I want to share a deep belief I have about food…
No one should be living a life ruled by food – not at any age.
As a Be Body Positive Facilitator, combined with my 30+ years as a dietitian and specialist in eating disorders, I have worked with thousands of patients of all ages and I can tell you from my heart that no one should be living a life ruled by food.
My patients and group program participants are people of all ages and body sizes, genders and cultures… and the one thing I can share with you that helps them the most is learning to eat intuitively and learning to feel comfortable in their bodies.
And, I’ll be honest, most of the time, the food and eating part is a lot easier than the body part of that statement.
It’s difficult in our culture to accept our bodies or even appreciate them as they are because our world is filled with diet culture messages; the message that only small bodies are acceptable, with the focus always being on body weight instead of health. The pandemic has not been helping this at all, it has been making it worse for some.
This is a stressful time. The pressure on some people right now is enormous. Emotional and stress eating, binge eating, and bad feelings towards their bodies are the most common issues I am seeing with patients right now. Because sometimes it is just easier to blame our bodies than to fully acknowledge what’s happening in the world.
People need extra support to help them as they live at home with all the stress. This added stress impacts women of all ages, but even more so for women at midlife as our bodies already have stress and pressures that come with aging. In these types of situations, you may not be caring for your body and yourself right now as you focus on others.
It turns into a vicious cycle of not liking the changes happening to your body, then restricting food (or dieting) to make your body “look better.” Of course, the vicious cycle is that restricting food always leads to binge and emotional eating, and the frustrating cycle continues. You continue to judge your body every time you walk by a mirror or touch your body as you sit on the couch and watch the news of the world unfold. This inspires you to try again and the cycle continues.
Here is what is happening to you in a situation like this… when we attempt to “get healthy” by focusing on weight loss and dietary restriction, this need to control the weight is usually motivated by feelings of self-loathing and body hatred in the name of health. But this backfires, as we are not able to maintain the strict dieting regimens and ultimately we go back to binge and emotional eating. Diets cause collateral damage and often lead to food and body preoccupation, weight cycling, yo-yo dieting, eating disorders, and poor health.
Believe it or not, there are limits to how lifestyle changes impact our health. For example, a person could have a perfect diet, lose weight and exercise a ton, but still get heart disease or diabetes.
YOU need to know, health is influenced by many factors besides food and activity, such as genetics, access to health care, as well as social equality.
Our lives have changed a lot in the last two months, and you want to be sure you are treating your body with the compassion it needs right now. Doing this will help you with the added stress. That compassion is what will help your mind see things differently and you will act differently. So much of our food and body image problems begin with … “how we feel.”
I know this might be an issue for you right now, or someone you know, and today I want to share a video tip with you on Body Image. The fact is, with better self-care and making peace with our body image, our bodies are more likely to stabilize at their own natural healthy weight. Don’t let food rule your life. No one should do this.
Check out the video below to hear some tips on Body Image that can help you get through this trying time we are living in right now.
I have a new group starting in May and I wanted to share that I have some spots still open in this program for women who are looking for added support from a specialist to get through the pandemic and stop living a life of being on diets and restricting food.
I am looking for women who want to make changes in their lives when it comes to food and body image. I would love to be the person who helps you make this change.
Please send me an email if you would like more information. We can have a quick chat and determine if this program is a fit for you and what you need in this moment.
Erica Leon is a Registered Dietitian and practices from a Health at Every Size (HAES®) lens. She is certified as an eating disorder specialist and is passionate about helping women at midlife, menopause and beyond to make peace with food and body image.
Erica is a highly sensitive nutrition therapist who takes the time to learn where you or your family are in the pursuit of health. Respectful of your individual needs and lifestyle, she will provide an honest assessment of whether or not you are a good fit to work together. Click here to schedule a 15-minute Discovery Call with Erica to let us know about your needs, and to see which of our Dietitians is the best fit for you!
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