Read this if you wish you hadn't finished that last slice of pizza.
When I used to have water polo practice from 9pm-11pm at night in college, I would get home at midnight. I just played 2 hours of water polo, so I was pretty friggin' hungry.
But..... I was on diet.
I was carefully counting calories. I was purposefully not buying things from the grocery store. Most importantly, I heard from Oprah or someone that you shouldn't eat after 7 PM.
Sometimes, I would successfully eschew the fridge. Other times, I would try to just have one tablespoon of peanut butter.
But more often than not, I ate a lot of tablespoons of peanut butter. Like sometimes I would pull a muscle in my mouth voraciously scooping peanut butter.
I felt out of control. I was so frustrated and ashamed.
Isabel Foxen Duke, founder of Stop Fighting Food, calls this “feeling crazy around food.”
Isabel Foxen Duke is one fabulous babe. In fact, a lot of her work was really critical to me healing my relationship with food. I've listed her as a reference for like a million blog posts.
I'm not the only one. Isabel is one of the most well-respected coaches in the emotional eating world. Her approach is about changing your mindset around food.
If I had these videos when I was binging on peanut butter, I would have realized that I needed food. Eating peanut butter was actually a pretty good choice.
If you're tired of swinging between "this time I've got it," and "what the hell is wrong with me? Why can't I get my hand out of this peanut butter jar?" I encourage you to check her out.
Isabel’s offering a free video training series. The series unpacks the emotional and psychological components to changing your relationship with food.
If this is a topic that speaks to you, I highly recommend you sign up to get her free vids.
PS: I am a paid affiliate for Isabel's program. She still does a kick-ass job though. Even Ricki Lake likes her. If you sign up using my link, you can help me pay my squarespace rent.
A lot of people don't really believe me when I say that dieting doesn't work.
Which is why I mention set point theory like erryday
If you're one of the Debbie Doubters, here's a cool video from Sandra Aamodt. Aamodt is a neuroscientist and science writer.
She does a kick-ass job of explaining set point theory and why diets don't work.
Check it out!
Somehow, some way, we've intertwined weight loss with health.
Weight gain can be healthy. And it might even be healthy for you.
In order to convince you of this, I will start with the most obvious example I can think of: anorexia.
This is your excuse to eat the chocolate covered whatever.
What if it were healthy to eat chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels?
When I worked for an eating disorder treatment center, this was a no-brainer. The sickest patients needed to eat.
The staff encouraged clients to eat caloric snacks and presented them with "fear foods." These "fear foods" included cookie butter, oreos, and chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels.
These women NEEDED these snacks.
They needed them because they needed something with lots of protein and fat. They needed them because they needed the calories. They needed them because they needed to have a neutral relationship with food.
At the eating disorder treatment center, the dietitians often used nutrition to support this. For example, we might explain to a patient that ice cream has calcium. Butter, too, has some nutritional benefits.
Food serves several roles in our lives.
We need nutrients to survive. Protein and fat are two critical macro nutrients. Macro is Greek for large. In other words, it means they are a large part of nutrients we need. (cite sources).
Calories give our bodies the fuel it needs to do its thing. Calories are just a measure of energy. (cite source).
We need to feel normal around food. Feeling crazy around food is asking for trouble. We eat food three times a day at least. Would you think it's healthy to feel crazy three times every day?
We need to eat to re-connect. This is where I get all weird and religious. Going to church as a kid and eating transubstantiated Jesus was about "communion." It's about getting together with your neighbors, hanging out and eating. This can be a spiritual practice if that word doesn't freak you out or it can be social or emotional.
Dieting and eating disorders isolate people. They make it harder to cook a meal for everyone. They make it harder for everyone to eat together.
Try to remember that food is something you're supposed to eat.
I remember when I was a kid, I used to just think all foods were healthy and good for me. I never worried that food was poisoning me.
My goal as a coach is to make you feel that way again. I want to make you feel like you are safe and able to eat without fear.
Before you jump in with your rebuttal, I know we live in a post Michael Pollan world. We can't run around and believe that we will get our daily value of magnesium from 24 oz Coke products. But, I think we can find something valuable from anything we might choose to consume.
Is there any food that you're afraid of? Write it down in the comments. I've got my college nutrition book out and my thinking cap on. I will respond to everything with a reason why it might be healthy to eat it. Extra credit if you have your own reason.