Happy Monday! My mom is still in town so I’m taking most of the day off until she flies out this evening. I hope you had a great weekend!
1. A New Shiny Appliance
I don’t like a lot of appliances because I feel like I don’t actually use them. So if you’re an appliance, I’ve got to really love you and get a lot of use out of you to keep you around. I’ve wanted a Kitchen Aid mixer for YEARS so I was beyond pumped when Momma Coale gifted me one for my birthday a few months ago. Long and unimportant story short, the color was back ordered and there were all kinds of other loopholes, but last week it finally arrived and I’m so excited to use it all the time!! I would love if you wanted to share any recipes or favorite things you like to make 🙂 Today, since it’s raining for most of the day, we’re going to make these zucchini muffins and then use the mixer to whip up some oatmeal raisin chocolate chip cookies using this recipe where she swaps the walnuts for chocolate chips. I love Smitten Kitchen recipes so much.
2. Confusion on Health At Every Size
It took me a solid year within first 2 years as a dietitian to shift from focusing on weight as an indicator of health to a weight neutral approach to health. I feel like I’ve been evolving professionally since then – over the past 3 years I’ve felt really rooted in my professional philosophy. Given my own journey to this understanding that took some time, I can see why there is a large misunderstanding of Heath At Every Size. If people (including health professionals, dietitians and the average consumer) don’t take the time to really read and learn about HAES, they often think HAES isn’t promoting health, but rather it’s telling everyone to eat and do whatever they want and be happy. If you feel like you can’t quite get on board with HAES, or you’re confused, or you haven’t spent a lot of time learning about HAES, or you have no idea what I’m talking about…that’s understandable. I highly recommend reading this fantastic article Isabel Foxen Duke wrote clearing up a lot confusion around Health At Every Size. I want to share it with everyone.
3. An App to Cultivate Gratitude
One of my clients shared this app she found with me that has been so incredibly helpful for her in working through body image and food challenges. The app costs $5 so it isn’t free, but according to this client it’s a small price for a really helpful tool. She loves it! And there is a good bit of research that has been done on gratitude and mental health so it’s not just anecdotal evidence – it can actually rewire your brain. If you’re interested, this article provides some good references. If you try it and enjoy it let us know in the comments!
4. Overnight trip to Kennebunkport, ME
We celebrated Momma Coale’s June 15th birthday together this weekend with an overnight trip to Kennebunkport, ME which is just about 90 minutes north of Boston and absolutely beautiful. It was such a relaxing and fun time with just my mom. We wandered through the adorable streets, ate so much delicious food, visited Cap Porpoise and spent a good amount of time at the beach. It rained on Sunday which was a bummer, but Saturday was gorgeous! Apparently places book up fast during peak season, I found one of the last rooms available back in May that didn’t require a two night stay after hours of searching for a place to stay the night. But I can totally see why – it’s such a sweet, charming city by the sea. I haven’t spent a ton of time in Maine – just a few mini trips here and there – but every time I go I love it even more.
5. Question to Ask Yourself
I had a blog reader share in the comments a question a while back that I copied down to answer. The question was, “How do you know when weight gain is part of intuitive eating or if it’s a result of overeating? For instance, if you’re practicing intuitive eating and realize that your pants are fitting a bit more snug, is this is a result of eating what your body needs or eating more than your body needs?”
Intuitive eating is a journey. You might find yourself eating a lot of highly palatable, less nutrient dense foods in the beginning as you let go of “good and bad” thinking around food and give yourself full permission to eat all foods. You might also find yourself eating past fullness sometimes when it comes to incorporating previously “forbidden” foods. That is a normal and expected part of intuitive eating as you work towards a place of neutrality and peace with all foods and learn to eat based on internal vs external cues again. Intuitive eating is a well researched framework that supports your body in finding its set point, but your body needs time to settle into its set point as you learn these new eating skills.
Here are some questions that might help you explore weather or not you are at your natural, genetic set point:
- Do you overeat as a primary coping mechanism when you’re under emotional stress or when you are bored?
- Do you frequently eat past your fullness cues which leaves you feeling physically uncomfortable?
- Do you exercise in order to eat certain foods or eat certain amounts of food?
- Do you exercise to burn calories vs for enjoyment and pleasure?
- Do you find yourself frequently having a “last supper” mentality with certain foods or before you vow to “eat clean” for the next ____ days/weeks/months?
- Do you find yourself ravenously hungry or ignoring hunger cues often?
