Weight gain doesn't make you a diet failure

3 Steps to Making Peace With Weight Gain

Written by Ashley Seruya, B.A.

The intuitive eating process brings about a lot of change, some of which can be downright terrifying. Enter: weight gain.

It should be noted that weight gain is a possible side effect of making peace with food, but it isn’t necessarily inevitable. Some people lose weight on their intuitive eating journey, others maintain, and still others gain. Which camp you will eventually fall into is really anyone’s best guess, but making peace with weight gain – or any bodily changes – during this process is a huge part of body acceptance and truly embracing the intuitive eating model. This can be a really difficult process though due to the fatphobic world we live in, and some people avoid intuitive eating altogether just due to the FEAR of weight gain. It’s time to step in and assuage that fear… everyone deserves to seek out food peace, and making peace with weight gain can open that door. Ahead, my top three strategies:

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Recipes for Recovery

Recipes for Eating Disorder Recovery, Spring Edition!

Written by Ashley Seruya, BA

When I (Ashley) first started my journey towards eating disorder recovery, I recall one simple phrase that I thought to myself over and over again: “What the hell do I eat now?”

Having followed various food rules for so long, I was at a point where my brain felt inundated with contradictory, confusing nutrition information. Not only that, but I was just dipping my toes into intuitive eating, a way of eating characterized by tapping into your inner hunger, fullness, and satiety cues to guide eating in a way that works to prevent bingeing and promote wellness; but how was I supposed to eat “intuitively” when starting at the fridge felt like walking into a battlefield? I knew I was supposed to be giving myself unconditional permission to eat all foods, a tenet of the intuitive eating model, but I still held onto so much fear around foods that had felt almost addictive during my eating disorder.

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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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Body Image—It’s Not What You See, but How You Feel

“If you can learn to like how you look, and not the way you think you look, it can set you free.” — Gloria Steinem

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Is Intuitive Eating Basics For You?

On Tuesday, November 1st  at 7PM ET, I will be offering an 8-Week Virtual Intuitive Eating Basics workshop for a limited number of qualified participants.

Does That Include You?

  • Can you imagine a life where you feel free around food without obsession or worry?
  • How would you like to gain compassion for yourself, knowing that every mistake is simply a learning opportunity with no judgment or blame?
  • If you would like to have stronger self-esteem and body confidence, regardless of your size, it might just be time to try a different approach.

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Why is Mindful Eating So Difficult?

We asked 25 men and women in New York City why they thought eating mindfully (we gave a basic description of what this means) was so challenging. Here’s what we heard:

Eating mindfully is desired, but respondents cited a lack of time

 

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