“Listen to your body” and “you have to be the expert on your body” are often what we hear in the weight loss and wellness space. And while it’s true, how do you do that when all you can hear is, “more carbs please!”
Rupa Health asked me about how I accomplished this for myself; I share how learning to look at my weight and bingeing as symptoms versus something wrong with me saved my life and gave me the life I relish today.
A Weight Watch for Tots? U.S. federal data shows more children and adolescents are attempting to lose weight. While wellness messaging de-emphasizes weight loss, there hasn’t been a shift in the social stigma and weight bias against people with bigger bodies. Despite backlash, WW is responding with Kurbo, an app for children based on Stanford University’s childhood obesity program. But emerging science is showing that keeping kids and adults healthier and slimmer today isn’t only about what they eat and how much they move. New studies show it’s harder for Gen Y and millennials to lose weight because environmental pollutants, medication use, stress, gut bacteria, and nighttime light exposure are all adversely affecting our metabolism. These metabolic levers will only increase for the generations behind them if individual choices and governmental policies don’t acknowledge and address them.
Listening to Bingeing: Many clients come to me when deprivation from a therapeutic or weight loss diet (e.g. anti-candida, anti-inflammation, keto, WW) causes bingeing. Binge-eating does not mean you are a bad dieter and need to try harder; bingeing is often a symptom of other root causes. Root causes can be a rebellion against restrictions in other areas of life (food being one arena), your story, and not eating the right foods for your body. Understanding when and why you binge can be an important key to ultimately resolving deeper emotional issues and narratives that are holding you back in other areas of life—and ultimately stop your bingeing. Your hunger is not to be feared, but respected and understood!
Sugar, Slavery, and Racism: With sugar addiction becoming “a thing”, it’s important to know how we got here, including why the sugar industry gets $4 billion of annual “subsidies” (i.e. corporate welfare). Slavery and racism, fueled the growth of the sugar industry which perpetuates these institutions, with companies like Hershey, Nestle, and Mars using slavery today in the form of child labor to produce most of the chocolate consumed in America. Knowing it’s history may not be enough to kick the habit — we can begin by choosing ethical sources of chocolate and sugar.
Growing up, my aunt always hosted a Labor Day picnic, where I would feel delight at overeating pretzel salad while assuaging my guilt with “diet starts after Labor Day”! It was a sugary and salty mix of pretzels, whipped cream, and jello heaven (yes it was delicious and no, I had no idea about gluten and glyphosate, red dye or the chemicals in the whipped cream).
One way to avoid “diet starts after Labor Day” F@#$ it foods is to bring sweets that satisfy (i.e. taste delicious and keep your blood sugar balanced). Most of us end up bingeing on carbs because we restrict them completely, instead of finding blood sugar balancing sweets that make it easier to be moderate.
One choice that strikes this balance is Honey Mama bars. You can make them yourself and choose fair-trade cocoa. Also if you’re on keto, you can use keto honey and forgo the chopped dark chocolate.
It’s okay to want to lose weight
Many who struggle with food and weight believe that being thin and healthy are the same thing (this isn’t as true as many people and doctors believe). In a body positive era, we’re also told we shouldn’t want to lose weight and the pronounced goal of a diet tends to be for health reasons.
In this recent podcast episode with Kelly Scott, we discuss how we need to address the part of us that is eating for weight loss (and why it’s OK to want to lose weight), how “the healthy way” assumption leads to motivation that backfires, and how to motivate ourselves in supporting ways that get results.
Read the transcript
Cycles, Cravings, and Carbs…Oh My!
Our community voted and we are hitting the ground running this fall with a fertility theme. Fertility is not just about periods and pregnancy. It’s about tuning into your cycles so you feel physically, emotionally and creatively on fire.
September we will focus on the physical symbol of our fertility: our periods and how to eat to prevent and satisfy cravings (hint: PMS cravings aren’t normal). We will Mastermind around nutritional needs in the fertile, perimenopause, or post-menopause “period” stage.
In October we’ll match the emotional and energy needs for each week of your cycle or life stage and explore how mismatching these needs leads to cravings and overeating. And in November, we’ll look at where life is asking us to birth deeper ways of self-expression. When we ignore this creative tension, we often make weight loss and bodies our projects.
Want to get a jump start on tuning into where your body is, when it craves what and score two months free in the community? Check out Freedom From Cravings.
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