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.


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.


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.


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.

Reject The Diet Mentality

Become an Intuitive Eater

It’s time for our next principle of Intuitive Eating—Feel Your Fullness—and I have a confession to make.I failed at feeling my fullness tonight.First,I worked late, not finishing up with my last client until almost 8:00 pm.It had been too long since lunch, and I found myself in quite the ravenous state by the time I was leaving the office.Second,I failed to eat without distraction.Because I am always two steps behind on meeting a deadline, I chose to eat dinner while writing this very article.Both of these decisions—ones that inhibit an intuitive eater from truly respecting her fullness—left me further away from satisfied than I would have preferred and teetering on the edge of stuffed.

I share all this for one reason: To remind you, my friend, that this journey is about progress, not perfection!Tomorrow is a new day.But in the meantime, let’s get an overview of this month’s principle.

Principle Five: Feel Your Fullness

The original intuitive eating pros—Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, define “feeling your fullness” as the ability to stop eating because you have had enough to eat biologically.Much like what happened to me, certain habits, such as becoming ravenous before you eat, staying distracted while eating, or feeling obligated to eat by well-meaning “food pushers”, can cause overeating. Additionally,the majority of chronic dieters don’t stop eating until the last morsel is gone, and this creates an inability to recognize a level of comfortable fullness.These “clean-your-plate” club members come by this honestly— either through a lifetime of meager portions offered in dieting plans or from well-meaning parents who taught that plates must be cleaned before you leave the table.

Therefore, many members of the clean-your-plate club turn on autopilot when they pick up the fork. That is, they eat until completion, or until the food is gone.To break this unhealthy pattern, it is often beneficial to move to the opposite end of the continuum, which means becoming more mindful, or even hyperconscious, of eating—not a place you want to live forever but long enough to break the cycle.

One of the first steps away from “autopilot eating” is conscious eating, which Tribole and Resch have broken into a series of stages.First, pause in the middle of a meal or snack and take a time-out for taste and satiety checks (something I obviously forgot to do!).Ask yourself if the food tastes good, or are you just continuing to eat because it is there? Check your fullness level, much like you Check your hunger level prior to eating.Do you still feel hungry? Or is your hunger going away and satisfaction setting in?

Once you finish eating, ask yourself where your fullness level is.(See the sample scale.)Did you reach comfortable satiety or did you exceed it? The more you become aware of your fullness level at satisfaction, the more you will know when a bite of food is your last—a most important step in respecting your fullness.Don’t get discouraged if this takes time.The important thing is you are on the road to recovery and not still signing-in at the clean-your-plate club for every meal.However, the flip side of this is there is no rule that says you must leave food on your plate.If you are hungry and not yet full, eat it all and enjoy! The key is to become conscious, learn how to respect fullness, and be free from the shackles of dieting.

Ten Core Principles of Intuitive Eating

by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R. D. and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A.

1. Reject the Diet Mentality

2. Honor Your Hunger

3. Make Peace with Food

4. Challenge the Food Police

5. Feel Your Fullness

6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor

7. Cope with Your Emotions without Using Food

8. Respect Your Body

9. Exercise–Feel the Difference

10. Honor Your Health–Gentle Nutrition

Cindy Mondello is a Licensed Professional Counselor and founder of Restoration Place Ministries, a local nonprofit organization offering significantly-discounted counseling services for women.For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our therapists, call 336-508-8573 or visit us at

Your Fitness


Keeping your resolution to get fit and lose weight doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these S-M-A-R-T tips to realize your goals in 2014.


Ensure the goal you set is very specific, clear and easy to understand.Instead of setting a goal to lose weight, be more specific and aim to lose inches off your waist or to run a 5k race.


Choose a goal with measurable progress so you can see the change occur.By measuring your changes, like measuring your waist or tracking how far you can run, you can see how you are progressing and notice how it is helping you reach your goal (or not).


Set goals that are attainable and relevant to you.If you set goals too far out of your reach, you probably won’t commit to doing what it takes to get there. Setting a goal to run an ultra-marathon is probably not a prudent goal if You have never run before.Choosing a 5k or 10k would be much more attainable and will give you the sense of achievement when you accomplish it.


Make sure your goal is realistic. Resolving to workout 7 days a week and to stop eating all your favorite junk food is not realistic.Consider taking smaller steps at first to reach your goal, such as exercising 3 days a week and reducing your junk food intake to 1 time a week.


