Expert Insight: Losing Weight Naturally

“When you do start to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full after years of being on one scheme or another, you will most likely go down a size or several sizes.

Unless you have been eating drastically less than your body needs for years, your weight should stabilise at its natural set point, which will be lower than what you’ve achieved through dieting and bingeing”.

Susie Orbach, “On Eating”

When clients first seek help for their emotion-driven overeating issues, they often think if they can sort out their weight, everything else will be OK.

In this way, therapy can be seen as another weight-loss initiative.  There’s sometimes a sense of disappointment that we’re not focusing on weight during sessions and, as a result of this, some clients assume I’m anti-weight loss.

I’m not.

If your additional weight gets in the way of you being able to fully live your life, and you want to reduce in size to feel better, I’m all for that.

What I’m not in favour of is putting pressure on yourself to lose weight while you’re trying to normalise your relationship with food.

There’s a simple reason for this:  it doesn’t work.

If a part of you is entrenched in the diet mentality and pressures you to lose weight, you’ll always judge what you’re eating.  You can’t normalise your relationship with food if you judge what you eat.  You won’t listen to yourself about what you really want and will perpetuate shame about your food choices and your body.

But equally I don’t believe that if you’re no longer dieting your eating has to be chaotic and unstructured, and it’s up to you to find the structure that feels right.

I believe our bodies know what size and shape we’re meant to be and it’s our job to work with them and respect their wisdom.

I don’t believe we’re all meant to be thin.

I refuse to conform to the idea that women’s bodies in particular are supposed to look the same.

I believe in appreciating and valuing our bodies, whatever size they are.

I think the pursuit of body perfection is pointless and a waste of one’s life.

I feel we need to focus less on appearance and more on knowing who we really are.

That’s where the work is.

It’s not about looking good externally so we can feel better about ourselves internally.  It’s about working out why we struggle to regulate feelings appropriately and why we don’t feel good about ourselves.  It’s then about acting on our own behalf to heal and take care of ourselves, physically and emotionally.

Any weight loss then is a result of improved self-care and valuing ourselves.

That’s how we lose weight naturally and keep it off for good.

Expert Insight: What We Really Lose When We Diet

“I started each new diet with burning enthusiasm – this was going to be the diet to beat all the others, this time I was really going to lose weight and keep it off forever.  I never did.  Every single diet ended with me regaining all the weight I had lost, plus a few pounds extra.  What I did lose, I had not intended to lose – I lost time, I lost energy, I lost me”.

Dr Cherie Martin, “Naturally Slim Without Dieting”

It breaks my heart when I see a young woman on Instagram hating herself for not being able to stick to her slimming club’s diet plan, dreading her next weigh-in and vowing to do better tomorrow.  What will tomorrow bring for her?  More of the same and, in all likelihood, a life-long messed-up relationship with food.

Perhaps you were once that young woman.

I was.

Continue reading “Expert Insight: What We Really Lose When We Diet”

How are You Going to Eat for the Rest of Your Life?

Listen.  Can you hear that?

That’s the sound of people everywhere falling off the New Year diet wagon.

Maybe you’re one of them.

Maybe you bought into the much-touted idea that enjoying yourself at Christmas is ‘sinful’.

Maybe you felt you must make ‘amends’ by starting some self-proclaimed diet guru’s “no fail, instant weight-loss, guaranteed results, easy 12-week eating plan”.  (If I sound a bit angry, I am, because these people make my job so much harder).

Maybe you now find yourself out of control with food.

I’m sorry if that’s the case.

It’s not your fault.

Continue reading “How are You Going to Eat for the Rest of Your Life?”

What is eatonomy?

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow.  The only way that we can grow is if we change.  The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed.  And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it.  Throw yourself.”
– C. JoyBell C.

I started turning to food when I was around 12 years-old.  My emotional attachment to it had begun before that but I was about 12 when I started to binge, in secret, to the point that I felt sick.  As a result, I began to put on weight.

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What Does Dieting Do To Us?

Uh-oh, it’s January.

The time of year when, even if you’ve been doing really well normalising your relationship with food, you can suddenly find yourself bingeing again.

Why? Because in January it’s impossible to escape the barrage of adverts for slimming clubs, weight-reduction schemes and meal replacement products. Social media is abuzz with the latest celebrity eating plans, while endless newspaper and magazine articles try to convince us of the new wonder diet “that really works”.

Continue reading “What Does Dieting Do To Us?”