Don’t get me wrong; I love Pinterest. I think that it is a brilliant place to share creative ideas. I truly cannot imagine life without this excellent resource; however, I’ve noticed Pinterest is sometimes a trigger for body dissatisfaction. Lately, I’ve been reading The Body Image Workbook by Thomas Cash, Ph.D. I am addressing and reevaluating my body relationship and body awareness. Yes, even us skinny gals can have body image issues.
[Sidebar: I’ve decided to fast from Facebook during the Lenten season to spend that time with my creator instead of browsing mindlessly. Since I’m not banning all social media, I’ve spent a little more time on Pinterest & Instagram (@WBN_RDs)]
In this workbook, I’ve learned we all have what the author, Dr. Cash, calls Private Body Talk. In our private body talk, we have stories running through our mind – often unconsciously – about how we look. He uses the word ugly, which I truly hope none of you are calling yourselves because you are uniquely beautiful. The book goes on to explain that we each have different triggers, assumptions, and beliefs about our body image. And why wouldn’t we… What with all the perfect flat tummies and perfect booties depicted on Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media outlets. I mean seriously, who are these people with perfectly sculpted abs?! We may think “what are they eating or doing to look that way?” Or “I need to get more strict about my diet so I can have a body like that too.”
Good news, there is a tool to help.
My favorite part of the workbook is the emphasis on mindfulness. It goes into a lot of detail on increasing our mindfulness specifically around body image stories. I modified an idea in the book and created a new tool to start to notice and address these negative body image stories. It’s the TTE method:
- Emotional effect
First, is noticing the body image conversation or thought. Example: you look at a photo of yourself and think “Wow, look at that fat face.” Which may spiral into a barrage of negative thoughts about other aspects of your looks you do not like. The next step is to identify the trigger. In this case, it was looking at the picture. For many, simply stepping on the scale is the beginning of a downward spiral into self-sabotaging thought patterns. Such as, “why do I even bother? I’m always gonna be fat.” The last step is recognizing the emotional effect these thoughts have on you. It does not feel good or motivational when someone calls us mean names. That usually hurts and feels shameful. How is it different for you to speak like that to yourself? We’ve shared before how words matter. Whether spoken aloud or in our minds, these have a profound impact on our behaviors and choices.
Food for thought:
I don’t actually blame Pinterest for body image concerns; however, I recognize those pictures of all the perfect airbrushed bodies can lead to negative internal chatter. That’s when I choose to log off and get centered in my own truth:
“I value feeling good. I have a healthy mind and healthy body to match.”
What are your big triggers?
What’s your truth?
You are more than a number on the scale and you matter.
If you need someone to talk about body image or to make more healthy lifestyle changes, we are here to help. Just click here to start the conversation.
Monday, Sept 18, 2017
I just don’t do this often but I’m putting my foot down. There will be no more self-afflicted food shaming.
As Kristen eloquently states in her blog post, Why Well-Balanced Eating is NOT fail proof,
“Well-balanced eating (and well-balanced living for that matter) is not fail-proof because at the end of the day no matter what plan we decide to follow we are only human and this is real life.
Too often we expect the journey to be picture perfect and we don’t plan for the struggles. It doesn’t matter the number of mistakes, slips, failures – no matter what you call them – that you have, it’s how you embrace them and what you do next that matters the most. Lucy and I like to call them LESSONS because there is always something you can learn or a way you can grow from something not going the way you hoped. We can get a lot further if we embrace the struggle, have compassion for ourselves and never let our setbacks define us.”
Here to help (not judge)
Last week, I got to see a client who decided to enjoy free queso day at Moe’s Southwest Grill. She returned to her office just before our meeting and promptly said, “don’t judge me!”
I want to let everyone know, Kristen and I are not judging you. In fact, our goal is to support and encourage you, which we could not do if we were busy judging the people we want to help. Eat the queso! Just try do it mindfully.
On other occasions, people say “I shouldn’t have eaten…” which is personal food shaming for the decision made in the moment. We know from the article on, HALT that people tend to make the least healthy decisions when they are hungry, angry/frustrated, lonely, tired, or sometimes bored. If that’s the case, doesn’t it make sense to set ourselves up for success? Instead of spending time and energy thinking about what I “shouldn’t have done,” it will serve us better to learn the lesson and think about how to set up for success in the future.
For example, if I find myself eating the free food in the breakroom all morning because I didn’t eat breakfast, now I know I need to prioritize finding quick, convenient, and well-balanced breakfast options. Or if you notice you feel bad each time you eat out for lunch, it’s time to focus on bringing homemade meals to eat at lunch.
Food for thought:
Eating is supposed to feel good! Not only is it yummy, there is also a dopamine release creating a pleasurable experience to encourage us to keep eating regular meals and snacks. When eating is combined with shame, instead of feeling good we feel terrible.