- Do you find that if you deviate from your “normal” eating or exercise routine you “quickly gain weight?”
- Do you feel out of control around certain foods, unable to stop eating when full?
If you answered yes to any/some of the questions above, you are likely not at your set point. I hope that’s helpful, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
And have a great week!
emily vardy says
Looks like such a sweet lil touristy place to go for a mini-getaway! Enjoy the rest of your time with Mama Coale and have a good week! 🙂
I have been Intuitive Eating for around 3 months now and while the physiological binges have completely stopped I am still struggling with « food rules » especially when it comes to carbs. I do crossfit which I love no matter what but it promotes Paleo which my brain seems to think is the way to go to lose weight.
I know it’s not but would you have any tips for distancing myself fromt that? My coach is actually pro eating any and all the foods but it’s still hard to le tgo!
Annie, I am in the same boat as you on everything you said! (except my coach still runs “nutrition challenges” every couple months which of course i don’t touch with a 10 foot pole). Side note: I feel like CF is one of the worst types of workouts to advocate for low/no carbs since it’s so high intensity.
I also am looking for some bloggers or IG accounts to follow where I can read about practicing IE while doing crossfit. It seems like every CF athlete/influencer is also a chronic macro counter (even if they are not trying to lose weight and are eating enough to fuel their workouts).
Amen!!! I haven’t found any IG accounts promoting IE while doing Crossfit yet – please let me know if you do!
Actually before IE I went paleo for 3 weeks to see what the fuss was about and while I lost water weight, my workouts were horrible! I felt like I had no energy and was struggle to recover and that’s without mentioning the isolation going with the diet, the binges that followed… fun times!
Actually now that I think of it and see more clearly, just like you said Crossfit is probably the worst for a low carb diet rationally speaking.
I don’t see many people doing crossfit while trying to recover from an ED so thanks for chimming in 🙂
Hi Christy! I hope the questions I posed to Annie are helpful for you too 🙂
Kim Hobard is a non diet RD who also enjoyed Crossfit – she might be a positive account to follow. Although keep in mind she is far along in her journey 🙂
Thank you! Where can I find Kim?
A few thoughts that I would encourage you to process through…
1) is the crossfit environment healthy for you for where you are at right now in your journey? they doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future, but does that environment put you in a vulnerable situation?
2) if crossfit had zero capacity to burn calories or change your body, would you still do it?
I don’t know much about your story so you can certainly take or leave those questions but I think those are some important things to consider as you continue on your journey – I’m thinking of you and sending you lots of love!!
I went up two sizes so I sort of hope that this is my set point. I wasn’t tiny before so now it’s starting to impact my exercise (like yoga gets uncomfortable because of my rolls). I feel like i am pretty far with IE but I did NOT expect so much weight gain. I wanted to start matrial arts and climbing but now I feel selfconcious & restricted in a different way. My body feels heavy and slow. So I suppose I still need some time.
*I sort of hope this is NOT my set point…
Give yourself lots of time and compassion Liz <3
Hi Robyn! If I answered yes to all of the above questions, what resources do you offer that could help? I’d love to check out a program of yours.
What we offer is 1:1 counseling services – whether with us or someone else I would really encourage you in that direction <3 My body image e-course could be a really good start as well!
I use my KitchenAid all the time! My favorite hack for it is to use it to shred chicken! I put the cooked chicken in with the paddle attachment, and it works great every time! So much easier than using forks.
My sister in law does that so I will have to try!
I had not heard of this and I just want to say thank you for this tip!!! I hate shredding chicken!
It is a game changer! I hate shredding chicken too!
HAES is really confusing to grasp!! I think I struggle the most with the fact that I know plenty of people who don’t diet or restrict (like my dad) but who aren’t intuitive eaters & don’t take that great of care of themselves. All foods equal & unconditional permission to eat for him means he’s not very healthy. It’s made it hard to always trust intuitition when I see stuff like that. Love this blog for a good example of how intuitive eating looks in real life 😊
I struggle with this aspect of trusting intuitive eating for this same reason!
I have had the same questions, Jen. My NON expert guess would be that he’s not actually eating intuitively because listening to his body and health/how he feels would point him towards foods that make him feel good and healthy. In that sense I totally agree that IE is way harder than dieting because by following a strict diet he could just “cut out” all the “unhealthy” foods (not saying that’s easy) and still not have to pay attention to how he was actually feeling (tough if it’s a totally new practice!! at least I’m finding!).
what you said here is important —> “who aren’t intuitive eaters”
Hi Jen – I can understand your thoughts and hopefully I can help bring some clarity.
