Living with disordered eating and a negative body image can control your life. It effects your mental health. It can take you away from moments of joy, rob you of opportunities, and occupy your brain all day.
You might feel like no matter what you do, you’re never good enough.
Struggling with your relationship with your body can lead to living your life in secrecy and isolation. It can also lead to turning to more unhealthy ways to find that control amidst the chaos. You may feel hopeless that you’ll ever be able to be happy with your body or your self.
New diets and exercise routines are constantly prescribed by our society. These messages tell us that we can achieve the perfect body and perfect health, and that life won’t be good until then. When these inevitably don’t work, you might feel like a failure. This cycle can be vicious and is exhausting.
It’s easy to fall on the spectrum of disordered eating when there have been so many food rules and expectations placed on us since we were born. We’ve been taught the importance of being thin and that thin equals healthy.
Our society often equates being thin to being successful, desireable, respectable. With impeccable health and thinness being a value that has been engrained in us, it’s easy to end up on the treadmill of trying to obtain that.
You are not alone if you have lived your life with food rules, restrictions and expectations for yourself and your body. You are also not alone if you are tired of living this way and want to find peace and acceptance. The expectations for people’s bodies can’t be the same for everybody and we’re here to support if you’re ready to come home to you.
Our goal is to help you find positivity in food and your body through an Intuitive Eating and Health at
Every Size (HAES) lens in addition to traditional therapeutic approaches (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to name a few).
We have created an inclusive environment that thrives on the principle of acceptance across ALL bodies regardless of size, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, cultural expectations, and cultures. And, we will help you understand the biases, norms and expectations put in place by all of theses systems and indentities.
By letting go of external expectations, we can help you learn to become more in-tune to your needs. We can help nourish your relationship with food, increase happiness in movement, and find freedom.
We want to help restore the joy in your journey towards health in hopes that our clients can live rich and full lives.
Intuitive Eating focuses on the client being the expert of their body and increasing attunement to internal cues. In other words, we will help you to become more aware of what your body needs and provide support around emotional obstacles that prevent you from connecting with those needs. Diet culture can be extremely harmful to our mental and physical health.
1. Reject the Diet Mentality. Diet culture has caused great harm in people’s ideals and quest for health. Dieting doesn’t work long-term in weight management for most people. In fact, the majority of people who restrict food gain more weight back once the diet stops working for them. Dieting can turn into obsession over finding the next trend in weightloss and health. Dieting prevents you from being able to eat intuitively what your body needs.
2. Honor Your Hunger. Keeping your body nourished throughout the day with adequate energy helps regulate your mood and keeps you from over eating out of excessive hunger. Learning to recognize when you are hungry and nourishing your body with what it needs helps to rebuild trust in yourself and in food.
3. Make Peace with Food. Take the “shoulds” out of eating and enjoy eating what you want. Giving yourself permission to eat the foods you enjoy, yet prohibit yourself from eating, reduces the liklihood of binging on these forbidden foods and a following shame spiral.
4. Challenge the Food Police. The food police are those thoughts and voices in your head that equate “good” with eating certain foods and “bad” with eating others. Learning to say “no” to these policing voices can be hard and can lead to a sense of freedom from being ruled by food.
5. Discover the Satisfaction Factor. “When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes just the right amount of food for you to decide you’ve had “enough.” – Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, the Original Intuitive Eating Pros.
6. Feel Your Fullness. Learn to honor when you feel full. Take pauses while you eat to get to know the way your bodyfeels when it has had enough and when it needs more. Becoming intune with when you are full and honoring that feeling helps you build trust with yourself and your relationship with food.
7. Cope with Your Emotions with Kindness. Often we turn to food to comfort ourselves when we experience uncomfortable feelings. You may find yourself eating when you are anxious, bored, lonely, angry to sooth instead of feeling the feelings as they come up, acknowledge them with compassion and learn to cope effectively without using food to numb, distract or avoid. Food won’t solve the problem you are facing and in fact, may lead to you feeling worse in the long run.
8. Respect Your Body. Accept the genetics you were blessed with. All bodies are different; even within in families. When you are able to learn how to see and treat your body with dignity and respect, healing, acceptance and freedom follow.
9. Movement – Feel the Difference. Shift your focus to how it feels to move, rather than how many calories you are burning. When you learn to be intune with the positive feelings that come with movement – more energy, strength, accomplishment can lead to more movement and a healthier relationship with movement. You may enjoy chosing to go for a walk over snoozing or watching another show.
10. Honor Your Health – Gentle Nutrition. Make food choices that honor your preference and body‘s need. Honor your body by balancing what you eat over time rather than day by day. Being healthy doesn’t mean only eating certain foods deemed to be healthy; it’s finding balance with what you enjoy eating and what your body finds nourishing over time.
Health at Every Size (HAES) is a body positive, fat positive, size diverse movement that runs on the principle that we cannot determine health based on someone’s size or body weight. According to the developer, Lindo Bacon, the HAES emphasis is that “the well being and habits are more important than the number on the scale.”
The goal is to define weight in a more inclusive way by eliminating weight stigma, respecting that bodies are diverse and we are all different, and improving health access to everyone. It is a movement that looks beyond traditional ideals of health equals thin. The focus is on eating and moving for health, function, well-being, and pleasure vs eating for weight management and unrealistic body ideals.
We understand that disordered eating is typically related to other struggles that you might be having in your life. Negative thoughts about your body are just the beginning. You may also be experiencing anxiety, depression, shame, stress, burnout, or uncertainty. Our therapists work to understand the whole person and all the different parts that make up you and your life. We work with you to identify the roots cause of your difficulties so that you can make lasting change.
If you’re ready to find freedom with food and your body, don’t wait to connect with us. Our disordered eating and body image therapists are ready to help you find freedom and acceptance with food and your body.
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