In 2004 I was living in Southern California and completing my dietetic internship. I was one of the very few assigned to spend a couple of months working at a residential treatment facility for eating disorders. Not only did I learn that I was passionate about treating eating disorders, but I discovered the book “Intuitive Eating” for the first time. At this treatment facility, eating intuitively was used as the ultimate goal for balanced/healthy eating. I was sold and intuitive eating has informed both my work and my own relationship with food and my body ever since.
When Evelyn accepted the invitation to serve as our guest expert for the #endED twitter chat, I was thrilled! I know that Evelyn and Elyse’s book and cd have served as beacons of light and hope for thousands of people, including those in recovery from an eating disorder.
Intuitive Eating (IE) is based on 10 principles. You can read them here. It is also rooted in three core concepts:
1. Unconditional permission to eat
2. Learn to cope with emotions without food
3. Rely on internal hunger & satiety cues
While we discussed quite a bit last night, here are a few token gems that I’ll keep with me (IE = Intuitive Eating and ED = Eating Disorder):
- Public health needs to emphasize healthy behaviors–not a weight, not a size…
- Decisions based on fear do not usually result in positive outcomes. It just reinforces more fear.
- Reject the diet mentality. We are trained by our culture to believe that dieting is not only acceptable, but expected.
- Health includes, emotional health–flexibility, not perfection.
- When you really listen and have full permission, your body craves all sorts of food. It craves balance.
- Kids who diet are 13 times more likely to binge eat…
- Important to recognize there is no single time-table for recovery.
- Parenting–just eating dinner w/no electronics, gadgets, or tv–promotes attunement and family health
- If we could promote more HAES & health campaigns we would be healthier & happier vs fear, body hating
- Fat talk interferes w/ authentic truth. Negative feelings often dumped onto body–ie. Easier to be angrier at body than a friend.
- People need positive eating experiences to help w/fear. But dieting escalates fear, because the desire to eat intensifies…
- IE = honoring health, curiosity, & internal wisdom. ED = rigid, judgmental, external or from head.
- I think it’s important that people learn that dieting predicts MORE weight gain. Several studies show this–in kids, teens & adults.
To learn more about intuitive eating, visit the website at www.intuitiveating.com. It’s an amazing site filled with free articles, research, and tips. Also, an updated version of Intuitive Eating will be coming out this year. And I highly recommend Evelyn and Elyse’s Intuitive Eating CD (which is different from but every bit as amazing as the book!).
If you attended the chat last night, what did you learn? What were your favorite gems?
The goal of #endED is to bring anyone and everyone together who cares about ending eating disorders. My hope is to end the silence and myths about eating disorders, create a place for honest and informed discussion, while offering hope and encouragement.