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3 Steps to Food Autonomy

Food is a very personal choice for you. What you choose to eat, why you choose to eat it and how you choose to eat it are decisions YOU get to make around the food you eat. However, there are 2 groups of people that do not honor this choice. In today’s blog, I will shed light on who these people are.

 

 Group #1: Chronic Dieters

A chronic dieter is someone who has been on and off multiple diets over their lifetime chasing a certain body weight, dress size or body shape. As a chronic dieter, you believe that the answer to all your food and weight problems lies in the diet you follow. So each time a new diet comes to market, you get excited and truly believe that THIS will be THE ONE. Unfortunately, even if you do lose weight, you know the way this story ends. You regain the weight lost plus some extra pounds just for good measure.

 

You no longer are confident in making food choices for yourself. You are so used to following a plan, a menu or rules that have been dictated to you, that when it comes time for you to figure out what you want to eat, you really don’t know the answer to (what should be) a simple question. You have given away your food autonomy.

 

Group #2: “Health Coaches”

The internet is swarming with people who call themselves health coaches. Maybe they took a 90 hour health coach course, or a 3 month certificate program, either way they are now “health coaches”. In my opinion, most of them do more harm than good. They give you lists of foods to eat and not to eat, rules to follow, and they spout inaccurate information about grains, dairy and gluten. Some will tell you they are teaching you intuitive eating, but it’s really disguised in a diet as they are giving you rules and telling you what to eat.

 

These health coaches are taking away YOUR free choice around food.

 

Health Coaches aka Diet Coaches

There’s a particular group of these health coaches who I’m thinking about as I write this blog. They lost weight on a liquid diet program (I won’t mention the name of one of the programs I’m thinking about when I write this, but if you think hard enough, you can probably guess) and then they “train” with the company to be a health coach. They are big marketers, telling you how amazing their diet is to lose weight and posting before and after pictures to hook you in.

 

In speaking with these health coaches (yes, I’ve had conversations with them), they demonize gluten, sugar, and dairy and speak about how they eat as if they have an “I’m better than thou” attitude. But they also slip and say things like “oh my gosh, that pastry looks divine. If I take one bite, I’ll eat the entire plate”, and “I don’t eat gluten except for _____ (fill in the blank) once a week because I just love it and then I start again the next day”. (Disclaimer – I’m not saying this about ALL health coaches, but many that I come in contact with).

 

These statements are reflective of the diet mentality and food battles that rage on!

 

3 Steps to Food Autonomy

  1. Stop dieting! I know this is so hard because diets feel safe to you. However, they have never worked for you and they never will, so it’s time to take a leap of faith and say NO MORE. You have the power within yourself to make your own food choices. I know you do, and I also know that you might not believe that right now. That’s okay. One step at a time.

 

  1. Stop listening to others! Decide that you will no longer listen to those health coaches that are telling you what to eat and not to eat. Instead, seek out a reputable registered dietitian nutritionist who is also a certified intuitive eating counselor who can help you get back into the drivers seat when it comes to food and your body.

 

  1. Do connect with a community! It’s lonely when you are swimming upstream alone. We are all surrounded by people steeped in diet culture. It’s likely that your inner circle of family and friends don’t understand when you say you are not dieting anymore. Come join the ladies in the Intuitive Eating Mastery Circle for the comradery and support that will help you take charge of your food choices again. As a reader of my blog, you get 50% off your membership. No commitment, you can cancel at any time.

 

Being in charge of your own food choices is your birthright. Take it back today. I’m here to help you. All you have to do is ask.

 

How to STOP Thinking About Weight Loss

You’ve embarked on your intuitive eating journey because you are finally fed up with diets. After years of chasing weight loss, trying diet after diet, your body weight is back where you started. Or perhaps, like 1/3 – 2/3 of people who regain the weight they’ve lost, you weigh even more.

 

You are now at your highest weight.

 

You wonder how this can be, after all, you’ve tried for 10, 20, 30, 40 maybe even 50 years to lose weight. And yes, you’ve been “successful” in losing weight on some of those diets. But the weight always returned. The diets were not sustainable for life. Like a young 14 year old girl said to me in my office yesterday…”I said to the doctor, how can I never eat carbs again?”

 

Maybe you heard me speak about intuitive eating recently on a summit, or you’ve read the Intuitive Eating book by the original authors and have been trying to practice the principles and become an intuitive eater for a few months, maybe even a few years. Intuitive eating sounds logical to you; you realize this can help you heal your relationship with food. However, you still want to lose weight.

