Let Me Tell You

- POSTED ON: Oct 11, 2015

There are many online female body-positive, life-coaches, who claim to have a great deal of previous personal experience with diets and dieting.

The majority of them appear to be aged around the mid-thirties; with bodies that never became morbidly obese, but instead generally maintained at or near a normal body weight. 

Most of these online gurus of normal weight claim that they once bought into our advertisement culture which demands excessive thinness; that they dieted, restricted and binged in attempts to achieve an "ideal" body, but eventually decided to accept their normal bodies. They then began some type of intuitive eating, which caused them to continue maintaining their body at a normal weight.  Now they put themselves forward as experts who accept money to “coach” others along the path that they have discovered for themselves.

The concept of being able to trust one’s body to tell one what and when to eat (Intuitive Eating) is an appealing one.

I like the content of much of what proponents of IE have to say, and think that their message might hold true for people who have bodies that have always been near a normal weight (within 20-50 pounds). 

Unfortunately, people who have bodies that are well into obesity, or are “reduced obese”, have increased their number of fat cells, and have ratcheted their Set Point up to the place where trusting their body NOW,...  and following its eating instructions, ... will simply take them, and keep them, at or near the point of their highest bodyweight.

My own opinion is … IF you can accept having a body that stays at-or-near your highest weight, then trusting your body to tell you what to eat could bring a great deal of relief and peace of mind.  At this point, I’m not there.  However I cannot help but find what they SAY appealing.  Below is one of the articles written by one of these  “Life-Coaches”.

Organic Food and The Fuck It Diet
                by Caroline Donner

My prescription for obsessive eating or orthorexia is : eat. Let go of any and all food rules and restriction and acceptable eating amounts. Eat more than you ever thought you should. Neutralize all foods. Allow binges (and by doing that, it becomes not a binge.)

Eat and eat and eat, and eat the things you are scared of, until eating is just eating and food is just food.

It works. Especially when you are supporting your emotions and fears, and helping create a new expansive identity beyond food and body obsession.

It heals your metabolism and fixation on food.

It is the way to get to true intuitive eating. Attuned eating. Eating where you are able to simply listen to your hunger and cravings and not judge them for not being healthy enough, or not being what you expected or heard was acceptable.

“Healthy Food”

Lots of people think Yea well, I’ll eat, but I’ll only eat good healthy foods.

I want to share my view on “healthy” and organic foods.

Besides the fact that “healthy” is subjective, and the healthiest thing for you is what you crave in this very moment. And therefore healthy changes from day to day depending on what you need….

I LOVE healthy and organic foods. Maybe selfishly, I truly wish we lived in a world where access to healthy, sustainably and humanely raised, organic, non GMO, real delicious buttery food was the norm. I wish we could get back there. I wish it was accessible to everyone. I wish that was the food we ate. At least I wish that was the food I found everywhere I go.

In general, I like that food better. It tastes better to me. It feels better to me. And, perk, it helps our planet too.

And I’m not talking about low cal BS. I’m talking the real stuff.

But… it still doesn’t help to fear the other stuff. The” shit food”, as I call it, it IS all neutral. It is important to eat that food when you want it. In whatever quantity you want it. Forevermore. It is important to enjoy it, release all fear of it, and enjoy it.

Remember this: Perfect health does not exist by eating perfect foods.

Sorry about it. Eating pure perfect foods isn’t the be all end all. If it was, I would have cured myself doing the paleo diet and I never would have started The Fuck It Diet. Perfect food (whatever that is) does not cure all our earthly woes and health problems. And some “shit food”, as I sometimes call it, will not ruin our health.

It just won’t.

As Linda Bacon says in Body Respect, what has more impact on our health than anything else is how much power, autonomy, and agency we have in our lives. Feeling stressed, marginalized, financial burdens, prejudice, and fear of the very things we are using to sustain our life force cause more health problems than any health habit.

Fearing food is not good for us.

Part of orthorexic or food obsession recovery is about  truly neutralizing food and weight. And that includes eating any and all food you want. Especially foods that scare you. Rancid fried oils in your nachos? Bring it on. It can not will not ruin your life or your health. It just doesn’t hold that much power.

Realizing that no one food has the power to heal or destroy you (unless you are legit allergic to it, in which case, more power to you! Become aware of that stuff. Thank your body for communicating so amazingly to you.)

Are rancid fried restaurant oils the best? Surely not. Does it matter in the big picture. NO.

Pop tarts might be just the thing for you. It will help you heal your fear of foods, it’ll let your whole being know you are feeding and taking care of yourself physically and emotionally, and it’ll do just as much work to speed up and repair your metabolism as a “healthier” food.

Intuitive Health Food

It is so essential to eat foods because you want and crave them. The best bet to getting to a place where you are really eating what you want and crave, is to get through all fear and food fixation. If you are eating wild salmon because you are forcing yourself to, as opposed to when you really really really want it, your health will flourish so much more from eating it when you crave and want it.

Organic, whole foods are great. I think you are great for your health, happiness, taste buds, and the planet, but trust your body when it wants other things. Trust this process.

Do not force health foods on yourself. Be open to eating and exploring them when you want them. Until then, realize that your nachos and pop tarts are exactly where you need to be. You can trust your body to lead you right. Give it time.

While I love the sentiments expressed in the above article, I have to take what seems workable for me, but leave the rest  .... BECAUSE....

the advice does NOT come from a “reduced obese” person, who has lost weight from high obesity, and thereafter maintained a normal weight for decades. 

Very few such people exist, and all of them who can be found, indicate that ongoing vigilance with food and/or calorie restriction is necessary for their personal weight-maintenance. 

This has also been my own personal maintenance experience during the past 10+ years.

The author, Caroline Dooner seems to be in her mid-30s and appears to naturally be a normal weight. She puts herself forth as a body positive Life-Coach, with emphasis on “Life Recovery, finding food and body ease”.   

She has written a couple of eating disorder “recovery” books, and recommends Health at Every Size,  Body Respect, Lessons from the Fat-O-Sphere, as well as books by Byron Katie, Elizabeth Gilbert.

Leave me a comment.

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Existing Comments:

On Oct 11, 2015 missusriverrat wrote:
There definitely is a slew of the "coaches" with the circumstance that you describe. They say about the same thing, but each has their little personna and gimmick to make them seem unique. I personally would fit the same criteria as the coaches except that I am 65 years old. At one point a few years ago I was about 15 pounds above my present weight and I lost it, but not on intuitive eating. I used a modification of the Simple Diet, actually more like the Slim-Fast plan. I actually can do decently with intuitive eating to maintain my weight. It works well for me when I am very physically active so I can sense the need for enough food to keep my energy level up. I agree with you that these "coaches" are not going to be able to be of use to the "reduced obese" person or even the obese person. I don't think they get it. At first I was intrigued by some of the stuff these "coaches" were saying. Now I think they are just trying to make a successful business and make money. It would appear to me that they lack education, training, and experience.

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