THE IMPACT OF DIET RIGIDITY ON OTHERS

FOOD FLEXIBILITY

Has your food rigidity and dietary choices ever resulted in difficulty or awkwardness on social occasions?

I’m not talking about allergies and intolerances that would result in relatively severe illness if you ignored them. I’m referring to nutritional preferences and rules that you have CHOSEN to abide by for whatever reason (whether it be weight loss, because it makes you feel better, performance, ethics etc.)

The way I choose to eat has definitely caused issues for me socially in the past, because I would stick to them even if it meant everyone else would be sitting there eating except me.

I have always thought: “well you know what? It is my body and what I put into it is nobody’s business except mine. Ultimately I have the right to choose, as I am the one effected”. But the thing is, this lack of flexibility is not just impacting me, it does affect others.

It means, for example, that other people feel like they can’t or shouldn’t enjoy an ice cream on a hot day, because I won’t have one with them. It means that if people want to have me for dinner, they want to try to cater for my preferences, resulting in unneeded stress for them and restrictions imposed on everyone.

This weekend, my hubby and I are going to join my parents for a couple of days at a bach they are holidaying at. They are already well in truly in ‘chill’ mode and I don’t want my presence to mean that all of a sudden they have to second-guess what they are eating, or worry about where we will go for meals.

I have to DECIDE and CHOOSE in advance, to LET GO. To trade rigidity for FLEXIBILITY … and know that it is going to be okay. One ice cream cone won’t kill me.

So I am challenging myself … this weekend, I need to RELAX in more ways than one.

To be continued …

#antidiet #intuitiveeating #healthateverysize #foodflexibility #nourishnotpunish #eattheicecream

Progress not Perfection

💡In the journey towards freedom from self-critique and restriction, I reckon no little sign of progress is too small to celebration.
  • The very nature of this journey means that “perfection” is not the aim because we are acknowledging that the idea of  a ‘perfect’ or ‘ideal’ body and/or diet is constructed and subjective. So in the spirit of progress
  • After a week or so of consistent effort to restrict less and eat more intuitively, I was able to have a celebratory meal with friends and not overdo it with my eating. It would have been fine if I had ‘overdone” it (usually meaning eating past full) … but for me, being able to actually intuit on when I was full and content and not having an urge to go back for more is rare! I have’t had this feeling for a while, because after prolonged periods of deprivation, it is normal for the body in its ‘starved’ state to get a bit cray-cray when you finally do give yourself permission to indulge.
So … a small, yet positive step towards getting back in-tune with my body and its unique, individualise happy place.
progress not perfection
#antidiet #healthateverysize #edrecovery #bodypositive #selfacceptance #weightacceptance #morethanabody

HUNGER IS MY FRIEND

I am working on redefining my relationship with “hunger”.

HUNGER is my friend

If you are recovering from disordered eating of any kind and embarking on a journey of intuitive eating (as I am), one of things we have to learn to understand afresh is HUNGER.

***

Diet culture vilifies hunger. Hunger is the thing we must avoid at all costs. Often this is through filling up with low calorie (and often nutrient-light) foods like celery, lettuce or cucumber; OR it can be through filling up on high calorie, but very satiating foods, (often high in good quality fats as with ketogenic diets) e.g. coconut oil, cheese, nuts etc. In this approach, you don’t need to eat a lot of these foods to feel full for long periods of time, making fasting and skipping meals quite easy.

The problem with eating that way for any sustained period is this:

  1. It makes our body feel ‘starved’ and deprived, making us more likely to overeat and binge in the future
  2. It starts to mess with our ability to listen to our body’s hunger signals and be attuned to these.

The simple truth is that HUNGER means one thing -> your body needs food and you should eat.

We don’t need to drown this out with celery or temper it with a nice frothy cup of bulletproof coffee. We simply need to learn to listen and give ourselves permission to respond unconditionally.

***

I am not there yet. My hunger signals are all messed up and I can go a whole day without feeling a pang of hunger. So eating doesn’t feel intuitive and often feels “wrong”. But the only way I can turn my “signals” back on, is to eat and nourish my body without restriction.

#learning #intuitiveeating #antidiet #edrecovery

Why I am sharing…

lean in.png

My Mum asked me recently, “Is writing all this & baring your soul publicly  helping you on this journey to recovery?”

My answer was a theoretical “yes”… though my explanation is more an instinct than scientific in nature.

Five thoughts on why being vulnerable and sharing with each other is important:

a) “Faking it till I Make it”  – perhaps I can speak internal change into being … proclaim to attain!

b) Encouraging a deep dive and exploration into my underlying issues/mindsets

c) Exposing those mindsets and core issues and by shining light, removing the power of the hidden/darkness

d) Accountability. I think part of deciding to post about all of this  now, is so that I am making myself accountable to changing. There is nowhere to hide now …

e) Only by sharing can we build a community for consensus and change.