This week take a moment to notice that little voice that says “shouldn’t.” How can you rephrase that into what you want or what will feel good? What lessons have you learned to help you make better choices?
Local charity: Activate Good
Activate Good is located in Raleigh and offers volunteer opportunities around the Triangle. That are affiliated with hundreds of local nonprofit organizations to provide volunteers for the local charity events and programs.
Mark your calendar for April 23-29, which is national volunteer week!
Favorite TED talk: You are what you think
I love TED talks! This one spoke to me because of the touching story and the wonderful message explaining how our spoken and unspoken words lead to actions that lead to our destiny. Powerful stuff.
Daily Mindfulness blog: Daily Om
“All too often our lives can be spread too thin and it becomes important to gather our thoughts and center ourselves to become whole again.” -Madison Taylor
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Recipe of the week: Roasted Beets ‘n Sweets
If you don’t think you like beets, I am guessing you have not tried them roasted. This is a simple, delicious, and nutritious side dish (or dessert if you’re weird like me!).
We can shift the world through love, but we must have love in our own hearts first. -Daily Om
Recently, Kristen and I read Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, which is about understanding shame, embracing vulnerability, and ‘enoughness.’
At Well-Balanced Nutrition, we see folks, mostly women, at all different parts of their wellness journey. Last week, I saw a young woman who had lost nearly 50 lbs three years ago and maintained her weight loss until recently. She put on 5 lbs after starting a new relationship and “getting more liberal,” in her eating habits. She came to see me about losing the weight after spending all of January following her healthy diet (with no change on the scale… frustrating!).
Shortly thereafter, a good friend explained her own dissatisfaction with “those last 3 pounds she couldn’t lose,” and proceeded to berate herself for eating a handful of M&Ms.
While reading Daring Greatly, I kept thinking of all my loved ones and how much I wanted them to read this book too. It’s so easy to get swept up in feeling inadequate, shameful, or unwanted. Our basic human desires are to belong and all too often that is tied to our body weight, shape or pants size. The story we tell ourselves is if those numbers don’t match the societal or our personal expectations then we’re not good enough. As Kristen put it, “We all fight the voices that tell us, if only I had ____, I would be _____. You can fill in the blanks.”
Food for thought:
A couple weeks ago Kristen wrote about Getting rid of perfection and embracing enough. Did you notice the inner voice she mentioned?
What would you tell your daughter, sister, or bestie who is shaming herself about the handful of M&Ms?
It’s time we start to love ourselves for who we are. Remember, we must first show love to ourselves in order to share love with those around us.
Here’s the one thing we really want you to know: You are beautiful, just the way you are!
Many parents want to know how they can get their children to eat more vegetables. I work with young families every week and I hear their struggles. They often say, “she loves her fruits and eats them several times a day, but her vegetables…not so much.” I am in the same boat. My two little ones can slam a container of berries in mere seconds. Offer them a new vegetable and they freak.
You’re an informed parent and you have likely heard all the standard tips for helping your picky eater. First of all, you must be a good role model and eat a variety of vegetables yourself. You can get kids to help you in the grocery store and in the kitchen which will improve the chance of them trying a new food. Serve a small portion and encourage your child to try a bite without nagging or forcing. And hopefully, you’ve also read up on the division of feeding responsibilities and you know that understanding the root cause to your child’s unwillingness to try new food is important.
But what is the one little thing I did that got my little girl excited about broccoli again?? You won’t believe this and neither did I when it happened…
The other day before dinner was ready, my 3-year-old was “starving” and I offered her a “broccoli snack.” It was steamed broccoli with parmesan cheese. I had never called this a “snack” before. Her eyes lit up and she eagerly came to the table and devoured her broccoli. What!!? I was so excited that I high-fived my husband and did a victory dance when she wasn’t looking. If I would have known all along that I just needed to say the word SNACK, I would have done it a looong time ago.
This is a great example of how words set the tone for both children and adults. Describe a food with words that trigger a positive association and a chain reaction of positive attitudes and intentions will follow. For example, this report concludes that descriptive labels at restaurants, such as “Grandma’s zucchini cookies” increased sales, quality and taste evaluation scores and restaurant ratings. All from putting the word “Grandma” on the label which for many people trigger happy thoughts.
My children have such a positive association with the word “snack.” Snacks are FUN and FAST. Instead of saying, “Eat your broccoli, it’s healthy and good for you,” I now say “I made some “broccoli snacks.” Other words that get her excited are “cheesy” and “buttery.” If I use those words to describe any food, chances are she will get excited about it.
So, whether you would like to eat more vegetables or you wish your children would, using fun and positive words to describe your food can make a difference.
Food for Thought:
What words are you using to describe your food?
What words would trigger a positive association for you or your children?