Intuitive Eating is a huge concept under the umbrella of HAES. So is physical activity for joy and vitality and to enhance health (vs manipulate body size) — just because somebody isn’t actively trying to lose weight, that doesn’t mean they are therefore living in line with HAES if that makes sense? It’s not binary.
After working through ALL the principles of IE, the last one is “honor your health”
HAES is very much concerned with health and taking care of yourself. If you haven’t read Isabel’s article yet, I’d highly encourage you to do so!
It’s okay to grapple with these concepts. I hope that is helpful 🙂
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond Robin!! I loved her article!! I guess it’s not so much the concept of HAES that is confusing, I completely agree that size is not an indicator of health. There are people in larger bodies who take great care of themselves & are very healthy & people in smaller bodies that take terrible care of themselves & aren’t healthy at all! I think it’s more the path to becoming an intutive eater that is confusing. So much in HAES/Intutive Eating Circles is about letting go of food rules & exercise goals but not much is said about what to do after that. Gentle nutrition & movement are part if it, but only vaguely talked about. For the most part everyone says to let how you feel guide your choices so it can be confusing when you see those that don’t have food rules & exercise goals in their life but don’t crave healthier options even if they want to live a healthier life.
I do have a question about intuitive eating and set point as a professional athlete. I’ve been a dancer and now a professional ballroom dancer all of my life. I struggled with eating disorders for about 10 years of my career and about 3 years ago found peace with food and have been at a set point for the same amount of time only varying if I’m in more rehearsals or less, but not by much. I am preparing to go back on the professional floor and competition circuit in 3 months. I want to look and feel my best. I am happy with the way my body looks now, but I want that extra “oomph” if you will before going back on the floor. Any advice for dancers or athletes who have been through the intuitive eating recovery process but want to tighten things up for their career without repeating the past? Thanks!
Unfortunately, I have more questions than answers here since I think a lot more exploring would be helpful in order to guide you 🙂
Some things to process…
1) What do you mean by “oomph?”
2) And what would that “oomph” give you?
This is a great post. As a RD I sometimes struggle with some people’s approach to intuitive eating. Lately I’ve found myself unfollowing people just because of the negativity surrounding the whole topic. If it’s confusing and upsetting to me. I can only imagine whT my clients think of it. Your approach and the way you convey it is much softer and way less negative
There is a great misunderstanding – it’s not just an adjective, but a well researched paradigm. Thank you for your encouragement and work in this feild Noreen <3
Emily Swanson says
I love that you have us ask ourselves questions about whether or not we’re at our natural set point. Now when I fin myself freaking out a bit about my set point and whether or not I’ve gained ‘too much weight’ I’ve realized that I feel freer and happier and less crazy around food than I’ve felt in ten years.
To me that’s an indication of so much freedom!
I absolutely LOVE seeing you get to take those weekend getaways Robyn that just restore your soul. Those still waters make me think of Psalm 23. It’s truly a blessing for me to get to see all these tastes of the East Coast, being a West girl my whole life.
Nicole @ Laughing My Abs Off says
Aww that town in Maine sounds absolutely lovely! I absolutely adore small towns like that! Those questions about the set point are so helpful; I remember that being a question in my mind when I was regaining weight a few years back. Never saw anyone speak to that, so thank you as always!
I have absoloutley loved your thoughts on body image/weight/set point etc!! The world needs more content like yours and its a breath of fresh air to have found you! My question is does the set point naturally change over time with age? Or is sudden weight gain always a sign of some sort of underlying health issue if you haven’t been one to over eat or do any of the things mentioned in the questions in the post above? Basically I gained weight right around age 40. Like Bam 10 pounds even though I have a healthy relationship with food and exercise and love my life.
I have to admit I’m struggling. I resolved to quit dieting three months ago and my weight has slowly crept up and has now passed a threshold I haven’t seen since my pregnancy days. My clothes are too tight and I’m not happy with how I look. When I quit dieting, my goal was to eat my fill of healthy foods, specifically, healthy foods that I enjoy, not sad virtuous punishment meals. And yet, the chips and desserts are still irresistible.
This is exactly my experience as well. I could have written this about myself! And it makes me feel uncomfortable physically, mentally, and emotionally.