 

Even in my small circle of “Friends”/”Followers”,  there have been quite a few who have responded to say how much they can relate or similar things they have/continue to struggle with … and I genuinely think that for too long there has been shame or fear surrounding actually admitting weakness, vulnerability or struggle. Or women, in particular, just accepting that this is what we have to put up with and strive towards our whole lives … and it is not actually true. And the only way that things will change, is by people rejecting the accepted ‘norms’.

 

I’m sure all of this makes some people uncomfortable. I’m sure some are thinking I’m “over-sharing”. To those people, I’d say, feel free to scroll on by  🙂

 

MONDAY MANTRA #1

IG pics

MONDAY MANTRA: I’m not meant to be perfect, I’m meant to be WHOLE …

Pursue wholeness this week! ☀️

JANE FONA – a woman who many would say has and continues to be an icon of beauty, fitness and grace. A woman whose self-described “toxic” pursuit of perfection led to years of eating disorders, bulimia and anorexia. 💚

Now at 80, Jane offers us this wisdom from her long and rich journey … “It look me a long long time to realise that we are not meant to be perfect, we are meant to be WHOLE”. Amen lady! 🙏 ⬇️

P.s heard this in latest episode of Oprah’s Master Class podcast … Well worth a listen!

 

#mondaymantra #edrecovery #antidiet#selfcompassion #nourishnotpunish#janefonda

#HELLOLOVELYPROJECT

Hello_lovely_pic

I nearly didn’t post this. When Tamryn from The Hello Lovely Project asked me to post a pic with something I liked about myself and possibly a bit of backstory with the hashtag #thehellolovelyproject, I was tempted to get her to post it on my behalf. I, like many of us, felt self-conscious putting something out there that was vulnerable and “less than perfect”. Social media is so often about just sharing the “insta-worthy”, dream-like life moments. But this is real. I truly believe that only by sharing our struggles and real-talk and real-thoughts will we begin to come together and begin to change thought and behaviour paradigms.

I first dabbled in a serious way with “dieting” and losing weight in the lead up to my wedding. I joined the gym and began working out pretty hard 5 days a week and restricting my food intake significantly. I hate to think how undernourished I was during this period, as I had little understanding of what I was doing and often felt fatigued and lacking in energy. Fast-forward to 5 years later, I began to develop a genuine interest in cooking and baking with alternative ingredients. But what began as an endeavor to cater for various intolerances in my extended family and a desire to try to eat more “clean” and “whole” foods, in-time, began to spiral into a bit of an obsession with eating “clean” and trying to achieve a certain body shape. To that end, my love for high-intensity exercise also increased.

All of this, paired with some stressful professional and personal situations resulted in my body beginning to shut down. It clearly felt “starved” and in “fight or flight” mode and so any functions not deemed as essential to survival (i.e. fertility) was ‘switched off’. After a huge mental battle, I was able to finally come to a place where I knew I had to go “all or nothing” to fix things. “All” = eating everything and lots of it. “Nothing” = cutting out all the exercise I had been doing.

Slowly but surely, my body began to respond and thanked me by “switching” back on. BUT, the battle with my mind over eating more, exercising less and being okay with a “softer” body continues.

I started a blog years ago called @LittleGreenSpatula. This began as a creative outlet for me to post the food I love to create and eat. Recently though, I have begun to incorporate messages around anti-restriction, self-compassion and body positivity. These are things I am seeking permanent change in for my own ongoing health and vitality and the more women I speak to, the more I discover I am not alone.

One thing I am trying to remind myself of,  is that I am more than my body. My body is doing its best to serve me and enable me to live. I  learning to thank my body by nourishing it, not punishing my body by depriving it. I am a unique individual with the capacity to create and express creativity in a way unique to me. My body helps me to do this and that is beautiful!

#thehellolovelyproject

THE BATTLE IS WITH THE MIND

Battle of mind update

ABUSIVE SELF-TALK -> Enemy #1

If a snapshot of my thoughts about myself and my body on a good percentage of days bears any resemblance to the inner landscape of your mind when it comes to body image, then look no further!

Thoughts I had just a few hours ago alone are enough evidence to unequivocally prove that THINKING around fat, weight and what is desirable needs to CHANGE.

Is anyone else brave enough to share some of their negative self-talk? I know we all do it, but I think we know it is silly or feel it is shameful, so we hardly ever admit this to each other. I know for me, I was in denial to myself for a long time about my insecurities because I’ve always seen myself as a strong, confident, independent young woman. But maybe we do need to shine a light on these thoughts. Share them, not to wallow … but to expose them so that the darkness loses its hold …

Just this morning, I found myself thinking “Gosh I’d love to suck out the fat in that roll with a lipo hose” … I mean seriously, what a ridiculous thought. But there you have it.