 

There are many intuitive eating and HAES (Health at Every Size) advocates that would say shame on you for wanting to lose weight. Love the body that you have.

 

I’m not saying shame on you. I want to acknowledge your desire to lose weight. I want to show you compassion for the physical discomfort you may be experiencing. But I also want to encourage you to put weight loss out of your mind as you work on healing your relationship with food. I know this is difficult.

 

You see, it’s not “weight loss” itself that is problematic, it’s the pursuit of weight loss that is the problem. There’s a big difference here. 

 

You’ve already tried to pursue weight loss via the many diets, restrictions, detoxes, cleanses, food group elimination, and demonizing of foods. All this caused was a disordered relationship with food and your body.

 

As you begin to change habits, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings around food and your body, you may lose weight, and that’s fine. No one is going to say to you “that’s terrible, how could you have lost weight!”. Your body will do what it needs to do, in its own natural way, in its own time. The interesting thing is that you cannot determine that. Your body determines that.

 

But please understand that the process of intuitive eating is not a weight loss program. Some people may lose weight, some people may gain weight (especially if they started at a low body weight or a place of severe restriction) and some people maintain their weight.

 

So, how do you get weight loss out of your mind as you heal your relationship with food?

 

  1. Write down your WHY! Why do you want to stop fighting with food and your body? Dig down as deep as you need to in order to uncover the true reason. Chances are there is a very meaningful reason why you want to stop the food and body war within yourself. And it’s way bigger than losing a few pounds. Then write your meaningful why on an index card or post-it note and put it in a place you see it often. Read it daily and re-commit to it each time your mind goes back to weight loss.

 

  1. Identify the BIG 3! Instead of constantly thinking about your weight, focus on 3 amazing characteristics that you possess. Unsure what they are? Ask a friend, family member, or your partner. I’m sure they will be happy to share with you how kind you are, funny you are, helpful you are etc. Then on a day that you seem to be worrying too much about your weight, switch it off to focus on the BIG 3!

 

  1. Seek Support! Every one of us needs support throughout our lives. This includes times like this where you are swimming in new waters. If you haven’t yet joined my Intuitive Eating Support Community, come on over. Just click HERE and request to join. The members in this group are here to help you whenever you need it!

 

And of course. If you want my support on your journey, just send me an email to Bonnie@DietFreeRadiantMe.com . I offer 1-1 private coaching at various levels to walk you through your food and body healing journey.

 

 

 

Confused Where to Get Reliable Nutrition Info?

Shocked WomanIt seems like everywhere you look there is new information on how to eat, what to eat and when to eat. These are usually followed by promises of weight loss, younger looking skin or to give you more energy. These claims are all over the internet and in magazines showing you what celebrities eat in order to look their best.

 

Do you get overwhelmed by all of it?

 

I know I do.

 

Those same people making the claims may say “if it worked for me, it can work for you!” But how do they know that’s true?  Cutting out all carbs, going paleo, low-fat or high-protein diets will not give you the same results as someone else.  First of all, many of these “diets” that are promoted are not healthy.  They encourage you to cut out entire food groups or follow strict rules, which are usually followed by feelings of guilt if you break them.

 

The million dollar question is. “Where are they getting this nutritional information from?”

 

Is it some person who decided to eat these certain foods, lost a few pounds and now claims to be a “diet expert”?  Or is it coming from a registered dietitian or other health care professional?

 

Before taking nutrition advice from anyone, look to see what their credentials are. If they are not a certified nutritionist, registered dietitian or other qualified nutrition specialist, think twice about listening to their advice. Doctors do, and can, give nutrition advice but they have had minimal education on nutrition.  They have the right ideas, in regards to nutrition, but they do not always know the smartest and healthiest way to get you there.

 

Always seek out advice from professionals with credentials and advanced education in nutrition because truth is, nutrition information can be confusing. It’s a science that changes often.

 

There is no one diet that fixes everything for everyone.  Especially with all the information in the media claiming that you should go gluten-free, sugar-free or preservative-free making it impossible to decide what is actually healthy.

 

You should definitely check with a registered dietitian or your doctor before starting any diet that has to do with “curing” a serious health problem. There are many holistic and nutritional approaches to curing certain diseases and illnesses but not all of them work. If you want to try these, continue your usual medication and inform your health care professional about them.

