Reject The Diet Mentality

This month we will take a slightly different approach to our continuing discussion on how to become an intuitive eater. First, I want to share a brief overview on the next two principles—Discover the Satisfaction Factor and Cope with Your Emotions without Using Food—and then I would like to share with you just a bit of my own personal journey from disordered eating to wholeness.So, without further ado…let’s jump right in!

Principles Six and Seven: Discover the Satisfaction Factor and Cope with Your Emotions without Using Food

Most chronic dieters have lost, or never have discovered, the simple pleasure of eating. In the quest to be thin, we equate the pleasure of eating with outof- control weight gain. And it simply isn’t so. The truth of the matter is just the opposite. If you fail at finding satisfaction in your food choices, the chances are much greater that you will overeat.

The authors of the original Intuitive Eating—Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch— share a story about one client who craved a piece of cornbread with lunch.
However, she denied herself this pleasure, not only at lunch but at dinner also, for she was convinced that it was an unhealthy choice. That night, she ate six Weight Watchers® desserts in hopes of satisfying her cornbread craving. And with an overly full belly of excessive calories, she learned the principle of satisfaction: no amount of diet desserts would satisfy her cornbread craving.

Regaining pleasure in eating will require some intentional steps, such as determining what you really want to eat, and then giving yourself permission to eat it; learning to be present to the here and now rather than focusing on rules, regulations, and calorie counters; and beginning to taste and savor the food you are eating. Understanding what you like and believing that you have the right to enjoy food will be crucial to living a satisfied life of weight control without dieting.

The essence of our next principle is summed up by Tribole and Resch in the following way: “Anxiety, loneliness, boredom, and anger are emotions we all experience throughout life. Food won’t fix any of these feelings. It may comfort for the short term, distract from the pain, or even numb you into a food hangover. But food won’t solve the problem. If anything, eating for an emoTional hunger will only make you feel worse in the long run”.

Learning to cope with emotional eating without using food begins with asking yourself four basic questions: Am I biologically hungry? What am I feeling?What do I need? How can I get this need met other than through food? If the answer to the first question is yes, then review the previous six principles and eat intuitively. If the answer is no, then proceed with the remaining three questions, especially focusing on the last. Getting rest, expressing your feelings through talking or journaling, and receiving comfort and warmth from a trusted friend are some ways that you can get your emotional needs met apart from food. However, I would like to share with you just a glimpse of my path out of the pit of emotional and disordered eating.

A Little About My Journey

For about 15 years or so, I fought a monster within me named Bulimia. While the behaviors of the disorder manifested during my senior year in high school, food and weight were becoming my focus as young as age 8. I can remember times of feeling so anxious I thought I would come out of my skin…lonely, afraid, and insecure. Because I was unaware of how to handle these emotions— or even what the emotions were—I began focusing on weight, what I looked like, how I could avoid eating, and how I could rid my body of the food I did eat.

I was caught in a vicious and ugly cycle that would include two inpatient treatments, several trips to the hospital, and a whole lot of shame, secrecy, and isolation. The satisfaction I was looking for in life was elusive. My emotions were too uncomfortable to face. I was a lost soul, empty and afraid of who I was and…of who I wasn’t.

Many people have asked about my recovery. And while there were various points of healing along the way, the one thing that nailed the lid on the coffin in which my monster was finally buried was a renewed relationship with God.
It wasn’t until I realized that I was trying desperately to be in control of my life (and failing miserably) and chose to surrender my control to a very loving and gracious God that I finally began to walk in freedom from the pain. The road was not easy, and I certainly stumbled along the way. But as I began to Learn who God really is (through the Bible) and as I began to know Him, my feeble legs grew stronger as I walked the path to healing. Then the words of Psalm 145 became alive for me, as they can for you too.

“The LORD is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does.

The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.

The eyes of all look to You (LORD), and You give them their food at the proper time.

You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.”

Your Fitness

Still thinking about getting started on a fitness program?Consider joining a group class for major results and major fun!Here are some benefits of working out with a group versus working out by yourself.

Qualified Instruction

Attending a class that is lead by a trained and qualified professional is a surefire way to learn the correct form of each exercise and can help you improve how you move your body to prevent injury or prevent making an existing condition worse. They also can show you how to modify exercises if you are at a different level than the rest of the class.

Variety

Just like women, group exercise comes in all shapes and sizes. There are already a large variety of classes available at most gyms and studios and more formats are being introduced all the time. You just need to try all formats to decide which best suits you. Some popular classes today are latin dancing, indoor cycling and mind/body classes.

Accountability

One advantage to group exercise classes is the accountability.If you decide not to attend classes, most likely your absence will be noticed. Consistency is huge when starting an exercise program and for this reason, the benefit of the accountability of a group exercise class will increase your results substantially. At RAM Fitness, we ask clients to sign-up in advance for classes to help schedule-in their workout. This adds another level of accountability to ensure your success.

Fun

Group exercise classes are a great way to have fun! If you are having fun, you will be more likely to go more often. Encourage other friends to join your class or make friends with the people around you. Many long-term friendships have been made with people just getting to know each other in an exercise class. Knowing that others know what you are going through will also help keep you coming back for more. And what could be more fun than a brand new fit and healthy body?

Come try out a group class at RAM Fitness! RAM Fitness offers a variety of small group classes to women of all shapes and sizes.

Heart-Healthy Future

Painting in her studio in Artmongerz Gallery in Greensboro, Jacalyn Romano, did not have a specific direction in mind. Rich yellow and red acrylics over plaster lines and swirls turned into a sun’s light reaching into deeper blue and burnt sienna hues.

Then Jackie experienced the worst pain in her life. “A fire struck the center of my chest and I just couldn’t stop screaming,” she describes.She was taken to Moses Cone Memorial Hospital, where she was told she was having a heart attack. Dr. Thomas Wall, now her friend for life, realized how dire her situation was and acted fast. On July 13, 2010, Jackie had a triple bypass and heart valve repair.

“I still had paint under my nails,” remembers Jackie. “My sister, Rebecca, helped me clean them at the hospital.” The painting she was working on took on a new meaning for her.When completed, she entitled it “Just a Heart Beat Away.” To her, the sun now represents a second chance. Since her heart attack, Jackie has stopped smoking and is managing her type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol with good nutrition and exercise. This experience inspired her to create a new series of artwork, entitled “Matters of the Heart.”

Jackie is proud to share her studio space with other artists in what she refers to as “The Gallery that Gives.” Jackie donated one of her works to the 2011 Guilford Heart Ball and other artists from the gallery are joining her.

“If I could send a message to women in Guilford County, it would be to take care of yourselves even through times of turmoil, listen to your body and don’t let your fear of hearing bad news keep you from seeing your doctor and possibly heading off heart disease,” shares Jackie.

February is American Heart Month and Go Red For Women is the American Heart Association’s nationwide initiative fighting heart disease in women, the #1 killer of women in North Carolina and the U.S.

For more information visit http://www.heart.org/goredtriad and http://www.heart.org/guilfordncheartball.