Ultimately, these thoughts are there regardless of how much weight we lose or gain … so I know that the primary battlefield on this journey has to be the MIND & changing my thinking. There is nothing “wrong” with your body. You’re body is NOT a sign of your failure (Body Respect, pg.5).   It is just a body and it is always working its hardest to help you to LIVE! … about time we focus more on living I reckon!

#empoweredeating #intuitiveeating #bodyshaming #fatshaming #restrictiveating#edrecovery #bingeeatingrecovery #allfoodsfit #bodyimage #selflove#healthynothungry #nourishnotpunish #health #antidiet #bodypositive#effyourbeautystandards #battlefieldofthemind #youareenough #livelife #lovelife

NOURISH NOT PUNISH

Nourish not punish

I used to define “healthy eating” as ‘good’ foods vs. ‘bad’ foods. But really, no food in itself is good or bad.

Sure, there can be nutritional deficiencies in your eating patterns, or imbalances at times. There are foods that might agree and disagree with your unique genetic makeup … but worse than having a bit too much ice cream or cake every now and then is punishing ourselves for it afterward. It turns out, science and research reckons that our bodies are pretty smart and can bring things back into balance after a little overindulgence without us punishing ourselves with fasting or hours at the gym. We just have to focus on tuning into what our body is telling us and the nutrients it might be craving…

What is healthy eating?

  • It is not restriction, deprivation and punishment.
  • It is abundance, enjoyment and nutritional nourishment.
  • I KNOW this intellectually, but it is another thing to change habits.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this struggle … of letting go of control and learning to trust.

For me, it is a daily process to work on rewiring my mind. For too long I have seen “healthy’ as avoiding food and punishing myself through restriction – the deprivation and self-flagellation feels good. Seeing weight loss ‘feels’ good. But it is not healthy.

“Healthy” is re-learning to TRUST my body and trust that it knows what it needs … to trust that if I prioritise nourishment, it will not spiral into uncontrolled weight-gain or overindulgence.

 

#trust #intuitiveeating #norestriction #nourishnotpunish #antidiet #allthefood #edrecovery

YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU EAT

Not what you eat

5 REASONS TO DITCH DIETS

  1. They create a wagon to fall off
  2. They create rules to break
  3. They attribute moral worth to food – making us righteous or unrighteous based on what we put in our mouths!
  4. They promote restriction rather than balance
  5. They contribute to the inhibition of our body’s natural cues to tell us what we want and need

I say ‘dabble don’t diet’ … sure, dabble with different nutritional approaches to find out what makes you feel good, nourished and healthy and what doesn’t. But don’t eliminate entire food groups for the sake of rigidly sticking to the parameters of a defined ‘diet’. I have done this and I still struggle not to do this. The result? Cycles of restriction and bingeing … the inability to actually feel hunger and therefore listen intuitively to my body… gaining self-worth and confidence from being able to resist certain foods and restrict caloric intake. None of this  = healthy. I am not saying to abandon all pursuits of healthy food and eating. I think we owe it to ourselves to pursue nourishing food as much as we can so that we can live full, vital and empowered lives. But not because it gives us some moral high-ground or sense of worthiness. You are NOT what you eat! You are enough just because you are a wonderful, unique individual.

WEIGHT LOSS DOES NOT EQUAL HEALTH

These are snapshots of my musings (and sharing via instagram) over the first ten days of my exploration of body positivity, anti-diet and the health at every size movement.

Weight Loss

I AM ANGRY. I am ANGRY at the constant & still so pervasive mainstream messaging that equates weight-loss with being healthier, happier or better.

It is a message that I, like so many of you, have bought into and I continue to struggle with changing this mind-set.

WARNING (truth-telling rant to follow):

Along with my initial interest in holistic health, nutrition & healthier cooking, I began to also develop very restrictive mindsets and habits regarding my eating. This along with other things also compounded (and exposed) insecurities I had with body image. Restrictive and obsessively ‘healthy’ (and imbalanced) eating, along with excessive exercising resulted in weight-loss yes … but health? No. It wasn’t good for my mental or physical health. My body protested at being at a lower weight … a weight that was closer to what we are told we “should be” … but this is not always what is healthy! Over the next little while, I am personally going on a bit of a journey to try to attain some lasting change in my own mindsets in this area and will try to post regular little highlights from this on here … If you are also sick of buying into the fake realities perpetuated by social media, TV/movies and even just the language so often used around health, weight and fitness, then I invite you to join me in the journey and dialogue!

 

#empoweredeating #intuitiveeating #bodyshaming #fatshaming #restrictiveating#edrecovery #bingeeatingrecovery #allfoodsfit #bodyimage #selflove#healthynothungry #nourishnotpunish #health #antidiet #bodypositive#effyourbeautystandards