 

Since you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re looking for another way.  Another way to get your nutrition information and a way to stop dieting.

 

I can help you with both.

 

As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I can provide you with correct and useful nutritional information.  But, while more nutrition information may be helpful, that may not be what you need right now.

 

Take a look at where you are on your body love journey.  Are you done with dieting?  If so, intuitive eating may be your next step.

 

Intuitive eating is not a diet.

 

Intuitive eating will help you change your relationship with food; it is all about listening to your inner body’s signals and learning to re-trust your body once again!  By listening to what your body wants and needs, you will be well nourished, your body will be happy and you’ll release excess weight.

 

Why will your body be happy?  Because on your intuitive eating journey, you can eat whole, nutritious foods while still enjoying your favorite foods from time to time.

 

If you are looking to start on the intuitive eating journey, you can contact me here.

 

 

Celebrate International No Diet Day with Me!

Today is a very special day… it is International No Diet Day!

 

This day is very near and dear to my heart as it celebrates body acceptance, diversity, and of course saying “no” to diets. International No Diet Day was initiated by British author Mary Evans Young, a feminist who led an anti-diet movement in 1992 called “Diet Breakers”.
This day of banning diets began in the United Kingdom as a day to encourage accepting your body and loving yourself and it has spread internationally. It brings attention to the widespread body discrimination in the media, those who have suffered through eating disorders and extreme weight loss plans, and the faux results that diet plans and pills promote.
The truth is that fad diets, diet products, and the way body image is portrayed in the media are detrimental to forming healthy eating and lifestyle habits. Body discrimination can be seen all around, from advertisements showing off thin models to the current “fat acceptance” movement which is quite the opposite and celebrates curves while shaming smaller physiques.
Celebrating and loving your body and yourself is the drive behind much of the work I do. Rather than restricting yourself, focus on nourishing yourself. I stress this to all my clients. Self-care and loving yourself go hand in hand. Please stop comparing yourself to others! Embrace your uniqueness and celebrate your body by treating it with nourishing foods and mindfulness.
I realize this might be really tough for you, especially if you’ve been dieting for a long time. Diets feel safe to you and you might be afraid to stop dieting. It’s okay to let go….let’s do it together. Today is the day we can all come together a say NO MORE DIETING!

 

Take the “International No Diet Day Pledge”.

 

Repeat the following as many times as you need to:

“I will accept myself just as I am.
I will feed myself if hungry.
I will feel no shame or guilt about my size or eating.
…and I will LOVE MYSELF for who I am, not who I feel pressure to be!”

 

Please know that I am here for you if you need support. Just send me an email at bonnie@brghealth.com and let me know what you are struggling with.

 

International NO Diet Day

No DietingToday is a very important day: International NO Diet Day!

 

The purpose of this nationally recognized day is to raise awareness of the harmful effects unhealthy dieting can have as well as the importance of respecting and accepting body types.  The goal is to teach people how to have a healthy relationship with food and ditch restrictive eating habits.

 

May 6th has been the designated day for NO Diet Day ever since it was created in 1992 by Mary Evans Young, director of the British Group “Diet Breakers”.  After overcoming anorexia, Young worked to help people appreciate themselves for who they are and the body that they have and established the following set of goals for this very important and meaningful day:

 

GOAL: Celebrate the beauty and diversity of all our natural sizes and shapes.

 

GOAL: Declare a personal one-day moratorium on diet/weight obsession.

 

GOAL: Learn the facts about weight-loss dieting, health and body size.

 

GOAL: Honor the victims of eating disorders and weight-loss surgery.

 

GOAL: Help end weight discrimination, size-ism and fat phobia.

 

These are a great set of goals to set not only on International NO Diet Day, but for every day of the year.  Learning ways to eat intuitively by honoring your hunger and satiety cues is the best way to ditch the diet mentality and develop a healthy relationship with food.

 

Chronic dieting and the perpetual obsession with food and body weight is something that we are faced with constantly, especially in a culture that glorifies the notion that thin is beautiful.  This misconception has caused food to become the enemy for most people.  This is sad because food is something we should all cherish and enjoy and view as a means to nourish our bodies.

 

If you have been struggling on and off diets, let today be the day that you say NO MORE! Contact me for your FREE Break Free of Dieting Strategy Session and let’s turn this around for you. I will help you transform your relationship with food, your mind and your body so you can achieve the body that you love!

 

Your turn to take action: Click here for your Break Free of Dieting Strategy Session.