By: Jennifer DiGennaro, Professional Counseling Intern
Food restriction for weight loss, a.k.a. dieting, does not work for most people long term. Sadly, we often blame ourselves, not the "plan", when it fails. Research has shown that pursuing weight loss as a goal is flawed and restrictive diets are not sustainable. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control shared that in "both in naturalistic, longitudinal samples and in randomized controlled trials, various weight-loss efforts and strategies lead to long-term weight gain." Yes, you read that correctly, focusing on weight loss is an indicator for weight gain. (source: Do No Harm: Moving Beyond Weight Loss to Emphasize Physical Activity at Every Size: Vol. 14, April 20, 2017 www.cdc.gov). Even in light of the mounting evidence against restrictive diets, many continue to pursue them, medical providers continue to prescribe them, and the cycle of shame and self-blame continues. Why? Because the dieting mentality feeds on unconscious, or unchallenged, world views such as:
I am not good enough.
There is something wrong with me.
I need to try harder.
I can control everything.
I cannot be fat and okay.
When I began to let go of my own limiting beliefs, fully inhabit my body and heal my relationship to food and eating a veil was lifted from my eyes. I examined my own lived experience as a participant in diet culture and listened more closely to the stories of those participating in diet culture, in addition I read a ton of research illuminating the damage restrictive dieting does. I knew could not be complicit in a broken system as I counseled others. I found Intuitive Eating, a concept originally developed over two decades ago and building on that, I found Body Trust® Wellness which expands on the concept of intuitive eating and is based in five core competencies:
Practice weight-neutral self-care: You worthy of care exactly as you are
Eat intuitively: Choosing to eat for and from your body
Move your body joyfully: Physical activity supports all sized bodies
Nurture self-compassion: Acceptance and kindness are the way
Redefine success: Cut the ties between worth and weight
It is important to remember Body Trust and Intuitive Eating are practices, not more rules, but a gentle balancing back to listening to and trusting our bodies as well as advocating for our care.
I have been a fully Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor since 2015 and just recently finished up an inspiring, extensive training with a dynamic therapist and dietitian duo to become a Certified Body Trust® Provider. I have tools, resources, knowledge, and hope to share with those who no longer want to participate in diet culture and the oppressive systems in place around food, bodies, and weight. This work is about choice and often involves deeply questioning our beliefs to explore where our true liberations lies. I do not claim to know where anyone else’s freedom lies, I do offer a compassionate alternative to consider.
Shame and punishment do not initiate healing; connection, compassion, and trust do.
"I don't diet, so therefore this workshop isn’t for me, right?"
Have you heard the phrase "a wolf in sheep's clothing"? It's like the idea of "a diet in health's clothing". There are many plans, programs and lifestyles that purposely avoid the word "diet', claiming they are for "health" though they are based heavily on external cues, food restriction, and/or measuring food, often in addition to punitive exercise. The focus is health as indicated by losing weight, not on actual self-care rooted in self-trust and body trust. This is the diet mentality in disguise. Just like dieting, these plans work until they do not work and it is not your fault.
If any of this is intriguing to you, or speaks to you, please join me for an introductory workshop where together we will dive into the question: What is Body Trust?
This interactive workshop includes:
Experiments in mindfulness and embodiment
Time for Q&A
Water, tea, and light snacks will be provided.
Everyone will leave with a couple tools/resources/hand-outs.
Come learn about the paradigm shifting, healing work of Body Trust®.
Come into your fullness. Let Body Trust® be the way. All bodies welcome
When: Sunday September 17, 2017 2PM to 4PM
Where: Mindful Counseling GR 741 Kenmoor Ave SE Suite B Grand Rapids, MI 49546
To register: email email@example.com or call 616-446-6728
Space is limited to 12 participants