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{Intuitive Eating with a Chronic Condition} Principle #1: Reject the Diet Mentality

{Intuitive Eating with a Chronic Condition} Principle #1: Reject the Diet Mentality

This is the first in a series of posts on adapting intuitive eating for a chronic condition. I would like to acknowledge that I personally don’t have a chronic condition, and am open to learning from the lived experiences of those who do. Please leave your feedback by commenting below, or by sending me a private message.
Other posts in this series include:

Principles #2 & #5: Honour Your Hunger and Feel Your Fullness
Principle #3: Make Peace with Food
Principle #4: Challenge the Food Police
Principle #6: Discover the Satisfaction Factor
Principle #7: Honour Your Feelings Without Food
Principle #8: Respect Your Body
Principles #9 & #10: Exercise – Feel the Difference & Honour Your Health with Gentle Nutrition

“Reject the Diet Mentality” is the first principle of intuitive eating, and also the principle that most people tend to spend the most time on, regardless of whether they’re “healthy” or not. We live in a culture that has normalized the diet mentality, so rejecting it means going against messages that we hear not just from mass media, but from friends, loved ones, and even health professionals every single day.

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Is Intuitive Eating Only for “Healthy” People?

Is Intuitive Eating Only for “Healthy” People?

A few weeks ago, I went through a stretch of writer’s block and asked you for suggestions on what you’d like to read about. (Thank you to everyone who shared, and if you haven’t yet, I’m always open to more ideas!) One of the common themes that came up was navigating intuitive eating while managing health concerns. Although the ideal is to work with a certified intuitive eating counselor or Health At Every Size® expert like myself, I understand that that is not accessible to everyone. So for the month of July, my plan is to write a few posts addressing this topic, and I wanted to kick things off by addressing what this question sort of says about how we promote and understand intuitive eating.

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Let’s Talk About Weight Bias & Stigma

Let’s Talk About Weight Bias & Stigma

TW: This post uses the word “obesity” in the context of describing the current discourse on weight. Studies linked may contain stigmatizing language.

The idea of weight as a social justice issue has become a growing concern over the past few years. While most of us can grasp the idea of treating everyone with kindness and respect, regardless of size, that is just one teeny-tiny part of fighting weight bias and stigma.

What more can be done? How is weight bias and stigma still being perpetuated? Why is it important to be fighting weight bias and stigma? I don’t claim to have the answers, especially as a person with thin privilege, but I hope my exploration of some of these questions will help spark more discussion and potential solutions.

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Can You Eat Whatever You Want and Still Be Healthy?

Can You Eat Whatever You Want and Still Be Healthy?

When it comes down to it, intuitive eating is basically about eating whatever you want, however much you want, whenever you want.

…Scary, right?

After reading that first sentence, you might have noticed some, er… interesting thoughts popping up in your head.

Can I *really* eat whatever I want? Is this too good to be true?

How can a dietitian promote this? (Did two dietitians really write the book (Amazon Associate link) on this?)

Won’t I just gain weight?

What is the catch?

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Why It’s OK to be Dieting {And Why I’m Still Anti-Diet Anyway}

Why It’s OK to be Dieting {And Why I’m Still Anti-Diet Anyway}

Jes Baker was recently on Food Psych promoting her upcoming book, Landwhale (Amazon Affiliate link) when she shared a profound idea: It’s OK to be on a diet.

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How to Share Health At Every Size® and Intuitive Eating with Friends & Family

How to Share Health At Every Size® and Intuitive Eating with Friends & Family

Recently a reader asked me about “introducing [intuitive eating] and [Health At Every Size] concepts to friends deeply steeped in diet culture who you know could really benefit from the message”. To be honest, it’s a question that I struggle with myself.  Given that all of us who are on this path arrived here in a different way, it’s naive to think there is a single answer. I mean, if there were, wouldn’t we all be here already?

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What is Your Why?

What is Your Why?

Many people who are in the entrepreneurial and/or business world will know about Simon Sinek. He is perhaps best known for his TED Talk about the concept of “Why” and why it’s important for business and leadership.

 

For a long time, I really struggled to figure out my why. Or perhaps, I didn’t want to admit what my why is.
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5 Common Intuitive Eating Struggles (and Steps to Help You Overcome Them)

5 Common Intuitive Eating Struggles (and Steps to Help You Overcome Them)

When you’ve hit diet rock bottom, intuitive eating is an oasis. Finally, you can stop fighting with your body, stop counting points, stop measuring every morsel of food that passes through your lips. You can have freedom in your relationship with food, and let go of your obsession.

But for many people, the journey to intuitive eating is not all smooth sailing. It’s easy to wonder—was this all a mirage? Or worse, “Aren’t we all born intuitive eaters? What am I doing wrong?”

You are not alone. Here are some of the common struggles that people run into, and some ideas to help you keep moving forward.

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Let’s Talk About Weight

Let’s Talk About Weight

TW: This post mentions numbers and uses the word “obesity” in the context of describing the current discourse on weight. Studies linked may contain stigmatizing language.

Many thanks to the Health At Every Size® (HAES®) community for conducting, supporting and amplifying the science behind a weight-inclusive approach. 

I always feel a bit of impostor syndrome when it comes to why I’ve adopted a non-diet, HAES, intuitive eating approach. I don’t have my own eating disorder journey, nor do I have a lot of experience working with people with eating disorders. What draws me to this work is twofold: it is a social justice issue first and foremost, and secondly, the science really doesn’t support the conventional approach to weight.

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Embracing, not Fearing, the Potential of Food

Embracing, not Fearing, the Potential of Food

This year’s Nutrition Month theme is “Unlock the Potential of Food”. I love how this theme lends itself to lots of possibilities when it comes to promoting the importance of food and nutrition, and the work of dietitians. For its part, Dietitians of Canada has chosen five sub-themes: the potential to fuel, discover, prevent, heal and bring us together.

I’ve always said that food is more than fuel. It’s no secret that I love to cook and eat, and I believe that pleasure and eating emotionally are all part of eating well.

Still, I can’t help but wonder – when we talk about food’s “potential” and give it so much power, are we unintentionally stoking the fears we have around food?

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