Buy One, Get One Free

This week I had yet another client tell me that a certain diet (rhymes with Hate Talkers) is the only one that has "worked" for her. My client is telling me that this diet has "worked" but she is seeking my help with overconsumption and general dis-ease around food — two almost certain outcomes of said diet. Never mind the yo-yoing of her weight that she dislikes.

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How You Know You're Done Dieting

You see now that a diet by any other name is still a diet.

Whether it’s the traditional Weight-Watchers or Jenny Craig or the nouveau Paleo or Whole30 you know that if it asks you to follow rules, if it tells you that your body’s cravings can’t be trusted, if it makes someone else the expert, if it demonizes certain foods or entire macronutrients that it’s a diet.

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A Day in the Life of Six Intuitive Eaters

Her: “I have a question.”
Me: “Go for it.”
Her: “What’s a typical day like for an intuitive eater?”
Me: “Hah! As if there is a typical day…"
Her: “I ask because we’re told all the time what a typical day looks like for a dieter. Every women’s magazine tells us what this it-girl is eating, or what that celebrity nutritionist recommends. We never hear or see what a normal eater eats.”

This is an exchange I once had with one of my Feast students.

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Participation Optional

Even though we in the developed world are relatively free, we’re still socialized to go along with the crowd. Today’s reminder is that participation is optional. Today I invite you to opt out when you don’t want to do something.

Opt out of being weighed at the doctor’s office. Did you know it’s optional? You can simply say “I pass” and if they pressure you, and you don’t feel you have a choice, you can step on the scale backwards and say “I don’t want to know the number, it’s not useful to me.”

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Dieting is a Violent Act

I believe dieting is a violent act.

I don’t feel neutral, or calm, or indifferent about dieting. I feel quite clearly that dieting is a violent act that (predominantly) women are encouraged to perform against themselves.

I find diets to be physically violent, often leading to exhaustive cycles of weight loss and gain and sometimes insufficient calories (i.e. energy) and nutrition.

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Sola Dosis Facit Venenum

I love television.

That might be a bit taboo to say, but it’s true. I get an enormous amount of pleasure from watching my favorite shows.

And there is nothing wrong with loving television. It gives me a tremendous amount of joy, laughter, and relaxation. Put simply, it feeds me. Most of the time. I can also use TV as a tool for avoiding life when checking in, not out, is would serve me most. A while back I noticed my viewing habits detracting more than helping and no surprise my first thought was “I’m going to just give up TV. Go cold turkey. Block Netflix from my computer. Commit to reading a book a week....” Yes, my initial response was to go on a diet. But the problem for me in this case wasn’t television, but the amount and the way I was using television.

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How to Make Peace with Food

Somewhere between a recipe, a step-by-step plan, and a map here are 10 ingredients I believe add up to making peace with food:

Learn to manage anxiety and feel feelings

I believe that most chaotic, restrictive, or overconsumptive eating is driven by anxiety. Manage the anxiety and you’re a giant step closer to finding ease at the table. Whether through pharmaceuticals, meditation, or therapy, anxiety management is key in walking this path.

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A Time for Everything

One of the most common traits (and pitfalls) I see is dichotomous thinking – or seeing everything as either black or white.

There is a frenzy to our lives. A striving, masculine energy to achieve, improve, and purify.

Many of the women I work with come to me when they can no longer bare the tightrope walk their life has become. Slaving in pursuit of being ‘good’, being ‘liked’, and being ‘beautiful’.

But life isn’t a tightrope walk, unless we make it that.

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Sacred Ground

Growing up just outside Washington, DC resulted in my childhood having it’s fair share of visits to historical sites, such as Civil War battlefields, like Gettysburg.

If you’ve ever been to a memorial site, especially one where great loss actually took place, you know that you can feel it. What you’re standing on at these places is sacred ground and each has a powerful energetic fingerprint. Perhaps you’ve felt it while visiting the 9/11 Memorial in New York City, Auschwitz in Poland, or The Killing Fields Museum in Cambodia.

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A Sweet Middle Path

Sugar, specifically white refined sugar, has gotten a bad rap.

While I typically abide by a “to each their own” approach to food, it seems that this era is abundant in celebrities and influencers ‘coming out’ with their sugar-free lifestyle.

To many this seems logical and saintly. To me this is yet another extreme shift of the dietary pendulum that leaves people swinging between restriction and over consumption, more obsessed with food and less at ease in life

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In Praise of Awkward Toddlersds

As a child, if I couldn’t be assured that I’d do something right the first time, I didn’t even want to try at all. The result of this fearful stance was that I didn’t learn to swim (until I nearly drowned and my parents insisted) or to ride a bike (I’m still working on this).

What I’m talking about is the resistance we feel to being less-than-masterful at anything. We loathe performing awkwardly, even though this is a precursor to doing anything more gracefully.

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