What IS conscious eating, exactly? I never actually realized how unconsciously I ate until I started to create awareness and presence around food. Often we eat staring at our computers or phones (guilty), while driving to work in the morning (also guilty), or late at night, watching Bachelor in Paradise while simultaneously petting your slightly too needy cat that you’ve been neglecting, (most guilty).
So, as you all know, I am a psychiatric nurse slowly dipping my feet in the waters of nutritional consulting, and I couldn’t help but want to learn more about ones mental game with food. After all, psychiatry and nutrition are extremely impactful on one another. Your nutrition effects your mental health, and in turn your mental health effects how you choose to nourish yourself. Since completing my Holistic Nutrition diploma I’ve been wanting to start bringing my vision into practice, by helping women (and men of course) who struggle with emotional eating, and other issues such as orthorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. To squash the habits that have developed over the years of restriction, of body shaming, of chronic dieting and obsessing over what you can and cannot eat, and instead learn to look food as just what it is, nourishment. Nourishment for your body, your soul, whatever it needs really.
What happened between being a kid and running around all day in the park, barely making it home in time for dinner and eating just enough to satisfy your parents so you can go back and play before the sun sets? Your appetite existed to keep you fueled, it did not exist to control you. You ate when you were hungry, stopped when your were full. So back to my question.. what changed?
Dieting, or should I say restricting yourself? Because we all know that DIET, doesn’t mean an attempt at losing weight to look a certain way, to feel a certain way. No, diet simply means, your diet. Be it vegan, paleo, iifym, keto etc, however you choose to fuel yourself. But here we all are, constantly “dieting” to look the way that society will have us believe we need to look, in order to achieve the desired “happiness” we all strive to find. Restricting your food intake when you already have an emotional and problematic eating history, will not make things any better, I promise you that. Nor does letting down the reigns and having a YOLO approach to food, which also won’t help any past body image issues that you’ve dealt with.
So that brings me to Cognitive Behavior Therapy folks. A technique wildly used in the field of psychiatry (however not enough in acute settings), but is proven to be extremely effective for anxiety, depression, borderline personality disorders, and the reason for this post, eating disorders. It teaches you to get conscious & become present in the moment; to really think about what is happening, what you’re feeling, to actually feel it,and how you are going to react to it. You see that’s the thing, nobody wants to feel anything anymore. Why feel uncomfortable when you can have a sugary snack, an alcoholic beverage, or even take it as far as taking an ativan? Why be riddled with anxiety or loneliness, depression or self-doubt, when you can self-destruct with a sugary or chemical band-aid?
The responsibility isn’t there anymore. Too many people take the easy way out, instead of doing the work. Yes, there is always going to be something else to blame for your behaviors. But as the brilliant Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” So if you are stuck in self-destruction patterns, especially emotional and problematic eating patterns (which is the point of this post, however the techniques I will share can be used for any self-destructive behaviors), than I urge you to join me in my 12 Week Breaking Free Program. It’s 12 weeks of hanging out with me (bonus) while learning to get conscious, create awareness, and finally find peace with food, and yourself.
After competing in a bikini competition 3 years ago, I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into. I grew up a competitive gymnast and was hungry for a fitness challenge, however my body was no longer capable of twisting layouts and double backs, so I jumped right into prep for Muscle Beach. I was on my A-game throughout prep, and the competition went smoothly, but it was after the competition the struggles began. As a mental health professional, I started noticing habits and anxieties I was feeling post-comp. My diet leading up to the competition was nothing I could imagine sustaining afterwards, (because cheese) so of course my weight wouldn’t stay the same! When you put yourself in a restrictive state for so long, it is only natural to have unnatural thoughts about food and begin over consuming, leading to this unhealthy relationship between you and something as simple as sugar laden treat. Your brain simply wants to make up with the nourishment that it was lacking. Thankfully I was able to recognize this, and I quickly fell back into my old habits of eating whole natural foods, staying away from inflammatory and processed foods, and began to eat for nourishment. From bone broths to fermented foods, to my green smoothies and bulletproof desserts, I ate these foods to nourish my mind and body, and keep me fueled for my busy lifestyle.
I jumped at the chance to learn the practitioner course for this program I am about to share, because I simply know young women (and men) struggle with finding balance and peace with food, and not only those coming from a bodybuilding competition background, that was simply my experience. Everyone has their own story, and may not even recognize that their behaviors stem from past experiences and traumas. Or maybe they are aware of their behaviors, but simply can’t get past the negative talk they hear all day, after years of body shaming and lack of self-love. I never knew about the Breaking Free: Finding Food Freedom back then, so I’m excited to share this with you now, to offer help to anyone stuggling with emotional and problematic eating patterns. It includes weekly modules to learn and identify triggers, process emotions, and create knew habits.
It will challenge you, and thus change you.
Please email me if you would like a spot for this 12 week program that I will be launching September 15! I’ll be taking 5 lovely humans through the 12 week program at a discounted price, and would love to have you!