Fat Talk: Why You Do It and What It Does to You
Ever notice how you might ‘feel fat’ on some days more than others? Chances are your body doesn’t change, but your mood does. Fat feelings are a scapegoat for real feelings. It is just hard to see past them to what is really going on.
I know it feels very real. I know you ‘feel’ very fat when you are doing this internal and external fat talk. The thing is, there is no great measure of what objectively qualifies as fat. BMI charts are deeply flawed–I recently read an article stating these charts would show Brad Pitt to be overweight, and George Clooney to be obese.
Weight charts were developed in the early 1900’s by The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Since they were trying to determine mortality risk associated with weight, these charts were based on weighing dead people. Does not seem like a valid tool at all.
I know what you really use to determine your fatness, though. Your eyes, or the way your clothes feel, etc. What you need to understand is people from 82 lbs. to 302 lbs. have these fat feelings. The feeling you are fat has nothing to do with your weight. It has only to do with your head.
There are also people on a broad weight spectrum who feel good in their bodies. Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce do not apologize for their curves–they own them. Marilyn Monroe certainly seemed comfortable in her skin.
There are two problems with fat talk:
1. It keeps you from figuring out what is really bothering you.
2. It makes you more likely to do weird things with food (restrict, binge, etc.)
You think that if you are mean enough to yourself, it will help you eat less and lose weight. Once the weight is off, you would be happy all of the time. That is not what happens, though. You just feel really bad. Which makes you more likely to emotionally eat. You might restrict first, but ultimately you will likely overeat in response to this negative self talk.
This cycle of self loathing and guilt gets constantly repeated. Ugh! So I ask you this: How is this fat talk working out for you? Can you identify with what I am saying here? If so, you are ready for the definition of insanity…
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
So ask yourself a few questions:
1. Do you know absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are fat? (Hint: the tools we use to measure this are faulty)
2. What would you feel if you found out the weight you are today would always be your weight–no more, no less, for the rest of your life?
3. Who would you be if you didn’t have the thought “I am fat”? What would life be like if that never entered your mind or your conversations?
There is a tremendous freedom that comes from accepting your body. You have all this time available to think about more important things. You start to pay attention to your life in this present moment. It makes you more normal with food. It makes you better able to honor the physical differences in those around you. It makes you more loving towards yourself–and if you are not going to love you, who is?
Intuitive Eating 101
What is intuitive eating ?
While you may not have heard of it, the concept of a non-diet approach has been around since the 1970's. It was the approach used in the groundbreaking book Overcoming Overeating.
In this group, we will explore:
- Intuitive versus restrictive eating (why this approach)
- Meal timing (to boost metabolism and minimize overeating)
- Meal combining (to promote satisfaction and prevent excessive hunger)
- Legalizing all foods to stop binges (why thinking food is bad just makes you eat more)
- Honoring hunger and fullness cues (use your stomach, not your head to tell you how much to eat)
- Separating food and feelings (end emotional eating, including boredom, stress, etc.)
- Body image (how feeling fat promotes weight gain, and what to do about it)
In the past I thought maintaining a healthy weight was all about diet and exercise. I have come to see that this approach is actually contributing to weight gain (and eating disorders). Finally I was exposed to a better way.
When you eat intuitively, you are returning to the natural way you are supposed to eat. Have you ever seen a person who seems to eat whatever they want and not gain? Then you have witnessed intuitive eating in action.
You see, the key to healthy eating is not about what you eat. It is about all of the more important questions of:
If you have had enough of the restrictive roller coaster, then you are ready for intuitive eating. Diets fail 98% of the time. You could give it one more try, but does that really make sense?
People will argue they do achieve a lower weight by counting calories and exercising more. That's true, in the short term. However, 95% of people will regain whatever was lost within one year (98% by 5 years). People blame themselves for the 'failure', but it is this restrictive approach that is to blame.
The focus must shift fromachieving weight loss to developing a normal relationship with food.
When you have had enough of the frustration and disappointment... you are ready to take this course. It will give you the opportunity to have a life free of constant worry about food and body. As someone who has been on both sides, I can tell you it's much better over here.
To register, you can click on the graphic above or
Fruits and Vegetables and Cancer
Five a day, Eat your fruits and veggies…we’ve all heard it. We’ve all felt guilty for not doing it perfectly. I can hardly look at a fruit or vegetable without experiencing post traumatic stress disorder from making myself eat so many in my past life of disordered eating. Now I read this:
“A large study of over 400,000 people living in ten western European countries found only a modest link between high intake of fruit and vegetables and reduction in overall cancer risk: thus failing to confirm the widely held belief enshrined in the World Health Organization’s recommendation that people should eat five servings of fruit and vegetables a day to prevent cancer and other diseases.“
Listen, I am all for eating fruits and vegetables, if you like them. But if you don’t, I am opposed to the notion that you have to eat certain foods deemed ‘good’ in order to live long and prosper. As long as you get adequate amounts of carbohydrates, fats and protein, what foods you choose from those categories is up to personal preference. Certainly feeling the stress of guilt for not ‘eating right‘ is not good for you.
Is Saturated Fat a Killer?
After all the fuss that has been made over saturated fats over the years, how can we believe these fats are nothing but pure evil? Through recent research, sat fat has finally been vindicated.
All fats perform essential functions in the body. Many of my clients have been so brow-beaten into believing fats are bad that many of them are not getting enough. This leads to hormonal imbalances, mood disturbances, and even overeating as the body seeks to meet its needs.
Now we discover that the most villainous of all nutrients, saturated fats, can actually prevent heart disease. It goes to show, once again, there are no bad foods–only bad information about food. Apparently listening to your body is much better than listening to your head (or those that fill your head with misinformation).