Winter 2016 – Diet Survivors Group Newsletter
TREATING BINGE EATING DISORDER:
A Full-Day Workshop For Professionals
Welcome to the Winter 2016 e-mail!
As winter sets in with its frigid temperatures and messy snowfall, it's easy to wish this season away with longing for warmer weather. A recent lesson from a yoga teacher spoke to our tendency to look to the future for better days, and in doing so miss what is present. She shared a quote from an unknown source that "People wait all week for Friday, all year for summer, and all life for happiness." Instead, she continued, "The trick is to enjoy life. Don't wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead." (Marjorie Pay Hinckley).
How many people put their life on hold waiting for the perfect body? How many times have you heard people say—or said yourself—once I lose weight then I'll be ________. That blank is typically filled in with words like happy, healthy, successful, confident, and the list goes on.
We were sad to see Oprah's new commitment to—and financial investment in—the Weight Watchers® program, which is a weight loss program no matter how it's wrapped up with a pretty bow. With all of the wealth and power that Oprah has—and all of the work she has done to empower women—it's a shame that her message tells us to put life back on hold and not be present in our own lives. Here's what we posted on our Diet Survivors Group Facebook Page:
There's a lot of diet talk already, especially with Oprah's new push for Weight Watchers® suggesting that "inside every overweight woman is a woman she knows she can be." We're dismayed by these words, and we want you to consider that:
You're enough. Instead of making a resolution to lose weight, reflect on how you want to take care of yourself. How do you want to feed yourself? Move (or not move) you body? Pursue a favorite hobby or passion? Connect with others? Find stillness? What serves you best?
We invite you to lose the shame and blame that accompanies weight loss diets and, instead, gain the freedom that comes with attuned eating, body acceptance and positive self-care.
Letting go of diets and becoming an attuned eater is a wonderful way to stay present in your relationship with food—and with yourself. There's nothing to wait for!
When we stay present, we can notice moments that feel good to us, and that we might have missed as we rush through life. Of course, we're likely to notice struggles too. If you're interested in learning more about how our brains can hijack us and how to develop the skill of taking in the good moments more regularly, check out The Foundations of Well-Being Program offered by Rick Hanson, author of Buddha's Brain and Hardwired for Happiness.
Deprivation is a powerful force. Being told there's something you can't have increases the likelihood that you want it—regardless of whether it's something that will truly serve you.
When it comes to food, the deprivation of diets is one of the major causes of overeating or bingeing. Being told (or telling yourself) that you can't eat something because "it's too fattening" is likely to make you preoccupied with that food. At workshops we frequently raise the question: If you were told that starting tomorrow you can never eat ice cream again, what would you do tonight?
The answer is always the same: People say they would eat it regardless of whether they're hungry for it—and they'll eat more than their body needs.
The key to ending the deprivation that leads to overeating is to give yourself full permission to eat all types of foods. This is not a blank check to eat anything you want at anytime. Instead, the goal is to reconnect eating all types of foods to your physical signals for hunger and fullness.
Here are 5 key steps to ending the overeating caused by feelings of deprivation:
- Stop judging foods as "good" and "bad." This means you're still stuck in the diet mentality. All foods can have a place in a healthy relationship with food.
- Keep all types of foods available. If you only have "healthful" food around, you'll feel deprived when you want something that you've considered off limits. If you only have your "off limits" foods around, you'll have to eat them even if you're body desires something more healthful.
- Remind yourself that these foods will always be there. If you know that you can eat the ice cream, or chips, or pizza, the next time you're hungry for them, then it's safe to stop eating when you're body feels full. If you tell yourself that starting tomorrow you won't eat that food again, you guarantee that you'll finish it now.
- Talk to the rebel in you. After years of dieting, it makes sense that you want to push back against external rules that felt oppressive. Remind yourself that as an attuned/intuitive eater, you are in charge of your relationship with food.
- Keep in mind the difference between the deprivation of dieting and making decisions about what to eat that will nourish you body. It's challenging when food choices affect health issues. You're always making a choice: how will I feel if I eat this food? Is that okay with me? What foods best support my body? Within the foods that do nourish your body, take the time to decide what will most satisfy you when you're hungry. It's understandable that you'll have feelings about needing to stay away from certain foods, but hopefully you won't experience that as the same kind of deprivation that comes from the categorizing foods as "good" and "bad" because of a diet for weight loss.
It's not uncommon for people to eat more than their bodies needs at times. But if you're finding that you get overfull on a regular basis, check in with yourself to see whether the deprivation that comes from believing you shouldn't eat certain foods is part of the equation for you.
If you belong to a health club or gym, you've probably noticed that the parking lot is a lot more crowded this month. It's an annual ritual for people to commit to exercise as part of their New Year's resolution to lose weight. Typically, people caught in this pattern work out for a while, stop going, and then feel guilty. Exercise quickly becomes part of the diet mentality.
We encourage you to unhook exercise from weight. Imagine that no matter how much you exercised your weight wouldn't change. Can you think of other reasons to move your body? Here are some of the reasons people give:
- Health benefits (watch this video!)
- Emotional well-being
Can you think of any other reasons that make physical activity worth it to you?
It's truly up to you to decide what best serves you. You are under no obligation to exercise if you don't choose too. At the same time, if exercise is something that's important to you—but you haven't figured out when, where or what to do—reflect on any obstacles in your way and take one step at a time!
- Fostering Your Child's Healthy Body Image: Changing the Conversation about Dieting, Food & Weight (p. 8) with Judith Matz. Tuesday, January 26th, 7:00pm, Northfield Library, Northfield, IL. Free to public.
- The Power of Mindful Eating: 5 Keys to Making Peace with Food (p. 11) with Judith Matz. Thursday, February 18th, 7:00pm, Winnetka Public Library, Winnetka IL. Free to public.
- 9 Common Mistakes Parents Make About Their Kid's Weight, Judith's article on the website Body Is Not An Apology, was their #1 post of 2015, with over 31k Facebook shares!
- The new book, 52 Ways to Love Your Body by Kimber Simpkins is now available. Here's Judith's endorsement:
- Join our Diet Survivors Group on Facebook for support and inspiration!
"Think it's impossible to love your body? Think again! The compassion and wisdom Kimber brings to her fifty-two strategies is sure to convince you to end the war with your body and, instead, treat it the way you would a best friend. This gem of a book is going straight to my waiting room, and I hope all of my clients will read it."
Wishing you a season of warmth and wonder,
Judith and Ellen
|Judith Matz, LCSW
|Ellen Frankel, LCSW
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P. O. Box 108
Deerfield, IL 60015-0048