Archives for Overeating - Page 2
Lately, I've been thinking about the meaning and mission of Weightless. I know that some of you have been reading my blog for a few years, others are new readers, maybe some have even stayed with me since the very beginning, November, 2009. The name "Weightless" was suggested by my close friend Jenny. I wanted something that conveyed my belief that our weight doesn't dictate our self-worth, that we're whole and good and enough regardless of the number on the scale and the food we eat, that we don't need to internalize our society's ridiculous infatuation with thinness. And so "Weightless" was born.
I mentioned several lessons I've learned throughout the four years I've been writing Weightless in this giveaway post (you can enter to win a book of your choice). But I wanted to expand on the lessons and share a more thorough list. So here's what I've learned in four years of being a body image blogger.
April is National Stress Awareness Month, so today, I'm highlighting ways we can soothe and stave off stress in our lives. While stress is inevitable -- it's life, after all -- it's important we have tools at our disposal to cope with it effectively. Stress can negatively affect how we feel about our bodies and ourselves. It can trigger emotional overeating and anxiety and sink our mood. In short, it can be really overwhelming. It also doesn't help if the strategies we turn to are detrimental to our health and well-being.
Today, I'm honored to share a guest post by Darla Breckenridge, MS, a psychologist specializing in binge eating at Green Mountain at Fox Run, a women's healthy weight retreat. In 2011, Darla co-authored Journey into Self: A Hundred Days of Guided Mindful Reflection. Below, Darla explores what we can do when we don't love our bodies and any positive body talk feels oh-so faraway. She offers a powerful and valuable technique that leads us away from body hatred and onto a more positive -- and feasible and authentic -- path.
One of the biggest reasons we turn to food for comfort is disconnection. We're disconnected from ourselves. As author Julie M. Simon writes in her book The Emotional Eater's Repair Manual, "You're cut off from your most basic signals, your emotions." In her book Julie shares a helpful strategy for reconnecting to ourselves.
Stress can spark disordered eating. While the relationship between the two is complex and varies by person, many people turn to food -- or away from food -- in times of stress. Controlling food intake becomes a way to cope. In other words, "many people react to stress by under- or over-eating," according to Jamie Manwaring, PhD, a primary therapist at Eating Recovery Center’s Child and Adolescent Behavioral Hospital. When stress strikes, kids may also seek comfort in bingeing or restricting how much they eat.
* I'm incredibly honored to be part of Mara and Tamarisk's blog hop, which features bloggers revealing what our self-care really looks like. Read the amazing and thought-provoking posts here. And be sure to check out Julie's post tomorrow since she's up next. I've had an interesting relationship with self-care. And by interesting I largely mean non-existent. Until I started writing Weightless, I'm not sure that I even knew of the words, let alone deeply understood them. And, to be honest, I'm much better at recommending you take great care of yourself, then I am at practicing what I preach.
Even if our body image is in a good place, for some of us, the insecurities still linger. They simply morph. So it's no longer fears over a bigger belly but concerns over the perfect prose. It's no longer wanting smaller thighs but worrying if you've said the wrong thing. Either way, you end up in the same place: growing self-doubt, diminished self-confidence.
Our relationship with food is often complex, so it takes time to develop a healthy relationship with eating. But I'd like to share a strategy that's been really helpful to me throughout the years. In college I used to turn to food when I was upset, bored, anxious or lonely. Which meant that I turned to food very, very often. (It also didn't help that I thought dieting was the answer to my woes, and I spent some days pretty hungry.)
Losing weight is a top resolution here in America, and no doubt, in many other countries, too. Maybe some of you are also considering it. Resolutions are, of course, a personal choice. But I encourage you to consider what healthy and truly nourishing habits you can cultivate instead. Consider intentions that focus on the journey, not the destination; that bring you joy, and aren't punishing; that expand your life, instead of restricting it.