Learn some tips and strategies to work with your emotions and manage your emotional eating.
I must admit that, as a US citizen, I have been struggling in the wake of Covid-19, election worries and Presidential debates, climate change, the Supreme Court, RBG, Breonna, among many other grim realities. I imagine you are as well.
Many of my clients are sharing their fears for the future, which most definitely affect food intake – whether that be eating too little and restricting, or mindless eating for comfort.
All of this is normal in light of the world right now, but we still need to take care of ourselves and eat regularly. We can’t get to the ballot box on an empty stomach!
This quote by Naomi Wolf, from the Beauty Myth, says it all:
“A cultural fixation on female thinness is not an obsession about female beauty,
but an obsession about female obedience. Dieting is the most potent political sedative
in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.”
~ Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth 1991
This quote is as relevant today as it was in 1991.
Emotions are high and so is emotional eating. This can help.
How do we develop a healthy habit?
Our society normalizes the pursuit of thinness and sends the message that women should not take up space, that we must control our bodies at all costs.
This is referred to as “diet culture,” which means we have been programmed to think that smaller bodies are more valuable than larger ones, and the only way to achieve good health, well-being and social status is by pursuing this “thin” ideal.
The longer you have been swimming in diet culture, the more invisible it becomes and the harder it is to undo.
How can we be the change we want to see in the world if we are using all of our mental energy focused on taming our bodies through diet and/or exercise — calorie counting, measuring, weighing, worrying about our food rules?
We need ALL of our agency and power right now. We are diminished when we restrict our food and suffer from poor nutrition!
Here are some Stats on Dieting:
- 95% of diets fail and most will regain their lost weight in 1-5 years.
- 75% of American women surveyed endorse unhealthy thoughts, feelings, or behaviors related to food or their bodies.
- 45% of American women are on a diet on any given day.
- Of these dieters, 35% will progress to pathological dieting, and of those, 20-25% progress to partial or full-blown eating disorders.
- At least 10 million females are fighting a life and death battle with an eating disorder and millions more are struggling with binge eating disorder.
These statistics show us that dieting is far from a benign activity and can lead some down the path of disordered eating and eating disorders.
Now more than ever we need to face the fact that diets for intentional weight loss do not work.
Now more than ever, we need to nourish our here and now bodies.
Now more than ever we need to focus, stay present and utilize our mental energy on more pressing issues like voting. Our literal lives depend on it.
Intuitive Eating Can Be The Next Step
Instead of diets, I encourage people to “re-learn” how to eat through a method called intuitive eating.
Intuitive eating teaches us to listen to our bodies’ inner wisdom, pay attention to signals of hunger, fullness and satisfaction, reject diet mentality and food rules, and adopt body-positive behaviors, like exercising and eating food that makes you feel good.
When you develop these behaviors you will find new ways to cope with your emotions without turning to food.
Intuitive eating is a paradigm shift.
It can be so difficult to go it alone and change your thinking and eating habits, which is why I created a solution to help people looking to become an Intuitive Eater and kick diets to the curb!
Intuitive Eating helps people heal from the side effects of chronic dieting. It is the process of learning to trust your mind and body to make choices around food that feel good, without judgment and without influence from diet culture. The principles use self-compassion to help you listen to what the body truly needs.
It can also be a challenge to take this journey, one to a life free of diets, restrictions and filled with peace. Those who succeed are ones who are determined to make these lifestyle and habit changes, and often, they are also the ones who have gotten professional support in this journey.
You will see drastic changes in your thinking, your habits, and your life when you learn to follow the 10 principles of Intuitive Eating and that is what we do in my Intuitive Eating Support Circle program.
This program is ideal for women who are in midlife, menopause and beyond and have gone through the Intuitive Eating Essentials program with Erica or taken another Intuitive Eating experience.
The Support Circle has one main goal for participants and that is to help you continue your practice of intuitive eating as these skills require just that …practice!
We meet twice a month for our group calls, along with added masterclasses, training lessons and exercises to help you practice your intuitive eating skills to make them as intuitive as brushing your teeth!
If you are interested in joining this next group, which starts October 8th, you can apply to the program online or book a call with me to discuss if you are a fit for this group.
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!
Download our Free Intuitive Eating Guide and get off that Diet Roller Coaster for good!