Set a timeframe for the goal.Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards.If you don’t set a time, the commitment is too vague and it’s easy to put it off until tomorrow.Following the SMART method for setting goals is a great way to achieve your New Year’s Resolution.Other tips are to plan ahead, get support from friends and family, reward yourself, and remember you are human and that nobody is perfect.

Reject The Diet Mentality

Become an Intuitive Eater

Principle Four: Challenge the Food Police

In our quest to become Intuitive Eaters, we will focus this month on the fourth of ten principles: learning how to challenge the food police. In the world of dieting and eating, there are specific “voices” which influence the way we think, feel, and behave in regard to eating. In light of our limited space here, I will introduce you to the two most important voices: the Food Police–which is only harmful–and the Nurturer–which is only helpful–in determining the success of becoming an Intuitive Eater. To learn about the other voices and how they can help or hinder your journey, read chapter 8 in Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.

Developed through dieting, the Food Police is a strong voice that judges how “good” or “bad” you are in the area of eating, and it almost always surfaces with a verdict of “guilty.” The highly critical Food Police inspects every eating action. What thoughts are being promoted by your police? Here are a few common ones: Sweets are bad for me. I should never eat after 6:00pm. I should never eat anything that has fat in it. Cake is bad. Carrots are good.

It is important to realize that the Food Police is not only alive and well within our own private thoughts, but also in our culture, where even non-dieters experience eating angst. In a random survey of approximately 2,000 adults, nearly half reported feeling guilty after eating food that they enjoy! So be aware that the Food Police lurks in the shadows of society, in the comment of the well-meaning friend or family member who says, “You’re not going to eat that, are you? I thought you were trying to lose weight!” However, we must realize that just because someone makes an inappropriate comment does not make it true.

On the other end of the spectrum, where the Intuitive Eater is found, you hear the voice of the Nurturer–soft, gentle, and nonjudgmental. It never scolds or scrutinizes and is one of the most significant tools to becoming an Intuitive Eater. It will provide coping statements to counteract the harsh accusations that the Food Police can hurl. The following are examples of what our Nurturer might say: It’s okay to eat a cookie; eating a cookie is normal. When I overate today, I wonder what was really going on with me that I needed more food to comfort myself. Losing weight is a slow process, and I will choose to be patient and celebrate the successes along the way.

So remember, even when you reject dieting (principle one), honor your hunger (principle two), and begin to make peace with food (principle three), if the Food Police isn’t subdued, you are on a slippery slope headed back to bondage.Rid yourself of the negative voices that have been buried in your psyche for so long, and instead choose to nurture yourself with gentle truth. By listening to your instinctual signals, you’ll have the chance to form a healthy relationship with food!

Health and Wellness

Taking Charge of Our Life As We Age

According to the most recent data, people are living longer. In 1950, there were 14.5 million people in the world who were age 80 and older. In 2009, that number climbed from 14.5 million to nearly 102 million.

Experts project that by 2050, there will be 395 million people who are 80 or older. Many could be engaged, alert, active members of society with relatively few disabilities.

Lifestyle choices definitely affect longevity. It’s also true that genes play a role. Most experts believe that only about 30% of how long we live is determined by our genetic makeup and up to 70% of lifespan differences may be explained by lifestyle choices that include our activity level, whether or not we smoke, alcohol consumption and if we are a healthy weight.

Cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, kidney problems and dementia are considered to be diseases of aging. However, most experts believe that these diseases are largely preventable if people can make the diet and lifestyle changes necessary.

Recently, there has been a lot research on aging. In the past, experts have looked for a single, all encompassing theory, but most scientists now believe that there are multiple processes interacting at many levels which occur within our cells that affect how our tissues and organ systems age.

Up to one million DNA damaging assaults occur daily within our cells such as environmental factors (UV radiation, exposure to toxins and chemicals) as well as oxidative stress and inflammation from a diet high in saturated fat, cholesterol , trans fats and refined and processed foods.

There are preventative measures that we can take right now to slow down the aging process. Eating a healthy diet is a first step; one that is low in saturated fat and trans fats, but also high in fiber, full of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low fat dairy.

Eating antioxidant-rich foods is very important since free radical damage appears to be a contributing factor to many degenerative diseases of aging. Therefore, we need plenty of vitamin C, vitamin E and phytonutrients, other plant compounds like flavonoids and carotenoids, which are found in fruits and vegetables.

And if we are not in the habit of eating 5 to 9 fruits and vegetables every day, then we must make sure that we are supplementing with bioavailable nutrients that will fill in where our diet falls short.

