A client in recovery wishes you knew:
I wish that people knew that even though you are eating and smiling again and look better on the outside, you can still be suffering on the inside.
Rebecca Scritchfield wishes you knew:
You can't always see the suffering.
Most people assume that "harmless" occasional body bashing, or other negative food, fitness, or health talk even directed at themselves, won't have an impact on someone in recovery, especially if you think they are doing good and getting better. There's a lot of internal work trying to make sense of what is "eating disorder" and what is not. What you think feel and do matters. Your version of "being healthy" may not really be truly flexible. While it may not trigger an eating disorder in you, that doesn't mean it's the best thing for you or the person you care about. It's not shameful to be open to explore your own biases and challenges with taking good, reasonable care of yourself. You could help yourself and help support your loved one.
In this Product Showcase I provide you with four resources to build your anti-diet community. And if you are trying to get off the dieting train, you know it takes fortitutde and a lot of positive reinforcement in this toxic and obsessed culture we live in. I review the book "The Gluten Lie" by Alan Levinovitz as well as 3 new podcasts. Check out my video blog below where I review each of these products in detail. At the end of this post I will also provide links to the podcasts.
Good luck as you develop your own go-to resources to help you stay sane in the often stressful world of food, nutrition, exercise, and body image!
Below are the list of podcasts I think are pretty awesome! They are by Registered Dietitian Nutritionists who believe in Intuitive Eating, Health At Every Size, and breaking out of dietland.
Food Psych - A Podcast about Nutrition, Eating Disorders & Food Psychology
By Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CDN - Certified Nutritionist and Intuitive Eating Counselor
The Love, Food Podcast: Peace from emotional eating, binge eating, eating disorders, and negative body image
By Julie Duffy Dillon: Registered Dietitian, Food Behavior Expert, Body Image Guru
By Rebecca Scritchfield Registered Dietitian and Health & Happiness Expert
As we get ready to ring in the New Year, I wanted to share with you my top 5 tips for detoxing in 2016. I’m going to do this David Letterman style so starting backwards with:
5.) Detox your closet by ditching clothes you can only fit into when starving and overexercising your body, suffering from a severe case of the flu, or battling a bout of significant depression. These clothes should not be a part of your life. If you can’t totally part with them yet, put them in a bin and then out of sight. Many people believe that keeping their “skinny clothes” inspires them. But if those clothes only fit as a result unhealthy behaviors or practices, you should never aspire to wear them again. Ever.
4. Detox the way you assess your body’s acceptability. I highly recommend tossing the scale or any other standard of measure that determines if your body is good enough. Checking on your weight may be done occasionally like any other health measure- periodically and to assess a global picture of health. Depending on your relationship to your weight and personal history, you might decide to take an extended break from the scale. I support this.
3. Detox all of the media in your life. Yes, social media, TV, and books. What are you bringing in to your mind, spirit, and body? Be selective because you are precious. And you might not realize that you are also deeply affected by what you consume. We passively take in all kinds of crap by virtue of being a human in the modern world. So we better take extra care with what we intentionally ingest in our media diet.
2. Detox relationships that do not support your best self. Get choosey! Not everyone is worthy of your time and attention. Holding boundaries in your relational life will spill over to other aspects of your health. I promise. You will be astounded at how much less you need food for managing your emotional landscape when your relationships are in line with your core values.
1. Detox your food vocabulary. Words are POWERFUL influencers of how we experience food. Calling food bad, toxic or dirty may increase your feelings of guilt and shame. This is incredibly unproductive as it clouds your capacity to listen to your inner gauge of food preferences, satiety, hunger, and fullness. Yes, some foods are healthy and some foods are not healthy. But imparting judgment actually worsens health. Ironically, dropping the negativity may actually create a healthier pattern of eating!
I hope my top 5 list for detoxing in 2016 inspires you! I’m eager to hear your feedback. What else needs detoxing in your life in the coming year?
Are you interested in hearing my take on weight stigma? Check out my video below! In honor of weight stigma awareness week I tackle some tough topics and share with you some important research. But in addition to this video, there are some absolutely amazing blog posts I'd encourage you to read. I have been blown away by the content that the Binge Eating Disorder Association has gathered and organized for this year's event. They share research, personal stories, and lessons on advocacy on a wide range of issues. So dive in and share what you learn with those around you. Let's keep this conversation going!
Is Thowback Monday a thing? I'm making it a thing with a republishing of this blog post I originally wrote in the summer of 2011. I think you'll enjoy it.
A client asked me a question recently. It was a semi-personal question and I felt that it was something worthy of sharing here. To be quite honest, this is a bit unusual for me as I don’t talk in a personal way very often on this blog. I hesitate to do so for a number of reasons, but her question and my response might be helpful to others.
Question: Marci, can I ask you a slightly personal question?
Marci: Sure, I might not answer it but you can ask.
Question: Well, it’s not that personal. I’m just wondering how you deal with your own body image stuff. I mean, are you just immune to it all? Does society’s unrealistic expectations ever affect you? Like, do you ever have a bad body image day?
Great question, huh? I thought it was. And here’s the gist of what I said in response.
Yes, of course I have days that I feel unattractive, bloated, and downright uncomfortable in my body. But I’ve learned some things over the years that have helped put it all in perspective.
1. Physical Appearance- less important than it used to be
It’s normal to have moments where you don’t feel so grand about yourself. Given our culture and the constant expectation for perfection, it’s gonna’ happen! BUT, when your physical appearance isn’t the most important thing in your life, it’s not THAT big of a deal to have those moments. Imagine a pie chart divided into sections. And imagine each section representing the various parts in your life that are important to you (work, relationships, physical appearance, hobbies, physical spiritual and emotional health, education, etc). Now think about what percentage each piece takes up in your life. I’ve learned that if I place too much value on my physical self, bad hair days and jeans that feel too tight are much more upsetting. But if it’s a small part of what makes me, me, I can shrug it off and know that bad body days happen.
Part of finding peace about my physical appearance has required acceptance about what I'm genetically meant to look like. Growing up with very fair skin in Arizona felt like a curse. As a teenager I'd burn my skin to a crisp and coat myself with stinky tanning cream to try to fit in. It was painful, expensive, and ineffective. Now that I'm older and wiser, I could care less about my white legs and put on a skirt or pair of shorts without thinking twice. I'm not meant to be tan and I never will be. Gotta' move on! Similarly, my size 7 feet would feel awful if I tried to squeeze them into a 5, just as it would feel awful to starve and over-exercise my body into a pair of jeans that were too small.
3. Focus on self-care
I am CONVINCED that if we continually ask ourselves- “what would be the most nurturing and caring thing I could do for myself” our bodies will find a healthy place on their own. Sometimes the best, most healthy thing is getting some exercise. Sometimes it’s saying no to a second helping because your stomach is full. But sometimes you need rest rather than a run. And sometimes you need a chocolate chip cookie because a craving hits. Learning your own boundaries for self-care is essential and takes time.
4. Limit media exposure
Please know that I am not saying that my approach to limiting media is the best or only approach. It’s the way I naturally live my life. I simply have too much going on for a lot of media intake. Due to a busy schedule, I’m pretty selective about what I read and watch. I want to fill my mind and spirit with things that encourage, excite, and uplift me. As a consequence, I'm exposed less frequently to all of the self-esteem zapping messages and articles that are out there.
So no, I am not immune to the litany of negative and unrealistic expectations placed upon me. But by putting my physical appearance in perspective, accepting who I am and what I’m meant to be, focusing on self-care, and filling my life with positive stuff, I’m A LOT better off.
I hope this is helpful. I’m curious to know- what works for you in your journey for peace and self-love?