Est 6 min read
Confession, I still let the vegetables rot in the fridge. In fact, there is some broccoli and lettuce that have turned into a stinky mess in my fridge, right this moment.
This looks really different than it used to look. First of all, it's not all the time… it's more the exception than the rule.
It used to be on the regular. I would get excited about some new plan or “getting healthy” or feel like I “should” cook more vegetables. I would go buy a bunch of vegetables and stuff the fridge full. But then I wouldn’t cook them. I’d feel so guilty every time I saw them in there. It’d go from a couple of days, a week, then two weeks, and then you know, it's become this swamp soup-smelly grossness at the bottom of the vegetable drawer. I’d have to gather my energy to deal with the mess and throw them out. I’d have all these pangs of guilt and shame.
I’d feel bad about being wasteful but I also would feel like there's something wrong with me. I’d say things to myself like “why can't I just eat healthy” and reprimand myself that I should be eating “healthy”.
Est 7 min read
The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmary.
This is really important to think about. In our culture, we often define health as being thin and we don't look at what's going on with your actual physical health. Regardless of your body size, how is your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, energy, and vitality? In addition, mental health and social well-being are not considered.
Studies show that having a good social network is more important for your health than avoiding smoking. It's critical to have good social support. It's important to look at that in the context of your overall well-being and systems of oppression, such as anti-fat bias, and how that will impact someone's health if they are in a larger body. In our culture, anti-fat bias sets people up for a feeling of social isolation, othering, marginalization, and oppression. It's important to consider the dynamics of the culture you are navigating and how that impacts your physical health, mental health, social health, and well-being.
Secondly, it's important to look at the focus on thinness as health and how that works (or really how that does not work). Basically, the external body is looked at as a measure of wellness rather than looking at what's actually going on physically. When you believe that thinness equals health, you're more prone to diet (restricting), and focusing on losing weight. Weight loss is then pursued in unhealthy ways, which doesn't work long term, causing weight cycling and weight gain over time. Diets fail 80 to 95% of the time short term. When you look long-term, it's an even higher failure rate. Diets also reduce your metabolism, reduce your muscle mass, and cause many physical problems. Even if dieting did work, they are harmful-causing mental health issues, leading to a high rate of disordered eating, shame, and generally not feeling good enough.
Est 5 min read
Confession, I still eat emotionally. I do. And it's so interesting to me because my relationship with that has changed so much.
I just had this happen recently, I was having a conflict with my partner. It was a really heavy week when we first heard that Russia was invading Ukraine and we're having COVID situations, multiple people I knew had COVID. It was a rough time. I remember I actually got in bed with a bag of cookies. There's this little grocery store by me (for those of you who are in Portland, Oregon, it's New Seasons) and they have a cookie bar where you can get bulk cookies and you can choose all the different ones that you want. For some reason, this has been really lighting me up lately to be able to have such a variety because I generally don't want a whole thing of one type of cookie, I get bored with it. I like the variety and I've been trying all kinds of different ones.
I had this bag of cookies, I was feeling down, life was rough. My house is under construction, some of you know that I'm renovating a 1910 craftsman in Portland, so my home isn't feeling very cozy, I don't really have a go-to place to sit at my new house yet. My relaxation time tends to be in bed right now. I don't even have a TV at my place yet, so I got in bed with my little 13-inch screen laptop. I wanted to watch shows and just zone out so I brought the bag of cookies to bed with me.
I ate a cookie and it was sweet and good and I wasn't super full at that point. I started feeling a little more full. As I ate the cookie, I was thinking this is a little sweeter than I wanted but had another cookie. I recognized that it wasn’t feeling very good at this point anymore. I knew if I ate more, I wasn’t going to feel amazing, and my body would likely protest, lol. Still, I decided to eat more anyway. I don't remember at this point how many cookies I ate in total, and really it doesn’t matter. The point is that I ate them in a way that didn't feel great to my body, I needed to soothe and I did that with food.
Est 5 min read
What is a diet?
I know that might seem like a silly question, and maybe a silly thing to devote an entire blog to, but I have been a little annoyed lately at some of the ads that I'm seeing and some of the talk around “this isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle change” or “it's not a diet because I can eat whatever I want.” Spoiler alert: things like Noom, Intermittent Fasting, and Keto are diets.
When I say diet, what I mean is not the diet that we all eat, everyone has a diet of food that they eat. When we're talking about diet, we're talking about restricting food and the diet culture messaging around what you “should” and “shouldn't” eat. Diet would be anything that is an external way of measuring what you shouldn't eat and especially anything that is restrictive in any way. Plans that restrict how, what, when, OR why you are or should be eating. This goes for any plan that restricts what you're eating, like categories of food you can't eat (carbs or meat, for example), restricts the types of foods that you can eat (no bread, for example), the amount of food you can eat (macros, calories, carbs), or restricts when you can eat.
Download your free hunger scale now!
The first step to healing your relationship with food is reconnecting with the signals your body gives you. One of the ways to do that is by checking in with your hunger before you eat. Here's my spin on the traditional hunger scale..