It’s hard to give up on the dieting cycle. We live in a society where one is measured by how we look and our health is dependent on it. If you look overweight you must be unhealthy, right? But what about when you are overweight and completely healthy? According to research, we know that people who have a good Eating Competence actually fair better in regards to health even if they not meet the social norms of “normal” weight.
So what if you have been dieting for years? How does one repair this relationship with food. It comes down to healing your relationship with food.
According to NEDA, in United States 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from clinically significant eating disorders during their lifetime. Keep in mind, this is just the diagnosed cases of eating disorders, what about all the clinically undiagnosed disordered eating that is on the rise? These numbers could easily double or maybe even triple if we started looking and documenting all the disordered eating.
We know dieting does more harm than good, but we still have this billion dollar industry promising everyone that they can lose weight. It’s not your fault if you have fell a victim to this dieting cycle, but if you want to change your outlook on eating you can.
It’s not about fixing it’s about healing.
Food is not simple, it’s complex. If it was a matter of what to eat, I would have the easiest job in the world.
How we eat stems back to how we were fed. It’s so common in healthcare or even sometimes in families to shame your body, weight or even your eating. As Brent Brown says, “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging. ”
Shame doesn’t work. It causes you to be even less engaged in your self care. It could be shame that has led you to have a difficult relationship with food or your body.
So where do you start?
Getting Enough to Eat
Start with giving yourself permission to eat and enjoy food. Then do just that, plan to eat every 3-4 hours. Take the time to put food on the table and sit down and enjoy the meal. Eat until you feel satisfied and then stop. Do it all again a few hours later.
Include a Variety of Food
Stop eliminated major food groups. Each of our different food groups provides us with necessary nutrients that give us energy and keep us nourished. Yes, you can eat carbs. Yes, you can enjoy ice cream. No, fat doesn’t make you fat. When we make foods forbidden, it takes the joy out of eating them and causes more guilt. Guilt can cause shame and shaming our eating will result in you feeding yourself less well rather than better.
As I work with families in my practice, what I’ve come to learn is that parents with poor eating competence have a harder time feeding their children. Children learn the how to eat part from watching us. If you aren’t doing a good job with how you feed yourself, they will struggle too. It’s never surprising that a parent that doesn’t listen to their body to tell them how much they need to eat, can’t trust their child to do it – or – the parent that struggle with food management skills has a hard time feeding their children reliably.
You owe it to yourself and your family to heal your relationship with food.
Thank you for reading! Are you sick of dieting? Please comment below and I can’t wait to join the conversation.