There is some recent exciting news about polyphenols, such as the powerful antioxidant, resveratrol. The best resveratrol product to use is a liquid resveratrol tonic that is 10 times stronger than resveratrol alone due to its patented formulation of polyphenols. There is new research from the Linus Pauling Institute which shows resveratrol ‘s ability to protect DNA as well as to induce DNA repair. It also appears to impact other mechanisms of aging such as age protein formation. Examples of age proteins include cataracts, the amyloid plaque found in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease, and in damaged joint s of certain kinds of arthritis.

Vitamin D and calcium together fit into the anti-aging category and go well beyond bone health. Research presented at last year’s American Heart Association scientific conference showed that study participants with very low levels of vitamin D were 45% more likely to develop coronary artery disease and 78% more likely to have a stroke than patients with normal Vitamin D levels.

The importance of B vitamins as we age cannot be emphasized enough. Even if we eat plenty of lean beef, chicken and fish, which are all good sources of vitamin B-12, many older adults may not produce enough stomach acid to release B-12 from the protein that binds it in foods so it isn’t absorbed as efficiently.

This can lead to a B-12 deficiency, which is related to anemia, cognitive decline, joint pain, fatigue, and even tingling hands and feet.

As we age, it is especially important to maintain a healthy balance of intestinal microflora. The correct balance of bacteria in our intestines can boost the body’s natural immune function.

Pure omega 3 fatty acids help with inflammatory joint conditions, which are associated with aging.

Staying active is another important component of healthy aging. Exercise not only helps with weight loss, but helps to build muscle, maintain strong bones, reduce high blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer. Exercise improves the quality of sleep, lifts our overall sense of wellbeing and contributes to a healthy, positive attitude, which is absolutely the key to a happy life at any age.

Health And Wellness

Why do we need vitamins and minerals?

Vitamins and minerals are essential for human development. Our bodies consist of millions of cells that are constantly being regenerated. To perform optimally and to stay healthy, each cell needs a certain amount of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are necessary for the production of red blood cells and to maintain the nervous, skeletal and immune systems while minerals are needed to help regulate body functions, release energy and assist growth. In the US today, poor or inadequate diets are associated with 4 of the 10 leading caussesOf death (coronary heart disease, certain types of cancer, stroke and type 2 diabetes).

Where are we supposed to get these vitamins and minerals?

Food is a major source of vitamins and minerals. According to the U.S. Food Guide Pyramid, we need to consume 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily to make sure that we are getting all the 13 different vitamins and 17 different minerals that our body requires to function effectively.

Are we getting all the nutrients we need in a day?

Due to depleted soil, chemical fertilizers, artificial ripening, long periods of storage, over processing, cooking and reheating, many of the nutrients found naturally in the food we eat are removed or depleted even before they reach us. It takes some planning to eat a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables every day. In this fast paced society, we find ourselves reaching for highly processed and refined foods on the run. To assess Americans’ dietary status, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) developed the Healthy Eating Index (HEI). According to the HEI, 90 percent of Americans have a diet that is poor or in need of improvement. As a whole, we consume too much fast food, fatty snacks, carbonated waters, caffeine, sugar and salt which renders us vitamin-deficient. Most forms of cooking destroy the vitamins and minerals that are in our food, leaving our body starving for more nutrients. The daily stresses of life and pollutants in our air, water and food decrease these essential nutrients, particularly antioxidants, in the body. As a result, many Americans may be suffering from a nutritional deficiency.

Doctors list nutritional deficiency symptoms as including excessive worry, depression, inability to cope with stress, sensitivity to certain foods and chemicals, low tolerance for distractions, headaches, gastric distress, sore muscles or joints, skin problems, no reserve energy, frequent infections, lowered sexual interest , lowered mental acuity and memory, to name a few.

How do we get these missing nutrients?

Multivitamin /multi mineral supplementation helps to provide the body with missing nutrients.

The proper amount of micro nutrients in our bodies will lead to more efficient functioning and better health. Therefore, a balanced daily supplement is the best way to receive the right amount of all the micro nutrients our bodies require and to reach the recommended daily requirements.

Research shows that supplements improve health by supplying certain nutrients in amounts that are not obtainable from the diet alone.

How do I choose a multivitamin/mineral that is safe and really works?

Look for a company whose multivitamin/mineral goes through extensive quality checks (including testing for pesticides), is 100% guaranteed, is assimilated quickly and bioavailable to the body, contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives and provides the proof of effectiveness through double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies.