental faculties were still intact! There it was — a detailed and compelling article by Ron Rosenbaum in the New York Times Magazine Section, January 15, 1995: “The Great Ivy League Nude Posture Photo Scandal. “(1)

“One fall afternoon in the mid-60’s, shortly after I arrived in New Haven to begin my freshman year at Yale, I was summoned to that sooty Gothic shrine to muscular virtue known as Payne Whitney Gym. I reported to a windowless room on an upper floor, where men dressed in crisp white garments instructed me to remove all my clothes. And then — and this is the part I still have trouble believing — they attached metal pins to my spine. There was no actual piercing of skin, only of dignity, as four-inch metal pins were affixed with adhesive to my vertebrae at regular intervals from my neck down. I was positioned against a wall; a floodlight illuminated my pin-spiked profile and a camera captured it. The procedure did seem strange … But I soon learned that it was a long-established custom at most Ivy League and Seven Sisters schools … All of them — whole generations of the cultural elite — were asked to pose.” – Ron Rosenbaum

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healthy children

Should I be worried about my child’s weight?

I have seen an alarming trend in my nutrition therapy practice — repeat customers. These customers are the kids, tweens, teens and families with childhood weight concerns I have worked with over the past decade. Here is what I am seeing — eating disorders — lots and lots of eating disorders. Anorexia, bulimia, binge and emotional eating, and unspecified poor relationships with food and body image. I am seeing this in both males and females.

On a personal note, I can remember a powerful body-shaming message that I received when I was younger. It was like yesterday that my ballet teacher told me, in front of the entire class, that I simply must slim down since it is important to be thin for ballet. I was ten years old, at the very beginning of puberty and never set foot in that ballet school again.

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5 Ways to Practice Self-care (and Love Yourself) on Valentine’s Day!

I have never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. I spent most of my 20’s searching for love, always feeling empty when I had no one to share V-Day with!

To me, it’s still an artificial holiday made up by Hallmark to sell chocolate candy, flowers and cards. I mean, everyday should be Valentines’ day.

As an older and (slightly) wiser human, I have realized the importance of self-love. We are worthy of care and attention. No-one is going to take better care of me than…ME!

These are my five favorite self-love activities:

  • Get rest. I love to nap in the middle of the day when I can. It feels like a rebellious act of self-care!
  • Choose to be active or not. Some days I am burning to move my body, other days, not so much. Choosing is not laziness – but self-love.
  • Wear clothing that makes you feel fabulous — if you don’t have any – buy one item!
  • We spend so much of our day on the computer, iPhone, and iPad. Make a conscious choice to take one hour — or two hours — and get completely free of social media, news and other stimulation. Spend the time talking to a friend, having tea, coloring, listening to music, playing with a pet or doing NOTHING at all without judgement!
  • Pick a sense and use it — buy yourself flowers and SMELL THEM. Use lavender hand cream and FEEL it on your skin, COZY up and wrap yourself in a blanket in front of a WARM fireplace, BURN a candle. LISTEN to music, READ a book, TASTE your food by eating slowly and mindfully.

 

What do you do as an act of self-love?

To learn more about self-care, join my Private FaceBook Community: Eat, Live, Nourish Intuitive Eating Support

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Ashley Blogs: Nice to Meet You!

Hi there! My name is Ashley, and I’m the newest member of Erica’s team. I’m super thrilled to be here, and I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a little about myself, specifically how I came to work with Erica, and how my relationship with food and my body has impacted my life. Believe me, that’s a long list of things that I won’t have the time to really dig into now, but I thought I might at least share the tip of the iceberg.

 

I, like many of you, was preoccupied with food and my body at a young age. From the first time I can remember being aware that I had a body, I can only recall an overwhelming feeling of discomfort. As I moved through puberty and my body began changing, things really started to heat up. I was getting subliminal messages every day from family, friends, and the media about what my body was supposed to look like, what I was supposed to be eating, and what I had to do to be worthy of anyone’s time and effort (re: be pretty and skinny). Food was a constant point of contention – I can recall scarfing down freshly fried chicken cutlets in my formal dining room, hiding because I was afraid of my own hunger and ashamed that my mother would see me bingeing and think I was a failure – and my body consistently made me feel at odds with everyone around me.

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Diets and Diet Culture Have Been the Fabric of Our Lives

My mother has lived in the same New York City apartment — my childhood home — for close to 60 years. Deciding to finally move south, we sifted through her apartment filled with as many memories as possessions. The process flooded my senses with remnants of diets and diet culture: a doctor’s scale in the master bedroom, Weight Watchers food scales, bowls and measuring cups in the kitchen, bookshelves lined with diet books a la Atkins, Stillman, South Beach, Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem, and finally to my former bedroom, which still displayed that full length mirror I’d spent hours standing in front of as a teen!

Body image issues

Thankfully, I never developed a full-blown eating disorder but certainly dabbled in diets and had my fair share of body image issues through the years. Society is much more critical of a person’s weight and body size now than when I was growing up. Many young people feel enormous pressure to “fit in” and look a certain way. The media only fuels the focus on external attributes by using anorexic-looking fashion models in television and magazine ads. Eating disorders do not discriminate and can be seen across all races, sexes, ages and sexual orientation.

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